There is a small schooling hunter show that is so close it would be silly to pass up. So, Im really pushing to go but am nervous, I have not been to a hunter show in 15 years!
We event successfully so going away is not the problem and really, we are not going for the ribbons ( thank goodness because we wont get any anyway)!! But I would still like to put our best foot forward!
From a judges perspective what should I do?
Our left lead can be iffy. If I ask correctly at the right time and know it is approaching ( a dressage test) we are fine. But as a lower level eventer it is always asked from a trot. I am concerned that asking from a walk will be either be really ugly or we will get the wrong lead all together. What kind of deduction are we looking at if you trot a stride or 2? or should I attempt from the walk, risk getting it wrong ?
We do NOT have our changes and there really isnt much I can do to fix that in 2 days but 85% of the time he will land on the one I ask for... Notice I say 85% ! I am planning to come back to a trot to fix if needed. I mean it is what it is !!
I emailed and asked if a white polo and boots would be acceptable. Its supposed to be 100 degrees anyway ! but in the response, I get the feeling it really isnt encouraged. I would hope that 100 degrees and a schooling show would waive jackets but who knows ! I do not even own a jacket that fits anymore. I could always just wear a show shirt. I know I am reading into the response way too much, the facility is apparently gorgeous and it was listed as small and fun, but I think my idea of small and fun is not theirs !!!
The last hunter show we attempted was an absolute DISASTER. * think being excused during the flat class* He was just so excited that there were 20 horses all cantering at the same time he couldn’t control his excitement! Not to mention I * literally* cowboy him to every fence (which had never been needed before or since) .... Must of been a REALLY off day I laugh about it now ( heck I laughed about it then) but, I really would like to avoid a repeat performance.
I also dont own a fitted bad. I have a thinline saddle fitter 1/2 pad which I think is acceptable, or should I go with a square dressage pad. The only thing going for me going into this is the fact that I have a white pad, never mind the shape, oh and my horse is adorable : D
I would wear the show shirt. If it's really going to be 100 degrees, they will likely excuse jackets anyway, but it is generally better to overdress than underdress. Long sleeve is what will be seen, not short.
The half pad is OK, definitely better than a square pad.
In terms of trotting - you can enter the ring and show off his trot a few strides before you pick up a canter over fences - it might even be set up so you can do a nice trot down the diagonal instead of a courtesy circle and then pick up a canter. In the flat class, you will know it's coming, so you can set it up a bit better - try to be in the corner or something. If you absolutely MUST trot to pick it up in the hack, keep it brief.
Lead changes will be a problem. Try to land them. Go into it understanding that if you break stride, many judges consider that a pretty large fault and will score the round very low. That being said? It's a schooling show. Some will argue that it's much better to break stride then do any of the eleven million other sins you will see at schooling shows.
My greenie is still iffy picking up his right lead. I got lucky (clever) at the hunter show we went to to be always circling or bending to cross the ring when a canter depart was asked for. Of course, that was easier to pull off because he is massive and has a ground eating stride while almost everyone else in the baby green and long stirrup classes was smaller or shorter strided, so we did a lot of circling and crossing the rings for holes. I tried to make sure I was in the process of doing that when I thought there was a canter depart coming.
Must have worked, we pinned first in both flat classes. Still trotting our courses so haven't had to worry about lead changes or canter departs there.
Long sleeve show shirt will fit in better than a polo if you don't have a coat.
As far as the trotting, do whatever will give your horse the best training and experience. Don't worry about what will pin. If you've never asked him to canter from a walk before- the time to try isn't in a flat class with 20 other people.
Use the half pad with nothing under it, not the square pad.
Correct lead > Lead change > Simple change > wrong lead.
That said, lots of stuff can slide at schooling shows. If you're in control and not rocketing around your course, your horse is neat, he looks happy, and you avoid too many chips/long spots, you still might place.
Depends on how big/fancy a show it is.
I've actually seen some of the rockets on hooves place at my local shows, because there's so many of them that they have to place some.
And if you're not a hunter & aren't going for ribbons, who cares what the other people think anyway!