Ranch Horse Competition -- need advice!
I just saw that a local saddle club is doing a 1st annual Ranch Horse Competition at the end of the month and I am super excited to try it out!
I've never done a Ranch Horse Competition before so I have a few questions.
1) I do not have any show chaps of any kind, except I do have leather chinks. Would this be acceptable for a RHC or am I better off just wearing my bare jeans?
2) I am assuming the gate obstacle is handled just like in a Competitive Trail Class.
3) I assume I have to pack my own rope for the dummy roping. I don't actually own a roping saddle (nor do I actually rope .... this is just for fun!), and I only have my barrel saddle, so I'd probably have to jimmy rig something to make it "look nice" to have my rope tied to my saddle.
4) For the reining pattern, my horse can do flying lead changes but the pattern doesn't state that. I'd assume I'd be docked if I do that. So what's the most proper way to do a simple lead change? Do one stride of a trot? Do a couple trotting strides??
5) When I ask him my horse to drop his bit, is there any special "technique" to this? (I know of the "proper" technique to dismount, but not sure about taking off the bridle.)
6) For loading into the trailer, is it more correct to lead your horse onto the trailer, or more correct to "send" them onto the trailer?
7) For the conformation class afterward, can I use a silver show halter or is that too fancy for a RHC? Also, I normally put protective sport boots on my horse's legs for any reining pattern, but it will make his white socks dirty for the conformation class. Although I guess I could rinse him off in-between if I have time ..... but there's a chance I could be the last senior to go and have to quick unsaddle and come back for the confo class.
8) Any other tips you can give me for a RHC?
--10 minute time limit to complete entire pattern. All competitors will have 3 attempts only at each obstacle on the pattern and then will be asked to move to next obstacle on pattern.
--After each group has completed their pattern, the entire age group will re-enter the arena unsaddled for a judged confirmation class. If you are competing on more than one horse, please have the additional horse/horses ready for the confirmation class and inform the judge of the additional horses so we can allow time for you to bring the additional horse into the arena to be judged.
Pattern for Seniors
Open gate, walk through and close gate
Drag log from one cone to the next cone
Carry bucket from one barrel to another
Dummy Roping on horseback (three loops)
Complete reining pattern—we will be using ND 4H Reining pattern # 1
Ride over to trailer
Drop bit and re-bridle
Pick up all four feet
Load in trailer and unload
1. Chinks are fine. Jeans would be acceptable too. (I would make sure the chinks aren't full of manure though!)
2. Yes, just the same.
3. Probably, what I would do is get a piece of leather and have two holes lengthwise on each end. Loop it over your horn, wrap it around your rope then loop the other end over the horn. (My rope holders on my ropers have one hole lengthwise so I am just modifying it)
4. Yes, one stride trotting then switch is easiest.
5.Not really technique, just he should be able to nicely spit the bit out into your hand without flinging his head up in the air. Kinda exactly opposite of how it would be put in...
6. Every competition I have seen most people send them on, then have them either back out on their own or spin around and pop off... depending on the trailer.
7. I would use boots, any chance you can clean those bad boys out really good before you go? Would make his legs less dirty if you throw on clean boots.
And Silver halter should be ok, as long as it doesn't say otherwise in the rules. I know some bigger competitions frown on it, but don't say you cannot use it.
8. Have Fun! I would love to have a RHC close to me, I never seem to find them close enough or on the right weekend to compete.
Yes, everything will be clean for the show (including the chinks). I actually only wear my chinks when it's cold out to stay warm. But if it's super cold (well below freezing), then I'll wear my snowpants. :-)
My sport boots are always clean when they get put on, but no matter what they always get some dirt in the inside of them from galloping around the arena in them. And my horse has three white legs. I'll wash his legs with whitening stuff in the morning, but dirt shows so easy!
I always "send" him on the trailer to load (he hops right on) so that won't be a problem. But what should I do with my reins? Should I just cross the reins over his neck and send him on the trailer? Or would it be safer to tie them together?
Oh, and am I supposed to "hold" his feet (when I pick up his feet) for any certain number of seconds?
Now the simple lead change part can be variable, I've been told that if you can do a nice flying change then do it instead or a simple as the class I'd simpler down for novices (I've heard the same with 'stop in centre of a circle' too, slide if you can. Also, dropping your bridle is as simple as lowering the bridle to show what bit you are using the judge then putti g it back on and leaving the arena.
Sorry about the typos! Silly phone!
I'll be calling the club anyway to just ask a few questions to see if I can get some clarification from them. I'm not expecting to though, since they're probably kinda in a dark since it is their first one they are putting on.
I would cross the reins over his neck when you send him on...
As for holding the feet, I wouldn't do it too long as you only have ten minutes, but long enough to lift and hold and show that he doesn't pull his feet away. Like 2 seconds or so...
And I totally understand on the white feet thing! Had a chestnut show mare that had three white legs... PITA!
And like MG said, you can do the lead changes different ways...just depends on what they want.
oooOOOooo New question:
Provided I actually am able to rope the dummy, do I leave my rope there? Or reach over to "un-fish" it, and then wrap it back up and pack it back on my saddle?
Oooh... good question.... I would think that if you catch with your first two loops you are expected to throw all three loops??? Maybe ask them.
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