Help, I want to start showing?

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Help, I want to start showing?

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  • How to begin showing horses
  • I want to start showing horses as an adult

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    01-06-2014, 08:00 PM
Help, I want to start showing?

Hi, I need help with information I need and the confidence I need to show!

I have two horses I want to start showing with!

One is Solid Choice Okie who is APHA Breeding Stock, he is a three year old gelding who loves to work and has been in a in-hand trail class before as well as a showmanship.

Second is Marvel of Flames also registered APHA, is a two year old colt who can be stubborn but knows his stuff. Wasn't shown in, but worked around a in-hand trail course.

Both stand tied, trailer, pivot, back-up, trot on command, jump, trot over poles, walk over bridges, and more!

They are not my only horses but are by far the most experienced and who I want to introduce to the world of showing as both will be shown when broke as well, though the three year old will be started this year.

I just need to know what to expect! I'm actually a little nervous! I also need help finding shows to enter. Do they tell you the course prior to the show? How long before the show? Or do they just tell you what will be in the show and you get told the order that day? Any information would be awesome!

I live in Central Oklahoma and I think I would be willing to travel 50 miles or so!

Here are my boys! Love them both to death!

Marvel of Flames



Solid Choice Okie



Again, any information would be helpful! Really want to get them started.
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    01-06-2014, 08:07 PM
You want to show open, or breed shows? Typically, patterns are posted in the morning just before the show starts, or sometimes a few classes before.
    01-06-2014, 08:11 PM
Which would be more beneficial? I was thinking open but I for some reason though a breed show would be more "professional"?
    01-06-2014, 08:18 PM
A breed show is more expensive and you accumulate points. Some open shows, if they follow, sorry don't know the associations in the US, Equestrian Federation rules and regulations. Other open shows just have their own rules and are less than formal without carded judges.
    01-06-2014, 08:32 PM
APHA is very active up in Oklahoma...check out their website as they have an extensive show schedule of PAC approved shows.

Most shows have their show bills and registrations forms online, so you can figure out your classes and costs.

It depends on the show, but some shows will send patterns to folks who register by a certain date. Most have pattern book available for purchase when you check in/register at the show and a few only post patterns on the wall for everyone to view. They are supposed to be available at least one hour prior to class.

I am the show secretary/coordinator for my daughter's show team, so I've become VERY adept at locating shows and helping teach new show parents what to expect (for the shows we attend). We mostly show Youth open shows (4H or local horse clubs), and AQHA. But they are pretty similar.

Hope that helps!
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waresbear and Phura like this.
    01-06-2014, 08:53 PM
So I may pay more for APHA shows but my boys will get points? Which in my world means way better for them! Especially Nix.

What is considered Open shows? What events are usually there that you can do on the ground?

Do they judge a lot on fitness? Like my boys are obviously pasture fat right now, I will start working them about 3 days a week if my work lets me take Sundays off as well as my school days Monday and Wednesday. (So hopefully they will get more fit)

In Breed shows can you win money?

Very curious!
    01-06-2014, 09:11 PM
Let me just give you an example of one of the series we attend.

You can show either as a club member Open (cheaper class fees), AQHA (slightly higher fees, but you earn points) or both. Open classes allow all horses, it doesn't matter if they have papers or are grade. You must have your membership card and be a member in good standing to show in the breed classes.

You must show at a minimum number of shows to be eligible for end of the year awards (which can include cash or prizes).

Our shows generally have:
Halter (based on age of horse, color, etc)
Showmanship (has a pattern, in hand class)
Yearling lunge line classes.

Otherwise all our classes are saddle classes. I know some shows offer trail in hand, but I've never attended that class.

For halter, it's ALL about the horse. The judge will check for fitness, confirmation, and confirmation to breed standard. It's somewhat subjective. Some judges love my foundation bred QH mare (she's short and stocky), some prefer what I call a super model (tall and thin). In color halter, they often love flashy colors and lots of chrome. Acey is a red dun with all the primitive stripes and mottling. IF a judge pays attention, she usually places high.

Showmanship is more about how you handle your horse on the ground. Your horse's "looks" shouldn't matter (but it can with some judges). Your horse should be able to walk, trot, stop, back and pivot (planting their back foot). It should look effortless and the handler cannot touch the horse.

There are tons of videos on YouTube to help. Also, on the breed websites, you can find the rule books.

Good luck!
    01-06-2014, 09:16 PM
Oh! Some shows do offer "jackpot" classes. If you win, you can win a % of the $$ from all the entries.

Something you could look at if prize money is your objective. :)
    01-06-2014, 10:07 PM
I would really suggest doing a season of local open shows before doing breed shows, they are a whole 'nother world of unwritten rules. Usually people at breed shows are not there to help you learn, they are there to get points and win. Open shows are much more friendly and will spend the time to get you going. :)
waresbear and Chasin Ponies like this.
    01-07-2014, 12:10 PM
If you've never shown before then an open show is your best bet. We all have to get thro that first show as it's a great learning experience whether or not we place. This is where you will find out if you will turn into a nervous wreck or are able to remain calm and keep your focus on you horse.

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