1. Yes, showing in a dressage saddle should be fine- quite frankly at our open shows the judges don't really care, as they've little gaited experience.
2. In a gaited class, you wear clothes similar to saddleseat- black pants, paddock boots, not field boots, not breeches. You wear a vest under a long coat and a derby, not a helmet- though, of course, if you are uncomfortable with riding without a helmet, you could certainly do so, as its not strict rule.
3. Judges will look for a controlled, nice looking horse. Balanced and power driven from the hind- the same as any other horse. However... how natural and relaxed both rider and horse appear will also contribute to how well you place.
Of course, this is all from a huntseat rider who shows & rides with gaited riders at open shows, so I guarantee someone else will have more to add or correct. :)
At our county fair we have gaited classes for 4-H members, and this year there were 4 of us. We have the option of showing Western or Saddleseat, and with some breeds there's certain things you do (like with my Paso Fino, despite the fact that it's Western we always ride Pasos two-handed). For TWH look up the breed standards for showing.
Is it aloud to show (youth) in a dressage saddle?
I'm sure they won't mind, that should be fine. What are yo supposed to wear in an english class? (the usual tan breeches?)
For gaited classes, there are different standards. Saddleseat clothes usually. If it's an open English eq class and you enter it with a gaited horse, then yes, wear the hunt coat and tan breeches. What are the judges looking for in the classes?
Depends. In an equitation class, they're looking for the best rider with the best position and the subtlest cues. In a pleasure class, the horse's gaits and collection are judged.
Thanks! I was wondering about several types of shows; A schooling show in which there are many breeds but we show in gaited horse classes. And gaited horse shows where I will show in an open youth class.
And last, I was wondering where the best place (website probably) to buy the pants, vest etc. is? Thanks again!
I would look up the specific TWH rules regarding tack because they may specifically ask for a saddleseat saddle in the english classes. Look around on the web, I recommend going used for saddleseat appreal just because there is so much and it is usually quite expensive.
Make sure to double check with show rules before you enter. That way you'll be 100% good to go. :)
As for place to buy clothing, search gaited show clothing and have a look around. Find what suits you as far as colors, fit and price.
At schooling shows, a dressage saddle should do you fine, but for gaited shows you should look at their rulebook and figure it out.
I live in Canada, and from what I hear around here (I will be doing my first shows with my girl this year) it is difficult to show walkers in open shows rather than breed shows as they are a complicated breed in form and many judges in open shows don't fully understand the technicalities of the breed and so they are jusdged on the standard of QH, AQHA, trotters and such while they are gaited which makes it hard to compare. This came from a girl who showed her walker in open shows with little success, but went to breed and was much better.
Yep, kstinson is right. If you're just looking for experience and getting a few show miles under your belt an open show wouldn't be bad but gaited horses typically don't place well in such classes. There are some open gaited shows though, there are mixed classes and breed specific classes. I went to one two years ago and it was great, not as formal as a big show and lots of fun. Is your horse registered? If so, look into TWH shows in your area. Often there are smaller shows local shows you can start out at and work your way up.