THE school mates of riders Bree Butler, Samara Wolley and Amy Jeffries get wide-eyed with surprise when they hear the dirtier side to competitive show horsing.
But when they are shown the stack of ribbons won by the Gold Coast trio at the Rockhampton Show yesterday, the surprise will turn to understanding.
The three, who compete for HP Showhorses in Nerang said the show had been "really good".
"It is really well run, today we were doing all breed classes like riding ponies and horses and stuff, it was good," Bree said.
"Rider classes are all based on your positioning and how you and the horse go.
"We go all around Queensland and a few interstate.
"From here we go to Mackay and a few smaller shows around there. Then we do the Mackay Horse of the Year series."
In her first year of competition Amy stumbled upon the sport but is clearly a natural. Even if the travelling conditions are a difficult change to overcome.
Check out this gallery of photos of all types of activities and livestock at the Rockhampton Show yesterday:
"I told my friend that I was sleeping on a canvas bed - she was expecting me to stay in hotels and nice beds," Amy said.
"Driving up from the Gold Coast took a long time but it was great to all get ribbons.
"A lot of practice goes into these shows, we have to bring more stuff for the horses than what a baby would need.
"We have three or four lessons a week, some girls meet every day, we spend hours on our horses every day."
Stable hand Lynda Munro joked that the girls are messier than the horses and has the unfortunate task of cleaning up after them.
"People think it's a glamorous sport, they don't see the dirtier side to it," she said.
"We sleep in horse floats, once the horses come out they get cleaned and bunk beds go in. The girls are messier than the horses, it looks like a bomb sight sometimes."