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Showing Two Year Olds in hand

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  • Showing Two Year Olds in hand

    This is the first time I've had a young horse and I've been thinking about the Two Year Old Horse in Hand classes I've seen listed at some hunter/jumper shows. My question is: how do you prepare a young horse for this? What do the judges look for exactly? What is standard protocal for these types of classes? Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    You should post on the sport horse breeding forum! I do show hunter breeding classes. I'm preparing a yearling now who will start showing next week. Basically, they need to become used to clippers, baths, and braiding, and become used to relaxing while trotting alongside, walking long and relaxed (if possible!) and standing quietly, set up with forelegs even, hind legs one back a bit, one in front a bit, or even if that's how the horse looks best. The horse's neck should reach out (again, if possible) set up and at the gaits. A long, reaching trot is great and a swinging back is great. The judges, however, do their very best to catch glimpses of what is correct, even if some mishaps occur! I wouldn't set up with the hind legs even if the horse's hind leg conformation isn't pretty perfect. I show my own very seldom and usually use a good professional handler, especially at the big shows. I try very hard to braid my own but always use a good braider for manes at the big shows. My tails are good. The protocal is generally to enter the ring head to tail and safely spaced, set up, show the horse at all times. After the judge or judges have gone down the line, the judge will ask how he/she wants the horse trotted out. The trot is done individually and usually preceeded by a nice, long, swinging walk. Then back to lineup and the judge will then line up the horses in the order he/she plans to pin them. The ribbons must be handed out in the ring. Top two (sometimes one) from each class come back for Best Young Horse and generally 2nd place can opt out of the BYH class. For BYH, the same routine but possibly appreviated. I hope this helps you and I've probably left a few details out! Best luck!


    • #3
      Work with them in hand in a bridle and make sure they can walk and trot on a straight line and stand squarely. Your horse will sort of mirror the way you jog so make sure you take nice big steps with some "spring". Judges will be looking for a combination of conformation and movement. They are usually a little lenient about behavior with the young ones so long as they aren't terribly rowdy and don't interfere with the rest of the class. In other words you won't be heavily penalized if your horse can't stand still the entire time (like if you need to circle in the lineup) but bucking, rearing, striking/kicking, etc are no-no's. I would suggest reading the rule book for more info.


      • #4
        Oops I forgot to mention that turnout is VERY important. Horses need to be clipped and braided, hooves polished, etc.


        • #5
          braid mane and tail! Nice bridle, teach your horse to stand square and quietly until you tell them to move and how to jog without getting rowdy. Have fun, we've all had our share of laughs with the babies but your hard work will pay off. Mine went to wellington this year and couldn't care less about anything after doing two years on the line.


          • #6
            There is a book and DVD you can get

            I think I ordered it from either the USEF or USDF. It came in handy for helping me learn the basics.

            I then worked with a trainer who had shown in hand so she could help us learn to properly work the triangle.
            Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!


            • #7
              Originally posted by drewsbadboy
              This is the first time I've had a young horse and I've been thinking about the Two Year Old Horse in Hand classes I've seen listed at some hunter/jumper shows. My question is: how do you prepare a young horse for this? What do the judges look for exactly? What is standard protocal for these types of classes? Thanks in advance!

              The best teacher is going to the shows and watching in person. That way you learn how to prepare your horse & yourself.
              Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


              • #8
                It was glossed over in another post, but all young horses, even the yearlings are shown in a bridle. So practice leading in the bridle.


                • #9
                  Where do you find the schedule of those shows? For Illinois? :-D

                  I am guessing those are not breed inspections?

                  Also just to get an idea, how much costs a professional handler?


                  • #10
                    Go to USEF.org, then to Competitions, then to Calendar and put in Hunter Breeding on the right hand list then put in the spread of the dates you want to cover. You can read all of the shows and target the ones in your area. On my earlier post, I did have a sentence or two regarding that yearlings and older are shown Hunter Breeding in bridle, and in DSHB the yearlings may be shown either in halter or bridle but two year olds and older are shown in bridle. Those sentences must have been erased when I edited!


                    • #11
                      Thanks Dianehalpin!!


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks everyone! I'm finding this forum to be extremely insightful and helpful. I think I'm going to try to show my 2 year old tb colt in hand this summer and see what happens. I am hoping he will be a very nice hunter stallion when he gets older. Our biggest concern is getting him out to different shows so that he feels comfortable going to different places. Should be fun and interesting.


                        • #13
                          Showing in hand is an excellent school for young horses. But they vary a lot in their maturity and some are not a shadow of what they will be when they finally stop growing and become unpholtered.

                          I have the ugliest horse right now and am trying to pluck up courage to take him - just wish I could put a sticker on his bum that says - something like - I'll
                          look better in a year or two!
                          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique