So, in honor of getting things ready, I've decided to share some things that I learned over the years about showing.
Be organized - not just keeping your table will help your show day run smoothly. Having the show class list is a great way to get ready, making a master list of horses going to the show and what classes they are in is ever better. I have done this several ways. I used to write on the class list, but adding and subtracting horses made that paper a hot mess. Now I type up my own list, seperate of the class list. This allows me to add horses and make changes where needed while keeping the paper decent. This also allows me to keep better check on my list. I still highlight the classes I have horses in on the master class list, so that I hopefully don't miss one.
Plan your breaks - Nobody wants to miss a class, but its seems to sting more when you miss one because you had to run to the bathroom or get something from the car. Taking note of where you have breaks in the class list are helpful for taking moments to yourself or running to the bathroom. This can cause a few more problems when there are multiple rings running. Pay attention to how each ring is running. Does Ring 1 judge move it along, Is Ring 2 taking forever? Try not to pay attention to rings that you aren't in. This will only cause you possible problems down the rode when they call classes and you end up in the wrong ring.
Don't Wait - I know lots of people that are really good at getting things done at the final moments. I am for sure not one of those people. I make a list of everything that needs to be done and start working on them about 2-3 weeks ahead. Although I do have a problem with leaving the last few things until right before the show. The more you get done before the show, the better.
Move - Don't be afraid to move around the show hall. Introduce yourself, see what horses are there and she what people have for sale. Most people bring things that they are trying to sell. Saying hi and asking nicely if they have anything for sale is a great way of breaking the ice. Not only is it great to get out and meet new people, but it gives you a chance to take a break from your table and move. Going back and forth to the rings is a lot of walking but not always enough. Move around and take a break.
Move on - Not every class is going to go your way. There will be shows that you walk away with nothing but a long day and a sore body. There will be shows that you walk away with everything. There will also be shows that you get a few placings and have a decent day. You have to be able to take all these days in stride and move on. I shouldn't have to tell you not to be a sore loser or a big bragger. But there is always a few at each show. Walking around bragging about everything you won and showing off can make others angry or upset. There are people that have never done this before and might not have a top-notch string. On the other side, being a sore loser and complaining can ruin peoples day.
Speaking from expirence, sitting next to a Mother/Daughter pair who did nothing but complain about everything made a day with minimal placings even longer. And to make it harder to take, they had lots of placings and a good number of winners.
Enjoy - Chances are, you are doing this because you can and you want to. Don't forget that. There are people that can't go to shows or get horses for whatever reasons. You are at a model horse show, you get to see BEAUTIFUL horses, reconnect with friends and enjoy a day filled with what makes you happy. Because in the long run, you wouldn't do it if you didn't.
So, as I finish getting everything together for the next 2 weekends, take a moment to see the joy and remember that this is what you enjoy.