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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2009
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    536

    Default How do YOU stand out in under saddle classes?

    Hi everyone!

    I'm writing an article on some of the ways to really stand out in under saddle classes, so I thought I would ask some of you COTH's what your tactics are! If you have a few tips for really catching the judges eye, be it attire, tack, the way you position yourself in the ring, or anything, I'd love to hear from you!

    Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 1999
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    14,656

    Default

    Purple and orange nylon tack! Hoof glitter! Neon polo wraps!


    Oh, I bet you mean "stand out" in a good way, don't you?
    "If you would have only one day to live, you should spend at least half of it in the saddle."



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    242

    Default

    stay off the rail by like 3-4 feet just enough so that another horse and rider can't get between you and the rail.

    avoid clumps and try to space yourself really well.

    have the best moving horse in the ring
    BeesKnees
    Hunters should be galloping - George Morris



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2009
    Location
    Rock Chalk!
    Posts
    3,092

    Default

    Know what speed shows each of your horses' gaits off best. If your horse has a nice trot when they're slowish, but a WOW trot when they're a bit faster, ride a bit faster.
    A proud friend of bar.ka.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2002
    Location
    Olney
    Posts
    4,409

    Default

    Enter the ring and pick up whatever gait shows your horse off the best, ride the ring like you own it and look like you are having fun. Balance in the corners, float down the long sides.
    Can you stress-fracture your brain?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 8, 2007
    Posts
    2,831

    Default

    1. Ride off the rail so that the judge can see my horse better.
    2. Be confident and focused.
    3. Be cognizent of the other riders around me and avoid trouble before it starts.
    4. Look like I'm enjoying myself, even when I'm having a terrible ride.
    5. Definitely play up the "good" gaits. My mare has a great trot when she's not putzing along, so I make sure she moves out to show it off.
    "It is not necessary for you to let everyone know everything about you. In fact, it is probably wise that you don't. There are some things that you need only discuss with God."



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2009
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    536

    Default

    These are great!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    242

    Default

    oh, and smile
    BeesKnees
    Hunters should be galloping - George Morris



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2003
    Posts
    1,888

    Default

    The nice moving chromed out horse helps (and sometimes hurts).

    Getting into the ring first and making a nice pass down the quarter line in front of the judge all alone can work well.

    I try very hard to put my horse in "holes" away from bunches of other riders. People tend to get clumped together for whatever reason -- getting into a solo spot can really let you show off the horse's movement without having to worry about needing to check up or circle.

    Like Heineken, I use the corners to regroup and then let him really move out on the long side.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2001
    Location
    Toronto, Canada.
    Posts
    6,352

    Default

    Position your horse beside a not so nice hacker....



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 13, 2009
    Posts
    1,182

    Default

    Keep in mind that lots of judges will pick say, 10 horses to watch as her favourites right as you're coming into the ring. So if your horse has a nice trot then show it off! Try to be one of the first in the ring so you can position yourself away from the other horses. Always be aware of problems going on around you. Bucking is contagious Know at exactly what speed your horse is shown off the most. Prepare for your transitions well so that they remain smooth and your horse stays consistent. Keep in mind that it is an undersaddle class not equitation, transitions do not have to be immediate, you can take a couple seconds to adjust things (of course, try not to be the last one cantering!). And be prepared, most judges have a formula (walk, trot, reverse, walk, trot, canter, reverse, canter etc. etc.) Think ahead!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 26, 2009
    Posts
    112

    Default

    Also, for example my coach has a very nice mover but sometimes gets ripped off because he doesn't stand out because he is a plain bay in a pack of say bays and chestnuts mostly, so my coach as the rider tries to stand out and look different from the rest of the riders on bays by wearing her brown CO helmet and a none navy jacket like everyone else



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2009
    Posts
    63

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
    Position your horse beside a not so nice hacker....
    this is terrible but i actually do that. i have a little tb with an ok trot and if im close to a bigggg fancy warmblood i move haha.
    1. quarter lines
    2. off the rail a little by the judge.
    3. NAIL YOUR TRANSITIONS!!!! if you have a really great walk to canter transition, get in a place where the judge can see you well for it.
    4. keep em movin'. most horses trot best when theyre moving. its a hunter ring not the pleasure ring.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 8, 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    9,539

    Default

    mostly by keeping myself in a good spot away from lots of other horses, and looking confident and happy

    And not that I show often, and when I do, it's not at big/rated shows, but I always try to make sure that my walk is a nice walk. A nice, big, marching walk that is going somewhere and engaged... at my lowly level I notice a lot of people shuffling in the walk, or treating it as the throwaway gait between the trot and canter
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 8, 2007
    Posts
    2,831

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by caffeinated View Post
    And not that I show often, and when I do, it's not at big/rated shows, but I always try to make sure that my walk is a nice walk. A nice, big, marching walk that is going somewhere and engaged... at my lowly level I notice a lot of people shuffling in the walk, or treating it as the throwaway gait between the trot and canter
    Oooooh, definitely! I love seeing horses in the hack who have a REALLY nice, big walk and use themselves well. I think that a lot of people really underestimate the importance of having a nice walk.
    "It is not necessary for you to let everyone know everything about you. In fact, it is probably wise that you don't. There are some things that you need only discuss with God."



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    603

    Default

    Ditto most of the above. Also, I work to ride *forward* through the down transitions.

    Too often, a horse strokes along great in the given gait, but when the rider is asked to drop down to the walk (or canter-to-trot), he/she just takes of the leg and lets the horse plop into the slower gait, or do the stop-and-shamble-off maneuver.

    I'm guilty of this, having started on hotter TBs, where it was often better to ease them down. Now that I've gone over to the WB dark side <G>, I have to keep in mind that it's my job to help maintain the forward momentum when slowing down.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2006
    Posts
    329

    Default

    Obviously working your horse at the appropriate speed to show off each gait to its full advantage as well as executing the transitions smoothly is first

    Then, it's all about making sure you get seen - folks have already hit on the importance of taking advantage of your entrance and the minutes before the class begins as well as working the quarterline and staying out of traffic

    I will also use the middle of the ring - ie do some circles going toward them if they're in a box on the side so they can see me and also how well balanced my horse is an their ability to bend etc. - again you need to have a horse is broke on the flat. I'll even go straight down the middle of the ring (ie even fruther inside then the quarter line)....of course that's only on one that moves well enough to do that

    Just make sure that if you are doing either of these, you're not buzzing the judge if they are standing in the middle - hitting the judge, or almost stepping on them, generally doesn't increase your chances of pinning



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,294

    Default

    I try to always be the first one in the ring (sometimes not possible if you job, which we will take that any day haha). I pick up the canter, canter down the down the longside in front of the judge and down the opposite outside. I come down to a trot in the second corner after the second long side. This is when most horses move their best. If you keep a feel and lots of leg through the downward transition your horse will more often then not move out very nicely. trot down the judges longside and return to a walk where ever you wish. I usually will come down to a walk in the second corner after the judges longside. I like my horse to chill out and soak up how many horses are in the ring and his surrondings after I have made my entrance and he is focused.
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
    inside of a man.

    -Sir Winston Churchill



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2001
    Location
    At the barn or at the office
    Posts
    1,072

    Default

    Have a great moving toe flipping beautiful horse with immaculate turnout.

    Make sure you get seen by the judge - stay alone, and be aware of when the judge sees you.

    Be aware of horses around you.

    Show off your best gaits, hide a little on the weaker ones.

    Don't ignore the walk - have a good working walk, not a toe-dragging sleepy walk.

    Be aware of your horse's expression - most of them will prick their ears up with a horse 20 feet in front of them -- don't kick right in front of the judge if your horse puts his ears back when you have to kick them on - get some momentum and then relax in front of the judge so your horse "wears their ears" in a pleasant way.


    If you KNOW that the judge has seen you (sometimes you or someone at the side of the ring can see the judge write your number down), at all gaits, then go hide -- don't risk a blow up from a horse who runs into you.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 22, 2000
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    14,976

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LH View Post


    If you KNOW that the judge has seen you (sometimes you or someone at the side of the ring can see the judge write your number down), at all gaits, then go hide -- don't risk a blow up from a horse who runs into you.
    I beg to differ.

    Don't EVER make the judge have to search for you, especially towards the end of the class, as s/he is making the final decision and marking the card.

    The only time to hide is when you're likely to make a mistake- wrong lead, late transition, etc.



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