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Showing the hairy pony hunters

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  • Showing the hairy pony hunters

    A friend of mine is showing her stallion at Octoberfest in Indiana this weekend so I'm taking my project pony, who happens to be a 14.2 hand arab.

    I'm doing a dressage test and a couple stadium rounds on Saturday (I'm an eventer mostly) and then I want to show her in the hunters on Sunday so I can get in the ring a bunch of times. I really don't have any allusions of winning anything but any suggestions would be great.

    This is a photo of me on her.

    and this is a video of her first course earlier this summer

  • #2
    Pull her mane. Even as an eventer she should have her mane pulled. Take a razor or cippers to nose and just the long hairs on her ears and under her jaw. Make sure you really shine her up with a finishing rag as winter hair loves dust


    • Original Poster

      She shows with a french braided mane, I'm free leasing her so don't have the choice to pull her mane.

      Like this, only without the stupid rider. Sigh.


      Another jumping picture


      • #4
        I think if you go in with the idea to have fun and get exposure, you'll be very successful. I'm sure you know that she isn't exactly a hunter "type", but she looks like a handy little mare who's probably a blast to ride.

        As far as suggestions, what exactly are you looking for? Tips on turnout? What to expect in the hunter ring? It seems like you already have your bases covered.


        • Original Poster

          Any kind of tips would be appreciated! She does not have a lead change yet, am I better off trotting the change, holding the wrong lead, or getting it over a fence?

          Should I put a martingale on her to complete the look?

          Here's my turnout from the last time I did hunters


          • #6
            Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
            Any kind of tips would be appreciated! She does not have a lead change yet, am I better off trotting the change, holding the wrong lead, or getting it over a fence?

            Should I put a martingale on her to complete the look?

            Here's my turnout from the last time I did hunters
            Personally, where she's a "project pony" (that leads me to believe you're still working on stuff) and you aren't looking to bring home ribbons, I would attempt to get the lead over the fence, but if you don't get it, do a simple change. It's just my opinion, but I would rather continue to instill good habits and sacrifice a few points.

            I'm not of the camp to use a martingale to "complete the look", but if you like to use them and the mare goes well in them, by all means use it. Make sure you adjust it properly to accommodate her higher headset, though. I wouldn't want to battle about that while in the ring.

            Your hunter turn out looks great!! No tips there.


            • #7
              Get your running braid as tight as possible. Use quick braid or some other sort of "goo" to help minimize loose/flyaway hairs.

              When I used to show Morgans in dressage and hunter, I would sometimes do two French braids; one would be the majority of the mane down to where there was a natural break (usually just in front of the withers) and then a second small one for the last part of the mane. Sometimes when you carry the one braid over that spot, there is a real tendency for the braid to start to pull out.

              Practical Horseman once did an article on a French braid that was done sort of from the top of the horse, so it stayed on the top of the crest. I wish I'd kept it because I'd love to try it to compare to a "regular" French braid.


              • #8
                Hunter turn out looks nice. She is not hungary and you know that so I'd just going in like a schooling ride at home. You will loose more points for the break in gait over the wrong lead usually but if it's just a chance to get her out then I'd break for the change.
                Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                • #9
                  If you're going to go show her in some hunter classes so she gets some ring time, spend your money to get GOOD ring time.
                  Trot the changes. Don't go nuts making it a schooling round, be respectful to the judge.
                  But you have two choices- go in as a hunter, and go for the hunter ribbons (which isn't too likely, with her breed- which I love, BTW-, her long mane, her higher head carriage) or go to get quality ring time.
                  In the long run you'll be much happier having got some things nicer with the horse by trotting a change, rather than holding a wrong lead so you can get a fifth rather than a sixth place ribbon.
                  I think if you go in with the idea to have fun and get exposure, you'll be very successful. I'm sure you know that she isn't exactly a hunter "type", but she looks like a handy little mare who's probably a blast to ride.
                  That's my favorite tip!

                  Just have a shaped pad (not a square one), no boots on the horse, and other appropriate Hunter turnout.
                  And hey, I LIKE the silly face on the rider- you're working hard at something!


                  • #10
                    Your hunter turnout looks great! I'd try to get her to land on the leads, and if she doesn't, then get a quick simple change. All judges have their own opinions on it, but I would far rather see a break in gait than to see a rider canter the next fence on the incorrect lead.

                    Also, I'm generally not an Arab person, but I really like your mare!
                    "A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character." - Tesio


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Donkerbruin View Post
                      I'd try to get her to land on the leads, and if she doesn't, then get a quick simple change. All judges have their own opinions on it, but I would far rather see a break in gait than to see a rider canter the next fence on the incorrect lead.
                      I agree....if your goal is to school the horse/pony and not worry about ribbons. Under USEF rules, missing a change and/or breaking gait on course are both considered major faults, but I find that most hunter judges consider simple changes a bigger fault than counter cantering on course. Like Donkerbruin, it makes more sense to see the lead corrected and the horse maintaining balance...but that is where the lead change becomes a necessity if trying to be competitive in the hunter ring
                      Home of Welsh Cob stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
                      Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness


                      • #12
                        I think if you can stick with your plan - going for fun & experience - you'll do great! It's when you KNOW you're a)not ready or b)not the type and your competitive juices take over that you get yourself in trouble (unhappy, frustrated, exasperated with pony).

                        Definitely braid - the French is far neater than the flowing locks; and as others have said, be sure you, she, & tack are immaculate (incoming winter coat aside); acceptable tack (no boots on her, nothing ILLEGAL, which is not the same as 'unusual' (that's not the word, but you know what I mean)). I'd much rather see NO martingale, if you'd only be putting it on for style.

                        I also consider counter-canter or cross-canter greater faults than a neat, correct simple change (with cross-canter being the greater fault). If changes are necessary, make them look like planned transitions - as though they were part of a dressage test.

                        Good luck and HAVE FUN!!!

                        Equine Photography in the Northeast


                        • #13
                          She's a cutie! As long as you trim her up, she'll look nice with the braid. It makes for a much cleaner and polished look, plus you won't stand out as much among the hunter crowd as you would with a mane flying everywhere. Good luck and have fun!!
                          I like mares. They remind me of myself: stubborn know-it-alls who only acknowledge you if you have food.
                          Titania: 50% horse, 50% hippo
                          Unforgetable: torn between jumping and nap time, bad speller


                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks! I went and we survived!

                            It was very very windy and while I seem to be getting the hang of keeping her attention in dressage jumping frazzles me enough that I don't react quick enough to an unfocused horse jumping so we had some difficulty.

                            She's quite brave to the point of leaving out strides when we school in the morning in a ring full of horses, but send her into the ring on her own while the next ring is being dragged and she's quite the looky lou.

                            It's also MUCH harder to ride straight down a line then I thought, you don't see many combinations or straight lines in lower level dressage and it was pretty evident that this was a weak spot.

                            Here is one of our better rounds over fences, I decided to canter in the last line and while I was looking at the last fence I wasn't making sure she was locked on so we had a run out.


                            I waited over an hour for our flat class and then scratched it, and would have had to wait over another hour. So I'll have to work that out next time.


                            • #15
                              I'd love to see a Hairy Pony Hunters class offered.


                              • #16
                                Funny clip, but I think you've pasted the wrong link, hahah.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by over the moon View Post
                                  Funny clip, but I think you've pasted the wrong link, hahah.
                                  I second this. Funny but I would rather see your round.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Whooops! Now everybody knows what I watch in the mornings!

                                    Here's the correct video. We obviously have some work to do.



                                    • #19
                                      Oh that trot!! I love it!!


                                      • #20
                                        She's a cutie!

                                        My advice, as an Arab person, is to tuck the tail end of her running braid in so you don't have a long braid hanging down her neck.
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