My Oldenburg filly will be attending a few local shows that offer "2 & under conformation" classes. Just to get out, not really interested in ribbons at this point (although I won't argue if we get one).
The only place I've taken her was to her inspection as a 3 month old. She's now 10 months and while she's level headed, I'm still a little nervous about her first outing.
So, any tips? Suggestions? Words of experience?
Have you found it better to take a buddy or just the yearling so all the attention can be directed at them?
Last edited by mybeau1999; Mar. 9, 2010 at 07:29 PM.
If you are going to be nervous (and I certainly suffer from this!) hire someone to handle the filly. It's great if that person shows a lot and can handle the filly at all of her shows. Also, of course, do your homework and prepare her well at home.
I hired just such a person last year and explained to my handler that my number one goal was to get my filly used to the show environment. We would go up to the ring and hang out before and after classes. Part of it was my filly's great temperament, but she made friends with everyone. She searched the ring steward's pockets for treats and just watched the other horses.
It was nice because she went into the ring relaxed. She was so relaxed that she almost fell asleep during one of her awards ceremonies.
Anyway, the strategy must have worked; she was GAIG filly champion in New England last year!
I consider any breed classes that I enter with a youngster not yet under saddle to be training! Any ribbons are gravy. By the time they get to their first show under saddle, it is just no big deal. But do hire a professional. Even if you are not going for ribbons, you still want the youngster to have a good experience and show off to the best of its ability.
Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
Now apparently completely invisible!
I had to revive this thread, MyBeau, if you don't mind. I'd rather piggy-back on yours instead of start a whole new thread....
My yearling is in an awkward icky yearling stage, but our local dressage group sent out a newsletter saying that if they don't have more participants in the DSHB classes they will have to cancel them next year. So I am considering dragging my fugly yearling up there, anyway, for the training and experience, since he certainly wont win anything at this point.
Anyway, for someone who has NEVER shown a horse in DSHB, what so I need to know? They have volunteer handlers at the show available, so I am totally planning on utilizing them, and I'm planning on braiding his mane. Should I get him a nice leather halter and shank? Is that what yearlings show in? (I see everyone showing in bridles, but I don't think that's appropriate for a yearling- or is it?) What prep should I do with him at home?
Yup, yearlings generally go in halters. A new leather one with matching shank is a good idea, as is one with a chain "just in case" your youngster becomes a handfull at the show.
Basically, you want them clean and braided and you want them used to in-hand work. Work with him about ten minutes a day on walk, trot, and halt. Vary the routine as much as possible. I find it's better not to over-do the training.
The trailer practice is great too. FYI, the grooming will not make or break the placing; the judges will give good scores to horses with good conformation and movement. Of course, I obsess about every dirt speck anyway...
We showed our yearling all last summer on the line, and ended up the year at the Royal. We had an excellent handler, who knew all the tricks in showing young horses on the line, and he was amazing. It was a real education to watch him, and he really showed our horse off to her best advantage. She ended up champion at a number of shows, including the Royal.
Our yearling showed in a halter, and later on in the year in a bridle. (cob size Antares).
We just wanted her to have the experience of going to a show, with all it entails, ie: braiding, trailering, grooming, getting a bath, etc, before her real job kicks in under saddle.
While grooming may or may not break a placing, other things can. We were advised to keep our yearling in during the day, and to turn her out at night, which we did. (She is dark bay). If it had bothered her we would have turned her out, and bleaching be damned, but she was absolutely fine, and ended up being a great companion for a gelding who was on stall rest, and kept him company while he healed. We also watched her weight, and made sure she had a really balanced diet. I even heard one judge say, if you don't feed, we don't pin.
We also ponied her later in the season, which was also a good experience for her.
We will be showing her again this year on the line, this year as a two year old. I doubt anything will faze her, because at this point, she has pretty much seen it all.
Congrats, airbourne! We had a similar year. It's nice when it turns out that way!
Feeding is one big difference between DSHB and HB shows -- or so I hear. I've never shown in the hunters. That said, my filly would probably have been thrown out of a HB class last year. It was very hard to keep the weight on her as she went through one growth spurt after another, plus she has a very well-sprung barrel, so it's just hard to get her to look fat as a young horse (I suspect this will change as she ages). I was paranoid about it, but even with good free-choice hay, the best feed, and oil, she always had a bit of rib showing.
Your judge's comment struck me because, after my filly won her two big championships at the NEDA fall festival, one judge turned to me and said "thank-you for not overfeeding your filly." His comment was so ironic, given the fact that I felt I'd virtually stuffed her with groceries all summer.
What a beautiful yearling.... she's just gorgeous.
I hear you about the feeding, because we didn't want our filly to be overfed, and like you, ours was never going to look like a fat pony. It's hard too when they are going through growth spurts, etc. Our filly was butt high for half of the summer, and then her front end caught up. At the end of the day, for us winning on the line is fine, but mostly it is about putting miles on the horse, and having it be a positive experience.
Couture du Jour by Minister General o/o Grande Desire/Grande Saber
My yearling made her HB debut....Reserve Champion in the PA Bred division! Her momma Grande Desire age 14 & in foal is undefeated in her HB classes..including ther young horse showing!
Jill told me she was a good girl..I am glad to have a pro handling her. Note her condition and weight. I wouldn't call her anything but perfect.
This is the thrid generation I have shown in the young horse divisions.
You can't give them a better start!
Tradition of "Grande" Sporthorse Champions
Couture Du Jour - Devon Winner '10 & '12 & PHSA Champ '10
Grande Desire & Impression '08-10 PHSA Champs
Grande Sovereign -CH & HB Sire
I have shown a lot of youngsters and yearlings are by far the hardest to get looking right!
I find that a tiny bit of rib showing doesn't affect your placings as long as the rest looks good. The neck can be a bit tricky (all giraffy and upside-down) but a really good plait job can help this no end. Be sure to clip all the stray hairs around the head, ears, and legs, so the outline is really sharp and clean.
Use a good quality brown leather halter with sturdy brass fittings and a matching shank. The width of the leather depends on the horse's size and type. A big or plain head looks best in a slightly chunkier halter whereas this would swamp a petite head.
Practice standing the horse as well as leading. Standing a horse well can make all the difference in the ring and will make life easier for your handler on the day.