Showing Arabs at local open shows?
I have a purebred Arabian that I would like to show at some of our local shows. My question is do I show him "as an Arabian" or show him like the quarter horses and other stock types? He is not a very typey Arab and generally moves more like a stock type horse (low and flat). We previously have shown in Reined Cow Horse classes but my budget isn't liking that right now. Lol. I'm thinking about showing in Showmanship and Trail classes. So does he need an Arabian halter and be set up like one or a stock type halter? And in the trail should I use regular split reins and try for a low wp headset or use romel reins and get that very collected frame that they like at Arab shows? :? I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb but I also don't want to offend my breed! Lol. Anyone else show Arabs at open shows??
It will depend heavily on what individual judges are looking for and what their "specialties" are. Around here, the local show judges are stock-type judges and dont necessarily judge non-stock types fairly against stock types. There are other judges who are awesome and judge according to the breeds standards. It'll be a wait and see thing. What I've done is mark each judge I show under with what they preferred and who I liked and didn't like. I keep the show bill's and my notes. Now when I show, I know what to focus on with each judge.
When showing under a judge for the first time, i always show as an arab should show. That would mean hooked neck, faster speed than the stock type horses, usually a higher headset - I show hunter under saddle. I'll tweak a little depending on the judge, but I stay within the breeds standards.
In all honesty, you're showing a non-stock type horse at a stock- type show. You'll always stick out. One thing to remember is that you have to be perfect in there for that very reason. You'll draw more attention, you'll stick out, and your most minute mistakes will be seen and amplified. Im not trying to scare you, but I do want you to know what it'll be like out there. We get beaten by stock horses often at local shows and out often has little to do with how well we rode. That also makes beating them that much sweeter and it makes me try that much harder.
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Open shows aren't judged by breed standards, they're judged by the particular class.
The instructions on how you're supposed to 'go' in the class should be available to you.
The Arabians that show locally here (myself included!) use romel reins and Arabian type halters. We even have a few classes catered to PST (pleasure saddle types) that include Arabians, Morgans, TWH, etc.
The key is "within breed standards". I'd show him in an Arabian show halter and I would use romals and collect him up for the trail class. You'll find some who love it and some who hate it when you're placed. Just make a note not to show under those who hate it.
Quick note on "Not very typey". When we look at our Arabians and we know how exotic they are in the Main Ring at Arabian shows, we think our horses are plain and not typey. However, to someone who is used to looking at QHs and other stock breeds, our horses generally SCREAM Arabian type. Type is way more than a hooky neck or dishy face. It's they eyes, the ears, the croup, the way the neck is set on and the way of going. I don't think there's another breed that SASHAYS at the walk like an Arab does. So, even the plainest faced Pure Polish mare that I have is still VERY typey, especially to an outsider.
Since my arab was right on the border of horse/pony, I looked at all the quarter horses entering the halter class and knowing the judge was a qh breeder, I knew he wouldn't even see my arab. Put him in pony halter instead, stood him up like an Arab and he won the class as he did have good conformation.
Thanks guys! We have very few Arabians around here so sometimes he thinks he's a qh. Lol. I'm usually the only one with an Arab at shows! I haven't shown him in anything except Reined Cow Horse so far and those judges have always seemed to judge him fairly so here's to hoping that they will at the other shows! The shows I would like to go to are pretty small and laid back so I can experiment and see what they like as we go along like SEAmom suggested. Afterall, it's really just for fun! And the qh's better watch out, this guy can do lope overs in the trail class like a pro ;) Lol.
Here's a pic of him if it helps...and if I did it right?
If you're showing in Showmanship and Trail, it's pretty much judged on you and the completion of the pattern.
Yes, in showmanship you do set up at the end of your pattern, either on the rail or off the rail, but you and your horse have to complete the pattern without undo cueing of your horse. They need to stop and be pretty much set up at that first stop, maybe move one foot, you want it to take 3 seconds or less. Also, backing up, the horse should move back as you move towards his throat latch, you don't want to be over pushing or pulling on your lead. Pivot on the hind, make sure he/she keeps that left hind planted and doesn't move it forward or back.
And with trail, you know not nicking the trot overs, not nicking on the side pass poles, goes over the bridge quietly, open and shut gate without rushing or avoiding. So as long as he is going around quietly and not racing that is all that matters. It's a precision event not speed, so if he goes quietly in his arabian frame that is all that matters. Same if you decide to enter a pleasure class, as long as you are not racing around the arena and passing everyone, he's picking up his change of gates and not being overly dramatic, you will do fine.
I rode a little 14.2 arabian, super flashy and always placed well.
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