Local show attire.
So I'll be completely honest. I really want to take my horse to get some experience at the local shows but I REALLY hate clipping, banding, and all that stuff.
I'm fine with trimming up his feathers and doing a running braid to look trim, but I don't want to lose all his facial and ear hair; he lives outside and it's only protection. Plus he has a white face and gets sunburnt easily. The hair helps.
One of my old BO's once told me that if I didn't go all the way, I might as well not go at all.
Is that true for a local show where I just want to do a Dressage test and maybe Hunter Hack? Will the judge rate me like I rolled out the mud puddle?
It will depend on the judge and what's the norm in your area for show standards.
Certainly, any of the local dressage shows I went to I did clean up and braid but I did not do any clipping and I did bring home ribbons with that "look".
I take good scissors and neatly cut feathers, outer hair on ears (pinch ears and cut excess), jowel and underside of chin. I do clip muzzle and bridle path with clippers and this is for large shows. Of course you would want them bathed and clean. This is for larger shows and we look put together.
I don't clip whiskers even for large rated shows. I trim them leaving about an inch of length. Same with eyelashes. For ears I clip the outer ear hair but leave the inside hair and clip the jowls.
You can do a running braid for the mane :-)
I don't even trim the whiskers for a CDI. It is illegal in some European countries to clip whiskers and eye whiskers.
I clip legs and under their chins, the bridle path and top of the tail on my WB. I also usually clip my WB head to tail.
I mean honestly they are folks who don't even trim the feathers and then ride on a CDI. You will be fine at a small show of you just trim the goat hairs and do a running braid.
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We are having a schooling show next week and I was told bathed. Braids not necessary. I am going to braid. I think it depends on the type of show you are entering. Are there any club members you can talk to in order to lean the specific customs.
It's probably going to depend on the area you're in. In CA & AZ, I groomed as much for a schooling show as I did for AAA and Regional Championships. In OK, they're a little more relaxed but not a lot. I was always taught that to go in to the ring dirty or ungroomed and unclipped was an insult to the judge, even for schooling shows. I still groom for every show as if I was going to the World Championships, horse and me.
I agree Dreamcatcher. It is also good practice so you know how much time you need to get ready. Also helps with wardrobe corrections. Going through the process of grooming horse and you helps build confidence and muscle memory so when the show does count you will be more likely to do things mechanically with less stress. If you don't braid or add your coat until it really matters then on the big day you will be very fumbly.
I do think it's an insult to the judge to go in the ring dirty or unkept.
Around here, it seems like even the little local show circuits the competitors shave inside ears, the nose, muzzle, eyebrows, up to the knees, etc. It looks like we're at a rated QH show honestly.
Compared to the other horses, mine is exceedingly hairy lol. Thanks to his drafty lineage. I can do a running braid on BOTH sides of his neck and have some left over.
But I'll try just doing the outside of his ears and his beard, trim up all the feathers, and see how we do :) I of course always bathe too ;)
I never trim whiskers or inside the ear for any level competition. I keep the bridle path clipped even when not showing, as well as the bottom of his mane where it would be under the saddle. In the winter I tend to also clip under his chin so the longer hairs don't get caught up in the buckles of the bridle. When going to a show I'll also clip fetlocks and any hairs sticking out of his ear (as churumbeque described). And of course, my horse gets a bath :-)
Braiding is also not required per the dressage rules, and if you do braid, there's no specific braid required. I do a running braid, since my horse's mane is far too long to do button braids and it gets all tangled up in the reins if left down. I'd sooner stop showing than cut it to the length required for button braids :-P
AFAIK dressage judges are not allowed to mark you down for poor turnout as long as you're within the rules. You should still do your best to look neat and tidy (it's a respect thing) but it's not as important as it is in hunters (or so I've heard... disclaimer: I've never competed hunters)
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