All The Pretty Ribbons

All The Pretty Ribbons

Fact: You don’t show for the ribbons, you show for the experience.

Also Fact: A crappy ride can earn the same ribbon that a good ride doesn’t earn.

More Facts: I haven’t won a ribbon in a really, really, really long time… and I really miss them.

For years, my ribbons stayed in a box with my mom because she was toying with the idea of sewing them into a quilt for me.  I couldn’t really get behind that idea, because I have some strange ribbon colors from one show series in particular and I don’t want a beautiful ribbon quilt to be covered with rainbow stripes.  At my pleading, she mailed them to me this week.


Ribbons!  I gleefully went through them and took a trip down memory lane.  I don’t remember every ribbon, but I do remember every show… especially when I started to count them and create pie charts like Viva Carlos did because I think it is the best idea ever.


Since I have only shown 3 horses in my life, and 2 out of the 3 were just one off times… I divided my ribbons into ones won by Elvis, ones won through IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) and “Other” which includes hunter pace ribbons, a loaner horse and the 1 ribbon from my 4H County Horse Show disaster.


I wasn’t at all surprised to see just how many ribbons Elvis won me, because he’s the only horse I’ve ever consistently shown.  What was surprising is that I won more IHSA ribbons than others… I always thought I kinda sucked at IHSA, but I really didn’t so much.


Of all our ribbons, most of them were won at a show series called Johnston County Horse Show Series.  It was an open show held every month with year-end points, and one year we went to most shows in order to point chase.  Also, at each JCHSS show I would do a halter division, jumping division, and under saddle divisions – so it was a lot more classes than your normal hunter/jumper show.  The other shows listed here I think I only went to once or twice, excluding Triangle Hunt because those were the hunter paces sponsored by our fox hunting club.


All in all, I have won 85 ribbons so far in my horse show career.  Certainly not as many as some, but I’m pretty proud!  This is enough to send them off for a quilt, but since there are a handful of ribbons I don’t want to cut up (first champion, some IHSA ribbons, etc) and the printed ‘winning’ stripe on most of my ribbons is a rainbow color… I don’t think I will be quilting with these.

Won lots of pretty ribbons doing this!
Won lots of pretty ribbons doing this!

I think my plan is to make a pillow with some of the older ones.  On many ribbons, the rosette has become discolored under the plastic (especially the cheaper ones).  A pillow also won’t take as many as a quilt.

Ribbons... gimme!
Ribbons… gimme!

Since I don’t want rainbow stripes in my pillow, I thought about making those into a ribbon belt.  What could be better luck at a horse show than a belt made of ribbons you’ve already won?

Winner na na na na boo boo
Winner na na na na boo boo

For the special ones, I’m going to roll them up and place them in a large glass jar.  That way I can see the pretty rosettes that are meaningful to me without them being cut up or stored away in a dusty box.


Maybe one day if I’m lucky, I’ll have some ribbons of Simon’s to throw into the jar.  I sure do hope so… I loooooooooove ribbons!

Do you guys have any good ideas with what I can do with all of these, or clever ways you display your own ribbons?

14 thoughts on “All The Pretty Ribbons

  1. I don’t show, therefor I have no ribbons, but I’ve seen a LOT of cute ideas on Pinterest. Quilts, pillows, and one of my favorites-One girl found an old coffee table with a glass top and put the ribbons underneath the glass so people could see them under the glass. 🙂

  2. you are seriously making me regret throwing away all my ribbons! this was such a cool idea! my old horse won me soooo many ribbons (4H, local hunter circuit, less but some with AQHA) that I just ended up keeping a few of the special ribbons/trophies and donating the rest. I would’ve loved a pie chart!

    eventing ribbons are much bigger though so now I’m starting to collect them…! and they give ribbons out through 9th. I hang them on my door right now but I’ve been wondering what I’ll do with them after I gather a bunch. (my idea was always have a horsey themed library one day in my future house and hang them, but like that’ll happen lol!)

    my new goal is to win a neck ribbon/sash! although that goal is a long, long ways away 🙁

    and I know Simon is going to win you lots and lots of ribbons!

    1. I too am yearning for an equestrian library!!!!!! It will be covered in ribbons, because by the time I can afford to have one I think I’ll have plenty of money for showing and fancy horses hahaha.

  3. I did a ribbon box with mine. I just bought a basketball case from my local sports store and picked my favorite championship ribbons to display around the outside. I filled the inside with other, smaller ribbons and glued the top shut so dust wouldn’t get inside.

  4. I often wonder what my parents did with my ribbons when they moved and got divorced… Henry and I are starting over on my collection!

    Now you have me thinking about cool ways to display them! 🙂

  5. I really don’t have that many ribbons and pretty much all of my old ones have been lost but if I ever do start winning ribbons again I’m going to use some of these ideas. They are really cool!

  6. Love the jar idea – i’m really boring and just hang them on coat hangers and keep them in a closet to prevent discolouration. I do leave out my baking ribbons from county fairs around the kitchen, but the sun gives them a shelf life of only a couple years (but it’s worth it since it boosts my ego!)

    P.S. I pick horse shows partly based on who gives out nicer ribbons.

  7. I love the ribbon jar and ribbon box idea! Although I don’t show anymore, I have a ton of fancy dressage ribbons that I should do something with!

    Side note: my all time favorite ribbons are neck sashes. What is it with a neck sash that just drives me wild?!

  8. I don’t show horses, but I’ve shown my dogs for 20 years, in multiple classes and disciplines. In AKC events AND CKC (Canada) events with 4 dogs, the first two were showing at the same time, so I have A LOT of ribbons. A friend of mine has decoupaged ribbons onto wooden tissue box covers found at craft stores. I have done the ribbon table top Christmas tree, a friend that has top winning confirmation dogs in her kennel has done a full sized ribbon tree.

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