Making Money at Horse Shows: Learn and Earn at the Same Time

ArticleHow to - CareersThursday 19 January 2012
horse shows

While many riders enjoy showing, it is not unusual to want to learn more about the horse show environment before investing money into it.  While most shows are free for spectators, you might be limited to what you can learn as far as what goes on behind the scenes.  If you have a friend that is showing, you can ask him or her to explain the classes when not busy in the ring.  Even so, showing is expensive, and it never hurts to earn a bit of cash as you learn about how the show world works.  Here are some jobs that can help you learn about the world of showing while earning some money.

Be a Groom

Often a coach takes riders out as a group to shows.  Sometimes the riders care for their own horses, but more often than not, the coach hires grooms to help out.  If you are pretty good with handling horses and coping with stressed-out riders, you might want to ask your coach about serving as a groom for a few shows.  The money isn’t great, but you can learn a lot, especially as you stand ringside and watch the horses as they show.  Often a coach will cover your food while at the show, which helps a lot with the expenses.

Help in the Ring

Many shows require ring crews to help set up the courses, move the jumps, or set up obstacles.  Some shows will hire staff for each show, while others have people who work at a series of shows.  Phone the organizers of any shows that you would like to attend, and ask if they need any more members in their ring crew.  You will learn a lot about the ins and outs of showing, and you can chat with the other staff to find out more about how things work.

Be a Scribe

If you write neatly and are good at copying down what you are told, you might want to volunteer as a scribe.  The scribe usually works at dressage shows, but some other types of shows may also work with a scribe.  A nice thing about scribing is that you will hear directly from the judge what the riders are doing well, and what needs improving.  It can be a great way to learn what judges look for in the ring.  Not all show will pay the scribe, but the experience makes up the difference.

Help in the Office

Not the most exciting of jobs, but some shows need extra office help.  While keeping track of entries may not be all that interesting, you can learn a lot about the behind the scenes aspects of running a show that you could not learn any other way.

So, if you are interested in learning more about horse shows, don’t be afraid to call up the organizers and see if there are any jobs that you could help with.  Even if they are only looking for volunteers, you may find that the experience is well worth the effort.

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