From Endurance to Dressage
I was recently chatting with my friend Jen about show entries. She is the queen of show managers which is why we were discussing entries. She puts on at least a dozen or more USDF-rated shows each year plus another dozen or so schooling shows. She's also the chair of the Ventura County Chapter of CDS which means she does All. The. Work. If you have show entry questions, she's who you should talk to.
I think the conversation centered around the new USEF rule regarding the use of Pergolide. She was the first one to tell me that Pergolide is now allowed with a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) - Speedy had just been diagnosed with Cushing's Disease. I assured Jen that I would be submitting the paperwork for that as soon as possible. I did, and the TUE came back within a week or so.
So what does that have to do with show binders? As Jen and I continued our conversation, things drifted toward what else should a rider include in her show entry. Apparently, I am in the minority of riders who actually complete their entries. I was stunned to hear just how many riders submit incomplete show entries. When I asked what could possibly be missing (In my world, directions get followed, but that's just the teacher in me.), she replied "Everything!" Quite often there are no copies of membership cards, no payment, no list of which classes a riders plans to do, no horse name and on and on.
Online entries would of course eliminate all of that nonsense, but here in my neck of California, not a lot of riders use them as it costs more to enter online than to use a paper entry. That means Jen, and other show secretaries, wade through mountains of paperwork. And when that paperwork is incomplete, it makes her job so much more difficult.
I know other riders have much fancier versions than mine, and you might want to check out what The Printable Pony has in her Etsy store, but here's what my show binder looks like.
For my purposes, I've found five areas that suit my needs, although the contacts section has been empty for a long time as things now go straight into my phone. I have placed things like flyers or adverts there though.
My first tab is for show premiums, directions, stall assignments, and anything else related to a show including Speedy's stall sign. I got mine for FREE at The Printable Pony; ask her if it's still available.
Horse ID Numbers
Stored in sheet protectors for maximum safety - horse shows are dusty and often times wet places, I keep both boys' "master" copies of our membership cards. After those, I keep copies of their USDF Certificates of Lifetime Horse Registration.
This section is jam packed, and frankly, it should either come at the beginning of my binder or at the back as it's the area that I use most often. Here is where I store their vaccinations records for USEF, Speedy's TUE, both horses' Health and Vaccination Record cards, and finally, Izzy's RPSI passport.
Weird, and no doubt useless, but each year I spring for USEF's Equine Liability Insurance. I don't know if it would help, but if Speedy, or more likely Izzy, kills someone at a show, I am hoping this will help pay at least a small part of my bills. As I was cleaning out my binder, I realized I had a copy from 2017. I don't know why I didn't print out last season's evidence of coverage, but I have fixed that.
Nothing to see here. I used to keep things like business cards and names of other equine professionals like chiropractors and farriers, but like I said, it's much easier to store all of that in my phone.
In the front cover of my binder, I store extra copies of the USEF vaccination records. I've only twice been asked to submit a copy with my entry, but it's so much more convenient to have extra copies on hand than to be scrambling at a show to produce a copy. I also store all of my membership cards in an envelope in that pocket as well.
In the back cover, I store ready-to-send copies of mine and each horse's memberships cards. This year, I was seriously optimistic as I made 10 copies of each. Even if I had 20 weekends free, I could never afford to enter 20 shows, but you never know!
I am sure there is other stuff I could include, but for me, this works. I don't need packing lists or a calendar, and frankly, I hate updating stuff, so keeping my binder as simple as possible makes it user-friendly for me.
Any good ideas out there? Do you keep a folder/binder? Do you you store anything in it that I might find useful? I know I am curious, so others must be as well.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: