advice on showing?

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advice on showing?

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        09-04-2012, 11:35 AM
    advice on showing?

    So, I am not a horse show lady. Its just not my scene. Take your sparkles, bangles and riding tights and give me a beat up pair of jeans and the woods! That said I find myself in the position of having to participate in a breed demonstration. I am first concerned with the horse loosing his brain. Assuming, he keeps his brain firmly between his ears where it belongs. Then how do I keep myself from looking like a total fool. I ride western for trails but the horse I am riding does not move like a western pleasure horse. He moves like a dressage or hunter jumper. So, I am borrowing a friends english saddle and working on riding in that. I am planning on doing a walk, trot and I would love to do a canter but I feel like a solid walk, trot is better then an okay walk, trot and poor canter.

    I guess what does a person need for a show situation? This demo is in about two months. What do you recommend or words of wisdom can you give to a newbie show person? The last show I rode in was 4 H and I was 8. So, there is a solid twenty years between then and now. I am taking a few lessons in the english saddle. I have one schedule for a few weeks before the big event.

    I have this memory of shows as being these catty witch fights full of people being bad sports and witching about other competitors. I don't want to fuel the fire that can be present at these shows. Are visitors to a breed demo really focused more on the horse or is it the horse/rider combination? Is it best to just say I love my horse, we have a great time and who cares about the rest?
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        09-04-2012, 11:55 AM
    If its just a breed demo and not a competitive horse show then I think you should show your horse at its best - whatever style that may be. I can't imagine why your riding style would matter if you're just showing off your horse.
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        09-04-2012, 12:13 PM
    I agree with DA. The most important thing is to present a relaxed horse doing something he loves. If he's likes the change to English, try it out for a while.

    In any case, you want him groomed to the breed standard. Make sure all tack is clean, in good repair, and fits properly. For yourself, dress in whatever attire is appropriate to how you're presenting your horse. Make sure everything fits you properly.

    If trail riding is his thing, you could practice some trail class type maneuvers and see if he's comfortable doing that. I know breed demonstrations have representatives of the various things the breed does, so if you're locked into the English thing, I think lessons are a great idea. You might want to do a couple now, practice for a while and do a few more closer to the demo.

    If you'd like more specific advice, we need more info. What breed is your horse, and could you post a picture?
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        09-04-2012, 04:11 PM
    Thank you! I have been told that at a breed demo people are more focused on the horse then on the rider. Which is great because I can stay on and get the job done but equitation wise, there are corrections that need to be made. He is a 12 year old standardbred who is sort of nervous. He was apparently trained to level two dressage. Which was during his 3 months of training. I don't know if that's true. When I got him back from training two years ago he was a bit of a nervous mess. We focused less on level two dressage and more on not bolting when I pick up the lunge whip because it fell over. He has improved a think a fair bit. He is just a blast to ride because he is super responsive. I have never ridden a horse that is as sensitive to my cues as this horse.
    I tried to load a picture of him in his western gear. I know he is not a typical western looking horse. His butt is a bit small and steep and so conformationally he is not perfect. The point of the breed demo is to show that standardbreds are able to be ridden undersaddle.
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    File Type: jpg Harry undersaddle.jpg (68.7 KB, 35 views)
        09-04-2012, 04:16 PM
    Oh, he's beautiful! No matter what you decide to do, I think he will be a big hit. And if he has some dressage training, going English shouldn't be any problem.

    Let us know how it goes.
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        09-04-2012, 04:18 PM
    What a handsome fella!

    Try to get together a nice outfit with a matching saddle pad. If you use any other accessories on the horse like a bonnet or boots they should match too.

    Try to take him out and about a few times to get him warmed up to going out. If you can get the chance to ride in advance where the demo is going on, take it. They might let you if you ask - they want their show to go well too after all.
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