Donna Campbell Smith is an author, freelance writer, and photographer. She has an AAS degree in equine tech and is a certified instructor.
It doesn't take many horse shows to begin accumulating a large number of ribbons. After a while finding a place to put these awards that represent your hours and hours of hard work begins to be a problem. I have a few ideas on how to display your horse show ribbons.
Remember your first horse show ribbon? Maybe it was just a little fun show and you got fourth place in the egg and spoon class. Your award was a little stripe of white satin ribbon with the words "Fourth Place" printed on it in gold letters. It was a proud day for you and your family. It was easy to find a place to hang that special ribbon. Maybe you displayed it on your horse's stall door for a while, or your mom hung it on the refrigerator or kitchen bulletin board. Then, after everyone had admired it, you pasted it into a scrapbook. Easy.
But, you and Ole Paint have been showing for a couple of seasons now, and collected dozens of ribbons. Your ribbons are no longer the little strips, but rosettes with streamers. You worked hard to win those ribbons and want to proudly display them for all your friends and relatives to see.
Of course we've all seen the hangers that are about the size of a towel rack, with room to hang no more than six ribbons, and cost upwards of twenty bucks. Buying enough of those racks to hold your ribbons is going to mount up a large bill, and a lot of screw holes in your wall.
One of the easiest was to display a large collection of ribbons is to hang them on your mini blinds. If you don't have blinds on your windows, you can buy one for about $5.00. Hang it on a window, or on your wall. As you get more ribbons and need the space, let the blinds down little by little until the whole unit is covered with ribbons.
I recently saw a beautiful wreath made from show ribbons. Just attach the ribbons to a form, so that the rosettes encircle the wreath, wrapping the streamer around the form. At the bottom let the ribbon streamer of one hang down like the streamers on a bow. This works very nicely if you have a championship ribbon to display.
Another simple and attractive way to display Horse show ribbons is to run a strand of thin wire or cord from corner to corner of the room about six inches below your ceiling. Attach with a small nail or screw, pulling the wire tight between the two ends. Hang the ribbons on the wire or cord. Eventually, you'll have a border of colorful rosettes decorating your room. You can even start a second row when you need the space.
If you have shelves holding the trophies you have accumulated you can run wire or cord along the front edge of the shelves and hang the ribbons.
Now that you have decided how to display your ribbons you can relive the memories each one represents every time you look at them. Now, isn't that is better than packing them away in a box and stuffing it in the attic?
Framed Ribbons and Ribbon Quilts
For a smaller number of ribbons, or the special ones like the big championship rosettes, buy a large wooden picture frame. An unfinished one can be painted in your barn colors or to blend with the room's décor. Cut a piece of chicken or rabbit wire to fit the back of the frame and staple or nail it in place. Cover the edges of the wire with masking tape so the cut edges of wire won't scratch the wall. Hang the frame and attach the ribbons to the wire mesh. Now you have framed those memorable ribbons for everyone to view.
Need more space that a picture frame allows? A tri-folding room divider or screen is another attractive way to show off your riding accomplishments. Built of a wooden frame, like the picture frame, line it with woven wire. Another option is to make the screen out of folding louver doors, hinging three doors together. Hang your ribbons on the little louvers. You can also hang a favorite horse show photograph on the folding panels.
Sewing the ribbons together to make a ribbon pillow, or even a quilt, is another way some people preserve their horse show ribbons. Cut off the rosettes and use the ribbon stripes to make designs for pillows, wall hangings, throws, tote bags, and even apparel.
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Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on August 26, 2011:
MK, love your idea!
MK on August 26, 2011:
im making something for the girl i babysit right now. I have used an old four pane window, in the glass i have made a collage of pictures from shows of her and her horse. Then i attached old shutters upside down, you cant tell the are upside down but this makes the slots go the direction we need. Then you just slide the ribbons in the slots. Im hoping it turns out really cute, i have had this idea for a while and just decided to make it because they are moving.
Michele on August 23, 2011:
We just redid our daughters room, and have been trying to come up with an idea of what to do with her ribbons! I have her very first ones, from a real show (not a summer camp show) framed in a shadow box with pictures of her and the horse, but all the other ones...I think I may go with the wire idea to make a border along the ceiling! Thank you so much for the wonderful ideas!
ashley smith on December 02, 2010:
I have hundreds of horse ribbons from showing. And I want to make some of them into a quilt. How much would it cost and how many would I need
Cody McArthur on October 06, 2010:
Great ideas, I definitely think my wife will be thrilled to see her ribbons on our christmas tree. That will be a great surprise for her. My favourite idea is the ribbon quilt....now I just need to find someone to sew them all together!
Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on August 19, 2010:
Lori, That is a great idea!
Lori - on August 19, 2010:
Try a wire wreath from the hobby store - we buy two- a small and meadium one and attach the smaller one inside the bigger one. Great way to display and look at accomplishments for the year. then at the end of the year we take them off and decorate a christmas tree with them. (then throw away and start with a new)
manyinterests from North Carolina on May 25, 2010:
Awesome! I have a box full of ribons from showing cattle! I can not wait to hang them now! Thanks!
Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on April 21, 2010:
Anne, thank you for adding your unique ideas for re-purposing old tack and attire!
Anne Coyle from Bronxville, NY on April 21, 2010:
What great ideas! You have inspired me! Now, let me share an idea of mine. When my favorite pieces of equestrian equipment start to wear out and need to be replaced, I clean them and put them aside until I have enough to create a unique ribbon-and-horse motif display. Old horse riding breeches make a good background, and old reins, stirrup leathers, and lead lines can be attractively used as accent pieces in a shadow box style display. Even old riding boots can be put to work as unique bookends, once you’ve weighted them down with some rocks or other heavy filler. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I hope you enjoy mine!
Linda Kay R from Kentucky on March 04, 2010:
Great ideas. We have boxes of ribbons from my Daughter's horse shows. There is one thing that I really regret. I did not write on the back of each ribbon the date and place of the horse show. There is even a spot on the ribbon just for that.
Brett Winn from US on November 24, 2009:
I enjoyed reading this. Dog people have the same problem with their ribbons. I recently threw away an entire garbage bag of my old ribbons only to then become aware of all the things one can do with them! I went to a costume party for dogs and owners in October, and one girl had her Great Dane wearing his as a blanket, which made me think how nice they would look sewn onto a horse blanket for a horse in a parade ... it truly was stunning.
Amanda on May 09, 2008:
thanks so much I really need to get up and hang them up... its so depressing (not) seeing them in my drawer
dobsc400 from Wellington on May 05, 2008:
Mine are hanging from the top of the bookshelf, which looks nice but is inconvenient when you want a book. I ride in a different type of saddle to you however.
Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on April 30, 2008:
I'm glad you found it useful. You gotta get those ribbons out of the box.
amy jane from Connecticut on April 30, 2008:
Great suggestions, thanks! My daughter has accumulated many ribbons over the last few years, and right now they are in box, because there were just to many to have laying around!