BY JAMIE SKUBAL
As a self proclaimed type A perfectionist, I thought being able to do online horse shows would be fun. I thought participating in online horse shows had some major perks during the year that’s been 2020.
I am a type A person. I was raised on the mindset of if you’re going to do it ….do it right. That mentality has carried through my adult life thus far. I am also highly competitive by nature, which in all honesty can be both good and bad. When things started falling apart in March, my main thought was all my horse show plans for the year have been dashed. I am one who plans out the next show year in November or December by specifically picking each show and calculating its cost for budgeting purposes. I don’t fly by the seat of my pants—unless it’s on the back of my noble steed!
Online horse shows, or E-Shows, became a very fun option for those of us who could still get to the barn and could not fight the horse show itch any longer. And there are a lot of benefits to this kind of show. It provides the “at home” advantage for those who ride better at home. Showing in E-shows is also cheaper than driving and paying for an in person show. It reduces contact with others and limits the spread of the Covid-19. For those who get nervous in front of crowds it gives a much more relaxed feel for horse show nerves. It gives the chance to school until you get it right.
But let me stop there—on the “until you get it right” part. That’s what gets me when it comes to E-shows. As a highly competitive perfectionist, being able to go over and over again until it’s perfect has driven both myself and my horse crazy. I have learned to give myself only two days worth of tries to get it right. That keeps the number of times my poor horse has to give me the “woman could you just get it together I’ve done it right 4 times now while you flop all over” to a minimum.
While I have put a lot of pressure on myself and my horse to be perfect on camera, it has also given me the motivation to make things count. To really work on that halt to canter transition or that canter to halt transition for the hunter hack.
I have enjoyed the E-shows because it gives me the chance to show and sometimes compete against horses I wouldn’t normally. It also gives me great feedback from those scoring the videos. And while I apologize to all those who I bombarded with picking between the two videos I wanted to submit for the PAC World Championship E-Show, asking for opinions allowed me to get so much feedback from friends, trainers, judges, and friends I have made through the years who support me in my aspirations.
As much as I do love a good in person show, I have also very much enjoyed the E-shows I have participated in this year. I think it gives a cheaper alternative to those who may not be able to risk showing in this new apocalyptic year. I encourage others to look into them if they haven’t already!
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.