Friday, December 14, 2012

How Many Is Too Many?

As is the case around this time of year, I start getting uber excited about next year's show season. I visit the websites of the different show circuits I plan to join at least 46 times per day, wondering when they're going to post next year's show dates.

"Come on! It's the middle of December! Where are those dates?"

The few who have their seasons posted might also have their new show bills available and I pour over the classes Lilly and I will be entering.

"Which classes to enter... hmmm... this one, and this one, OH and definitely this one!"

Before I know it, between the stock type division, the adult division, and the western and english divisions, I've circled 16 or more classes.

"Dang, that's a lot of classes... Okay, where to cut back? Not that one, can't cut out that one... maybe this one?"

The problem with some of these shows, is they have 3 or 4 classes that are essentially the same thing. Take for example, my favorite show series, JCHSS. For their western classes they have the following classes Lilly and I would want to enter:

Western Walk/Jog - Stock Type
Western Go As You Please - Adult
Western Walk/Second Gate (so gaited horses can enter too)

Those are all essentially walk/jog classes. The stock type class counts for the stock type division, the adult class counts for the adult division, and the walk/sg class counts for the western division, all of which I hope to compete in for year end awards.

Add on to those classes a western pleasure class and two horsemanship classes (one walk/jog and one walk/jog/canter), and I'm already at 6 classes. Plus I was thinking about doing trail this year, so we're now up to 8.

The english classes look exactly the same as the western classes, minus trail, so now we're up to 14 classes. In addition to the english classes, they have 4 huntseat classes we could enter, and don't forget about halter and showmanship. We could potentially enter a grand total of 20 classes. 20 classes?!

Obviously that's too many, but I just don't know what to cut out. I have been thinking about doing only western this year, but to be competitive in the stock type and adult divisions, I have to show in at least 2 english classes. And well, if I'm suited up for english anyway, what's a few more classes to try and snag a few more PAC points?

It just snowballs from there...

Then I remember that because of my work schedule, I will only be able to take Lilly to about half of the shows anyway. So unless we bring down the house and whoop up on everyone else there, we might not be able to get enough points for year end awards anyway. If that's the case, we could just enter the classes we wanted most since divisions wouldn't matter.

At one of the shows.
It seems like we usually enter about 12 classes, and at least one them is a ground class like showmanship and sometimes halter. 10 riding classes sounds like a lot, but we really aren't in the arena that long for each one. I'm not one to work her constantly throughout the day (although maybe I should) and I don't use her for my own personal chair, but I'm just not really sure how many classes is too many. I can't ask Lilly because she'll just say we shouldn't go at all.

I need to find a way to narrow them down... somehow!


  1. Oh I hear you. Hmmmm, maybe pick two of the divisions, the ones you think you'll be the most competitive in? I'm going to try to get longer and longer rides in this winter and start doing a few day-long rides at home where I ride for a good while, put him away while I eat lunch/clean tack/read/whatever, then ride more, trying to build up his physical and mental endurance. I think the endurance is the real factor. My pony gets fed up with the whole thing in the early afternoon.

  2. I have the exact same problem :) It always ends up just being how much money I have to spend on a show, then I almost have to close my eyes and pick classes because it's so hard to pare them down!

  3. So much fun looking forward to show season!

  4. Wow that sure is a lot of classes....good luck trying to decide which ones to do!