How many classes is too many?

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How many classes is too many?

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    04-26-2011, 09:10 PM
How many classes is too many?

I'm planning on taking my project horse to an open show soon. I am working him from being a trail horse into being my show horse, but this is going to be his first show. So in your opinion, how many classes are too many (minus showmanship and halter, I suppose)? Should I be conditioning my horse for the hard day? Here's all the classes I am considering entering, with *'s next to them if I am surely doing them. Please let me know what you think, and what I should remove, if any!

Halter Geldings (56"+)*
Showmanship (13-18)*
English Pleasure (13-18)
English Pleasure Open
Equitation (13-18)
Hunter Hack*
Western Pleasure (11-14)
Horsemanship (13-18)
Apple Under Chin (13-18)
Barrels (13-18)
Open Barrels
Poles (13-18)
Open Poles
Flags (13-18)
Michigan Pick-up Open
Calcutta Open

Also, does anybody know what calcutta is? I've never heard of that before...
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    04-26-2011, 09:37 PM
Green Broke
How many classes depends strongly on the horse. Because this is going to be his first show I'd definitely not do all the classes you have listed. How young is he? What's your horse's personality? Is he pretty level-headed or is he high strung? A lot of factors have to be taken into account.

Personally I'd start out with the in-hand classes; Halter and Showmanship. Those are great day starters for beginning horses, helps them focus and see their surroundings before you ride them. The three that you have definitely decided to do is a good number for a beginning horse. However, if you feel him getting frustrated or start to become confused you need to stop showing him for the day and scratch the rest of your classes. A confused horse won't perform and could cause a riding accident. There's a very good chance that he'll be confused in the in-hand classes but that's okay because it's his first show, he's not used to it. And gaming is definantly not a good idea for a begining horse. Letting them run during their first show or year even will most likely cause more trouble than you need and only create setbacks. In fact, this is completely up to you as he is your horse and not mine, but I'd also enter him in the English Equitation, this should get him used to the arena and you riding him before you do any jumping.

Just my thoughts. And I have no idea what calcutta is, I've never heard of it.
    04-26-2011, 09:51 PM
Thanks so much! He's like 15, I've never really ridden him around a ton of new horses, so I don't know how he's going to do around them. Here's what I'm thinking, let me know if you guys think I should add/drop any;

Halter Geldings
English Pleasure (13-18)
Equitation (13-18)
Hunter Hack
Wester Pleasure (11-14)
Horsemanship (13-18)
Apple Under Chin (13-18)
Barrels (13-18)

What do you guys think? Still too much? I'm still debating the barrels and apple under chin.
    04-26-2011, 10:28 PM
Green Broke
Would you be racing for time on barrels (I'm asking this because some people run for time while others run or do it for refining skills)? What is apple under chin exactly? Is horsemanship a pattern class?
I've got lots of questions and I'm sorry for that but class content is another factor in the final decision.
    04-26-2011, 10:33 PM
I think that you should be able to do as many classes as you would like to, providing that you have enough time between them to cool out and relax your horse, change clothing or tack if you need to, and give him a minute to drink and eat a little something. The more stuff you expose a greenie to, the quicker they stop being green (providing that you don't completely overwhelm them).

Once you get to the show, can you drop a class after you have already entered if you decide that he's had enough for the day or will you lose entry fee/be charged for dropping?
    04-26-2011, 10:33 PM
Green Broke
With my mares first show I only entered her in 2 classes and rode her around the other horses and in the warm up ring to get her used to being around others randomly through out the day as the 2 classes were spread out. I do agree with tempest with the 3 and scratching if he seems upset/confused however that doesnt mean you have to leave keep him there ride him around the others leave him at the trailer these are all skills he could probably use :]
    04-26-2011, 10:50 PM
Green Broke
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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    04-26-2011, 11:12 PM
Barrels-It is time, but I do like the idea of just trotting through them so he can improve :)
Yes, horsemanship is the western version of equitation, it is a pattern class.
Apple Under Chin is basically a fun class, you have to hold an apple under your chin, without hands, and ride your horse (walk, trot, canter, drop stirrups, etc.) and whoever drops the apple last wins. Kind of related to egg in spoon?
I actually don't know about dropping the class with or without a fee, but I should check into that. Thanks so much guys, this helped a lot! Here's what I've decided (and I will drop some if he seems overwhelmed):
Halter Geldings
English Pleasure (13-18)
Equitation (13-18)
Hunter Hack
Western Pleasure (11-14)
Horsemanship (13-18)
Apple Under Chin (13-18)
Barrels (13-18)
Michigan Pick-up Open (If I can find a partner)

Thanks a ton guys!
    04-26-2011, 11:13 PM
I hope it goes well for you and your guy .
    04-26-2011, 11:18 PM
Green Broke
With him being a project horse at his first show, your priority needs to be that this show is a positive experience for him. He needs to learn that coming to a show isn't scary and isn't so tiring that he hates them. I don't know how green he is but with my project horses I often go to shows and just do a few flat classes. There have been some I don't even show. I just bring to hang out at the trailer and ride a bit in the schooling ring and that's it. Agree with everyone's advice to scratch along the way if he seems tired. Good luck!

calcutta, classes, conditioning, showbill

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