Putting Flair in Your Schooling Course

So you’ve followed our tips from last month to pressure wash and paint or stain your schooling course, but it’s still looking a little plain. Like plain white walls in a freshly remodeled house, you need some decorations to make things look good. Our crew at ETB has come up with a few simple, inexpensive ideas for decorating with items from around the house or barn, or easy found at your local hardware or crafts store.

  1. Artificial flowers. This one’s a no-brainer. We all know that these can look super tacky as home decor, but these show ring staples add color and variety to a jumping course. Most large craft supply stores have an abundance of blooms at affordable prices. Stick with one or two colors for a simple, classy color scheme, or grab bunches in every color of the rainbow and let your freak flag fly. Remember that horses see a monochromatic color scheme, so they’ll be more interested in the shape and placement of the flowers than whether the orange and purple fake daisies are screamingly bright.
  1. Spray Paint. Say whaaa? Last year at the Central Park Horse Show, street artist Ian Debeer painted some amazing graffiti on a few of the show jumps. It was cool, edgy, and can be cheaply replicated at home. Grab some straw bales or a basic box type jump filler and a few cans of paint and start tagging! Tip: throw down a tarp or drop cloth to keep your footing from becoming part of your work of art. This would be a great project for the Pony Club set.
  1. Ever heard of designer trash bags? We have a better idea than to “dress up your mess” with these stylish PartyTrash bin liners: wrap up a hay bale and use them as a brightly colored, relatively inexpensive jump fillers. Or get a pack of Hefty™ bags and a Sharpie™ and make a cheaper DIY art project with (sort of) the same effect.
  1. Potted plants. Especially at the end of a season, you can score great deals on potted trees and plants at your local garden center. Those tiny Christmas trees that no one wanted will look great propped next to a couple of jump standards or flanking your new portable cross-country jumps. And come next Christmas, they might be big enough to string some lights on and decorate your barn for the holidays.
  1. Tarp/pond liner. You can fake a water tray by folding a tarp or small pond liner to the desired width and weighing it down with wooden jump poles. Or hang the tarp or or pond liner over a vertical and anchor the ends under a ground pole to keep it from flapping around.

BONUS: Hit the dollar section at your local Target for fun, decorative and seasonally appropriate items to decorate your jump standards. Giant paper hearts, sparkling shamrocks and fluffy bunny ears can all be put to good use, and your horse will be totally unsurprised by whatever tricks come out of the bag at your next event.