BY JAMIE SKUBAL
Lots of riders look forward to competing at a World Championship Show, but you will be hard-pressed to find someone more determined to get to Tulsa next year than myself.
Years of dreaming have turned into a countdown to the biggest show of my life. The World Show has always been just out of my reach. Up until recently I didn’t think I would ever have a shot, but today marks the beginning of our road there.
My partner is All About Cruzin, a 2015 chestnut gelding with legs the length of Texas. I purchased “Cruz” when he was just a yearling. I knew the moment I saw his good nature and long, flat trot that he was going to be something special.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I think in the long term. For me, it’s about the big picture… and I can go just a hair overboard. Even when I have three shows left in my Hunter/Jumper season, I’m already thinking about next summer. Since stock hunters are a little different than traditional hunter classes, my seasons and show goals are separated into traditional hunter/jumper shows and breed horse shows.
The World Championship Show I’m specifically aiming for is the Pinto (PtHA), and/or the National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA) show. My horse and I are eligible for both, and they each have great qualities.
But a goal is a plan with a dream, so I had to do more than just hope we’d make it. To start making my dream a reality, the first step was to look at the premium books. Everything from entry prices, stall prices, class schedules, and so forth are listed in this book. After picking out the classes I am most interested in, I created a spreadsheet to calculate the numbers to see just how much it would cost to get to the show and not put it all on a credit card. Once I had these numbers pulled, I began putting money in a special savings account for the show.
|NSBA World Show Tulsa, Ok||Amount||# of classes||Total||Due 7/1|
|Eq Over Fences||150||1||150|
|Hunter Hack||150||2||300||1||Hunter Derby|
|Working Hunter||150||2||300||2||Green Hunter Hack|
|Hunter Derby||75||1||75||3||Working Hunter|
|HUS||150||1||150||4||Green Working Hunter|
|Schooling/Eq. Fee||25||1||25||6||Hunter Hack|
|Stall||225||1||225||***Green horse not more than 25pts as of Jan 1|
You can see my breakdowns above. The premium book filled in most of the numbers other than a braider fee, shavings (I went off the price at the local farm store), hay (I went with the current price), food (I guessed), and gas (I used a gas calculator). For the hotel, I went ahead and looked at what the prices were to book a year in advance. Sure enough, I found a great place that allows me to cancel up until the day before and not be charged. This allowed me to lock in the cost as I went to book my room for next year.
To keep everything organized in my calendar, I highlighted dates in yellow and red to remind myself when entries were due and any other important things to remember. By putting everything in a spreadsheet, I have all the formulas for it to auto-calculate if I change different elements. I also use a similar spreadsheet to project my savings plan before the show—making for a very happy long term thinker and planner!
With all of these logistics covered, it was time to think about a training program for my horse. We are going to be adding a lot more hill work, polls, and semi-western based training to really drive home the stock horse way of go. I am going off a lot of research from watching trainers, taking lessons, and past knowledge from my trainers when I showed American Quarter Horses (AQHA). Since I want my horse to succeed in both rings, I’m focusing on proper movement and way of go versus setting a specific headset.
I’ve also started looking at the fashion differences between stock and hunter competition so I can begin to update things like my boots and helmets. It seems far out, but I want to be able to know far ahead of time that nothing has been missed on my checklist.
For me and many like me, this preparation is just the first part to a long road of our life goals. But the first few steps we take are the ones that create the best foundation. One day I hope my horse and I are walking out of the ring with a rosette, a trophy, and a world champion title. This is just the first part of this dreamer’s road to the World Show.
Jamie is a horse obsessed girl who is taking on the world with her youngster. Follow along with her on her journey in chasing the world show on Instagram.