Okay, so I want to hopefully do a couple of the local schooling shows with Aires this summer, just to give us both experience. We would only do the W/T class and maybe the trail class (since we rock at trails :-P).
Anyway, I have some questions/concerns.
Hopefully, we're going to be getting an English saddle in the next week or so (there's one at my work that's priced WAY too high and if it lasts until next Thursday, it'll be $1 and I've already had two of my customers offer to buy it for me since I'm not allowed to shop where I work). The "problem" is that the saddle is a black synthetic and our bridle is dark brown/havana color. I'm not concerned about the saddle being synthetic, it's the mismatched color of the bridle and saddle that worries me. Buying a new bridle isn't in the cards, since the only black draft-sized English bridles I can find on eBay are way out of our price range (for now). Do you think it would be huge of a deal to have our tack not matching?
Also, for showing English, I have half chaps, but not tall boots. I can't find tall boots that will fit my man-calves and my feet and I most definitely can't afford $500 boots to get them to fit. Would half chaps be a problem (mine are mesh, but I can order a leather pair for showing)?
If we can't get the English saddle or it doesn't fit (I *think* it has a wide tree on it...if it's smaller than wide, it won't work, because we tried a medium-wide tree on him when he was first started under saddle this summer and almost a full hand shorter and it just perched on his withers...****ed draft horse lol), then we'd have to look into Western pleasure classes, but I don't know if we could do those since he doesn't neck rein, I refuse to put him in anything harsher than a french link snaffle (but I don't think that'd be an issue 'cuz there was a lady who won the WP classes a couple of times a couple years ago when I attended as a spectator and she was using a bosal), and we have an Australian stock saddle. Unless I can find a really cheap (under $100), decent-looking western saddle that would fit Aires, I would have to use my Aussie. There's also the issue of the fact that Aires' trot is nowhere near a jog...in fact, his trot is about as fast as most WP horses' lope. lol Do you think I should even bother looking into the WP classes?
I know we can do trail classes, regardless. There was a girl a couple of years ago who did the trail class bareback. However, it's not worth trailering him almost thirty minutes just to do the trail class. We could *maybe* do the English halter classes, if it came to it, but then again, is it really worth it?
I know some of you are going to say "Well, look at the rules for the show." I did...it just says you'll place lower and have the "infraction" explained by the judge if you have improper tack...but I'm not sure if that applies to mismatched tack. We're not out to win ribbons (although it would be nice)...we're out to get experience. It also says that horses will be judged against their breed standard, NOT against each other...but how does that work with a cross breed?
Here's a list and description of the classes, BTW:
Other than trail, what do you think we'd be suitable for?
ETA: Just read the description for the English/driving halter types. It talks about open to a list of breeds, but then it says something about a halter color class that is open to all colors and they're judged 100% on color...I think we could sweep that class. ;-)
At the 4h shows, if you show in half chaps instead of tall boots, you just get points taken off, and you most likely won't place. But if you're just doing it for schooling, then places won't matter to you.
As for the mismatched tack, it's frowned upon, but not illegal in shows, especially local schooling shows. They might not take points off, but they may look at it and not score you as high.
I know I'm not a big help on the rest, but that's my input :3
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The tack problem is where wishing I had a normal-sized horse comes into play. My 2.5yo is wearing a draft-sized bridle on a fairly mid-point setting right now. The cheapest black bridle I found on eBay is $75 including shipping and it's biothane (not a huge fan of biothane...our trainer has a biothane halter bridle and it's kind of "meh" in my opinion). For the western class, I think we could get away with just removing the cavesson from our English bridle. Not ideal, but it would work well enough.
Jeez, he sounds like a beast!
And that's weird that you think you're too old! Our 4h has some 60 year olds riding still! It's pretty much open to any ages, which is great :)
And I think if you wanna show at rated shows, you'd want tall boots. But like I said, chaps should be fine.
Does anyone have a saddle you could borrow for showing? And my friend has the wintec 2000, and she shows in it with her brown colored bridle..
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He is a beast. 2.5-years-old (will be three in May) and stands 16hh at the withers and 16.1-16.2hh at the butt. O.o
See, when I think of 4H, I think of little kids. lol Not sure if there are even any 4H horse shows in my area, to be honest. The only horse show I know of for sure is the one I linked to.
The only two people I know with English saddles have normal horses who use a medium or maybe medium wide tree. The one saddle we tried on Aires (back in around June or July when he was still 15hh) was a medium wide tree the trainer at our barn was going to let us use and it literally perched on his withers (there was a 4-5" gap between the pommel of the saddle and his withers). As for western saddles, the only person I would even consider asking is one of my friends that boards at the same barn we do, but her saddle has semi-QH bars and fits her narrow arab perfectly. We need at least FQHB.
Here's a pic of the hairy beastly, so you can get an idea just how huge he is.
The horse standing behind him in this one is 15.2hh and tubby as hell (he's a 16yo quarab):
Forgive the burrs...we'd stopped for lunch and Aires kept trying to roll with the saddle on and I got tired of chasing him up, so I took of his saddle...bugger rolled and then I realized the corral we were in was FULL of burrs. Grrr!
What size boot do you wear?
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I'm comfortable in an 8 or an 8.5. However, I have a 16-16.5" calf. Played soccer and did marching band for too many years, so now my calves are huge. I have tried on every pair of tall boots I have come across at the local thrift stores and even went to the one tack store that sells English tack and clothing and NONE of them have fit (I've probably tried on a dozen different pairs of boots). When buying normal fashion boots that are tall, I have to buy at least one to two sizes bigger than I wear, just to fit my calf. I have a pair of zip up boots that are size 10s and I still have to point my toe (lengthens your calf muscle) to get the zipper up. The boots I got for Christmas are 9s and luckily only come halfway up my calf muscle or else they wouldn't fit at all...as it is, they barely fit over skinny jeans.
Crud, thought I had you taken care of. Have a pair of size 8, but they don't work on jr horse girl (that'd be the daughter) bc of her calves as well. Durn.
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Awwww...thanks for the thought, cakemom. :-)
I found a pair on eBay for a good price that should fit me, but it doesn't say what size the calf are (regular or wide or ?). They look wide from the pics, but pics can be deceiving, so I contacted the seller and asked what size the calf is. Sweet price, too.
Nice Condition Size 8.5 Tall Boots | eBay
I show in a black flex rider synthetic saddle and a dark brown bridle, looks fine and I do win classes with it. You are showing in walk/trot, half chaps are acceptable, when you move up to full classes as an adult, you will have to bite the bullet & get tall boots. For western, if your horse is under 5 yrs you can show with a bosal or a snaffle, two handed of course. Your local club has a good sized class list!
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