Monday, May 20, 2013

Show Ribbons

Whew, this past week has been crazy. I was planning on going for a trail ride and generally paying attention to my horses but somehow it all got away from me. Thankfully, the show that I was managing went well. I think this was the first show I hadn't stressed about, though it still took a lot of time out of my already busy schedule.

I think one of the most important things about running a show - besides getting everyone scheduled properly, renting a great facility and having a good judge - is great ribbons. Obviously that's one of the most important things ;)

Most horse people love keeping their ribbons, especially if they had a great ride or it was a milestone of some sort for them. I definitely keep most of my horse ribbons. The ribbons I don't keep? The tiny scraps of fabric sometimes labeled as ribbons and the generic rosettes that simply say "first place" (or second or third or whatever).

If I'm going to keep a ribbon I want to know what show it was from. And it's even better if it's unique.

Being part of the dressage team, I end up being the show manager for our bi-annual dressage shows that serve as fundraisers. I rent out the facility, find a judge, get prizes and generally organize all the details. My first year being a show manager, I knew I wanted good ribbons. After all, it's so awesome to get neat ribbons at a show!

After researching various online places, I decided to go with They are super easy in that you can just design your ribbon any which way you like online (and see a virtual representation) and buy them right then and there. They will even double check your design and offer you tips if you want them, in order to "fix" anything that needs fixing. Ours turned out awesome!

We did not put a year on them, so we get to use left overs for all the different shows, which is good because I would rather order too many than too few, then those that we didn't use can be used at the next show. Also, customizing the center button is really neat. It isn't necessarily a must in my book (though if you are buying ribbons for a dressage show, please don't put a western pleasure horse on them!) they look pretty fancy when it is custom. Our ribbons are also unique to some degree because they have black writing instead of the usual silver or gold, but that was just a random decision.

So those were our general ribbons that we give out in each class.

Even our fifth place ribbons are pretty!

This year, we decided to get neck ribbons for the overall and reserve high percentage of the show. Someone on Facebook recommended for me to like this page, Ribbons N Beyond, for a somewhat local lady that makes ribbons. She makes BEAUTIFUL ribbons. This was several months ago, but she was still in the back of my mind when we came up with the idea of doing neck ribbons, especially because working with small businesses is awesome when possible. I couldn't have been happier working with her either since I contacted her on such late notice, she already had a queue going, but she fit us right in, got the ribbons done and sent off!

Since our school colors are black and orange, we decided to go a little crazy and make them in those colors instead of the traditional tri-colors or purple that you normally get. I think they turned out awesome! With ribbons that you don't re-use, especially for larger prizes like high percentage or champion, it's a nice touch to put the year on it so you can display them and know when they were from (at least in my opinion it's nice).

These look super-awesome in real life

So that's my little spiel on ribbons in case anyone's going to be running a show in the near future and needs ribbon maker recommendations. Basically I just wanted to brag about them :)


  1. Oooh those neck ribbons are GORGEOUS! Love them, and I love how special they are!

  2. Love those neck ribbons! Send me one :D

  3. I can assure you that there were *no* neck ribbons to be seen when I was in the IHSA, so I'm rather jealous.

    Love the thought and effort you put in. Managing those shows is no small feat!

  4. I so want a neck ribbon. Love these!

  5. Love the neck ribbons! I think you did a great job designing them.

  6. Hey, for some of us those tiny scraps are all we have! I never got to show in high school so I hold on to my scraps and my few IHSA ribbons that I have (our last show LSU didn't order enough ribbons for both days, and they only mailed out first place ribbons which was not me) very tightly. I left one of my ribbons at the hotel and my mother actually managed to get them to mail it to her.

    Never having a horse of my own I hang on to the few tiny ribbons I have very tightly and get annoyed at people like the little 12 year old girl who said things like "oh, I have hat boxes full of ribbons I never even look at. I only keep top three ribbons."

  7. AnEnglishRider - first off, I was joking. And I'm not saying that they're not important or that you shouldn't keep them. I have kept many of those little ribbons because they mean a lot to me, showing in 4-H growing up or in other small schooling shows. I'm just saying that if you're in charge of getting ribbons for a show, you should try to spend a little bit more for the larger ribbons or at least try to personalize them so you can look at your ribbons and remember where/what you got them for.

  8. Thanks everyone else! I wanted to take one home with me, like "oh yeah, I totally won that neck ribbon." Not. Maybe someday...

  9. pretty!!! I want a neck on too ;) lol

  10. Those neck ribbons are awesome! I've only won one neck ribbon and it was all purple. I loved it because it was a neck ribbon, but it was kind of boring to look at. I think it's great that you put so much thought into yours!