Monday, 25 June 2018

My Typical Horse Show Budget

Unofficial blog hop started by Poor Woman Showing and continued by Hand Gallop.

Since I'm deep in deciding what shows to go to this summer and a lot of it is motivated by cost, I figured I would join in on this post idea. Spoiler alert: Mine is going to be the most expensive of these posts so far.


Alberta Equestrian Federation: $50 (required for even schooling shows)
Equestrian Canada Bronze Licence: $25 (required for bronze rated shows)
(if I wanted to go to Gold shows it would cost me $125 for my licence and $82 to record my horse)
Equestrian Canada Amateur Status: $15 (required to compete in AA division at bronze shows)
Chinook Country Alberta Dressage Association: $40 (not required but supports good organization, gets me discounts at shows and makes me eligible for a few awards)
Grand Total: $130

Schooling Show

Cheapest option
(A one day show 2 hours away that happens only 2x per year and has no stabling, very first one held last year)

Office fee: $0
Test fee: $25
Stabling: $0
Total show fees assuming 3 tests/day: $70 ($5 discount)
Hotel: $0
Gas: $150
Grand Total: $220
(there are some other shows with similar setup but if the one-way haul is 4 hours I can't swing it in one day)

Low Level Rated Show - AEF Wild Rose or EC Bronze

(I lumped together Wild Rose and Bronze shows here because the costs are very similar, some Bronze shows are actually cheaper than some Wild Rose shows depending on facility)

Most Typical Option
(2-day show 3+ hours away where both I and Kachina stay overnight)

Office fee: $20-50
Test fee: $35-45
Stabling: $60-130
Other fees: $13-50
Total show fees assuming 3 tests/day: $300-500
Hotel: $160-200 for cheap motel/hotel for 2 nights
Gas: $200+
Grand Total: $700-$900
(I try to shoot for ones closer to $700 if the dates work)

High Level Rated Show - EC Gold

(I haven't competed at a Gold show yet purely because of cost)

Office Fee: $53
Test Fee: $53
Stabling: $237
Other fees: $61
Total show fees assuming 3 tests/day: $665 (even if I did just 2 days of 3 day show)
Hotel: $160-200 for cheap hotel for 2 nights
Gas: $200+
Grand Total: $1065


As you can see, even though all amounts are Canadian $, showing here is not cheap. Gas costs are substantial so travelling further to get to a cheaper show doesn't give me any net benefit. You might think 3 tests a day is overkill, but it financially makes sense for me to try and get the most benefit (most test rides) out of a smaller number of shows (I used to do 4 tests/day). A big reason why I started my local dressage show was so that other people around here can do a more affordable show where they don't have to pay for gas and hotel (but unfortunately that doesn't help me). Three or four shows a year is the most that I can afford so I try to make the best of them.


  1. I can see why you started a local dressage show! Those are really substantial costs!

  2. Very interesting! I never realized that dressage shows could rival h/j in costs- very eye opening!

    <3 Kelly @

  3. Also why I haven't been out showing.

    I am gung ho every year, but when the schooling shows are really only during the winter/early spring with one tiny circle to be stuck on for warm up which sucks it usually doesn't end up working out for little shows and then the bigger ones are hella expensive - even though I don't have to hotel it at the local big shows.

    The local scene for me is priced to keep normal working people out of the show scene it seems like. I am lucky that my coach travels or else I would either hardly ever get lessons or be spending more money on board and thus not saving any money!

  4. Travel is really what makes costs add up quickly -- and why I am SO grateful to have so many options so close to home.

  5. Blah, horse showing is so expensive!

  6. We have one local dressage show and it's still pretty expensive for me since they require stabling! I live 15 minutes away and it pains me that I'm doubling my expenses because they don't allow you to show out of your trailer.