By Erica Greathouse
Equestrians, universally, have a desire for nice horses, big dreams, and expensive taste! We can all agree that our beloved sport is expensive. Having unlimited funds just isn’t a reality for most, and many can relate to having “champagne taste on a beer budget.” Although showing horses will never be a cheap hobby, we have gathered some tips from trainers and exhibitors for how to cut costs and help make horse showing more affordable.
Horse show folks are very resourceful when it comes to finding creative ways to mix business with pleasure. From braiding and banding to making elaborate stall signs, many exhibitors have found additional ways to help fund their horse show addiction with their side businesses.
Amateur exhibitor Rob Banks of Houston, Texas, isn’t only successful in his own right, showing Hunters, he has also become one of the most reputable braiders in the industry. “When I was a child, my dad asked my trainer what I could do to help offset some of the show expenses that go along with horse showing. My trainer suggested I learn how to braid, and that started a very fun and profitable hobby for me. I was 13 when I started to knot up horse manes for the fellow members of our barn. Today, I’m still braiding. It’s a great side business and a way to make extra money even when you’re not showing,” he says. Since braiding and banding will always be needed at horse shows, the business is consistent and can be done even if you don’t bring a horse to the show.
Another side business that has caught on is graphic design. Many technologically savvy exhibitors design ads and logos for themselves and others. Amateur exhibitor Karly Matusik, from Clawson, Michigan, has taken her graphic design talents to a new level with her custom designed stall signs. “I do graphic design for Rockstar Digital, which is an LED display, indoor and outdoor signage company. One of the first pieces we made was for my horse’s stall. The metal sign that we hang on my horse’s stall at the shows is made out of metal and powder coated in glitter. That’s how we spread the word at the horse shows about what we do. Someday, I would like to design custom signs for stall fronts at the Quarter Horse Congress,” she says.Click here to read the complete article