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 patternówe 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