Apr 04, 2022

Ten Horse Show Parents Chime In on How to Best Support Your Child at Home and Events

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff
USEA/ Taylor Pence photo

Did your kiddo catch the eventing bug? While it can feel a bit overwhelming at first, we know you will find the sport and community of eventing to be a fun and welcoming one. Getting through the learning curve can feel a bit cumbersome, but top eventing parents from around the country chimed in to share some of their best words of wisdom to make your transition into your new role as a horse show mom/dad extraordinaire as smooth as possible.

Nancy B: “Teach them how to time manage school with riding. Teach them how to organize and plan ahead. My daughter had a planner and each week wrote in all her responsibilities for the week. She created a show list and taped it inside her show trunk and would use it to be sure everything she needed was packed. Let them pack their own show trunks. Let them make mistakes and learn from them. Volunteer so you can learn more about the sport. It will be helpful for the good days and the bad. Good luck to all, and remember to enjoy the moments!”

Stacey C: “Let the coach, coach! Then read that again. It isn't the journey up the levels, it is the safety of horse and rider. Never tell your kid what they can do better, just hug and be supportive. Remind them it is always, always, always about the horse first no matter how tired your kid is. The horse comes first, it is a trusting relationship between the two.”

Kathy S: “Buy a battery-powered scooter so you can race back to the barn every time she forgets something right before going into the ring! This was a lifesaver when mine was young and very forgetful!”

Danielle V: “Have a tribe of more experienced horse show moms and dads and learn everything you can from them. Pay attention to how they prep for shows, what they bring, and how they organize.”

Kellie A: “I am new to this and still learning. Be patient and supportive. I refer to myself as the barn/show mom. I try to sweep for everyone and pack lunches for long show days. The coaches and riders have enough to worry about.”

PJ W: “Don’t just drop your child at the barn and go on your way! Watch the lessons, watch the on-site and off-site training especially when not under the guidance of their trainer, and give them support at shows. You will watch their independence grow and learn when to back off.”

Paula C: “It’s not all about the placing. Don’t let them get caught in that! They need to understand early on that it’s a very humbling & hard sport, and they need to go out there and do their best on that day. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it!”

Sue M: “Keep two of everything (that’s reasonable), you never know when something will break or a fellow competitor needs help. Keep a double-sided checklist, one side for you to check off needed items, then have your child do the same.”

Lisa E: “Have them talk through their schedule with you so they know they are prepared. You also have to let them fail sometimes in order for them to not make that mistake again-whether it be not walking the course enough times or not getting ready and into warm-up on time.”

And lastly this sage piece of advice from Debi R: “Perfect your margarita recipe and bring enough for all of your friends.”

Jan 27, 2023 ATC

Introducing the New Modified Rider Division at the 2023 AEC

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the addition of the Modified Rider division beginning at the 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), presented by Nutrena Feeds. The USEA AEC will move back to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky August 29–September 3, 2023.

Jan 26, 2023 Young Event Horse

Get a Taste of Eventing with the New Event Horse Program

Are you interested in competing in the sport of eventing but aren’t quite sure how to get started? Do you have a horse that is looking for a new career? Consider participating in a USEA New Event Horse (NEH) competition in 2023! The USEA NEH Program was created to be an introduction to the sport of eventing for both horse and rider, and the 2023 NEH Calendar is now available here.

Jan 25, 2023 Profile

Dondante Steps Into The Spotlight with 2022 Standlee USEA Horse of the Year Title

Will Coleman had a huge 2022 with his string of horses, including a team silver medal at the FEI World Eventing Championship in Italy on Off The Record and top four-star placings with Chin Tonic HS, but it was Dondante whose consistency paid off to earn the Standlee Premium Western Forage USEA Horse of the Year title.

Jan 24, 2023 Volunteers

The VIP Volunteer: Julie Murray

Julie Murray has loved horses since she could breathe, so when her daughters showed an interest in Pony Club and then eventing, she was thrilled to go along for the ride.

Murray started volunteering at the Fallbrook Pony Club near her home in Fallbrook, California, serving as an intermediate district commissioner.

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