Help -Older Lady and Showing - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-10-2010, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Help -Older Lady and Showing

I am not new to horses, but am new to showing. We just picked up a very nice and according to most people well balanced paint gelding. He has some nice breeding from western pleasure horses and with a bit of work we will see if he can cut it at western pleasure showing. If he can fine if not he'll just be for trails. What type desensitizing do you use to get them used to the arena work.

I don't think there will be a lot of indoor showing, but mostly outdoor. Are there any certain things that they spook to more than others. What type bits do they use in open show and what type are allowed in the paint breed shows. Thanks to all in advance. I am as green as they come so anything will be most helpful.
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-10-2010, 10:34 PM
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Probably the best way to desensitize him to the show atmosphere is to just go to a few shows so that you both can watch and get used to the activity. I need to do this with my greenie as well. I'm planning on going to a few local shows and just leading (and riding, if he proves to me that he can behave) around the grounds and letting him get the idea. Some things that I find really send up red flags are loudspeakers/PA systems, flags/banners on fences, and strange horses, especially those that are much bigger or smaller than the one I'm showing. Sometimes show carriages and the noises that come with them can be unnerving as well. The best thing is to go to a few without intending to compete and just get a feel for the atmosphere and get your guy relaxed.

I'm not much help on show legal western bits. If your horse is over 5, I do believe that he's required to be shown neck reined in a curb bit. Unless you're using some really out there mouthpiece (i.e. chain, etc.) you should be OK, but someone else please verify that... all I know of western showing is local 4-H .

Good luck, and have fun!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-10-2010, 11:02 PM
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dont know about bits but as mentioned above a curb of some description :)

with regards to the other thing i would take your horse along to shows without showing him. it will get him used to horses and people everywhere and PA sounds and kids running around etc try to expose him to as much as possible while youre not in the saddle :)

also, be prepared for indoor arenas. some horses lose their minds the first time they go inside for something. usually the sounds are more amplified indoors and many things might be much closer. if there is a way you can expose him to this that might be good too :)

good luck :)

"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"


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post #4 of 16 Old 03-10-2010, 11:24 PM
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i agree with the above comments on hauling your horse to shows and just riding them around the grounds gets them use to it another thing you may do is be for a show take the horse to the arena in advance and get a feel for it then when you go to the show its not as new its some what familar to them it helped my gelding alot the speaker system gets mine still though. i also noticed he was balking at banners so i found some and tied them to our outdoor arena and made him ride pass them a billion times and moved them and it even helped when there was a slight breeze good luck

The daughter who won't lift a finger in the house is the same child who cycles madly off in the pouring rain to spend all morning mucking out a stable. ~Samantha Armstrong
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-11-2010, 05:21 PM
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For our first show, we showed in Halter and Showmanship only to get them used to the atmosphere. After that, we added the riding classes. My gelding is actually less nervous at outdoor shows. What gets some horses are the banners that hang on the arena walls and gates (particularly when the wind blows them !), the announcer, music, and all the distractions in the stands. I think the distractions in the stands are more apparent at indoor shows.

You can also desensitize to the banners by throwing different colored tarps over a fence and move it to a different spot each time you ride.
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-11-2010, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks this helps a lot, I never thought of taking him to a show and just leading him around. I am going to start checking for local shows in our area.
Didn't think of banners or loudspeakers either. (That shows how green I am )

How fancy saddle do you need? Are you truly judged on your horse and how they handle and your equipment more on being clean? I keep hearing stories of how some judges go for a lot of silver.
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-11-2010, 09:07 PM
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depends on the judge really, i have seen some plain jane cleaned tack sharp looking rider and horse win over really fancy . it can go either way just depends on the judges taste and background

The daughter who won't lift a finger in the house is the same child who cycles madly off in the pouring rain to spend all morning mucking out a stable. ~Samantha Armstrong
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-11-2010, 10:14 PM
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Maybe try to take your horse to a few clinics first. Most clinics have a show-like atmosphere, at least from the perspecrive of the horse - loud speakers, BBQr other food station, banners etc. You get the benefit of being able to school your horse in the arena full of other strange horses in a strange place.

As for the saddle thing, a horse in clean, workan-like equipment who is a great mover will beat an average mover in a silver-layden saddle. That being said, a little bling never hurt. Just a few engraved conchas and good quality tooled leather paired with a nicely coloured pad would do to start.
good luck, and I\d love to see pics of the new horse!

~Lindsay~ Mom of 2, wife to the goldsmith, doula and childbirth educator in training, life-long horse dork
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post #9 of 16 Old 03-12-2010, 12:28 PM
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Sorry, I just re-read your original post and I don't think anyone has commented on the bit question. If you are showing in a schooling show, the bit is not as important and you can ride in a snaffle or a solid mouthpiece. If you are in an Open show, you would need to follow the breed association rules that are governing the show. As a general rule, if your horse is 5 or younger, you can ride in a snaffle, bosal, or solid bit and you can ride 2-handed if using a snaffle or bosal. If your horse is 6 or older, you need to ride in a solid mouthpiece shanked bit and must ride 1-handed.
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-14-2010, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, that is what I thought for the bit question. I am hoping to attend a clinic in our area pretty soon where there will be judges present. I will try to post some pictures when we are done with the monsoons in our area.
Right now I would call his color mud and if you clean him he just returns to the mud color. Today was supposed to be sunny, but they changed it last night to clouds and sprinkles all day. I wanna be a weather forecaster, it's the only job you can't lose when you are wrong most of the time.
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