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View Full Version : Dropping your reins and patting your horse in an equitation class?



EquitationRider
Oct. 11, 2009, 08:18 AM
I know I should know this but hey, I can't know everything, rght?

In an equitation class and medals at the end of your course do you drop your reins (or loosen them) and pat your horse? I have heard that the judge takes off for this, something about keeping contact until your out of the arena? I have also heard that some judges like to see you praise your horse.

What do you do/what should you do?

danosaur
Oct. 11, 2009, 08:24 AM
keep your reins. you can pat your horse the second you are out of the ring but you need to continue looking professional until you are done with your round completely. Also, your horse could still spook at the very end of your course so you need to keep your reins short and pat your horse when you're actually done.

Running Fox Farm
Oct. 11, 2009, 08:25 AM
All I know is, at the last George Morris clinic I attended, he felt that the " patting your horse at the end of the course" was inappropriate, he didn't like it - good enough for me!

JinxyFish313
Oct. 11, 2009, 08:41 AM
I dont think you should BUT I do it anyway no matter what kind of class I'm in because 99% of judges drop their head to write on their card after your last fence anyway.

EquitationRider
Oct. 11, 2009, 08:43 AM
All I know is, at the last George Morris clinic I attended, he felt that the " patting your horse at the end of the course" was inappropriate, he didn't like it - good enough for me!

yes if he said it then it must be right!

normally in an equitation round i just use one finger and scratch my horses withers. you can't tell im doing it.
but thats only if the course was good. if the course was terrible then ill just pat him and let him walk on a loose rein out the gate, hey its not like i have a chance of placing!

Renn/aissance
Oct. 11, 2009, 09:13 AM
Loosen the reins and pat your horse on the way out the gate.

Sing Mia Song
Oct. 11, 2009, 09:26 AM
Loosen the reins and pat your horse on the way out the gate.

What she said. I also don't mind seeing the rider stroke the neck with the closed hand still on the reins.

In a test situation, absolutely no loosening the reins/patting the neck. I did it once to reassure my horse, who got a little tense in the test, and got completely chewed out by my trainer, who pointed out that the test did NOT include the directions "halt and pat your horse." ;)

horsegirl123
Oct. 11, 2009, 10:19 AM
I was always taught that you are judged from the time you enter the ring until you leave whether or not the judge is looking. I would wait until you leave the ring to praise your horse.

SkipChange
Oct. 11, 2009, 10:33 AM
I always give them a good pat while were still cantering after the last fence in jumpers. Hunters/eq I think you should pretty much keep contact. Although, I am guilty of petting my horse on occasion.

An old trainer of mine (not particularly fond of a lot of the stuff she said) but she always said how she hated it when riders walked to the line up of FLAT classes and didn't pat their horse, waited till ribbons were presented to pat. She would be POed if any of her riders did that, horsey better receive his pat as you're walking to line up!

hideyourheart03
Oct. 11, 2009, 05:04 PM
the test did NOT include the directions "halt and pat your horse." ;)

I HAVE seen this be the instructions though! Good for the judges! :)

In normal situations though, no, I wouldn't pat the horse. Scratch with your fingers closed or just wait the 10 more steps until you get out of the ring.

shalomypony
Oct. 11, 2009, 05:30 PM
I absolutely abhor when people finish their course,and while still cantering their finishing circle,drop the reins and pat the horse,ugh..................A nice pat when out the gate is another story,absolutely fine with me.

superpony123
Oct. 11, 2009, 06:05 PM
I absolutely abhor when people finish their course,and while still cantering their finishing circle,drop the reins and pat the horse,ugh..................A nice pat when out the gate is another story,absolutely fine with me.

ever watched the olympics ? ;) :winkgrin:

virtus02
Oct. 11, 2009, 06:10 PM
It should not be done. However I think it is judges discretion. You can risk patting your horse and loosing points, or you can pat your horse and not get points. You will NEVER be favored for doing it and some judges HATE it. Although it may sound stupid to not do it, its better to be safe than sorry...

greeneyelioness
Oct. 11, 2009, 06:19 PM
what about verbal praise? when i showed schooling level i always said good boy when my rides did something well. i nwvwe used verbal cues though or reprimands and i never heard any resistance to it but again schooling level but that was 20 years ago. what is the general consensus (is that spelled right?) about verbal praise?

MHM
Oct. 11, 2009, 06:32 PM
If you bother to read the USEF rule book (crazy thought, I know), it says:

EQ 110.1 The following constitute major faults and can be cause for elimination... d.) loss of reins.

So it states very clearly in black and white that you can be penalized for letting go of the reins, regardless of the reason. Much safer to just wait a few steps until you're out of the ring.

shalomypony
Oct. 12, 2009, 06:08 PM
ever watched the olympics ? ;) :winkgrin:

I know,I know:)....it just drives me crazy.........

lauraware
Oct. 13, 2009, 01:11 AM
I don't drop my reins, but I do give my horse a good pat as I near the out gate. They deserve one!

But, I have no idea if a judge is taking off points, and I'm not a judge, so I don't really know. However, I've never been reprimanded for patting my horse when I exit the ring.

EAY
Oct. 13, 2009, 08:16 AM
Now this was about hunters and so might not apply to equitation but there was a thread here a while back about what judges want to see and a few mentioned that they like it when a rider loosens the reins and praises their horse after a round.

monstrpony
Oct. 13, 2009, 08:48 AM
Good Grief :rolleyes:

Isn't equitation about good horsemanship? When is it ever poor horsemanship to reward a horse for a good effort?

JinxyFish313
Oct. 13, 2009, 09:15 AM
Yeah, you don't need to throw your reins away to give the horse a pat.

M. O'Connor
Oct. 13, 2009, 09:16 AM
If you bother to read the USEF rule book (crazy thought, I know), it says:

EQ 110.1 The following constitute major faults and can be cause for elimination... d.) loss of reins.

So it states very clearly in black and white that you can be penalized for letting go of the reins, regardless of the reason. Much safer to just wait a few steps until you're out of the ring.

I would be hard pressed to penalize to the same extent a rider who "loses" a rein in the middle of a course as one that loosens them at the end of a stellar performance...

BUT...better safe than sorry. Any time you give up the reins, you run the risk of the horse doing something unpredictable; who would want to risk that happening in a class where 'control' is a factor, and you are being scored on how much you have?

I might not penalize you for patting your horse, but if it bolts before you reach the gate, well that's a different matter.

So, I would say it's simply unwise to get carried away, advise that restraint is the better option, and leave it at that.

MintHillFarm
Oct. 13, 2009, 09:58 AM
Now this was about hunters and so might not apply to equitation but there was a thread here a while back about what judges want to see and a few mentioned that they like it when a rider loosens the reins and praises their horse after a round.


I really like to see it in a hunter class when I judge. When I showed alot, I always gave my horse a pat on a loose rein as I exited. In fact my trainer at the time, said the judges liked to see it.

Frankly, in an equitation class as a judge, it wouldn't bother me that much. Appreciation for the horse goes a long way with me.

I always try to watch when someone exits the arena. I have seen riders punish a horse on the way out which is completely inappropriate.

findeight
Oct. 13, 2009, 10:21 AM
OK guys, I once dropped the reins halfway thru the closing courtesy circle on my good mare to reward her -and the you know what bucked me off.:confused: Sitting on an 86 had I continued sitting on that horse-that judge still ribs me about that one.

And, as many years, like 40+ as I have been watching shows I have seen enough uneeded wrecks when a rider stops riding, drops those reins thinking they were done and the horse made a fool out of them.

So, if you want to do it, be DISCREET and never, ever throw the reins away. And don't waste one of those extravagent, slapping pats trying to fool the judge into thinking you thought it was a great trip either-some do just that.

And, about GM? The kind of horse he prefers? And the level he truely is the best teacher at? That's the kind of horse that can...lets say...express some exhuberance at an inappropriate time.

There is actually a good reason to keep the reins and not get over demonstrative until you are OUT of the ring...and it is safety.