View Full Version : is it unfair to ride a fancy but GREEN pony in beginner hunters?

Jan. 2, 2010, 07:35 PM
well, i should word the title differently, but it would be too long.

Basically, I am working with an AWESOME little medium pony in the barn, but she's got a LONG way to go before she's ready to likely be sold as a show pony. she's ultra fancy, sired by a brighton stallion, but right now she's not suitable for a small child, she needs a very experienced rider and right now someone that's big enough to keep her in check (but not too big). So here I am.

We are still working on getting her to chill out at the canter, but it's coming. She hasn't been to many shows, just a handful in her life, and none recently. She's never shown, only been schooled there.

over the winter I'm hoping to at least get her in the pleasure divisions and see how she handles being in the ring with several horses, before we start jumping at shows.

my question is, will it be "unfair" of us to show her in beginner hunters when she's ready? Once she's gotten past all the silly moments, she's probably going to clean up pretty easily. this mare jumps perfectly and is a gorgeous mover. i don't want to put her in unjudged because we want her to have at least some decent show record when she's ready to be sold. The reason i ask if it's unfair is because while there is a rule that states the division CAN be split between green riders and green horses, most of the time it does not get split. and most of the entrants are green riders. while the rules state this is obviously fair, as she is super green and not ready for anything else, i still feel like if we get to the point where she starts winning, it will be kind of mean and unfair to the other riders. am i wrong or right in thinking this? i don't want to stay in the division long, but i figure there's going to be some time between her being ready to step into the children's hunters (more complicated courses, penalization for trotting in corners of course, must have lead changes) from when she starts doing well. at the start, i expect that we won't place at all though-she's really green.

ETA: when i say green i mean GREEN GREEN, not "green pony division" green. i mean that she is still learning how to get around a course. my goal is to have her ready for the small/medium children's ponies by late summer (it's 2') but probably not with a little kid yet ( i am 17 so i'll probably be the one showing her in there)

Jan. 2, 2010, 07:40 PM
I say don't do it. Not only because you could be taking ribbons from beginners, but more importantly, if she does have a silly moment in one of the classes, you would be putting the green riders in jeopardy. I doubt this is something you would want to do. For now, don't worry about the ribbons (I really doubt winning the Beginner Hunters is going to sell a green pony anyway) and find something else geared toward green horses/ponies. Good luck!

Jan. 2, 2010, 08:14 PM
Does your area have a Baby Green division? if you do i would go with that, then depending on how far she gegs before she goes she could do the Medium Green Ponies.

Do you have any kids that may be able to handle her in the Beginner Hunter division? If you had a kid that is fairly good but not good enough to move up , he or she could take the pony in the Beg. Hunters.

If your local rules say green ponies can enter then it is completely fine to show in it. But if you want to be sure about not taking points form kids then i would go un judged. Like janedoe said, saying a pony did well in the Beg. Hunters isnt really saying much.

Jan. 2, 2010, 08:30 PM
I dont think it is unfair. I would show the pony in the begginer hunter class's intill it is ready for a pony jock. Then find a good riding kid to do it in the childrens pony. However, I would not break the ponies green record becuase it makes it less attractive to potential buyers who may want to show in the greens with the pony.

Jan. 2, 2010, 08:35 PM
I don't think it's unfair if the Beginner Hunters are intended for green ponies. (Here we have a 2' Hopeful Hunter division for that purpose.) If the division is populated by green riders instead, see if you can find another baby pony division.

Jan. 2, 2010, 08:45 PM
A show is a competition first and foremost...so people should expect to have competion and that some one may be better than them. If you qualify for the class and it is the correct class for the pony's current training level....enter the class.

If you win...great. That's competition. There will always be someone better or on a fancy horse....and sometimes that will be you!

Beginners and especially kids need to learn how to lose (and lose gracefully) as much as how to win. I know that for me...even as a kid....I loved the shows with the really tough competition even if I didn't win..and if I did win, made it even more special. Now that i mostly event...I love being in tough competition and it isn't unusal to ride against Olympians on their fancy youngsters....and some times I beat them on my fancy youngster! That's fun...and that is what competing is all about. Doing your best...and perhaps being the best that day. It is meaningless if there is no real competition.

As long as you are showing for the purpose of giving the pony miles (as well as competing), and will move up when the pony is ready to move up...and not staying at a lower level just to chase points or win ribbons...I see nothing wrong with it.

Jan. 2, 2010, 09:08 PM
Do what's best for your pony. If the pony isn't ready to show above the green beginner classes, don't over face her and risk making her sour later on-show in the green classes. It's great that you're being sportsmanlike-and I wish everyone would do so! But in this case you are qualified for the classes and putting mileage on a greenie. Show management should be splitting the division, IMO, but you can't make them. I've shown a green horse in w-t classes and felt the way you do-but the horse wasn't ready to canter in a group, and his greenness hurt in pleasure classes anyway-he often got beat by better horses with greener riders, and that was fine.

As was said-if you are doing it for experience and to see how she stacks up and not just to chase easy points, then IMO, it's fine to do what's best for the pony. If you don't move up when ready just so you keep winning is when it becomes unsportsmanlike!

I've seen nice horses ruined by overfacing them with too much, too soon. Do what's right for your pony, within the rules. The other riders will either beat you with a steadier round on a less fancy horse (and that will happen!), or you will win classes appropriate for your pony at the time.

Jan. 2, 2010, 09:56 PM
Do it if you and your pony qualify for the division. Let's not forget that your green pony might have a green moment and you may lose to one of those beginner riders on a packer.

That's horses for you and especially green ones. Good luck and give your pony the best experience that you can. That is why you are going after all not the ribbons.

Jersey Fresh
Jan. 2, 2010, 09:59 PM
a) Chances are that if she as green as you say, she's not going to "clean up" her first few times out. Ask my trainer who showed my fancy greenie and didn't get a ribbon against some awful movers/jumpers despite a simple course. They are green and no matter how good they do at home, the sometimes leave their brains on the trailer the first few times out. Not to mention, scary jumps, scary sounds, lots of horses around. So I can't see why this would be an issue if you move her up when she is ready.

b) If you are so concerned, why not show her in a different division that wouldn't put you up against true begginers? I grew up in NJ and when I showed, there was a pre-childrens division and I'm pretty sure sm/med ponies jumped 2' or 2'3, so the same as the beg. hunters.

Jan. 2, 2010, 10:00 PM
:rolleyes: Oh for heaven's sake, it's a horse show, not a campfire sing along.

If the Pony is a very green Pony-it goes in the very green horse and Pony classes. The rider should stay OUT of the very green beginner RIDER classes.

But even a fancy horse or Pony is entitled to get their first show miles in a class restricted to horses/Ponies getting their first horse show miles. The name will vary by area but it would be some kind of Beginner Horse class.

Reality check-there are no classes restricted to the very green that also are bad movers/ugly/not fancy and excluding the very green that happen to be good movers/pretty/fancy.

It's fair and customary. Just don't put down roots and rot there for a year end award when you should move on along and up.

Sing Mia Song
Jan. 2, 2010, 10:17 PM
I agree with Findeight. Sounds like that's the most appropriate division for the pony, and there's no reason why she shouldn't be in there. I also find that some judges tend to discount the movement and grade more on manners in that division, so the school horse who plops along at a steady pace will pin over the clearly fancy but very bright one.

It's an entirely appropriate place for this pony to get miles.

Jan. 2, 2010, 10:30 PM
Do you and the pony meet the class specs? If so, what's the problem? As was said before, manners may very well count for more when you're talking about a bunch of green riders. I know that at the shows I judge for one of the local clubs, if there are kids, especially little'uns, eligible for the class, then manners and behavior count more than if it were a ring full of pros. Usually that means my cousin goes home mad. She has very fancy horses with next to no manners. She very very rarely pins when I'm judging. Lol. Oh well!

Jan. 2, 2010, 10:32 PM
My cable is out tonite. Looks and sounds like a garbage disposal reversing...after an hour on hold I get this "Oh so sorry, we are having alot of problems due to the cold weather". Like it does not get cold and we have a few light flurries every danged year. Wonderful. And they wonder why I don't get their internet and phone:no:.

Sooooo...on this topic, funny story along the lines of feeling bad taking an uber fancy, obviously pricey greenie to a small show in a beginner class.

Had a friend with a very pretty, very elegant 4 year old. Nearby local show series offerd a very green division so she loaded up and went but talked quite a bit about hurting some poor kid out of a backyard on their project horse. Really was making her feel kind of guilty, she planned on sort of staying low key. Dressed down a little.

She gets parked and unloaded and up pulls this fancy rig carrying one 3 times fancier then hers, they even brought a golf cart and grooms. Dressed in the latest, of course.

So who won? Some kid out of a backyard on a project horse they found pulling a buggy 6 months earlier...wearing Mom's blazer and rubber boots. Didn't help that niether friend or the over the top gang got around the ring right side up in the flat classes. So much for guilt.

Jan. 2, 2010, 11:37 PM
At local schooling shows I often see divisions for green RIDERS and divisions for green HORSES/ponies. This is the itty bitty stuff, 18" and 2'. Check the prizelists for shows and see if there are any divisions aimed specifically at green horses.

Just go show and don't worry about it. There's nothing wrong getting an experienced rider to put show miles on a green pony for a few shows or a year. I owned a 12h pony for a few years (got her when I was 18). I showed her about 4 times one year. Being friendly, I was chatting it up with 2 girls at her first show (Long Stirrup). One girl said she had never won a blue ribbon and was sure I would beat her. Another girl was just hoping to get around without any refusals. Well the first girl got 2 blue ribbons and champion, second girl managed to get around her second course clean. They gave the second girl reserve champion on accident--the show manager later realized the points were in my favor for reserve but we didn't tell that kid. :)

I won the flat class and got my pony out but did not spoil anyone's good time. You've never seen such smiles. They were so proud of themselves, having what looked like "serious competition" to them. I had shown 3'6" after all and there they were beating me at 2'!
When I went to college I stopped showing her but let a little 10 year old kid start showing her once she was ready.

Moral of the story, show the pony and get it experience. Once it's ready let the kids take it over.

Jan. 2, 2010, 11:50 PM
At local schooling shows I often see divisions for green RIDERS and divisions for green HORSES/ponies. This is the itty bitty stuff, 18" and 2'. Check the prizelists for shows and see if there are any divisions aimed specifically at green horses.

all of the schooling/C shows here have 2 divisions for this: beginner rider (x rails) and beginner hunter (18" verticals and occasionally oxers). beginner rider is strictly for green riders, and beginner hunter is MOSTLY filled by the same riders who go in beginner rider. the division is open for both riders and horses who have not shown higher than 2', and the rule is that if entries warrant the division MAY be split by green horses and riders, however that never happens because it's usually 20 green riders and *maybe* 3 green horses. so it seems like it's the only option for jumping her right now that wont be pushing it.

Jan. 2, 2010, 11:52 PM
anywho thanks everyone, now i know i am not going to be the big meaniepants kid :lol:

Jan. 3, 2010, 12:04 AM
anywho thanks everyone, now i know i am not going to be the big meaniepants kid :lol:

Part of growing up is learning that somebody may call you a "big meaniepants" once in a while.

If you're doing the right thing when that happens (in this case, following the rules/class specs), you shouldn't let it bother you.

Jan. 3, 2010, 12:29 AM
How high is the pony jumping? Do your shows offer a 2' baby green class?

Jan. 3, 2010, 10:14 AM
If you and your pony fit within the class specs, then it is perfectly fair. The whiners and complainers need to either practice more or just suck it up and be good sports about having to compete against good competition.

Jan. 3, 2010, 10:27 AM
:rolleyes: Oh for heaven's sake, it's a horse show, not a campfire sing along.

It's fair and customary. Just don't put down roots and rot there for a year end award when you should move on along and up.
thats funny! LOL
beginner hunter in NJ is designed for beginning riders and beginning horses. if there are enough entries it is split. there is no reason to feel badly. even fancy ponies need to start somewhere.
i did a 17h 5yo in beginner hunter to start his show career. we did it 2x and moved up to the 2.6ft. there is no way i would have felt comfortable going into the 2.6ft from the start! the first time i did the 2.6ft they had a triple combination, sure glad i didnt start there! so did i feel badly starting over 2ft fences with a 17h horse? no!!!
the first show i did him in, it was not split. there were 9 in it and i ended up with a second in my last class beat out by you guessed it! a pony!
second show was much bigger and it was split between green horses and green riders. i showed against at least 3 big pros in the area on green horses. so did i feel badly! no. that is what the division is for.
but like findeight said. do not grow roots in the division. i didnt feel ready to move up but my trainer felt i was ready and my 3rd show was at the 2.6ft.

Jan. 3, 2010, 01:20 PM
If you're concerned about being inappropriate then just show unjudged or do the baby greens.

Tha Ridge
Jan. 3, 2010, 02:12 PM
I don't know why people keep suggesting the baby greens... Yeah, that section is appropriate in name, but it's also 2'6". This is a pony who is learning how to get around 2', from what the OP implied.

But, I'm with the others - if it's eligible and suitable, you're fine. What does your trainer think?

Jan. 3, 2010, 04:11 PM
I think it is perfectly fair. i mean hunter is judged on the horse so as long as you are doing green hunter and not beg eq you are fine. Personally I do not like showing green horses in the green divisions as their first shows. haha At the schooling level, I find the green divisions are often filled with green riders. I usually prefer to take a green horse in adult eq or a division where i know the other horses and riders. I want to know that if my horse loses its mind in its first show, the other horses and riders will be safe. I have taken several greens in the adult eq division to get them started and then move them out once they have settled. On our local circuit, I know all the riders and their horses that show adult. We know each other well enough to be aware and I always give them a heads up when I am riding something new and possibly unstable. haha Likewise, they know I am the only one in the group that doesn't have their own horse and that I ride whatever is available or needs experience. We support each other and it all works out to be fun and great competition.

Jan. 4, 2010, 02:34 PM
i agree with everyone else, it's the most appropriate division for the pony, and i've done the same thing with a friend's green pony just to give it some miles.

what would NOT be ok would be something like a situation i was once in, where i was riding a green pony in a beginner hunter class at a schooling show (we're talking 18" - 2' here), and a girl came in on a horse that had just won the open 2'9 division and kicked all our butts. now THAT'S not fair, and there should have been a cross-entry rule to prevent it.

Jan. 4, 2010, 03:42 PM
It's beginning hunter?

Then for goodness sakes, why not? :rolleyes: I'm with findeight on this one...this is a competition, not a campfire, and may the best pony/horse win. Beginning hunter means beginning hunter, regardless of the fact that beginning riders enter the class too.

If the pony falls within the regulations (which is usually something to the effect that it hasn't won more than 6 blue ribbons and hasn't shown above 3 feet) then show in the division.

If you beat someone else, sobeit. Maybe they will be motivated to work harder and put in a better round next time. If someone else beats you, sobeit. I'm sure you will work hard to put in a better round the next time.

Kids need to learn to lose in life. Being beaten by a fancier pony OR a redneck pony happens ALL the time. It's part of the sport. There is always a better rider, a better horse, a worse rider, a worse horse, and you WILL beat and be beaten by all of those at some point in time.

If you clean the clock your first two shows in that division, then bump it up to something 2'3 or 2'6. Don't stay there forever, but use the division as long as it has practical value (which is what showing babies is for: practical value, not ribbon/point value).

And anyone looking at a division pony won't care about a record in the beginner hunter...usually ponies are started in children's ponies.

Jan. 4, 2010, 04:34 PM
I agree with Findeight. Sounds like that's the most appropriate division for the pony, and there's no reason why she shouldn't be in there. I also find that some judges tend to discount the movement and grade more on manners in that division, so the school horse who plops along at a steady pace will pin over the clearly fancy but very bright one.

It's an entirely appropriate place for this pony to get miles.

I agree and think it is fine to put the pony in the beginner division. I would have no issue as an exhibitor competing against the pony or as a judge that day. If the pony is a star and marches around a few times in that division, you can then decide where to go from there. Beginner Hunter to me is just that....for those starting out in the hunters.

Jan. 4, 2010, 05:38 PM
I agree that as long as you met the specks and the pony is pretty green then it should be fine its first few times out. Like others said just don't live there for a year. Really you are just doing it to see what the pony will do at a show alone in the ring and if they are silly it is low enough that it isn't a big deal if they are silly.

A green horse I rode this summer went to his first show and did 2' at it then did 2'6" at his next. Really the height wasn't the problem but you never know at first and I wanted him to be able to step over the jumps easily if he was being stupid at his first show. He was silly about other things at his next show so the height didn't matter.