When did it all become so complicated?

(35 Posts)
shashep Thu 21-Feb-13 21:35:52

Am v new to this site, although think it's pretty fab to have all the different topics! Have had a read of a few of the threads on here in the last couple of days and it just seems all so much more complicated than it used to be! All of the woes about buying the horse, finding somewhere to house it, daily poo picking, diet supplements, working on your seat, etc etc, it just doesn't sound like fun anymore. And i'm not 112, i'm 41 - had a few years at pony clubs/gymkanas, then gave up for about 10-12 years (in which time the pink pony accessories and flash nosebands as standard on bridles arrived), then bought a horse and rode it until i got pregnant and am currently too fat to get back on.
In fact, whatever happened to gymkanas? Can't think that i've seen one for years? Someone please tell me that you can still take your pony/horse there and do jumping/working hunter in the morning, fancy dress at lunchtime then games in the afternoon. It all seems so serious now, but i think i'll possibly blame that on the arrival of dressage! Does that mean I've answered my own question?

CMOTDibbler Thu 21-Feb-13 21:43:41

If you are under 16, you can certainly do that sort of gymkhana round here - in the summer both days every weekend! Not sure on adult fancy dress and games, but then I'll be found on the end of a lead rein gasping at the antics of the pushy mums

50BalesOfHay Thu 21-Feb-13 21:55:14

Nothing wrong with doing things properly. It's still fun.

Pixel Thu 21-Feb-13 21:59:15

I agree with Shashep. There used to be loads of shows round here where you could go in the 'fun showing' (horse the judge would most like to take home/family pony etc), gymkhana and have a go at the clear round without having to own an expensive pony and all the gear. Now there's nothing like that at all, not within hacking distance anyway.

Pixel Thu 21-Feb-13 22:02:25

But 50, the first time I entered a gymkhana I was on my mum's Shire X. I bet that wouldn't count as 'doing it properly' nowadays (though we did get a rosette!).

shashep Thu 21-Feb-13 22:26:10

Ahh, the clear round - i'd forgotton about that - hands up who got their first rosette in the clear round? And i've been googling for local shows and gymkanas etc, they do seem to have died a death...........perhaps due to insurance? Does anyone on here run a show/gymkana? Do you have to have insurance? If so, how much does it cost?

Pixel Thu 21-Feb-13 22:33:56

Clear round was great. My mum's horse would learn the course after the first go round so anyone who took him in after that only had to hang on tight to his mane. He was very popular grin.
He wasn't so good at Chase me Charlie as the jump had to get up to a certain height before he'd make the effort.
Do they still do bucket elimination? That was my favourite when I got my pony because you didn't have to be brave, just accurate.

My first rosette was from the clear round too!

I think a lot of it is to do with Health & Safety unfortunately. A lovely RI in our area runs a family horse show which is great, but very sedate - no galloping about with a bucket and jumping on and off. Just endless In Hand Showing.

My DD has just joined Pony Club so I will soon find out if they still do gymkhanas.

Lack of volunteers is another issue, but I am not sure why people have given up doing stuff.

shashep Thu 21-Feb-13 22:51:45

What is/was bucket elimination? And have just been googling my old pony club - nice to see that jackets and ties and plaited manes are no longer compulsory at everything!

I used to love gymkhanas! Never had my own pony, so was beyond jealous of anyone competing.

Our riding stables did one a year, though, and you could loan a pony for the day. Clear round and potatoes in a bucket were my favourites.

I hated weaving poles.

Pixel Thu 21-Feb-13 23:18:14

Bucket elimination. You have a line of about 8 upside-down buckets forming a small jump (no wings). Everyone takes turns jumping over, if your pony kicks a bucket or ducks around then you are out. Each time every rider has been round you take away a bucket, so the jump gets narrower and harder to jump straight. Whoever stays in longest wins.
All the gymkhanas in our area did it, perhaps it was a local thing? Or maybe has another name?

Pixel Thu 21-Feb-13 23:46:33

Should have said take handles off buckets for safety.

Zazzles007 Fri 22-Feb-13 01:38:22

I came back to riding several years ago, after about a 10 year gap, and the thing I was amazed at was all the gear people have these days! Some of if I had no idea how to put on blush, and had to be shown how grin.

Like galloping boots for cross country - we barely bothered with bandages when I was a kid. The first time I put them on my loaner, he was so frustrated with how long I took, that he lifted his leg and brushed against mine in a faux kick to tell me so! grin

Mirage Fri 22-Feb-13 08:47:58

We still have gymkhanas.My girls only did 2 last year as the weather put paid to a lot.They did lead rein,first ridden,clear round,fancy dress,bending,sack race,and veteran.

CMOTDibbler Fri 22-Feb-13 10:46:17

I think you won't see the dates for most things yet, and googling isn't a good way of finding things as most gymkhanas don't have websites. We have a local equestrian website that you can put events on and thats a good source, but mostly its leaflets in the tack/feed shops

Mirage Fri 22-Feb-13 11:16:21

The lady next to us in the lead rein at our last gymkhana had a 16hh horse with a 3 year old riding him.He came 5th out of about 20 I think.Our PC had a Christmas gymkhana and do all the games at camp,but don't have a games team,which is a shame.

We were practising games yesterday,DD2's new pony is a fast learner and can do the bending race very nicely.They also did the one where you jump off and run along a row of stepping stones/buckets,leading your pony.Collecting tennis balls from the top of traffic cones is another favourite,as is picking up balls using a fishing net and dropping them in a bucket.

I've no idea about brushing boots,bandages or any of that stuff I'm afraid.

Booboostoo Fri 22-Feb-13 13:00:01

OP you might enjoy Le Trec.

Children's gymkhanas are still very popular as far as I know. Events for adults tend to be organised around RCs, so for example I have seen local livery yards organise fancy dress dressage to music and similar fun events.

Sadly round here all our small shows have either died a death because of insurance, or been taken over by ponies UK. Which is crap because there are rules, guidelines, height restrictions and all that guff now. You can't just go and have some fun with the kids and our lovely mongrel ponies anymore! :-(
If I could find somewhere to do it, I'd run my own shows.

marialuisa Fri 22-Feb-13 17:43:56

Lots of fun stuff available round here (although fancy dress is harder to find-thank God!). If you're around the M42 in the midlands look up Atherstone Riding Club.

We have been converted to Serious Showing which is fun in a different way but DD has a fancy dress obsession and any spare weekends will find a fancy dress class and gymkhna games somewhere!

DolomitesDonkey Sat 23-Feb-13 14:06:19

I agree, seemsro have changed. We used to just hack to a show with a few quid in our pockets for class fees - for whatever we fancied on the day - and an ice-cream.

I too wonder about this "perfect pony" nonsense - I got my brilliant seat EXACTLY through riding everyone's unrideable shits! grin

horseylady Sat 23-Feb-13 15:44:54

We still operate a local show. We're struggling to get members as a lot of people want to compete on surfaces and do specific classes. The local shows will only survive if people use them.

I think today people (not all) buy a horse to do a specific job. They buy the specific saddle and bridle to go with that horse and this compete in that event. Very few people own an all round pony or one which they are willing to use for all round activities.

I still do the local gymkhana. With my pony we did everything from ridden showing to games, working hunter to handy pony. It was fab!!! I'm 31 now lol and if my pony still lived with me shed be doing the same!! Sadly I think my tb would be too slow and stupid for games!

But the local shows are run by volunteers, the majority of my shows committee is over 50, it's hard to recruit new people. They want the shows, they don't want to help.

horseylady Sat 23-Feb-13 16:05:33

Insurance (public event) costs about £800 for the year. That enables us to run 20 events on the ground. Rents about 2000. We have to make 800 a show to break even for the year. Judges cost about 200a show, rosettes 300 toilets 130 ground maintenance 120 etcetc

Plomino Sat 23-Feb-13 21:27:53

I remember bucket elimination ! My first pony who was born to do mounted games used to do a few rounds then boot the bucket on purpose . I tried doing it with the big horse in the summer in our field . You would have thought they were landmines . And as for the flags ! I tried to pick one up and he went into total hysterics . Bloody diva .

And apple bobbing ! Always very popular as the last race . And chase me Charlie ! Have gone all nostalgic now . Those were the days .

Pixel Sun 24-Feb-13 01:00:48

Plomino, you've inspired me now. If our field ever dries up I'm going to collect up some flags and stuff and see what dhorse thinks of them. I suspect he will try to eat them but you never know. Mind you, they will have to be quite tall flags as dhorse is a lot taller than my old pony and I'm a lot less bendy grin.

DolomitesDonkey Sun 24-Feb-13 06:48:16

horseylady Toilets? There's fancy! grin I seem to remember asking a friend to hold my Thelwell whilst I searched for a tree or hedge! wink Although I seem to have distant memories of mums whining about lack of facilities haha. In fact, god could this be true? I remember toilets for "adults only" - children were expected to find a hedge!

I will definitely get involved a local and more "casual" level should I ever move back to the UK.

I lived in Belgium for a while and there if you wanted - as a child (!) to compete in a jumping competition you actually had to sit an exam first to prove you understood the rules. None of this "fun" business. sad

I think if we had a lot more bucket, egg & spoon, chase-me-charlie etc. we'd have a lot more younger riders with better seats!

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