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  1. #1
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    Default dirty moves in the hack

    Not really, actually just wanted to get an eye grabbing title to get some people to look at a boring thread.
    This is the first time I've had a good mover to show off, what are your best tricks and suggestions to winning/placing in the hack. He's probably an 8-9 mover, his canter is fantastic, and his trot is pretty good with me. He moves probably a 9.5 or 10 with my trainer, but having had only 12 days with him, I'm obviously not quite as finessed.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2011
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    Gainesville, Fl
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    I was always taught to ride your hacks on more of a diamond shape, not a rectangle. Always try to go to the inside of the outside lines, and if there happens to be a horse who moves a bit nicer then yours, stay away from it. Also, if there is a less appealing mover try to be close-ish to it. It'll make your horses movements look that much nicer.



  3. #3
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    Oct. 1, 2002
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    Cow County, MD
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    Get alone if possible.

    If not possible, make sure the horses nearest you are worse movers, so your horse looks incredible by comparison.

    Stay away from the best-moving horse in the class, for the same reason as above: the wonderful mover will make yours look like a yak.

    If you have the best-moving horse and it doesn't matter who's next to you, just make sure you're in the line of sight of the judge and no one runs over you.

    I once had a plain bay horse who moved like Charlie Chaplin at the trot, but had an incredible canter. I made sure I was one of the first in the ring and cantered until the class started. If the judge was idly watching, I got that canter imprinted on his/her brain so he/she would seek me out.

    And here's where I used the plain bay color to my advantage: when we trotted, I made sure to bury myself in the sea of bay horses, then flaunt him at the canter. It worked pretty darn well.
    Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.



  4. #4
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    Oct. 1, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sing Mia Song View Post
    Get alone if possible.

    If not possible, make sure the horses nearest you are worse movers, so your horse looks incredible by comparison.

    Stay away from the best-moving horse in the class, for the same reason as above: the wonderful mover will make yours look like a yak.

    If you have the best-moving horse and it doesn't matter who's next to you, just make sure you're in the line of sight of the judge and no one runs over you.

    I once had a plain bay horse who moved like Charlie Chaplin at the trot, but had an incredible canter. I made sure I was one of the first in the ring and cantered until the class started. If the judge was idly watching, I got that canter imprinted on his/her brain so he/she would seek me out.

    And here's where I used the plain bay color to my advantage: when we trotted, I made sure to bury myself in the sea of bay horses, then flaunt him at the canter. It worked pretty darn well.
    lol - love the yak/charlie chaplin comparisons...



  5. #5
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    Oct. 1, 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarcam02 View Post
    lol - love the yak/charlie chaplin comparisons...
    Oh, he totally did move like Charlie Chaplin! He toed out, and he was a narrow TB, so his hooves traveled the widest plane as he moved toward you. But he had the most gorgeous, balanced, rhythmic canter I've ever ridden.
    Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2001
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    New York, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sing Mia Song View Post
    I once had a plain bay horse who moved like Charlie Chaplin at the trot, but had an incredible canter. I made sure I was one of the first in the ring and cantered until the class started. If the judge was idly watching, I got that canter imprinted on his/her brain so he/she would seek me out.

    And here's where I used the plain bay color to my advantage: when we trotted, I made sure to bury myself in the sea of bay horses, then flaunt him at the canter. It worked pretty darn well.
    Yes. Know your strengths. I had a horse who (lucky me) had a lovely trot and canter so I would try and show off a bit of both before the other horses entered the ring. The judges definitely do watch a bit during this time, so on the flip side, don't trot around forever and ever if your horse doesn't trot well.

    Don't ignore the walk. Make them track up, soft rein, etc. Most judges just use this time to mark down first impressions on their card but a horse with a good walk and a pleasant expression will already have a head start to a horse who is crawling and looks half asleep.

    And, of course, do well over the jumps. I'm showing one now who is a good mover, but not always the winner—decent trot, nice rhythmical canter but not as "showy" as others. When we win O/F, our hack ribbons are always a bit higher since the judge seems to have a favorable impression of the horse already.



  7. #7
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    Apr. 27, 2009
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    Agree with those who have said to put your horse through its paces a bit before the class starts.... without trotting or cantering forever. So many people go in and just trot and trot and trot around the outside of the ring, which I think just makes the horse dull for the actual class. If your horse has the perfect trot, so be it, but it's a great time to get them on your aids - obviously not in a blatant "I'm schooling" way, but double check they are in front of your leg and soft in the bridle. I like to do a bit of trot, a bit of canter, and then a forward walk on a long but not dead rein. The horse I'm currently riding has a great expression on the long rein walk, as well as being a pretty good mover, so it gives me a chance to show that off - I wouldn't have him walking on that loose of a rein during the class.



  8. #8
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    Jun. 17, 2001
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    Go sit by where the judge is and WATCH both the flat classes and the judge. Where can you see the horses best? What track are they taking? Where is the judge looking? On the long straight side or at the corners? Do they mark their card at every little boo boo or keep watching so they see the total picture of each compared to the rest of them????

    Watch how riders navigate the jumps if they are left in the ring or stacked on the side, what might bother your horse???? Is he likely to spook at a pile of poles along the rails? Would threading a narrow space between the rail and a standard on the quarter line make him nervous (some hate that, makes them feel squeezed, others are fine). Plan your track and stick to your plan.

    IME every judge has a pattern of what they ask for...some go W-T-W-C-W then turn around and repeat. Some ask for the canter before the trot and eliminate the walk between the two on the downshift...W-C-T-W and line up, especially the second direction (it's faster).

    I never could plan to stay away from some horses and near others because said others don't know my plan and fail behave as predicted.

    The stay with the crappy movers scenario can mean the judge never sees you when you bury yourself in those not worth a second glance. Or they not staying with you and that 10+ mover circling over and spending the rest of the class next you.

    IMO that is not the way to think about your flats. You need to showcase your strong points and kind of try to hide the not so good ones while making sure the judge can see you and making any corrections out of their view (which you will know by watching where that judge looks earlier).

    They do seem to give the benefit of the doubt to those who scored well over fences, they will look for them.

    Above all, they are either going to like you compared to the rest in the class or they won't so don't take it to heart.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  9. #9
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    Oct. 6, 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    I never could plan to stay away from some horses and near others because said others don't know my plan and fail behave as predicted.

    The stay with the crappy movers scenario can mean the judge never sees you when you bury yourself in those not worth a second glance. Or they not staying with you and that 10+ mover circling over and spending the rest of the class next you.

    IMO that is not the way to think about your flats. You need to showcase your strong points and kind of try to hide the not so good ones while making sure the judge can see you and making any corrections out of their view (which you will know by watching where that judge looks earlier).
    I generally agree with you, but sometimes there's on horse you just KNOW is going to be awesome and the judge will love (i.e., here come Scott Stewart on something owned by Glenn Senk-- it's gonna move good!) and I think you can (and should) at least TRY to start on the other end of the ring from it and avoid being right alongside. You can't spend the whole class dodging everyone who moves good-- but you can try to stay away from the winner.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  10. #10
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    Jul. 18, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sing Mia Song View Post
    I once had a plain bay horse who moved like Charlie Chaplin at the trot...
    Love it!
    Sarah K. Andrew | Twitter | Blog | Horses & Hope calendar | Flickr | Website



  11. #11
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    Make any necessary corrections, or any transitions that could be imperfect, behind the judge's back. Use the ring strategically so you're sitting pretty when you pass the lady or gentleman with the clipboard!

    The fugly stuff that happens when they're not looking, doesn't count! Kind of like calories consumed while running . . .



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwampYankee View Post
    Make any necessary corrections, or any transitions that could be imperfect, behind the judge's back.
    Nowadays, most hunter shows seem to have the judge in a box outside the ring- so there is no "behind the judge's back".
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  13. #13
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    May. 4, 2008
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    When my green TB had never seen a paint horse before, he really stared at it as if it were a cow. We were out in a small schooling ring before the hack class, and I could tell he would not get over this paint horse. Sure enough, it entered the ring for our same hack class. I positioned my horse so he absolutely never got a view of that horse during the entire hack class.

    I make a point to avoid any horse in a hack class that might be one to be fresh, run up on me, buck, etc as best I can.



  14. #14
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    You are definitely being judged BEFORE they say 'you are now being judged'. If you have a great trot, be the first at the in-gate, break out that gorgeous trot, make 1 lap, then do a nice walk. Stay off the rail and use your quarter-lines.

    And this may or may not work - but try to look like you are having fun and your horse is the easiest, most pleasant horse in the world (which it sounds like he is).

    Here is how NOT to win. If you think your nice mover is going to spook at the pointsettia sitting randomly along the wall, do not pull wildly on your horse's face at the canter, thereby making him swap his lead.
    ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~



  15. #15
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    Nov. 22, 2005
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    I once had a mare that was a fantastic mover with an amazing walk and she almost always won the hack. Ringmaster once told me that the judge had pointed out my horse and said "THAT is how a horse should walk"!
    Keep half an eye on the judge so you can make a correction when he is looking inthe other direction.
    Assess your competitors and stay away from any that look like they may cause a problem
    When asked to walk, relax and let your horse walk-don't fuss at him
    If you are going great on a good mover, stay where you can be seen. If the judge is sitting outside the ring, don't hug the rail as you pass him, move out to the quarter line. Same if you are in a colisium type ring where the seats are high up-judge cannot see you if you are hugging the rail underneath him. Of course, great place to subtly correct!



  16. #16
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    Oh, I tried that show off "parade lap" thing a few times. Had a pretty nice mover in the First Years, took the rail first, got him on the bridle a little, put a loop in the reins when he hit his really elegant trot...and he broke in half passing a pile of spruce branches stacked by the rail. So much for making sure the judge got a good look...

    Went in with the group after that. Having a horse in front of them seems to smooth out the shenannigans and remind them where they are. I showed WP forever and can ride a rail class showing the horse off without risking something stupid like a pile of jump greenery.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  17. #17
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    Feb. 18, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by copper1 View Post
    Same if you are in a colisium type ring where the seats are high up-judge cannot see you if you are hugging the rail underneath him. Of course, great place to subtly correct!
    This is also where you want to be if you're going to do something dumb, like make accidentally pull your horse off the lead. You can still win! Ask me how I know.



  18. #18
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    Oct. 6, 2002
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    Aside but, Tha Ridge, love your blog. Gorgeous photos. I can't look too much right now, it's making me HUNGRY!
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  19. #19
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    Jan. 9, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by trina1 View Post
    When my green TB had never seen a paint horse before, he really stared at it as if it were a cow. We were out in a small schooling ring before the hack class, and I could tell he would not get over this paint horse. Sure enough, it entered the ring for our same hack class. I positioned my horse so he absolutely never got a view of that horse during the entire hack class.

    now that's funny! My horse is kind of terrified of the way a half-Arab at my barn moves. She's very animated, and it makes my guy stare at her as if she had a second head.
    Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors



  20. #20
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    Oct. 6, 2002
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    Philadelphia PA
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    [QUOTE=PaintedHunter;6586693]
    Quote Originally Posted by trina1 View Post
    When my green TB had never seen a paint horse before, he really stared at it as if it were a cow. We were out in a small schooling ring before the hack class, and I could tell he would not get over this paint horse. Sure enough, it entered the ring for our same hack class. I positioned my horse so he absolutely never got a view of that horse during the entire hack class.

    QUOTE]


    now that's funny! My horse is kind of terrified of the way a half-Arab at my barn moves. She's very animated, and it makes my guy stare at her as if she had a second head.
    My TB saw a horse wearing a scrim at a horse show and just about lost all bowel function. At the time, he himself... was wearing a scrim.

    My big WB had to stop and stare/snort for ages at a tiny pinto pony. Apparently nothing THAT small should be THAT color.

    At Devon, saddlebred caused my young one to lose all self control. Can't say I blame him on that one, actually, but he reacted like he didn't even think they were HORSES.

    It's funny what spooks them
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



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