Gearing Up for Show Season: Outfitting the Horse April 07 2010, 0 Comments

He can't show naked!

Now that we have a list of what we need for the kid, it’s time to prepare the beast for show season. The unseasonably nice weather in Vermont continues, along with my anticipation for show season. Our first show is about seven weeks away, the Green Mountain Horse Association (GMHA) show in Woodstock.

My eagerness is still alive, a certain naiveté, motivated largely by the fact that I have yet to face, nor even acknowledge, the financial realities that show season brings. Horse shows—what fun! Long days spent outside doing something I love with family, friends and favorite beasts. I have been planning all along for the economic realities, but now the money part sits on the back shelf, as to not disturb my current delicate state of joy.

The beast. Horse or pony? If you’re moving up from one to the other this year, prepare to spend. Pity the parents who don’t know much about horses. They are utterly shocked to learn that the trunk full of thousands of dollars of tack and clothing will not fit the next beast. It has to be what the rest of us experience when we go to the auto shop and are told to pay large amounts of money for things like wheel bearings and transmission coolant systems.

Again, my best advice for saving money is two-fold: start early and see what you can buy or trade with others in your barn or area. In Vermont, we have very few tack shops, so it makes it more challenging to find what you need at a reasonable price. That’s not the case in many other areas. Some of you may think that all this “ask now!” and “plan ahead!” is just the ramblings of a super-type-A-control-freak-mother. Alas, no. I live in the boonies. When I travel, I envy the strip malls and chain restaurants, the good take-out and plentiful Dunkin Donuts. If you are blessed with a competitive tack shop market, life is easier. Make friends with the staff. They are a excellent resource for learning about tack and equipment and getting good deals.

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