Feb 012013

By Patty Wilber

You know how it goes if you are a joiner.  You join and then you end up doing stuff.  You and the same 10 people that do stuff in the other organizations, too.

So my task for this coming weekend is Show Manager for the New Mexico Buckskin Horse Association (check out our newly improved website thanks to “joiner” Caitlin Dralle!)

This is a small pre-season type event.  Many of the horses are still pretty hairy, so we call it a “Shaggy Show”.

I have run this February show for four or five years now and I have a new partner this year!  You’d think since I’ve been doing it awhile I’d really have it down, but it’s the ONLY show I manage, so by the time February blows in again it does NOT feel like an old familiar job!

Here’s some of what you have to have:


A “premium”.  I have no clue why the the list of classes is called the “premium” and when I looked up the definition of “premium”, “a list of classes at a horse show” was not one of the options.  But if you search “horse show premiums” (on the ever amazing–to me–Internet), you will get examples.

Even more useful, however, is the tabsheet.  This is the same list of classes but now set up in a form so that a person can enter the show.  Here is a link to our Shaggy Show Premium. (I made it! Joiner!) (Also in case anyone just wants to attend said shaggy show.)

Then there are “class cards”: cards the riders fill out to enter each class.

And “judge’s cards”: so the judge can record the placings.

And a “gate or paddock sheet“: so the gate keeper (or paddock master) can round up the participants and get them through the gate for their classes.

In addition to paper, to run a show, you need people. Preferably people who are not busy showing!

Show manager (or two): Solicit the prizes from various businesses, recruit the volunteers, haul in the equipment and cows, secure the judges and solve any problems the day of the show.

For Volunteers:

Announcer:  Keep everyone up to the minute!

Office help: Take the money and organize those forms!

Paddock Master (Gate Person):  Get people in the ring on the right horse for the right class.  A good gate person keeps things running very smoothly.

Judge: Self explanatory. But if the judge is slow the show really drags. If the judge is too quick people feel like they didn’t get “a look”.  As in: “I rode in the arena and the judge was so busy with Suzy Q that I didn’t even get a look!”

(Waaa!)  But horse shows are JUDGED,  so.

And as an aside (see how I moved it to a side???), a long time ago, I worked with a trainer up in Lamy, NM and I was whining about being beaten


I probably said some lame thing about this competitor winning multiple divisions and how that Wasn’tVery Fair.

That trainer kind of shrugged and said, “I guess you’ll just have to get better.”

Ring Steward: Do things for the judge.

Ring Crew:  Put up (and remove) obstacles for trail, jumping and any event that requires cones (like reining).

Cow Movers:  Put cows in the arena for the competition and get them out again when done.  Toots and I put cows back last month and we are going to do it again this time, too! It was fun!

Point Keeper:  Add up the points for each competitor so we can award “high point” prizes in various categories.  If a person says “I got high point 19 and over at the last show” then they had the most points out of all competitors over the age of 19.

It turns out a person can do multiple jobs, and this is a small show, so I will be office help, trail crew, trail judge and cow mover. My partner Shoshona will be ring crew, trail equipment hauler, office help, whatever else needs doing, and show.

And if anything goes wrong, we will just shut the whole thing down and go watch the Super Bowl! (Go 49’ers!!)


Here are a few remodel updates.

The tiles are all set. Grouting to begin on Saturday! The fireplace is done--note the pinkish hue and the inlaid tiles. It is beautiful. We still need get new light fixtures and electrical outlet face plates as well as finish painting..., oh and maybe a new fireplace screen and then the tile guy, Ivan, said we need inset lighting over the fireplace. I think he's right!

The saltillo baseboard has talavera tile cut into it, as you can sort of see, and so does the floor, in some places. It is really something.


  • Peggy

    That looks GREAT!

  • Patty

    Thanks Peggy!! I get goosebumps looking at it, so that’s a good sign that it works for me!

  • Sue Farrell

    I love tiled floors and think they are so beautiful—but up here they are only popular in kitchens and baths. Maybe I should move to NM or AZ just for the floors. Yours looks great!

  • Patty

    Thanks Sue!!!