Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ribbon Hoarder

I know, you've all got a similar pile, probably way bigger than mine because my Q rate is low and I stopped taking most ribbons years ago.  But still, look at that mess, they're piled up deeper than they look and that's not even all of them.  Every once in a while I decide I'm going to go through them and get rid of all but the most meaningful then I realize what a huge waste of time, easier to leave them in a pile in a cabinet and I put them all back.  This time I went so far as to buy a plastic bin and you can all have a good laugh at how that's going to work.  In the end I stuffed all but the most obvious special-ist ones in the bin and I'll go through them at night while I'm watching Netflix.  Yeah, I'll get right on that, along with my sock darning project.  And what do I do with the rejects that have been written on?  Will I go to the effort to find a place to donate the ones that aren't written on and are in good condition?  Can't give most of them back to the club because they're so old.  One club is defunct and many don't do NADAC any more or give out a different style of ribbon.


Edited to add:
A reader sent in a link to a place you can send your ribbons to be re-used by therapeutic riding centers.  I'd heard of this place before, just didn't remember the link or the name.  My initial concern was that they wouldn't use the dog ribbons for horse events but I emailed the woman who runs it and she said she's happy to take dog ribbons.  Some of the riders don't care or know the difference and sometimes the ribbons can be modified.

As an aside I spent several years doing volunteer work for the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center and it was a lot of fun.  I'd go before class and tack and groom horses then lead the horse around the ring if the rider needed it.  One of the classes I volunteered for had riders that were very independent and didn't need horse leaders for the whole class which is why I was initially concerned that the dog ribbons wouldn't be used.  Not all riders in the program are mentally impaired at all or to the point of not noticing such a thing and being offended by it.  But apparently there is enough of a market for them that they use them for some of the riders.

You don't have to know anything about horses to volunteer either, they also have people that walk at the side of the horse and help the rider with the various therapeutic exercises.  It's a great volunteer experience to consider if you have a program in your area.

Not sure what to do with the special ones either.  I made a nice shadowbox for Lola's second place Grand Prix Regionals ribbons but that little project took about 2 years to get to and would have been abandoned altogether had I not bought the shadowbox right away when I was still excited about the accomplishment.

I already took photos of the dogs with their nice DOCNA Champs ribbons from 2 years ago but now what to do with the ribbons?  That stack alone takes up a lot of space but they seem too nice to get rid of.

Let this be a cautionary tale if you're just starting out in agility.  Think long and hard about whether that 3rd place non-Q Advanced Snooker ribbon is going to have any particular meaning 6 years down the line or whether it'll detract from the more meaningful accomplishments and clutter up your closet and your brain.  I did stop taking most ribbons some time ago but I wish I'd figured it out sooner.


  1. Gotta go see

  2. Thanks Debbie, I'll edit the post to add the link.

  3. You might have seen my brief photo of my living room in my missing-purse post--my theory was to photograph the dog at the end of the year with the ribbons from that year. Wellll i don't even have 2 of the dogs any more and I'm way behind on the others. As in, I've never done it. I finally got 2007 ribbons set up for Tika, what a challenge! Now I have to figure out how to actually take the photo, then store everything coherently again Just In Case I Need It Again, and move on to 2008 and 2009....and jeez we're almost done with 2010. Then there's Boost's 4 years worth. And Tika's earlier years.


    I totally empathize. But I really like your shadow box! I think that sometimes having a few key things displayed as if they're extremely special makes more of an impact than a wall full of ribbons on strings. But the ribbons on strings is much easier until the strings fill up.

  4. What about having a ribbon quilt made? It'd use up the non-special ones for color and have a place to put the special ones kept intact. I did it for my old retired girl...of course, I guess you might want to wait til they are done getting ribbons to do one...

  5. Those ribbons quilts are nice but spendy, a bit outside my budget I'm afraid. Runners/triathletes have quilts made of their race shirts too and they look nice but again, very spendy.

  6. LOL! That is an impressive pile of ribbons!

    I only take ribbons for USDAA tournament placements. I no longer take any placement ribbons in AKC.

    Of course, when Soleil starts competing, you can bet I'll be very proud of that Novice/Starters ribbon ;-)

  7. Yeah, I took Strummy's first set of ribbons too and his ribbons from DOCNA Champs and the NAC ribbons because they usually have a little ribbon ceremony and I'd feel bad not accepting them when the club goes to the trouble to present them but that's about it so far for him.