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horse show season

Let’s Talk Show Schedules

I like to have a plan; I thrive on being organized and always working towards a goal. Plus, I’m part of a relatively small show barn — there’s only three of who show regularly and my trainer books judging gigs in between taking us to shows. All of that makes it extra important to coordinate and make sure we’re on the same page about show season. Horses, however, do no abide by plans — they are the best at teaching us to adapt and be flexible. So while I like to have a show schedule, I’ve learned to make it a “loose” plan that can change at any moment. So what’s on the schedule for this year?

miles canter at horse show

Well, first off we have a ton of options, all close to home, which is really nice. I like to save money by sticking to local shows — which means I can stay at home and avoid the cost of a hotel, we don’t travel as far which saves on hauling fees and my own gas, plus we can bring a lot of our own food. So here are this year’s most likely options:

  • May 2-3: North East Show Time Series I
  • May 8-10: Equivents Outdoor Series I “B”
  • May 22-24: Showtime Series at Delaware dac Classic “B”
  • May 30-31: North East Show Time Series II
  • June 12-14: Equivents Outdoor Series II “B”
  • June 19-21: Showtime Series at Delaware Equus Now! Classic “A”
  • June 27-28: North East Show Time Series III
  • July 3-5: New Vocations Charity
  • July 10-12: Equivents Outdoor Series III “B”
  • July 17-19: Showtime Series at Delaware Summer Classic “A”
  • July 25-26: North East Show Time Series IV
  • Aug. 14-16: Equivents Outdoor Series IV “B”
  • Aug. 22-23: North East Show Time Series V
  • Sept. 4-6: Showtime Series at Delaware Labor Day Classic “B”
  • Sept. 5-6: North East Show Time Series VI
  • Sept. 25-27: Equivents Outdoor Series V “B”
  • Oct. 2-4: Showtime Series at Delaware Fall Classic “A”

take off

Holy moly that’s a lot of horse shows! So how the heck am I going to choose? Well, for starters I prefer to go to rated shows over non-rated and I don’t like to show back-to-back weekends [it’s too exhausting for this working adult amateur!]. Plus I have a wedding to attend on June 20th, so that gets us down to this:

  • May 8-10: Equivents Outdoor Series I “B”
  • May 22-24: Showtime Series at Delaware dac Classic “B”
  • June 12-14: Equivents Outdoor Series II “B”
  • July 3-5: New Vocations Charity
  • July 17-19: Showtime Series at Delaware Summer Classic “A”
  • Aug. 14-16: Equivents Outdoor Series IV “B” OR Aug. 22-23: North East Show Time Series V
  • Sept. 4-6: Showtime Series at Delaware Labor Day Classic “B”
  • Sept. 25-27: Equivents Outdoor Series V “B” OR Oct. 2-4: Showtime Series at Delaware Fall Classic “A”

Ah, much more manageable! The rest of my 2015 Show Schedule depends on others’ schedules because I don’t like to go to shows by myself. Half the fun is hanging out with my friends all weekend and cheering each other on; I miss all of that when it’s just me. So far, it sounds like we are on track to attend both shows in May and we try to never miss the New Vocations Charity Show in July.

How do you determine your showing / clinic schedule?

horse show season


Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

22 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Show Schedules

  1. Wow!! So many options…that is awesome! Yeah I prefer close to save $/disruption of my family’s life and obviously shows my trainer is going to.

  2. I’m the opposite of you–having a whole plan laid out would make me really stressed. I’ve picked out our fist show (schooling and close to home) and we’ll go from there. Or not, if I hate it.

  3. Looks like you have a fun show season ahead!

    The best thing about my barn is that we host so many shows that you can do well on the circuit without ever leaving the property. Saves so much money. Although if I can get my pony back in one piece I would love to go to an away show for fun! Well at this point I’d just like to ride him…

  4. It’s nearly impossible for me to plan the show season- since I don’t have a trailer, I have to find a friend to trailer me to a show. Since none of my friends event (they’re all dressage riders), it’s hard for me to convince them to take me anywhere! For example, there’s a show next weekend I’ve asked THREE people to haul me to- all have said, “Sure!” only to back out a few days later. -_-

    I throw Gina in the trailer when there’s an extra spot to a dressage show and fantasize about taking myself places!

  5. How nice to have so many shows close to you! I live in SE Virginia and all of the horse shows (and my trainer!) are in Northern Virginia. The closest show series to me is HITS Culpeper, which is about 3 1/2 hours. So sadly, I spend a lot of time in hotels! My typical schedule is Lexington, VA in April for 2 weeks, we’re hoping to attend Tryon, NC for the first time in May for two weeks, June is Upperville/ Loudon for two weeks, July and August, four weeks at Culpeper, Sept Culpeper finals, and maybe Kentucky after that, November two weeks at Raleigh, then head to WEF after the holidays….. Makes me tired to type it all, haha! We picked this schedule because it follows my trainer’s schedule and all of the shows are competitive and pretty well run.

  6. I used to make a big schedule at the beginning of the year, but now I just take it month by month. It stresses me out to pick shows in advance and things inevitably change.

  7. I have a calendar that I have color coded for shows I would really like to go to, shows I can go to if the other ones don’t work, and shows to potentially go watch. I hope to make it to at least one of the shows that I would really like to go to, because that would make me very happy, but we will see!

  8. WOW what a selection! Very nice. Like you, I love planning ahead (that’s half the fun!). I’ll go to local shows by myself, but strongly prefer having at least 1 barnmate at registered horse trials, and since I can only afford 2-4 a year, I basically let the barnmates pick the shows then I tag along.

  9. Ha, I’ve gotten so lazy. I just let Mary tell me where we’re going. I can’t even remember the spring schedule right now. And none of the shows are in my discipline. Just putting miles on the baby this year, is all.

  10. Your calendar looks like mine. Minus the shows… It’s mostly hunter paces and trail rides. You guys will be great. Good to stay flexible. Some of us, like myself, really need to get MORE organized ahaha.

  11. We save on accommodation by sleeping in the horsebox. Ours is a four-berth trailer, so we just sweep out the floor, toss down on a tarpaulin, add mattresses on top and crash.
    For the one horse that does rated shows, I usually just try to go to every event within reach – events being so expensive and not very popular in South Africa, there aren’t loads.

  12. I have never not paid the late entry fee for a horse show, that’s how little planning goes into my show season. I usually decide the week before a show whether or not I’m going. As far as rated vs. non-rated: I take upper level horses to rated shows because the judges are actually licensed to judge that level, I take the lower level horses to non-rated shows because the entry fees are cheaper and I’m just looking for mileage. Of course, I’m talking about dressage shows here. I don’t know how the judging works in other sports, but in dressage our unrated events are called “schooling shows” and generally do not have USEF licensed judges.

  13. nice schedule – and so many options!!! i’m sorta new to planning out a schedule (and so far kinda fail at it haha). so this year i have a color coded list of potential events that look interesting – and figure i can play it by ear since i go everywhere by myself anyway. tho i *am* hoping to get a little more input from my trainer this year, if possible…

  14. Woop you go girl!
    I haven’t been brave enough to show on mainland Europe yet, it is such a daunting endeavour as i have to take out a license which requires passing riding & written tests (i think) not to mention the cost of that plus registering myself and the horse(s). I bracket the s as i don’t think Kika will ever show out here, she has become such a precious princess Diva that I hunk a show setting would fry her brain altogether. Who knows where Nancy & I will go, she has a much better brain when faced with new things…never say never – so we’ll have to wait & see

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