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Lead line class questions!

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  • Lead line class questions!

    Hi everyone, hope you can help point me in the right direction, and forgive me for my ignorance here but this is a new world for me!

    My wonderful nearly 6 year old goddaughter has just started riding (with me!!) and she's a natural I'd REALLY like to think about taking her in a lead line class in the early part of next year, but I have NO idea what to expect. This would just be at local schooling shows.

    What is involved in the class. Flat? Trot poles? Small rails? Some combination of all 3? What are the judges usually looking for? How much "rein control" are they looking for vs. the leader taking the pony around on the lead line? Or is it just cute kids on cute ponies having fun (which I hope we'll be able to do no matter what!)

    Thanks for your help - I am sorry I'm a complete newb about this so appreciate any and all advice or stories you might have!

  • #2
    Around here leadline is Walk Only, and the Hack is walking over two ground rails (at a 2-point). More rein control on the rider's part the better with the leader being there to help keep the pony going where it needs to be ;-)
    But mostly cute kids on cute ponies showing the foundations for safe riding . . . or so you would hope.
    Crayola Posse~ on the bus in Mahognany


    • #3
      Depends- some of the local shows around here have two classes: walk leadline and walk/trot leadline.

      In general, the child has to hold the reins, keep their feet in the stirrups, and smile. In walk/trot, the child should be able to post, and change their diagonal if the leader tells them they are wrong (or know their diagonals).

      There are a few local shows that actually make a whole division out of it... walk leadline, walk/trot leadline, walk/trot/poles leadilne (in which there are two ground poles on the rail that they have to walk over in jumping position), and walk/trot off the lead (in which the leader stays next to the pony, but doesn't lead).

      In some of the big leadline classes (Devon, Hampton Classic, etc.) there is also a question asked in the line-up, like what color is your pony, what are the things your feet are in, etc.


      • Original Poster

        Thanks ladies! Love the "questions" I'll be they get some really cute answers!

        I'm excited! Going to check out some classes at our local shows hopefully before the end of the year so I know what to expect. Really appreciate it!


        • #5
          Review the prizelist for specific details. If local shows have a leadline division, they have a class judged completely on the rider, the second horse (suitability) & rider (50:50), and the third including 2pt and/or trotting on the lead, OR judged off the lead but with handler close by.

          Typically for leadline, you want a well suited mount for your rider, both horse/pony and rider turned out properly, and rider demonstrating proper position of legs, base, upper body and hands and ability for basic commands, halt, change of direction, etc.

          Once lined up, judge may have a brief chat with each rider as well, ask them to name a piece of the tack, part of horse, etc.

          Good luck and most of all, have fun!
          www.brydellefarm.com ....developing riders, NOT passengers!
          Member of LNHorsemanshipT & Proud of It Clique
          "What gets me up every morning is realizing how much more there is still to learn." -GHM


          • #6
            I think it depends on your area and/or type of shows...around here, all of the shows have leadline for 8-under BUT it is an "everybody wins" class. All the kids get blue ribbons. Generally leader and lead liner will have matching outfits but not always. So check your rulebook (if in doubt e-mail the show secretary) to see whether it's judged or just fun.


            • #7
              I'd go check out a show or two on the series to see what others do. I've shown at locals where leadline is serious business, with kiddos dressed to the nines and parents all out, with tiny Western saddles on the horses as well as the English LL saddles on others. Other series have gone with the all blues approach and it's more relaxed. Last local I went to gave all blues but gave each rider a "special" one, like handsomest, biggest smile, prettiest outfit, etc. The kids LOVED it. But do check it out-it can go either way!


              • Original Poster

                Thank you everyone! We have a couple of local shows next month that I'm going to check out. She's only just turning 6 so I really like the "all blues" experience, want this to be fun for her. LOVE the special rider awards though, how fun for the kids!


                • #9
                  My youngest son did leadline and it was sometimes more competitive than the other divisions. As long as your goddaughter has a nice leg, is paying attention to what she is doing (not at the crowd or other riders), has rein control, and looks like she is having a great time - she should be fine. We were at one show and the judge made us start all over because the kids and leaders looked miserable. We've been to several shows that was walk only and a lot more that had a whole division of walk, walk/trot, walk off lead, and trot on lead over ground poles - so it really depends on the show.