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carriage show questions - help a newbie

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  • carriage show questions - help a newbie

    Hi all, I have been reading the Chronicle for more years than I can remember. I have learned so much and have always enjoyed coming here regularly as a lurker. now it's time to ask the masses my first question!

    Background - I have a small training barn in Ohio and have been in the business all my life. I am predominantly an Arabian trainer but have branched out here and there over the years jsut to spice it up and add some variety and new knowledge.

    I am currently venturing into the carriage world the last few years and am having a blast with a select few clients as well as one of my own horses.

    Here are my questions:
    Client buys beautiful black and blue gig at Martin's for a good price - a starter two wheel vehicle- for her junior half arab mare. Had good guidance buyign it and it is a nice vehicle. The problem is that it is a home made so I don't have any maker's mark on it to id the "type" of gig. Where can I go to compare this gig with typical gigs. The reason being is that we plan on showing at Walnut Hill this year and I would like to take the mare in the gig class but I am unsure if the gig qualifies.
    Also - does a gig horse HAVE to go in a collar or is breast collar okay.
    How fancy and annimated does a gig horse have to be.
    What acccoutrments are they looking for the "extras", in a gig class.

    Also I could call ADS on Monday but just curious.
    I am taking the junior mare as a single horse 15.2 hands
    my arab mare is 14.1 maybe and qualifies as a large pony.
    What are the rules regarding showing Arab mare as Large Pony at smaller carriage show then showing horse at Walnut Hill.
    Do you have to declare an equine division for the season or can you go according to what each show warrants your best option in the prize list.

    I am struggling with this because I don't have a second driver to drive my mare at the smaller show so in order to justify going with both, I would have to show the arab as large pony. Otherwise I am going just for one horse.

    I so many more questions for you all but I do my appropriate topic searches first so as to not rile the ol' wise ones here. But these show questions are pressing and I need answers!

    Thanks everyone.
    ...don't sh** where you eat...

  • #2
    Collars etc

    As my trainer told me, a collar has to do with the weight of the vehicle. If a gig is a light vehicle, then a collar might be silly, or inappropiate etc. The various types of gigs have to do with how the driver gets in (easy entry, for example), who made it and all that. I do not profess to know much, but there are encyclopedias of carriages, and websites that show different types. I have never heard of a clas that differentiates types of carriages, with the exception of commercial-type vehicles: a horse drawn gypsy wagon, for example. Most classes are divided by type of equine by size, and the class will have a feature, such a reinsmanship. If the show you inted to enter has other classes, then cool for the inventive nature, thus.
    As I understand it, flashy moving --a verticle mover--was fashionable a season or two ago, and still might be in some places with some judges. I hear a lot of sideline grumbling about how hollow horses win over better moving horses--the ideal is still the dressage frame, unless a judge has piccadilloes. Judges do have piccadilloes--some do not like patterns(american show horse, appaloosa etc), some do not like haflingers, some love haflingers, some will adore a mini et cetera.
    Hope that helps a bit


    • #3
      If I remember correctly, if you have a horse by breed that measures as a pony (arabs and morgans are probably most common for this) you can show it in either the horse or pony division, but not both at the same show. So at show A it might be a large pony and at Show B a horse, but it can't do BOTH divisions at Show A or show B.

      Also be careful with the entries - you are not allowed to drive the obstacle courses twice at a show even if it is different divisions. This means if you take both make sure the show will different obstacle courses for each division - it might help to call ahead and explain you plan to have entries in 2 divisions. I know East Aurora is generally accomidating about this. I don't have much experience with other shows.



      • #4
        Although there are folks here who do more pleasure showing than I do, here is my understanding.
        Your mare is a pony by size. You should stick with that if possible. Some shows may not divide by horse and pony so you don't have to worry.
        The formalness of the vehicle determines the gait of the animal. A fancy painted vehicle needs a higher stepping horse/pony. I show with a Morgan pony put to a natural finish country gig. She has a hunter type gait and we have always done fine. I also use a breast collar. When I had my antique, red painted, skeleton gig, I used a collar. Only problem was that I had the wrong horse, an OTT STB, not fancy.
        Walnut Hill does divide classes by vehicle. It is a very fancy show, the top of the Pleasure Shows. Good luck. I understand that even getting in is an issue.


        • #5



          These are a couple of sites that deal in carriages, new and used, that show a large variety of styles of traditional vehicles. You can brouse these sites and see if you see something close to what your client has.


          this site also has loads of pix Mischka does a great calendar every year


          and the Carriage Assoc has pix of lots of carriage types too

          best of luck identifying your vehicle type