How to get noticed?
So the horse I ride in shows is a 16hh Thoroughbred gelding, chestnut in color. He doesn't have very much to him color wise except one rear sock and a small snip. I have the issue in bigger classes of getting ignored. The judges just don't seem to see me.
So any suggestions on how to get noticed? I show english pleasure, equitation and jumping. Right now he is in hunter green for his color, but I am thinking that maybe white would give him more chrome and make him stand out more? Maybe?
Any suggestions would be awesome!
Shine him, if he looks like a bright new penny, they cant ignore him. Feed him top quality food formulated to fit his diet. Add a biotin supplement. Make sure you don't strip his coat of its oils but get him nice and clean before a show. Shine what little chrome he has. Show sheen everywhere except under his saddle and girth areas. Baby oil his muzzle and around his eyes to give them some gloss.
Also ride and have him trained very well. The harder you work to perfect everything, the more it will show.
Thanks I will try some of that. I don't show at big shows but I would like to at least have a fair chance at the schooling shows even in a big class.
Training wise he is completely trained, he was in professional training and competing for most of his life. He is now 20 ;) But my riding could get better.
We won't start showing again till summer cause he is in rehabilitaion and reconditioning right now but I just wanted ideas in advance.
Posting a photo or video would help us help you.
In addtion to what Honeysuga said, pay very careful attention to your turnout. You want clean, conservative and well fitting in everything. You mention hunter green for his "color"; I don't know what type or level of show you're competing in, but colored saddle pads and other accessories are usually a no-no in the hunter ring. Then, pay attention to details - are you wearing a hairnet and small post or hoop earrings? All keepers tucked in? Head and feet trimmed neatly? White markings powdered? Face oiled? Hoofs painted? Boots shined? Clean, white, well fitted contour pad?
Then, you need to plan your ring strategy. In a crowded class, plan carefully so you get a few good passes in front of the judge on the long sides or the arena, especially at your best gait. Ask for a little lengthening at the walk and trot down the long side if you can do it subtly; that shows your horse at an advantage. Keep soft eyes and be looking ahead and planning ahead the entire time in a flat class to avoid getting boxed in on the rail or cut off in the corners.
Really I think the colour of the horse has nothing to do with "does the judge see me?". I showed a very plain looking bay mare and we pinned quite a bit and won a reserve championship in a field of 30-40 horses.
As has been said - make sure everything is neat, clean and shines like no other. Miracle groom, baby oil, white powder, boot polish and elbow grease are your best friends. I even go as far as to put a bit of baby oil in my rinsing water after a bath. Also make sure your braids are perfect - a good set of braids really accentuates a neck and if you have the best tail braid and pinwheel - it's impossible for the judge not to notice that.
And if possible - find an interesting colour of tack. I understand if the tack you have is the tack you have, but a light oil on a bright chestnut looks snazzy.
Keep everything fitted and tailored to perfection. Go with a classic navy jacket on a chestnut, Tailored Sportsmen breeches and a cute coloured shirt.
I evented a black/dark bay mare that was so plain that the judge couldn't even write any comments about her looks on the dressage test to identify her. But, we still won dressage every time out.
It's all about the training.
Alright thanks guys I will have to try some of that and see if it helps me out. I only show at schooling shows so color is whatever you want it to be for tack, they don't really care.
As for the training I don't really know what to do about that, he is pretty much as trained as they come for what we do, he competed at high level shows for most of his life...mostly jumping.
Anywho here is a picture of him and I from one of our shows.
Is he wearing boots, ap pad and you no jacket in a flat class? I would for sure switch to a fitted pad, take off the boots and get yourself a nice jacket as others have suggested :)
He has to wear at least bell boots, it is a safety precaution for me because he overreaches pretty badly and I am not going to risk him getting hurt.
I will look into getting a jacket, I didn't think I needed one since they are non rated schooling shows, some people show in jeans. But it would make me stand out. I have worn a jacket before but it is too small so I will have to try to find my own.
Thanks again everyone, I won't be showing until summer at the soonest but I will definitely try some of these tips.
Just know that at most shows, wearing any type of boots or wraps in a flat class will result in a disqualification. Also, even if you don't get a jacket, which would be ideal, get a nice long sleeved hunt shirt - these can still give you a nice turnout for local shows but not be as expensive. And even at large shows, I have on occasion, in 100+ degree weather, seen judges excuse jackets but you have to be in a long sleeved shirt to do this. Black gloves are also appropriate. Fitted fleece pad. Hope this helps.
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