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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! Today marks 4 months since I started riding, so my mother brought up showing, since I wanted to know what my instructor thought about me showing, what she wanted me to improve, etc...

She said that I was cleared to show, good enough to confidently start and not completely waste money. Because the entrance window closed for the August show, I'll be attending the Academy walk/trot class at our local Octoberfest.

So what should I expect, and when did you start showing? 馃榿馃榿
 

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I think you might have to be more specific to get useful answers.

Such as -- what is "The Acadamy"? Your riding school?
Would this be a hunt seat type class?
What are your actual questions? What to wear? How to groom? When to show up? Ring etiquette?
How old might you be, that will make some difference to the answers.
 

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I'm thinking Academy, in this case, may be Saddle Seat riding? Saddle seat shows in our area are commonly referred to as Society or Academy shows. That could vary in other areas of the country, though...

One thing I would caution-- whether ready to show means 'could place in a class' is of less importance than can you ride and control your horse safely in a show environment. If someone were to have an accident in your class, can you control your horse well-enough to stay out of the way and not cause the situation to become worse?

Also, even if you are only showing walk/trot, you and the horse should be comfortable at a canter. A show horse is 'up' and I've seen a lot of wrecks because a novice entered a walk/trot class, then the horse cantered for whatever reason, and the situation escalated as the rider panicked and was thrown-- often causing other riders to also fall. Be comfortable cantering your horse even if you aren't doing so at a show at this point. Then if he does throw in a few strides of canter because he's excited or something spooks him or another horse runs up on his tail, you can ride it easily and control him.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh, I'll add some different details in a few minutes, but I meant more all around. The Academy is a class of people who have just begun showing. Trainers are kept on hand at all times. I don't know how they separate it.

Forgot you can't edit it. Whoops. For anyone looking onward at this, I just need tips about everything, because it'll be my first show. How busy is it usually, how do horses react, etc... anything that isn't basic knowledge will seriously help me.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm thinking Academy, in this case, may be Saddle Seat riding? Saddle seat shows in our area are commonly referred to as Society or Academy shows. That could vary in other areas of the country, though...

One thing I would caution-- whether ready to show means 'could place in a class' is of less importance than can you ride and control your horse safely in a show environment. If someone were to have an accident in your class, can you control your horse well-enough to stay out of the way and not cause the situation to become worse?

Also, even if you are only showing walk/trot, you and the horse should be comfortable at a canter. A show horse is 'up' and I've seen a lot of wrecks because a novice entered a walk/trot class, then the horse cantered for whatever reason, and the situation escalated as the rider panicked and was thrown-- often causing other riders to also fall. Be comfortable cantering your horse even if you aren't doing so at a show at this point. Then if he does throw in a few strides of canter because he's excited or something spooks him or another horse runs up on his tail, you can ride it easily and control him.
I haven't had a private lesson on the horse I'd be showing for a month. I've dealt with spooky Saddlebreds, 3-year-olds in training, horses being worked, etc while I've been doing my lessons. The show instructor has watched and overseen some of my lessons and she is supportive of me riding in a show. Also, I ride a Friesian gelding. So I'm not doing Saddleseat. It's just a general class for people who have only done 1 or 2 shows, where the trainers are on hand.
 

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Is there a show you can attend, as a spectator, between now and then? When we moved to a "show barn" I had no idea what showing would entail, so we went to one, just to get an idea. It answered a lot of my questions.
 
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Haha funny I should come across this as I am entering the same type of show at my local pony club! Sorry not much I can say to help but I think if you feel you are ready then go for it! I went my first show a year ago when I wasn鈥檛 as experienced, what terrified me the most was how much my horse changed around other horses, he was acting like a stallion (keep in mind this is and ex racehorse who was gelded way too late). This put me of showing for a year and I鈥檝e decide to try again this year. What I鈥檓 trying to say is don鈥檛 be surprised if the horse acts differently at the show then at home. Good luck!
 

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First, a few more questions:

1) What discipline of riding is your show in? There is hunter under saddle (huntseat) and Dressage that normally do walk/trot classes. Huntseat is where you'd be in the show ring with other riders, while Dressage is riding individually in the show ring.

2) Does your riding school teach English or western riding?
 

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I show mainly in Dressage and have done a few Hunter classes here and there. I'll give some general advice for now:

Attire:
- If you are prepping the horse yourself the day of the show, do not wear your show attire. Wear barn clothes and bring your show clothes in a separate bag.

- Once changed, I like to put a pair of sweatpants or rain pants over my breeches until I'm ready to ride. This keeps them clean.

-Have a 'show bag' on hand. In mine, I keep materials for cleaning stains, lifting hair off my jacket, a hair kit (elastics, bobby pins, hair gel and spray), a first aid kit, boot cleaning and polishing equipment, and my helmet + sometimes 2 pairs of gloves.

- For what to wear:

- Bottom: Beige or white (Dressage) breeches with a black or brown belt.​
-Top: A clean show shirt with a collar, tucked in. The color varies between disciplines. White is generally acceptable for any discipline starting out. Hunters do vary from the white shirt.​
- A black show jacket. If this is a beginners show that is at your riding school, a black blazer would be acceptable until you show consistently.
- black gloves
-Boots: Black tall boots are preferable. Boots should be clean and polished. In a schooling show, black paddock boots + clean black half chaps may be acceptable.​
-Hair: Should be secured up into a bun or under helmet. I like to do a French braid, then run the tail of the braid up and pin it. After your hair is secured, a hairnet is used.​

Warm Up Ring:

- Warm up anywhere from 15min-25min before your ride

-call out where you are going ("Circle!", Outside, etc) If you are unsure of where other riders are headed.

-Pass other horses by the rule "Left shoulder by left shoulder" If travelling in opposite directions and If you are travelling in the same direction, the faster horse gets the outside track.

-Keep an 'elephant sized' distance when riding behind other horses.

-Stay clear of horses with red ribbon in their tails. This means they may kick out.

Other:

- Bring snacks and water

- Sunscreen, glasses + hat for when you are not riding.

- A foldable chair for watching other rides and for waiting for show times.
 

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Good luck! Nice to have a supportive family member- that's always a plus. I showed walk/trot/canter for two and a half years in college, showing for IHSA. Although I expect there to be differences in what your doing, prepare to wake up early and be ready. Walk trot was usually the last group to go and the day was long. Talk to others. My general tips:

You'll need to polish your boots, helmet, iron clothes and make sure you look neat (the judges might not pay any real serious special attention to this but a lot of people take photos and videos at shows, so it's a plus to look tidy). DO NOT do what the judge asks immediately, as in do not start 'trotting' before he or she can even get the words out. Wait until he or she has called out the instruction- this shows that your being attentive just in case the judge adds something. It's like cutting off someone before they speak, and is a little...rude.

If you can, avoid large groups of people (beginner walk trotters tend to cluster). Stand out, turn down the quarter line and don't rely on the rail. Also, try not to look down too long to get the correct diagonal (this may come with time). Personally for me, these tips have helped tremendously.
 
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