New To Everything Showing - Wisdom Appreciated
I am nearly 40 years old, and just got my first horses last year. I have a beautiful pleasure bred mare, who is a little on the lazy side. We've been working and practicing to enter a very low key pleasure show coming up this Sunday. This mare has caught on very quickly, and while I am super proud of her progress, there is no way we're going to compete seriously and I am really there to give both her and I the experience since neither one of us know what to expect.
We are going to do halter, showmanship (both open classes) of which we are prepared for. Showmanship might be a little iffy getting her to trot in hand depending on where her mind is, but she's doing well though we're not nearly as graceful as some people doing it.
Then...the biggies. Entering the novice walk/trot classes of horsemanship and western pleasure. I have no idea what to do. :) Which is not the end of the world, at least I am in the senior classes so I can watch all the others and figure it out as we go along and have some idea what to expect before it's our turn.
I would appreciate any and all wisdom anyone would like to bestow on me on how I can mitigate how big of a fool I look like! What are some little things that I should not forget? How do you keep your show outfit clean all day? Any of you seasoned show people, please feel free to give it to me straight.
I normally do penning and sorting with my gelding, and cow people are so helpful, friendly, nice, encouraging, teaching, etc. I was advised that these shows are "not so much" that way.
Small shows are great because people expect to come their to learn and practice, so people should tolerate you just fine. xD
Novice walk/trot horsemanship - sometimes you may have a little pattern to do, or it may be just a rail class depending on the judge's decision. It's judged on how your posture looks, how you ride and control your horse, so just remember to sit up straight and make your moves smooth.
W/T pleasure should be just a rail class. If you are going faster than most, please pass on the inside. There is nothing worse than getting a horse's nose up your butt by a newbie who is too afraid to pass, haha.
If you have an apron to put over your show outfit, or a large snap-button shirt, they usually help keep things clean.
And don't be afraid to make friends, but generally steer away from "big time" people. You'll know who they are when you see them. I always found it best to meet up with other novices like yourself and you'll have a much more enjoyable time being new together.
I have no experience in that discipline, but I also got my first horse at age 40 and can tell you that you just did the best thing ever! Just have fun at the show and enjoy being there with your horse. Smaller shows are great for learning the ropes. Your plan of watching what others are doing should work fine. Don't worry about looking like a fool. People worry about themselves, not you. :-P
To keep your showclothes clean, a big shirt works well and a pair of loose fitting sweats over top your pants. Just ride to the best of your ability and like oh vair oh said, stay out of other riders way, pass on the inside and give yourself lots of space between horses. A smaller schooling show that offers novice adult classes should be fun, but if they are some snobs (they exist in all walks of life), ignore them, because they will for sure ignore you! Have fun and good luck!
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