Gaited Horse Halter Classes - The Horse Forum
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  • 1 Post By Brighteyes
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-31-2011, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Georgia
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Gaited Horse Halter Classes

So... How do you even compete? I don't know the first thing about anything halter, especially gaited horse halter, but I really want to try it out with my mare. My friend wants to take me to some open shows. I can't do anything ridden, since I don't have a cutback saddle OR a western show saddle. But I want to do something, so I decided halter would be interesting and much easier than acquiring a saddle.

1.) What kind of halter do I use? (Or bridle? I think you use bridles...) If I'm at a show without a gaited class, could/should I use a stock horse halter?

2.) What should I wear 1.) in a gaited only class, or 2.) when competing with non-gaited horses?

3.) Do I have to gait in-hand? Stupid question... I'm guessing yes.

Really, I need all the info I can get. I don't have a clue what I'm getting into.
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-01-2011, 09:08 AM
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Actually, compared to other breeds it's very easy. They don't judge on the gaits at all, only their conformation. They need to stand patiently as square as possible(in RMH anyway, I know some breed associations want them parked out). You walk the horse out and take your place in line, squaring your horse. You want to stay out of the way so when the judge walks up step to the side so they can see the horse. You can't touch them during the class, you can speak to them, use the crop to tell them to move and of course the lead. You'd need to check the breed rules but for Rocky once a horse is 2 they have to wear a bridle in halter classes. Western or english, either one as long at it's leather. You need to dress to match the tack. You'll need to check on the bit too, some are illegal. I'd just go with a snaffle.
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-01-2011, 02:42 PM
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I'm curious too. What about a RMH or gaited horse in a non-gaited show? We don't have ANY gaited shows in the area...
momo3boys is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 04-01-2011, 02:58 PM
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It's sad to say, but from what I've heard gaited horses virtually never place in non gaited classes because the judges aren't informed enough about the different breeds and different types of gaits.
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-01-2011, 03:18 PM
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This is how I show in showmanship:

At your bigger Walker shows, there will be NO showmanship. It's because almost no horse will gait in hand. They usually pace or trot. It's ugly. So they just don't do it. Lady does it because my trainer(used to) and her little sister show her 4H and showmanship is required. So I kinda stole the good horse. ;D
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-01-2011, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Thanks for the info! I checked the SSHBEA rule book (they have it online? It's almost struck me as a pretty ghetto organization for some reason), and you are suppose to gait in hand, but I doubt anyone will. And, weirdly, enough, you use a western show halter and western attire. Err... No thanks.

Ooh, Vivache, I want your purple cloths! And that browband! It's so... Shiny. *__*

I call stealing Lady next, by the way. And Midnight. You can keep your cow. ;)

So, here's the plan: My pony likes to pace in hand. Most people don't know a pace from a run-walk anyway. I'll steal a show halter from a friend and deck out western. At first glance, you see a funny quarter/arab with spots and an awkward saddlebred head. Then, just to mix it up, I'll park her out.

I can imagine the gears in that judge's head turning... "WTF...?"
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-02-2011, 12:39 AM
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If you're showing at a local, mostly non-gaited show, you can pretty much do whatever you want. When I do it, I try to look like a mixture between gaited and western so as not to shock the judges, but to stand out enough that my mare isn't judged as a stock horse or an english horse. I dress in western clothes, use a MFT halter, and stand her square. At a true MFTHBA show, I would park her out a little bit and dress a little differently.

But anyway... you're basically free to do whatever you want at an open show because nobody will have a clue about gaited horses. It's not fair, but you'll probably either get first or last every time you show.

Is she just a SSH or is she double-registered? If she's only registered as a SSH, you have a lot less to worry about, as it's not really a "breed," per se.

Here's the SSHBEA rulebook:
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-02-2011, 02:51 PM
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If you come here for a show and need my clothes, you'll be in the purple vest and tie. Can't be gettin' all nude ringside. Though, it's a thought. ;D Scare the horses.

I'll be showing Lady in-hand at pretty much all of the shows, except ones closest to my trainer's sister's state shows.

We park out. We gait in-hand on a straightaway. We have GAITED showmanship classes, though. My trainer sponsors every gaited thing at the fair shows, really.
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-10-2015, 04:30 PM
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well, I managed open shows for years and can say with a fact that most open show judges do have knowledge and experience with gaited breeds, at least my judges did and always judged appropriately, so don't discount your self or the judge, you may not ever know what knowledge the judges posses. just do your best, go last and observe the competitors in front of you and smile!!
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-11-2015, 05:20 AM
Join Date: Jun 2013
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We have done open shows with my gaited standardbred.
We beat, to win the championship, a Fresian national halter champion.

Most judges I have talked to know more about gaited horses (and horse breeds and conformation) than we give them credit for.

Come join us at the 2017 World Standardbred Show Oct 13-15 at Eden Park Equestrian Complex in Sunbury Ohio. PM me for more info
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