Competing at shows every weekend can quickly become expensive, so check out these six ways to save money at horse shows.
Horseback riding is an expensive sport, but competing at horse shows can quickly become prohibitively costly.
Luckily, there are a number of ways that you can save money at horse shows. All it takes is a little creativity and a few sacrifices. These tips will get you started.
Choose your horse shows carefully. By choosing the shows which you are best prepared for, you can limit the amount of shows that you attend each season.
Be sure to consider the show's entry fees, travel distance, and timing when deciding whether you should go to a particular show. If possible, register in advance to save yourself day-of registration fees.
Go With Other Riders and Horses
When you go to horse shows with other riders and horses, there are many ways to save money.
You can trailer together to help cut transportation costs, and if you train with the same trainer, you may be able to save money on schooling fees, too.
Braid and Groom
Many riders hire a braider for convenience, but this in itself is a significant expense. Instead of hiring a braider, learn to braid your horse yourself. It will take some time and practice, but can save you money, especially if you attend many shows each year.
Additionally, consider trading grooming services with a friend. Offering to groom for a friend in exchange for her grooming help in return saves you the expense of having to hire a groom for every show.
Prepare Ahead of Time
When you compete, you will need particular clothing and tack which is appropriate for the show ring. The best way to save money on these supplies is to buy them when they're on sale at the end of the show season.
This will require some planning on your part, but you can save hundreds of dollars with this approach. You might also consider buying show tack used if you can find it in good condition.
Bring Your Own Food
Not only is horse show food expensive, it's also unhealthy for you. Pack a cooler full of healthy snacks to bring to shows.
Make sure to pack plenty of cold water, too. Buying bottled water at horse shows is pricey.
Get Creative with Accommodations
If you do attend overnight horse shows, then you'll need a place to stay overnight. Hotels can quickly add up, so look into other options.
Some riders camp at local camp grounds, or opt for a less expensive motel. You might also look into whether there is a local Airbnb rental available, which can be a money-saving option.
These are just a few ways that you can save money at horse shows. What are some of your favorite ways to save money?