Back Bay Farm will be hosting two horse shows this year: June 2, 2019 and August 15, 2019! At all Back Bay Farm horse shows we offer MHC, NEHC, and Downeast Medal equitation and hunter (rated C) classes. Our previous shows have been so much fun for competitors and spectators–we usually have entire families come to see the show and all the progress our students and friends have made.
June 2, 2019
Judge: Laurie Fairhurst
Steward: Cindy Dougherty
August 15, 2019
Judge: Lisa Tacconi
Steward: Bob Crawford
It’s that time of year again, when the snow melts, the mud grows, the hair sheds, and the horse shows begin! This is the time of year to get all your show tack and gear in order: clean out that tack trunk, clean those spur straps, shine those boots, wash those saddle pads! And one really important thing we want to emphasize this week is: nameplates! Remember playing ringside “martingale madness” with unlabeled martingales? We do too, and it’s not going to happen again this year because everyone’s names will be on all of their tack!
We recommend putting nameplates on the headstalls of each bridle, like this one:
We recommend putting nameplates near the buckle of the martingale, underneath the excess strap, like this:
And of course, nameplates are tacked onto saddles like this:
We also would love it if you could monogram or label your saddle covers, since they all tend to look alike.
And, the most convenient news of all, is that this Thursday, March 29th,from 5pm-8pm, our friends at The Equestrian Shop in Ipswich are having a Back Bay Farm night, where riders from BBF will receive discounts throughout the store. (And they will have refreshments for us to nosh on while we shop!) That means you can order all the nameplates you need for your tack right there! And if you cannot attend, we can order them for you. Please let us know which ones you need, or we’ll assume you need them all. See you there!
While we have these cold evenings for another month or so, we suggest dreaming of summer days and planning for the 2018 show season! Here’s how you can start to plan and prepare:
Meet with Robin and Megan to set your riding and showing goals. Coming up with reasonable, fun, and challenging goals for your year ahead will help focus your lessons and skills and make important milestones out of even the smallest achievements.
Decide on your personal show schedule. Based on your goals, Robin and Megan can help you decide on the best shows for you to attend—both one-days and away shows!
Make hotel reservations! It’s never too early to book a room! Our hotel suggestions are below.
We are looking forward to meeting with each and every rider at Back Bay Farm, and so excited for the season ahead! Feel free to schedule a good time to talk—and we’ll meet in the WARM and cozy office (and pretend we’re watching the Grand Prix in the summer heat)…
Ever just stood in front of an empty tack trunk, not quite sure where to start? Yep, we’ve seen you doing that. So here’s a handy-dandy list of what SHOULD be in your show box, besides your actual tack!
At Back Bay Farm, here is what we recommend (and request) you pack in your tack trunk at home AND your away show box.
Crop(s): it’s good to have a crop for showing and a crop for schooling. Nice to have different lengths, too!
Spurs: it is best to have a nubby pair of spurs and a longer pair as well. Both should have straps that you can show in (black leather).
Extra gloves: again, you may want to have a pair for schooling and a pair for showing. Both should be black.
Extra hairnets: usually two come in a pack and we recommend having two packs! Also pack hair ties with them.
Helmet: this is an obvious one, but some people have a schooling helmet and a show helmet. Pack both!
Boot polish: this is great to have for shining up your boots right before you get on.
Rubbers: for rainy and muddy days, use rubbers to keep those boots (and feet!) clean and dry.
Rain pants: these should fit over your britches and boots!
For your Horse:
Saddle and Bridle: this goes without saying but we thought we’d say it anyway.
Ear balls (several pairs): ear balls are just something you always want to have around, like band aids or hair ties. Have a pair and have a spare.
Saddle pads: you should have extra schooling pads and extra show pads. Show pads should be large enough to show about an inch around the edge of your saddle. Schooling pads should be white or dark colors, no rhinestones or glitter, please!
Ear net/ Fly veil: in the summer there are flies! A lot of them! Help your horse be sane!
Splint boots: bring boots for schooling, please.
Polos: polos should be black and CLEAN. If you know you’re going to use them for schooling and showing, bring more than one pair.
Wools: your horse’s wool is for warmth: after a bath, at the ring, etc.
Scrim: scrims keep the flies and bugs off, both at the barn and at the ring.
Irish: this will help dry your horse after a bath, especially if it’s cooler outside.
Sheet: for cooler days and nights, your horse will wear this in his stall or at the ring.
Standing wraps: these are used for shipping and for nighttime wrapping.
Shipping halter: it’s worth investing in good shipping halters: they last forever and are much more comfortable for your horse.
Every-day halter: your horse won’t wear this on the way to the show, so put it in your tack truck.
Girths: you’ll need a girth for schooling and a leather one for showing.
Horse treats / cookies: last but definitely NOT least—please pack some treats for your trusty steed!
all tack, all horse clothing, and all saddle covers should be labeled with your name. If you have questions about what nameplates to get for your tack, ask us anytime!
BBF riders should have BBF monogrammed wools and sheets for their horses or ponies. Please ask us if you need one!
The preparation, the nerves, the travel, the hoof polish and boot polish, the ribbons, the very early mornings—there is so much that goes into horse showing, but there is one element we really like to focus on: the team. At Back Bay Farm we have always put an emphasis on working together. We focus on strengthening bonds between people and horses and people and people, and on the relationship between teachers and students. We love that we have team members who have ridden at BBF for 20 or even 30 years!
A few weeks ago when the show team was at Westbrook, the Bertone family hosted such a lovely dinner at the beautiful home they rented for the week. We finished the day at the show grounds and came together for a delicious dinner (and dessert!). We can’t thank the Bertone’s enough for feeding our hungry, tired bodies, but also for feeding the BBF team spirit. Times like that evening, where the team laughs and bonds are truly what we at BBF love. Horses may be the reason we all come together but they are certainly not the only reason we all stay together. Thanks for being a part of our team, and here’s to many many, more fun evenings together!