Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Western Pennsylvania
I personally, would leave the gaming classes in there. Just because they're speed events doesn't mean you have to run your horse through them forthe fastest time you can get. I'll be taking Dude this year to his third show being ridden by a competent rider, and I'll be trotting him through poles, and probably trotting barrels with a canter home.
I view shows at training opportunities, you can walk through all the classes if you want. You'll get a no-time or disqualification, but as long as you finish the pattern correctly, you've added something to your horse's experience.
As for Calcutta, I believe it's a betting class. For our Calcutta classes, we basically do our warm-ups while we get called to the middle individually for the audience to bet on. The rider gets part of the pot, as does the highest bidder and the sponsors of the show (usually). I found the betting to be fun (even though I wasted people's money since the horse was only controllable in a harsher curb and I was unaware until she didn't stop and ran over the pattern, lol), and I love seeing who bets on you, be you know them or have never seen them before. :p
And, if you can get your entry fees back if you have to scratch, and won't get charged for scratching, I would sign up for all the ones you had in the first post (aside from those that were the same class with different age levels, as they're normally right after one another). We normally get our class fees refunded if we scratch, though at some shows (just so happened to be the one I mentioned above lol) don't, and they should let you know when you sign up for the classes. I do agree that if he shows signs of being/becoming overwhelmed that you should scratch the next two or so classes, and see how he is later on in the day. That's what I plan on doing anyway. :p
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