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Made In Canada
Apr. 16, 2009, 12:02 PM
Tell me what a Medal class winner looks like!
Everything, including what horse and rider are wearing, what tests they perform, how they perform them correctly, what their o/f rounds look like, etc.
:winkgrin:
Thanks!!

SaturdayNightLive
Apr. 16, 2009, 01:15 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL6IAhtA03k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un-GiqN2eEc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Pr0ycnI28c&feature=related

indygirl2560
Apr. 16, 2009, 01:24 PM
Hmmm, I'm not sure if I can give you a complete answer on that but I'll try! I've only done a couple medals but my barn friends have done tons and I'll try to give you an answer based on that. The rider and horse look neat and clean and are a good match size wise. For the few medals I've entered, I've ridden my friend's large pony. Although my legs are a little long on her, we've still won all the medals and eq. classes I've entered with her.

Since I haven't done very many medals, it seems to me like my medal courses were like my eq. courses except trickier, (if that makes sense). When I've watched my friend's medal classes(which are usually the 3'6 ones), her and her horse seem to really "flow" together around the course. She helps him gets the right strides and gives correct cues, but it looks almost effortless and smooth. I'm pretty sure medals are judged on riding ability and eq. but it definitely helps to have a quiet, willing horse. In the pony medal I did recently(and won), I had my pony land all her leads, have a smooth, consistent pace throughout the course, and had her really listening to my every cue.

Many of the tests I've seen(and the few I've ridden), include trot jumps, a halt after a line or jump, counter cantering, no stirrups, hand gallop, etc. My trainer has also said sometimes(although rarely), they'll ask for a walk jump, but I've yet to see that. Sometimes there is a work-off in which the judge can ask you to do any of the tests I mentioned above as well as some other things too.

I hope that helps! I'm sure someone on here is a frequent medal rider and can add more than me...There are probably youtube videos of good medal rounds too.

Tex Mex
Apr. 16, 2009, 01:48 PM
What they are wearing:

Horse- Dark, clean and perfectly fitting tack. Either a D ring of some sort or a pelham, a standing martingale if needed. A fitted white fleece pad, girth should be dark, no fuzz or minimal fuzz. Boots are appropriate in the equitation, but no fleece! Black polos are also ok.

Rider- "hunter hair" in a well-fitting helmet, navy coat, white shirt, black gloves, tan breeches, boots as tall, tight and shiny as possible, spurs if needed.

Regardless of the specific questions asked of the judge and course designer, the winner will perform the test with confidence, poise and a certain stage presence.

Hunter Mom
Apr. 16, 2009, 02:21 PM
I would like to see horses and riders in a medal class (local to Maclay) turned out impeccably. Depending on the norm at that show, braiding manes and/or tails should be braided or neatly pulled/thinned. The horse should also be neatly clipped. Riders should be in well fitting conservative clothes - breeches, jacket, etc. Everything on both rider & horse should be spotless from the bit to the nostrils and bottoms of boots.

As for the ride, it should be smooth and show that the rider can ride. Their distances should be accurate, their pace smooth & even. If the horse is challenging, the rider should seem capable of dealing with it. Legs, hands and body should be quiet but not stiff and unnatural. Eyes should be up.

Tests - there are a bunch in the USEF handbook. Common ones I've seen are trot jumps (although there is much debate over posting or sitting trot), halts, countercanters, turns on the forehand, handgallop, etc. At a local show earlier this year, the judges on both days asked riders to handgallop. Out of the 12 riders (6 in the callback each day) ONE handgalloped. One. Listen to the judge's directions and make sure you understand the test, then do your darndest to make it happen. I happened to be announcing, and the judges were both shocked that only one hand galloped.

showmom858
Apr. 16, 2009, 05:23 PM
The judge last year in a 3' medal class that my D rode in had her top 4 riders remove their irons from the saddle. They then had to trot a jump, I think there were at least two jumps they cantered, there was a halt after cantering then a change of lead. D rode well and won the class!

Hunter Mom
Apr. 16, 2009, 06:02 PM
The judge last year in a 3' medal class that my D rode in had her top 4 riders remove their irons from the saddle. They then had to trot a jump, I think there were at least two jumps they cantered, there was a halt after cantering then a change of lead. D rode well and won the class!

I didn't think about ever popular no stirrups. Always a good test. Every eq rider should know how to cross stirrups correctly, too.:yes:

Made In Canada
Apr. 16, 2009, 09:23 PM
Thanks for your advice! I am competing in a medal series on our Maritime show circuit this summer and I want ALL of the info I can get so I have a good shot at the finals. I did a few of the classes last season and actually made the top 15 after only 2 shows :eek: So I figure if I equitate well and look the part (I am a jumper so overall turn out being actually part of the judging is something from my way long past hunter days!! And of course it is different in the hunters than in the eq's) I might have a shot!

The part about crossing stirrups correctly...it's right stirrup on the bottom and the left on top?

Is there anything that you can do to make yourself stand out? Eg: if your horse is really good at a lengthened trot, could you enter the ring at a working trot, move into a strong trot and then collect and go into your canter for the course? Or you could maybe demonstrate a flying change by picking up the canter in th eopposite direction of the start of the course and then changing the rein across the diagonal (or something like that), if the course design allows for such movements to be done prior to or after your course is finished? Or is it better to stick to the "norm" and not try to be "different"? And I know there is always debate on the sit trot to the trot fence, what about entering at a sitting trot?

And (tired of the questions yet?? :lol:) if you do the o/f phase and get the call back for the flat, do you leave on your horses boots, martingales etc., or is that part to be ridden in the same manner as a flat eq class? Running martingales or standing?

beenanddone
Apr. 16, 2009, 09:32 PM
Horse- big and beautiful :)... perfectly groomed with mane and tail braided (always, even if it is a C show), nice boots if needed (no fuzzies, please!), a nice forward stride that is nice and elastic with a good square jump that isn't too round (flat will always be easier to equitate on)

Rider - The Classics. tan breeches. white shirt. sickly shiny tall boots. navy or black coat. the "in" eq helmet (theres always one!). gloves. earrings, if you have pierced ears (my favorite last touch. nothing classier than some little pearls or small stud earrings)

Flat phases should be effortless. have excellent transitions, distinct extensions and collections.KNOW YOUR FLATWORK! flat phases should be walks in the park if you've done your homework :)

tests are exiting! #1 know the course so your ready when they read the test! haha...if you are unsure about the first course you can't expect to ace one that you have to do right away! :) be able to do it all! counter canter, trot jumps, the inside turns will always give you the edge if you do them gracefully, be secure without your stirrups! (they had us jump a shortened course without stirrups at wef this year)

All in all, learn your course and execute it in the most challenging way with grace and fluidity. Do that and a little humpy back on jump 4a will be overlooked versus someone with unbeatable. eq who took a corner 100 yards too wide to get to the outside single. :) Make the hardest course look easy for you and your horse and you've won!

Hunter Mom
Apr. 17, 2009, 11:41 AM
I wouldn't add things to the course - especially at the beginning. I have had the opporutnity to announce with some great judges, so know that one pet peeve is riders who take too long to begin the course. Take a pretty direct route to begin the course.

As for the sitting/posting trot debate... A good posting trot will usually beat a not-so-good sitting trot. I ride some local medal classes and I am a curvy-bodied adult rider. No matter what I do, certain parts of my upper body refuse to sit the trot with the rest of me. Because of that, I post unless specifically told to sit the trot. I'm not going to do something that highlights a weakness.

SaturdayNightLive
Apr. 17, 2009, 11:43 AM
Is there anything that you can do to make yourself stand out? Eg: if your horse is really good at a lengthened trot, could you enter the ring at a working trot, move into a strong trot and then collect and go into your canter for the course? Or you could maybe demonstrate a flying change by picking up the canter in th eopposite direction of the start of the course and then changing the rein across the diagonal (or something like that), if the course design allows for such movements to be done prior to or after your course is finished? Or is it better to stick to the "norm" and not try to be "different"? And I know there is always debate on the sit trot to the trot fence, what about entering at a sitting trot?



Don't ever do anything that you aren't asked to do. Even if you do it intending to show off a strong point, you're going to look like you don't know what you're supposed to be doing. Example: If you pick up the canter on the incorrect lead and canter a figure eight, changing leads, before your first fence, you'll look like you have no idea where you're going. Best, most impressive, way to start a course: trot in, pick up your canter, go directly to your first fence with no courtesy circle. As for sitting vs. posting in - either is acceptable. Don't sit unless you can sit really really well.

Tex Mex
Apr. 17, 2009, 01:33 PM
I think it's best to confidently post the trot in, sit a couple, then canter. Or post in, walk, then canter. If you want to show off your sitting trot, do it at the end, in your closing circle but never enter at the sitting trot.

A couple other tips, take your closing circle back up to the center of the ring. Do not walk at the gate! Use your opening and closing circles to show your confidence by keeping your eyes up and your posture tall.

For flat work offs, take off your martingale. Don't neglect your walk! In the Brianne video someone posted, you can see her walk is really a "working walk". Especially in a flat phase, keep your horse working at all times. Be strategic in your flat classes- try to be in the corner when you will have to pick up the canter, stay in the judges eye sight during your strongest moments. When you are called in to line up, take one last pass in front of the judge at the sitting trot if you can.

lonewolf
Apr. 17, 2009, 01:55 PM
Also, make sure you know your course by number. A lot of times, the workoff is annouced as "Canter directly to 2, trot 6, hand gallop 8, halt, etc." Since the jumps aren't actually numbered and most people don't learn eq courses that way, it can take a minute to figure out where you're going. It's much easier if you are prepared.

Hunter Mom
Apr. 17, 2009, 02:35 PM
For flat work offs, take off your martingale.

Unless the specifics for the medal you're riding in says that ride-offs are to be done in the same equipment as the original course. Know your rules.:yes::yes::yes:

And if you're asked a knowledge question, always make eye contact with the judge and smile politely. Don't hem & haw - think, then answer.

Made In Canada
Apr. 18, 2009, 10:54 PM
Thanks again for all of your advice! I really appreciate it!
So, what about a few critiques? These photos are from an Equine Canada Gold show (one of the biger shows in my area). The first is in my new hunt coat, is this too light for the medals? This photo was a medal class (I won!! :D), and I believe it was a "jumper" medal thus the jumper tack allowed, however traditionally would the jumper tack be frowned upon?

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/photo.php?pid=4713733&id=892130251

I just bought another hunt coat today, a navy one that looks like the one is this pic, but it fits me much better:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/photo.php?pid=4713786&id=892130251

And one of my girl cause she is so cute! :winkgrin:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?page=3&aid=142934&op=12&id=892130251#/photo.php?pid=3153454&id=892130251

Hunter Mom
Apr. 18, 2009, 11:13 PM
What an adorable pair! Your photos were nice - your horses look like fun to ride.

As for the tack, yes, it would be frowned upon. No figure-8, no rubber reins - a nice, simple (as in no bling) bridle with laced reins, matching standing martingale if needed. A nice, fitted pad - no square ones. I am personally not a fan of the half-pad alone, and have heard several judges who weren't either. Regular girth instead of belly guard style. Navy coats are more traditional, but your heather colored one is lovely.

The more conservative and traditional, the better.

lonewolf
Apr. 18, 2009, 11:33 PM
Unless it says specifically that it is a jumper medal (Canada tends to have more of those than the USA), I would go with hunter tack (plus boots if you want).

Your horse is beautiful, by the way.