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Thomas - Are there combination classes in the UK?

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  • Thomas - Are there combination classes in the UK?

    Just curious - are there combination classes (ridden/driven) in the UK, and if so, are they more likely to be found at BDS shows or BHS shows or....???
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

  • #2
    Never ever have come across any such thing anywhere in the UK.

    And I've had a quick look since you posted the question to see if there were any at local club event levels and I can't see any in existence at all anywhere.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Really???!!!! Wowwwwww. For some reason I just automatically assumed the UK would own the copyright on truly fabulous Combination Hunters!!

      Did such a thing ever exist over there at all? Or is it strictly a Yank thang?

      I'm curious b/c we have a long tradition of combination classes over here. Unfortunately it's dying out, but some of the big, old, traditional shows do still have them, and at the moment there is some talk of bringing them back to the ASB breed shows. The ADS does have rules in place providing for them and I think we had one at the last ADS pleasure show that took place here in GA.

      In case you've never seen one, the way it works is that it's a 2-phase class: horses enter the ring and are driven first, then there's a break for the tack change and they come back for the ridden phase.

      Hard to find a true Combination Hunter class any more, but that would include jumping a course during the ridden phase.
      "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

      Comment


      • #4
        NEVER come across them here at all. Not even as a "fun" class at a driving rally.

        Mind you I've only been driving a little over 50 years

        I presume they therefore must be an "American thing" and I have seen them over there though.

        Interestingly my mother showed Hackney horses in harness and she also entered ridden classes with her hackney BUT it was always separate classes. (Mum died 2 years ago aged 98 by way of giving the span that covered)

        Similarly every driving horse I've ever owned has been ride and drive and when I was interested in showing and such, I've shown some of them both under saddle and in driving classes but again no such thing as combined classes.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          You should make a move to get them going over there! They are LOADS of fun. I am hoping my next horse will end up as a nice sidesaddle hunter/driving prospect. That's my fantasy, at any rate! (...And if DMK happens to be lurking and reading this, wouldn't that be a nice retirement hobby for the Robmeister when he's done finding eight? )
          "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

          Comment


          • #6
            Our local shows (Sussex Horse Show & Fair and sometimes DVHA Driving Show) usually have this class. Can have anywhere from 2 to about 5 entries typically. What is really fun for the judge is when you have hunt seat, western AND saddleseat ALL in the ring together after all driving with traditional carriage harness. Even for the saddleseat horses we usually dont see fine harness at these shows.

            The Sussex show has USEF classes for Welsh and Morgans (not ASB) during the rest of the week. They used to have Friesiens and now have draft classes on the Driving Show day. So you can have anything from ponies to big horses ridden with any tack in the Ride/Drive class.

            Comment


            • #7
              Combination classes are a hoot. At our little show recently we had ride and drive for our horse and larges ponies. Then for the little guys, vse or small pony, we had a hunter in hand course. It was well received.

              Comment


              • #8
                Neither do we have any such thing as "huntseat" and "saddleseat" and I wouldn't even know what they are

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hunt seat is mostly what you see ridden in your shows. Hunting type saddles and suitable to jump (just an example)
                  http://www.doversaddlery.com/crosby-...1-15326/cn/91/


                  WA will know more of the details on this, but saddle seat is a larger and very flat english style saddle (also has larger flaps) http://www.nationalbridle.com/ProdDe...atalog_ID=4859
                  but horses are only ridden on the flat (no fences) and generally are more high-stepping gaits.
                  http://www.american-saddlebred.com/
                  You see saddleseat for American Saddlebred, Morgan , Arab (and the offshoots of these) Also used for various versions of true "gaited" horses like Tennessee Walker

                  Each type of riding has a totally different look and usually way of going. Then throw western into the mix and you have a bit of everything for a judge to judge.

                  The ONLY saving grace is that usually they all show in the same type of carriage harness http://www.walnuthillfarm.com/gallery/index.html
                  and not the harness types and carriages seen in "breed" shows http://www.eclipsequarterhorses.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nj2 View Post
                    What is really fun for the judge is when you have hunt seat, western AND saddleseat ALL in the ring together after all driving with traditional carriage harness.
                    So could I do a class like this in a dressage saddle and dressage attire? I think Phoenix would be agreeable as long as he got to let everyone know he was first and foremost a fancy DRIVING horse
                    Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

                    PnP Distributors - KUTZMANN Carriages
                    Ashemont2@gmail.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm afraid I've got more confused now. I can see what we call a GP saddle and a show saddle. And we have both those types of saddle in the UK too.

                      But what has the saddle got to do with showing the horse ridden? Or do you mean that your "huntseat" classes need to demonstrate the ability of the horse to jump by actually doing some jumping?

                      The show saddle here would be used because you get a better profile of the shoulder view and the its arguable that the shoulder is "more free" - same as in a dressage saddle - for the judge to view movement when the horse is going round.

                      However a GP saddle is just what its called "general purpose". And here they are sometimes used in show classes too - after all its just a saddle and here its the horse's conformation and way of going that is being judged NOT the saddle!

                      Perhaps I could better understand if someone could help by explaining precisely what happens in each of those classes. What is being judged?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OK Thomas
                        The hunt seat (as exemplified by the GP saddle, is generic "english" and in teh combination classes is just expected to perform a walk, trot, canter both ways of the ring. Also halt and back. Jumping is only included if its Ride/Drive/Jump (or some such name) They ride in a basic balanced seat position, similar to the International jumping classes only on the flat.

                        Saddle seat have a completely different set of clothes for the rider. It can be a single bit or full mouth bridle. The saddle is positioned somewhat further back on the withers to free up the movement of the front end. The riders position in the saddle is different and further back than on a GP saddle. Legs "look" straighter with longer stirrups (I may be wrong about this in detail)
                        This is ridden ONLY on the flat and is expected to produce flashier gaits, even in saddle seat pleasure classes. The Hackney and ASB aer the flashiest of the high stepping horses but the Morgan is not far behind

                        There is usually a lot of bias between riders of each type, so putting them together in the same ring can be an immediate cause for some amusement and judges who are accustomed to the hunter type tack and way of going dont always know what to do with a saddle seat entry

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There was a major Saddlebred show going on concurrent with the National Drive. It is not a world I've ever been involved in, so I had a good look round when this opportunity presented itself. It was an interesting study in contrasts. On our side of the parking lot were a vast assortment of turnouts, and people dressed for the weather, a steady bustle of relaxed but purposeful activity and lots of laughter -- and mud. On their side of the parking lot one saw at least one Hispanic groom for every stall, people in those stalls blowdrying their horses, young women in the bathrooms (which we shared) applying copious makeup, false horsetails hanging everywhere (I was told that for this kind of show the horses' tails are often broken and then set to a higher level, with the false tails attached to make up for the difference in height and to enhance the horse's natural tail), crystal chandeliers in tack stalls and crystal tie-backs on stall curtains. No mud anywhere.

                          We spent lunch watching a few classes one day in the nearby indoor arena. Saddlebreds are stunningly beautiful horses and their natural movement is clean and active. Under saddle the goal seems to be to make them look crazy. The horses we watched carried their heads very high -- in the children's classes often straining against martingales attached directly to the (leverage) bits -- and their eyes bulged. The children wore fixed smiles that faded when the judge looked away and reappeared when the judge looked toward them. The adult women just smiled continually. The adult men seemed to be doing their imitations of Simon Legree. The riders sat well back on the flat saddle in what I would call an exaggerated chair seat, which didn't look comfortable, but which is intended, I was told, to show off the high-stepping front action of the horse. Many of the horses seemed on the verge of losing control of their front legs, or else they were taking a couple of steps in the air, or something. Their front feet were grown quite long. I'm not sure if they wear weighted shoes or not. They showed to music played by an organist in the centre of the arena, in a flower-bedecked judging circle.

                          These horses were also driven to spidery little show buggies polished to a high gleam.

                          This is an outsider's perspective, and I freely confess that I am ignorant of the finer nuances of this kind of showing. I'll be interested to read what is posted by people who actually know and understand Saddlebred classes!
                          Last edited by MySparrow; Oct. 26, 2006, 09:29 AM. Reason: syntax

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MySparrow View Post
                            There was a major Saddlebred show going on concurrent with the National Drive. <snip> It was an interesting study in contrasts. On our side of the parking lot were a vast assortment of turnouts, and people dressed for the weather, a steady bustle of relaxed but purposeful activity and lots of laughter -- and mud. On their side of the parking lot one saw at least one Hispanic groom for every stall, people in those stalls blowdrying their horses, young women in the bathrooms (which we shared) applying copious makeup, false horsetails hanging everywhere (I was told that for this kind of show the horses' tails are often broken and then set to a higher level, with the false tails attached to make up for the difference in height and to enhance the horse's natural tail), crystal chandeliers in tack stalls and crystal tie-backs on stall curtains. No mud anywhere.
                            Ah, but who was having more FUN??? I've never done Saddlebreds and have never wanted to. Well at one time I confess I entertained the idea because I thought it would be neat to show against Captain Kirk! For me horses are my passion and it needs to be fun for both of us. Not the image I get when I watch Saddlebreds. However I think I've tried just about everything else
                            Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

                            PnP Distributors - KUTZMANN Carriages
                            Ashemont2@gmail.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MySparrow View Post
                              On their side of the parking lot one saw at least one Hispanic groom for every stall, people in those stalls blowdrying their horses, young women in the bathrooms (which we shared) applying copious makeup, false horsetails hanging everywhere (I was told that for this kind of show the horses' tails are often broken and then set to a higher level, with the false tails attached to make up for the difference in height and to enhance the horse's natural tail),

                              REPLY: I've been riding saddle seat for over 30 years now here in the States and you are correct here except for one detail. The tails are not "broken". A ligament is nicked by a tiny incision thru the skin which allows the tail to be carried higher. A tail set keeps the ligament limber and stretched so that this can happen. Tail sets are generally only worn a week or so before a show to limber the tail carriage and then are removed when they return home. However, a newly nicked tail will be put in a tail set at home to insure proper regrowth. This subject is very controversial with some people but is actually a very simple procedure.

                              We spent lunch watching a few classes one day in the nearby indoor arena. Saddlebreds are stunningly beautiful horses and their natural movement is clean and active. Under saddle the goal seems to be to make them look crazy.

                              REPLY - to the novice spectator, it would appear that we like them crazy but in fact, they are trained to appear alive and animated. The Saddlebred performance horse is taught from a very early age to come alive when shown but to be docile and very manageable whether under saddle or simply being led.

                              The horses we watched carried their heads very high -- in the children's classes often straining against martingales attached directly to the (leverage) bits -- and their eyes bulged.

                              REPLY: Saddlebreds are in fact bred to have larger eyes than many breeds. The bulge is there naturally and will appear even when they are at rest if they raise their upper eye lids. Because it signals fear or mistrust in other breeds, it is often misinterpreted within the Saddlebreds. But just as certain small dog breeds have bulging eyes, so do Saddlebreds.

                              The children wore fixed smiles that faded when the judge looked away and reappeared when the judge looked toward them. The adult women just smiled continually. The adult men seemed to be doing their imitations of Simon Legree. The riders sat well back on the flat saddle in what I would call an exaggerated chair seat, which didn't look comfortable, but which is intended, I was told, to show off the high-stepping front action of the horse. Many of the horses seemed on the verge of losing control of their front legs, or else they were taking a couple of steps in the air, or something. Their front feet were grown quite long. I'm not sure if they wear weighted shoes or not. They showed to music played by an organist in the centre of the arena, in a flower-bedecked judging circle.

                              REPLY: The only time the actual riding is judged when riding Saddle Seat is in an equitation class. As for children, it all depends on who is teaching them as to whether the particular instructor is more concerned with riding skills or horse communication skills. Some instructors teach both good riding form and good communication with the horse. Others teach good communication only. Adults don't always have healthy posture on a horse due to poor posture. But their riding skills don't always suffer due to poor posture - it is possible to not look beautiful on a horse and still have good communication.

                              These horses were also driven to spidery little show buggies polished to a high gleam.

                              REPLY - the two wheeled carts are considered pleasure carts for pleasure type horses and ponies. Four wheeled carts are for a dressier class called Fine Harness. All harness is very light and the carts themselves don't weigh a lot in order to allow the horses to still maintain their animation instead of needing to throw their weight and neck into pulling a heavy cart.

                              This is an outsider's perspective, and I freely confess that I am ignorant of the finer nuances of this kind of showing. I'll be interested to read what is posted by people who actually know and understand Saddlebred classes!
                              REPLY - I currently own, breed, train and show my horses and have been doing so for most of my life. It is a joy to those of us who love Saddlebreds to see our horses enjoy what they are doing. Like any breed, there are those who try shortcut tactics, but a properly trained Saddlebred show horse (not to be confused with the heavily shod Tennessee Walking Horses) is one who enjoys being in the limelight and shows it.
                              Last edited by bludejavu; Oct. 26, 2006, 12:32 PM.
                              Susan N.

                              Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Oh Jaysus God, here we go.... Paging Bludejavu to this thread for assistance...

                                I'll try to give you the basics Thomas... Nutshell version, we have THREE separate and distinct riding styles in the USA which (for the most part) you don't have in the UK:

                                "Hunt seat" riding here is the style of riding you're accustomed to, which evolved of course from fox hunting.

                                "Western" riding is what the cowboys do in the movies. They have a saddle with a horn which is used to snub the rope to when roping a calf or whatever.

                                "Saddle seat" riding is a style of riding that really evolved during the era of the great plantations here in the South. Plantation owners wanted a flashy, elegant, up-headed horse with a comfortable gait that still had the stamina to carry the owner on his duties around the plantation all day and could carry the family to church on Sunday and look very VERY swellegant! Breeding for those criteria, we arrived at our own native American breeds such as the American Saddlebred (see DNJ's link), the Tennessee Walking Horse, and other similar cousins such as the Missouri Fox Trotter. Most of these breeds have "extra" gaits that other breeds don't, such as the "slow gait" and rack in the 5-gaited Saddlebred, the running walk in the Walking Horse, and so on.

                                "Saddle seat" riding evolved as a riding style over here for similar reasons. The attire is different b/c it's too darn HOT here to ride around all day in a tweed hacking jacket and tall boots - hence the saddle suit. The riding style itself evolved as the Saddlebred horse became naturally more up-headed and higher stepping. (NB - there is a precedent for this style of riding in the UK, back in the days when y'all had a breed of horse called a "Galloway" or "Ambler" - that breed is now extinct, but enough of them came over here that they became some of the foundation stock for our Saddlebreds, Walking Horses and Standardbreds.)

                                Nowadays these 3 styles of riding are considered separate and distinct disciplines and are judged according to completely different sets of rules. Which is where today's discipline-specific judges have a tough time. Those of us who are old-timers or were trained by old-timers can handle it, the younger people - no.

                                The same holds true in driving. Nowadays, Saddlebred breed shows have a different styles of driving that has evolved into a "show ring only" discipline and is judged under completely different rules than the ADS/BDS style of driving you are accustomed to.

                                Fine Harness horses are put to a lightweight 4-wheeled (modified) viceroy. They're the strutting peacocks of the show ring. I'll confess that a really great one such as Sir William Robert can actually make me teary-eyed! They're faster and flashier than anything you have over there. Closest relative in Europe would be the Dutch Tuigpaard which is trained and shown in similar fashion.

                                I'll be honest - I'm a huge adherent and fan of saddle seat riding and driving, specifically of the American Saddlebred, and am in the minority on this forum b/c I do know, understand, loff and compete the breed whenever I'm lucky enough to own or have access to one. They are GREAT horses and, as we can see right here on this forum, are much misunderstood.
                                "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  DNJ I took a look at picture of the Quarterhorse being driven--can we say western pleasure horse being driven? And what happened to the lady's gloves?

                                  Thomas, if you were to attend the schooling open pleasure show weekends at my local saddle club you would be absolutely amazed at what is there.

                                  Since the local most preferred breeds in my area seem to be Quarterhorse or Paint (a pinto quarterhorse/t-bred mix) I have my asbestos flame suit on--, you will see horses ridden on Saturday in western saddles doing their best to look like a western pleasure horse. Slow jogs, loose rein, silver encrusted western saddles, lots of glitter on cowboy hats, long fringed chaps, etc The next day these same horses appear in the "english" pleasure show. So now these same horses are going around the arena in what you essentially are calling a GP saddle, some hunt saddles which are a little flatter than the GP seat, no knee tolls generally. The riders are now decked out in helmets, hunt jackets, breeches and tall boot.

                                  What we get are hunter type horses in western tack and peanut pushers in english tack. Then you have a few park types which is somewhat like what the Saddlebred discussion was, with a few Arabians thrown in.
                                  Saddle seat, is an even flatter saddle based on the old plantation or beuna vista saddles that were developed for the gaited horses of the 19th century.
                                  The gaited horses of today in the show ring would not get very far going down the road. I talked to a TWH trainer about his "big lick" horse and how far he road it daily. Once around the 1/4 track and back it went into its stall! How sad. But I digress

                                  Breed shows are very posh political type things. No fun at all. Been there done that in the Arabian world.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Cartfall View Post
                                    The gaited horses of today in the show ring would not get very far going down the road.
                                    Ummmm.... The Amish might beg to disagree. They love the ASBs b/c 98% of them are trained to drive before they are trained to ride, and many ASBs end up (for better or worse) in the hands of the Amish and prove to be very worthy road horses indeed for many years.
                                    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Cartfall View Post
                                      Saddle seat, is an even flatter saddle based on the old plantation or beuna vista saddles that were developed for the gaited horses of the 19th century.
                                      The gaited horses of today in the show ring would not get very far going down the road. I talked to a TWH trainer about his "big lick" horse and how far he road it daily. Once around the 1/4 track and back it went into its stall! How sad. But I digress

                                      Breed shows are very posh political type things. No fun at all. Been there done that in the Arabian world.
                                      Please don't confuse the Big Lick TWH with other gaited breeds and types - they are literally worlds apart. I thought you might like to see a video of a really cool speed racker going down the side of the road. It's a little lengthy but well worth the watch.

                                      http://www.spottedhaven.com/diggerstud.html
                                      Susan N.

                                      Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by bludejavu View Post
                                        Please don't confuse the Big Lick TWH with other gaited breeds and types - they are literally worlds apart. I thought you might like to see a video of a really cool speed racker going down the side of the road. It's a little lengthy but well worth the watch.

                                        http://www.spottedhaven.com/diggerstud.html
                                        Most definitely agree re the whole Big Lick thang - those people are a law unto themselves...

                                        That's a COOL vid Susan, never seen it, thanks for the post!

                                        And to keep this Driving related - and for the Capt. Kirk fans - here's a nice vid of a Shatner-bred ASB stallion, Belle Reve's Voodoo Magic, taking a victory pass after a Fine Harness class right here in GA:

                                        http://www.asha.net/members/stallion.php/093934S
                                        "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

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