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First show

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  • First show

    Hi guys,
    I'm thinking of taking my baby (coming 3 year old) in the walk/trot division at a local show. Just wondering if you could give me some pointers on what to expect, how to dress etc. I'm used to showing in the hunter/jumpers but this guy will get to do some dressage for while first.
    Also, he's currently going in a hackamore (just switched from a full check snaffle) and is much happier in this. I think his teeth are changing so the vet will be out soon to check on them. Anyway, is it completely unheard of/not allowed to go in a hackamore? Or would it be worth it just to get the exposure to ride him in one and not be judged. I'm not sure exactly how dressage shows work in terms of showing haut concours. We're not trying to win or anything, just trying to get away from home and have a positive first show experience.
  • Original Poster

    Also, what would you expect a horse at this level to be able to do? I have the test already so I know that much but what kind of quality are they looking at this stage of the game.
    Thanks again!


    • #3
      Read the directives for intro A and B
      No hackamore, and the bit you use must be within the legal guidelines.

      I'm sure someone not typing on their phone will chime in shortly with more useful links for you.

      You may want to just pay a grounds fee and school in the warmup your first several outings.
      chaque pas est fait ensemble


      • #4
        I don't know where you are, but our GMO's schooling show rules forbid showing horses that are less than 36 months old. Be sure you can take such a young horse into a class. I think Petstorejunkie's idea of just going to school is a good one. You might even be abe to do that in the hackamore. I can pretty much guarantee you won't be able to ride a test in one.
        Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.


        • #5
          Assuming it is an unrated schooling show, call and talk to the secretary. Under USEF rules, a horse can't compete in a rated show until it is 36 months of age. It also must compete in a legal bit (no hackamore). However, most schooling shows are inclusive, inviting sorts of events and the secretary will do all she can to help you find a place to fit. That may mean showing HC (which is allowed in dressage except in a championship class), or just coming and riding around the warm-up ring for exposure, or it may be a show that doesn't follow USEF rules. Just call and find out.

          For a rated show at this level, you would need to wear light colored breeches, tall boots or smooth leather half chaps with matching paddock boots, a shirt with a ratcatcher or stock tie, and a dark jacket. Horse can't have any legwear (like hunters). Any english saddle is fine.

          For a schooling show, attire varies widely. I've seen schooling shows with rated show attire, clinic attire (breeches of any color with a polo or sweater), and cold weather attire (insert puffy coat or vest instead of polo).


          • Original Poster

            Thanks so much! I will contact the secretary to see what they say. He'll turn 3 at the end of May so will make the 36 month cut off for most of the summer. Even to just get him off property would be great.


            • #7
              And don't be surprised by things like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stg71rG09wo (fast forward to the 1:55 mark for some fun)

              This was the second schooling show my formerly green-broke trail horse had ever done. Later we realize that his aversion could have also been to the "fencing" they used since we use electrified rope fencing for our suplemental pastures.

              Just keep your cool no matter what and try to make it the best experience you can for him.
              The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by Dramapony_misty View Post
                And don't be surprised by things like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stg71rG09wo (fast forward to the 1:55 mark for some fun)

                This was the second schooling show my formerly green-broke trail horse had ever done. Later we realize that his aversion could have also been to the "fencing" they used since we use electrified rope fencing for our suplemental pastures.

                Just keep your cool no matter what and try to make it the best experience you can for him.
                Thanks, that was really good to see.

                So considering this would be for schooling, if he were to shy/run away a bit therefore missing a transition or something would it be better to circle and repeat that movement or just continue on to the next thing?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LordWentworth View Post
                  Thanks, that was really good to see.

                  So considering this would be for schooling, if he were to shy/run away a bit therefore missing a transition or something would it be better to circle and repeat that movement or just continue on to the next thing?
                  Do whatever you need to do to get the composure back. I think every movement you do wrong/late, it's -2 points. Sometimes those 2 points are a good sacrifice if you can save them on the following scores. For example in mine, I circled him back around to H to sort of get it past it (-2 points), and then in the corner between C and M, I knew that I didn't have his mind still so I did 2 sort-of small circles (doing voltes is an exercise we do because he is good at them and it relaxes him so we get back in tune with eachother). -2 points again, but I got ok scores on the last half of my test. I even got a comment like "good riding decision" for my choice to throw in those circles.

                  If you shy past a transition (or forget) just ride it when you can. If it is a shy across the ring (like my guy did), I would try to go back to the point where you left off.

                  Schooling shows are usually pretty relaxed about such things.
                  The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.


                  • #10
                    Generally, do what will create the best schooling opportunity for the horse. In a recognized show where you are riding for the highest possible score, you want to confine the issue to as few movements as possible (that's where knowing your test and how its scored will help you). In addition to getting a low score if the movement is performed poorly (i.e. your 20m circle is a vaguely out of control , mid-spook oval), you can also get an error of course if you aren't doing what the test says you are supposed to be doing (i.e. you are supposed to be trotting a 20m circle at A, but your horse bolts down to C in the canter). You should be familiar with the rules on those:

                    a. When a competitor makes an “error of the course” (takes the wrong turn, omits a movement, etc.) the President of the Jury warns him by sounding the bell. The President shows him if necessary the point at which he must take up the test again and the next movement to be executed then leaves him to continue by himself. However, in some cases when, although the competitor makes an “error of the course”, the sounding of the bell would unnecessarily
                    impede the fluency of the performance for instance if the competitor makes a ransition from medium trot to collected walk at V instead of at K or cantering up the center line from A makes a pirouette at D instead of at L it is up to the President to decide whether to sound the bell or not. However, if the bell is not sounded at an error of course, or error of test in which the movement, or a requirement of the movement, is repeated and the error occurs again, only one error is recorded. If a rider performs in a rising trot when a sitting trot is required, or vice versa, the bell must be sounded and the rider warned that this is an error that accumulates if repeated, leading to elimination at the third occurrence.

                    b. In National and FEI tests, every “error of the course” whether the bell is sounded or not, must be penalized, except as noted above:
                    (1) the first time by 2 points;
                    (2) the second time by 4 points;
                    (3) the third time the competitor is eliminated. However, at the discretion of the judge, the rider may continue to finish to test. If the competitor’s continued presence in the ring is about to interfere with the start of the next scheduled ride, then the judge must excuse him/her from the ring.

                    Check out DR122 for the rest of the rule: http://www.usef.org/documents/ruleBook/2012/08-DR.pdf