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View Full Version : I Need to be Educated on Showing Western....



amitkoequine
Oct. 16, 2010, 04:35 PM
Okay guys, Ive only show English but now find myself with a little girl who wants to show western. What do I need to know about the western show world basics low level? What are the rules? Educate me :D

SLW
Oct. 16, 2010, 05:51 PM
What kind of horse is she showing in a western saddle?? Arabs and gaited are ridden/allowed a few different things than a stock type horse.

saddleup
Oct. 16, 2010, 06:10 PM
And there are lots of different classes/events within the "western" disciplines. Pleasure, horsemanship, showmanship, western riding, trail, or are you talking about "gaming" --barrels, poles, etc. ?

cuatx55
Oct. 16, 2010, 06:15 PM
For WP:
-the color/make of your saddle is VERY important. Do not show with "dark oil" if its now to have trendy "light oil"
-learn how to put in a fake tail
-who you train with may determine your placing in a show.
-very much based on "looks". DH calls it a "beauty pagent"
-the more color the better in the shirt, etc
-competitive horses cost at least 20K
-can be a "drama fest" even at the local level and people get quite "serious"

Disclaimer: I have no experience but my friends are hard core into the QH world. These are my observations based on their stories!

CHT
Oct. 16, 2010, 06:35 PM
I showed a training horse western Pleasure and eq last year at the local level. I wore my english helmet and had bright aqua chaps over my breeches and paddock boots. My horse had a honey colour saddle with black accents and a black saddle pad. We had a fake leather light tan bridle (I think it cost $7 on ebay). He was just 4 so I direct reined in a snaffle.

We showed against breed show people who had fancy silver tack and fake tails, but nobody cared that I wasn't trendy; the judge judged my horse and we managed to do how I felt we should have done, including a 1st in eq and a 2nd in pleasure.

Things that I do think are important:
- Typically when turning around you should do a pivot on the haunches.
- Some judges really frown on passing or circling. My horse was quite green and not super joggy, so I made sure to stay well in my corners to make up room so we didn't look like we were racing the other riders.
- Make sure you can do an "extended" jog and lope...and understand what they should be. Do not confuse them with dressage extensions....they are just lengthennings.
- You tend to have to do a rein back once in the line up. The judge may just walk down the line nodding at the riders to let them know to back up. Make sure your kid understands this.
- And of course be sure you know all the rules such as how to hold the reins depending on the type of reins and bit you are using.

I really just went to have fun and get the horse exposed to the show ring...and I think that helped us in the end as I truely was having fun and my horse settled nicely into the smooth relaxed gaits that the judges wanted to see.

clairdelune
Oct. 16, 2010, 07:16 PM
My Daughter showed western her first time this year. She did it at the local 4H show, this was the most uncostly way to let her see if she liked it.
The only items I had to buy was a pair of western boots and some western style jeans, we already had the white shirt, She wore her helmet and was the only one in the stockseat class wearing one. We had a second hand western saddle and an Ebay bridle. She came 2nd, and then decided she wanted to stick to English.
I'm so pleased we did it the 4H way, as I would hate to have bought all the bright coloured expensive stuff and then have her say "I don't want to do it again" 4H also helped her learn what was expected of her and her horse, and all the other competitors were so friendly and gave her tips.

MunchkinsMom
Oct. 17, 2010, 01:54 AM
Here is a good guide put together by AQHA, you can learn their rules for western events, and what the judging criteria is for each class, and other helpful information:

http://www.aqha.com/showing/guidetoshowing/index.html

Here's their descriptions of the western classes:

http://www.aqha.com/showing/guidetoshowing/classes.html#wes1

mypaintwattie
Oct. 17, 2010, 03:02 AM
The links munchkinsmom posted are great to refer to, and remember ebay is your friend when it comes to finding tack and apparel. My favorite company for show clothes is hobby horse, they are great clothes that not only look fabulous but are easy on the wallet too. Remember too that trends vary by breed and by region, best thing to do is talk to a local trainer and go observe a few local shows to see everything first hand before jumping into it with both feet.

Mr.GMan
Oct. 17, 2010, 09:05 AM
Amitko...you aren't too far away from It's All About Horses. The owner of the store can help deck your student out. She carries western items as well and often times has some nice consignment items in the store as well. I also suggest if it is just local open shows, to check out the Triangle Wide Horseman's Assoc.--go to one of their shows and see what the kids are wearing too. And be sure to ask the folks on the NC board as well...You two have fun! Starting to show for a kiddo is a pretty exciting time :-)

amitkoequine
Oct. 17, 2010, 01:20 PM
What kind of horse is she showing in a western saddle?? Arabs and gaited are ridden/allowed a few different things than a stock type horse.

Saddlebred

And there are lots of different classes/events within the "western" disciplines. Pleasure, horsemanship, showmanship, western riding, trail, or are you talking about "gaming" --barrels, poles, etc. ?

Probably not gaming, She's more a beginner walk/trot/just cantering rider but has a saint of a horse.

Flash44
Oct. 17, 2010, 08:49 PM
Flash Jr rode Western the first few years he rode. He fell in love with a black synthetic Abetta western saddle that had lime green ostrich skin accents. He loooooved that saddle. You can get away with synthetic and unusual colors at the lower levels. He showed 4H and went to the State Fair every year. He wore a plaid or striped long sleeve shirt, a tie, tan jeans, black zip up paddock boots, and a tan trail helmet. For the showmanship (in hand) classes he had a tan cowboy hat, and he wore a navy blue blazer for the in hand classes as well. It's much cheaper than English - you can pretty much get away with "normal" clothing, with maybe a splashy vest or coat if she is doing in hand classes.

kateh
Oct. 17, 2010, 09:59 PM
I just had my very first Western show yesterday! A bunch of girls on my IHSA team wanted to try Western and we just had our debut.

Clothing:
-We just polished up our black paddock boots
-chaps: black and fringed is pretty common, and they should be tight and longer than english chaps. You pull up the hem when you're on the ground so they don't get dirty.
-pants: high-waisted pants the same color as the chaps, with a belt
-shirts: were bright and blingy and style depends on what you're doing
-hat: necessary, should be snug around your head. Some people use double stick tape, but you can also use a little hairspray on the inside front. Same color as chaps.
-hair: pull hair into a low bun and hairspray the hell out of it!
-makeup! our coach told us about this one at 4:30am the day of the show lol. Don't know how this compares for the kids though...

Remember that the more flash you have on your hands and belt, the more attention you draw to them so unless kiddo has really still hands and a quiet seat, keep those areas subdued.

Show ring things:
-No circling or cutting through the ring! Passing was fine, but you get on and off the rail as quickly as possible.
-Reverse directions should be done as promptly as possible with, again, little time off the rail. Be careful that the horse doesn't stop or break gait.
-Practice backing. In four horsemanship (equivalent to equitation) classes we were asked to back in all but one.

Have fun!! I had a blast yesterday at my first, everyone seemed so laidback and helpful! It could also have been that my teammates and I were running around looking lost and like no source of competition ;):lol:

SLW
Oct. 17, 2010, 11:39 PM
Spotted Saddle Horse

Probably not gaming, She's more a beginner walk/trot/just cantering rider but has a saint of a horse.

Okay, now we can help. :) She can use split reins or rommel reins. Decide which one because they are held in the rider's hand differently.

I'm guessing this is a horse over the age of 5 so she will need to use a shanked bit with curb chain. The association may have a limit on how long the shank can be so check that in the rule book. Ditto the mouthpeice of the bit.

Do you know the difference between what is being judged in a pleasure class verses a horsemanship class?

Around here at the local open shows and on a very nice local circuit, the gaited horses show in one earred bridles with minimal adornment on them. Neat, plain & clean. Same with the saddles. Do spring for a nice saddle pad in a solid color or with minimal print. Maytex use to make them for $30 and you used that over a thin felt pad.

For the rider, monochromactic will be elegant. That means the shirt and pants match. Add a scarf for a splash of color. Will your friend use chaps?? Does she have a felt hat or will she use a straw hat?? No goofy hat bands, please. :)

amitkoequine
Oct. 20, 2010, 01:51 PM
Okay, now we can help. :) She can use split reins or rommel reins. Decide which one because they are held in the rider's hand differently.

I'm guessing this is a horse over the age of 5 so she will need to use a shanked bit with curb chain. The association may have a limit on how long the shank can be so check that in the rule book. Ditto the mouthpeice of the bit.

Do you know the difference between what is being judged in a pleasure class verses a horsemanship class?

Around here at the local open shows and on a very nice local circuit, the gaited horses show in one earred bridles with minimal adornment on them. Neat, plain & clean. Same with the saddles. Do spring for a nice saddle pad in a solid color or with minimal print. Maytex use to make them for $30 and you used that over a thin felt pad.

For the rider, monochromactic will be elegant. That means the shirt and pants match. Add a scarf for a splash of color. Will your friend use chaps?? Does she have a felt hat or will she use a straw hat?? No goofy hat bands, please. :)

My Student is 8 years old so I personally would prefer that she ride in a helmet. How much of a no no is that? She will just be doing a local show where she just needs to be dressed nicely but I think her g-ma will dress her to the nines anyway.

Why do gaited horses show in one-earred bridles?

I don't really know the difference between horsemanship (I think that's like eq??) and pleasure [help! :confused:]


Which reins are for which? Right now we are working on holding the reins with one hand but she still likes to go in with the other hand every so often? Can I teach her to hold them with both hands?

LuvMyNSH
Oct. 20, 2010, 06:40 PM
My Student is 8 years old so I personally would prefer that she ride in a helmet. How much of a no no is that? She will just be doing a local show where she just needs to be dressed nicely but I think her g-ma will dress her to the nines anyway.

Why do gaited horses show in one-earred bridles?

I don't really know the difference between horsemanship (I think that's like eq??) and pleasure [help! :confused:]


Which reins are for which? Right now we are working on holding the reins with one hand but she still likes to go in with the other hand every so often? Can I teach her to hold them with both hands?

Gaited horses do not have to show in one-ear bridles, I'm guessing that just happens to be the current fashion where that poster lives. I've seen one ear, two ear and browband bridles in equal numbers. Generally a browband bridle is used with a snaffle and one and two ear bridles with curbs. I use a browband bridle with a curb because that's what I have that has silver on it and matches my saddle.

Some judges, especially coming from a breed show background do have a bias against helmets in the show ring. Have the kid wear her helmet anyway. Safety trumps fashion.

Western pleasure is 100% on the horse. It is judged on the rail, no pattern.

Horsemanship is on the rider. While it normally is a pattern class, depending on how your particular local circuit runs things and which rulebook they follow and the age division your kid is going it can also be run as a rail class or as a pattern class with a rail portion. :lol: I've shown in all 3 variations. The enty form and/or rulebook of your local club should spell this out for you. IME these things really vary from region to region too.

Western Equitation can be either a rail class or a pattern class. Again, this is going to depend on how your local club runs things. Usually in Western Eq 10& under kids will be judged on the rail.

For an aged horse in a curb bit either romel reins or split reins held in one hand (no finger in between!!) is correct. I see split reins used more on gaited horses - the weight of a good pair of romels can work against you if your horse has any headshake. Plus split reins are a whole lot cheaper than nice romels.

I have always been told to never switch rein hands in a class but I'm not sure if this is actually in a rulebook anywhere.

katarine
Oct. 20, 2010, 06:48 PM
Wait - is it a Saddlebred or a Spotted Saddle Horse?

chance2jump
Oct. 20, 2010, 07:10 PM
Where in NC are you? :)

Saddlebreds are fine stock, and if it is a small local show, the color of leather really doesn't matter as much as a good seat and well trained horse.

I have 2 'cheap' sets of romel reins (one w/silver, one w/out) and cheap pseudo-silver headstall that I can loan out if you're close to me. Something that will give you a chance to try out the western look without hurting the pocket book if your rider finds out it is a 'no go' in the western attire. I've been out of the show loop for a while, but I would be more than happy to help couch on proper seat, hands, ring manners, etc if more help is needed.

amitkoequine
Oct. 20, 2010, 08:03 PM
Where in NC are you? :)

Saddlebreds are fine stock, and if it is a small local show, the color of leather really doesn't matter as much as a good seat and well trained horse.

I have 2 'cheap' sets of romel reins (one w/silver, one w/out) and cheap pseudo-silver headstall that I can loan out if you're close to me. Something that will give you a chance to try out the western look without hurting the pocket book if your rider finds out it is a 'no go' in the western attire. I've been out of the show loop for a while, but I would be more than happy to help couch on proper seat, hands, ring manners, etc if more help is needed.
I'm in the triangle, not too close to you. But I'll take all the coaching I can get.

SLW
Oct. 21, 2010, 12:29 AM
Gaited horses do not have to show in one-ear bridles, I'm guessing that just happens to be the current fashion where that poster lives. I've seen one ear, two ear and browband bridles in equal numbers. Generally a browband bridle is used with a snaffle and one and two ear bridles with curbs. I use a browband bridle with a curb because that's what I have that has silver on it and matches my saddle.

Some judges, especially coming from a breed show background do have a bias against helmets in the show ring. Have the kid wear her helmet anyway. Safety trumps fashion.

Western pleasure is 100% on the horse. It is judged on the rail, no pattern.

Horsemanship is on the rider. While it normally is a pattern class, depending on how your particular local circuit runs things and which rulebook they follow and the age division your kid is going it can also be run as a rail class or as a pattern class with a rail portion. :lol: I've shown in all 3 variations. The enty form and/or rulebook of your local club should spell this out for you. IME these things really vary from region to region too.

Western Equitation can be either a rail class or a pattern class. Again, this is going to depend on how your local club runs things. Usually in Western Eq 10& under kids will be judged on the rail.

For an aged horse in a curb bit either romel reins or split reins held in one hand (no finger in between!!) is correct. I see split reins used more on gaited horses - the weight of a good pair of romels can work against you if your horse has any headshake. Plus split reins are a whole lot cheaper than nice romels.

I have always been told to never switch rein hands in a class but I'm not sure if this is actually in a rulebook anywhere.

This is all correct. :)

katarine
Oct. 21, 2010, 11:40 AM
That's right, don't switch hands. The ends of the split reins should both drape off the same side of the horse, the rein hand's side.

Reversing the horse is done by turning toward the middle of the arena.

Pin her show number on the saddle pad corner with saftey pins top and bottom or both left and right sides. Don't let that number flap around.


I would use a browband bridle on any child's horse for the added safety of a throatlatch rather than a one ear. A hearty head shake can slip a one ear loose on some horses.

BlueEyedSorrel
Oct. 21, 2010, 12:44 PM
If she does a horsemanship class with a pattern, study the pattern very carefully. If it's drawn with the horse on the right side of the cone, be on the right side, not the left. Judges can and will DQ kids for something like this. Accuracy (stopping right at the cone, round circles etc) and showing good control counts for a lot, especially at the lower levels. It doesn't take having the fanciest, prettiest moving horse.

Be sure to tell your student to do what you talk about, not what kids going before her do. I have seen classes in which the first kid did the pattern wrong, all the rest (except one) copied the first kid, and the only one to get it right won by default, even if their ride was not technically the best.

For that matter, for some kids, even watching the runs of the kids before them is too nerve-wracking and they start second guessing themselves (assuming it's the type of class where everyone goes in individually, does their pattern and finds a spot on the rail). For other kids, watching other kids' trips and talking about what they did right or wrong is educational. Depends on the kid (I liked watching other kids go, my sister would practically hyper-ventillate comparing herself to the other riders).

Good luck
BES

amitkoequine
Oct. 23, 2010, 05:55 PM
Here are the Rules and Regulations for the show series I want to do with her. I'm Thinking the Future Entry aka Leadline Division. I just need to get down what tack I need for the horse

http://www.ipass.net/blaine_mclaughlin/JCHSS_2010_Rules_&_Regulations.doc

amitkoequine
Oct. 24, 2010, 04:54 PM
So my rider is neck reining (we've decided on this since her horse does this well) What kind of reins do I use, split right since she's holding them in one hand? And what kind of bit should I start training him in? Any suggestions? He goes in a hackamore right now but has gone in a myler before too. Also at this little of a show can she show in a synthetic saddle with a Green print on it? Should we get a matching Saddle Pad? What should she wear at this small of a show?
thanks in advance

amitkoequine
Oct. 24, 2010, 05:05 PM
From: http://aimhc.webs.com/Leadline.html

"Tack and Attire: Normal Western Tack. Child may use split reins (senior horse), or snaffle or hackamore (junior horse)."

Is this true? I'm not sure how old the horse is but what qualifies as a senior? He's definitely over 5.

amitkoequine
Oct. 26, 2010, 04:11 PM
Can she carry a crop at all in the walk/jog class?

InWhyCee Redux
Oct. 26, 2010, 05:07 PM
Can she carry a crop at all in the walk/jog class?

I NEVER carried one when I ride Western, no one did. Split reins are held in the left hand, leaving the right free to (obstensibly) wrestle goats or lasso calves.

As for what people are wearing — check out pics from this year's Quarter Horse Congress. IMHO, you can't go wrong with Western-style black pants, black boots, and a black Slinky top.

Seriously, the AQHA Web site or a 4-H handbook will have TONS of info.

LJStarkey
Oct. 26, 2010, 06:51 PM
The horsemanship winner of this year's AQHYA World Championship Show -- the best of the best horsemanship riders who are youth-aged -- wore black pants, black chaps and a black shirt.

http://www.aqha.com/youth/activities/yws/2010winningrun/horsemanship.html

For a child's first show, I'd agree with InWhyCeeRedux that black pants and a black or white shirt is more than suitable. Chaps not necessary, and the child's English boots should work just fine.

amitkoequine
Oct. 27, 2010, 09:02 AM
The horsemanship winner of this year's AQHYA World Championship Show -- the best of the best horsemanship riders who are youth-aged -- wore black pants, black chaps and a black shirt.

http://www.aqha.com/youth/activities/yws/2010winningrun/horsemanship.html

For a child's first show, I'd agree with InWhyCeeRedux that black pants and a black or white shirt is more than suitable. Chaps not necessary, and the child's English boots should work just fine.

She has little brown western boots.

appaloosalady
Oct. 27, 2010, 11:31 AM
Your student doesn't qualify for leadline classes - they are for younger children ( I think your rules said 6 and under). She will have to do walk-trot unless your association has a peewee walk division.

Reins can be held in whichever hand she is most comfortable with. Most right handed people hold them in their right hand because it feels more natural. Wearing her helmet is fine, as someone else said, safety is the most important thing. Can you go watch one of the shows before you actually show at one? That is the only way to know for sure that you will fit in with whatever attire you choose. Good luck and have fun! Fun is what it is all about after all.

amitkoequine
Oct. 27, 2010, 04:20 PM
Your student doesn't qualify for leadline classes - they are for younger children ( I think your rules said 6 and under). She will have to do walk-trot unless your association has a peewee walk division.

Reins can be held in whichever hand she is most comfortable with. Most right handed people hold them in their right hand because it feels more natural. Wearing her helmet is fine, as someone else said, safety is the most important thing. Can you go watch one of the shows before you actually show at one? That is the only way to know for sure that you will fit in with whatever attire you choose. Good luck and have fun! Fun is what it is all about after all.

Where did it say under 6? I was looking for an age cap but never found one.

appaloosalady
Oct. 27, 2010, 04:48 PM
http://aimhc.webs.com/Leadline.html

3rd paragraph, right above the one you posted about tack and attire.

"The class consists of a child (6 years old and under) on a horse/pony, which is led by an adult (over 18 years). No stallions are allowed. The objective is for the child to guide the horse, with the adult present to ensure that the horse is under control. The class is worked at a walk only in both directions of the ring. At the end the judge will ask the entrants to line up, i.e. face him in a line. He may then ask the child to back their horse."

It's the norm for leadline to be for kids 5 or 6 and under, after that they move up to peewee walk if available and then w/t.

amitkoequine
Oct. 27, 2010, 04:59 PM
Oh no thats not the class I'm showing in the rules for the show I'm taking her to are in a post above that. That was just some info. The show rules for the one Im taking her to don't specify but I emailed the coordinator just in case.

appaloosalady
Oct. 27, 2010, 05:09 PM
Oh no thats not the class I'm showing in the rules for the show I'm taking her to are in a post above that. That was just some info. The show rules for the one Im taking her to don't specify but I emailed the coordinator just in case.


Ooops, sorry :o. Hope the show you are going to will work out for her age -wise :).

amitkoequine
Oct. 27, 2010, 05:24 PM
Me too. I'd really like to be able to show him in the wallk/jog division before she does to make sure he's safe for her to show.

amitkoequine
Oct. 27, 2010, 07:57 PM
Just got email confirmation that there is no age cap on leadline so she can show in that and I can show him in walk/jog [:D] Now if I can just figure out what an extended jog is. I think his extended jog is a pace lol.

appaloosalady
Oct. 27, 2010, 09:59 PM
That's great news! An extended jog in a western pleasure class is just a normal english type trot - something to show that the horse can move "forward" upon request.

amitkoequine
Oct. 28, 2010, 09:12 AM
That's great news! An extended jog in a western pleasure class is just a normal english type trot - something to show that the horse can move "forward" upon request.

oh darn when he goes beyond a jog it turns into a pace :confused:

appaloosalady
Oct. 28, 2010, 11:59 AM
oh darn when he goes beyond a jog it turns into a pace :confused:

Re-read the rules, I know it said something somewhere about "non-trotting" horses, but I don't remember what or if it even applies to the class you want to enter your student in. It seems like they have made that a pretty much anything goes class ;).

LJStarkey
Oct. 28, 2010, 01:33 PM
Sounds like you're ready to go. Don't sweat the clothes. Take the kiddo and have a good time without expecting the good time to consist of winning. If your youth rider wants to ride around the entire arena waving the whole time, let her. Horse showing should be fun.

Every horseman I know, including the BNTs, has a photo from that first horse show that she can point to and say, "Look how awful I was in my first show" but they always add, "but I had such fun that I had to do it again."

That's the reaction you want from your kiddo.