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Some class ideas for a fun H/J show geared towards kids/novice riders?

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  • Some class ideas for a fun H/J show geared towards kids/novice riders?

    I'm looking for some ideas on show classes to spice up a show. We're gearing it towards kids/novice riders/green horses/schooling, want to keep it low key but offer some classes that maybe people don't see at most shows but would like to.
    We want to really focus on the riders equitation & horsemanship vs. the horses style/way of going.
    Not really looking for "gymkhana" type stuff or "egg & spoon" races etc but more english classes or hunter jumper with a twist. Some flat classes mixed into the day to attract some riders that might not jump or want to jump. We're aiming to offer something different from the standard hunter show consisting of a thousand courses of "line, diagonal, line, diagonal, line...and a hack class".

    Thoughts or ideas? What was a memorable class for you and why?
    __________________________________________________ _
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  • #2
    Do a Mini-Derby. Natural jumps (logs, mini-straw bales, wood pile) with bending lines and little roll backs. Doesn't have to be scary jumps, but more than plain rails. Two rounds, with a call-back of the top 4-5 to ride off over a more complex course, really testing their riding/memory ability.

    Or a medal class, along those lines. Give the younger riders a taste of the "big time".
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

    Comment


    • #3
      One of the favorites we used to do was an obstacle course. Circles around barrels, weave through cones, trot over poles, halt at the marker, that sort of thing.

      Course would be posted and kids would walk the course with their coach before riding.

      Comment


      • #4
        The derby would be fun. If you want to focus on the rider maybe have an "equitation derby" - fun jumps, bending lines, and a handy round/test. If you can get some cheap neck ribbons (try Hodges Badge) the kids would love it.
        "Test" the medal classes by having them do a shortened course, with a halt or trotting a crossrail.
        If you are having jumpers, do an gambler's choice with a Joker fence a hole larger than the rest of the course.
        For flat classes, have the judge ask each rider a few horsemanship questions, if time allows.

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        • #5
          Love the mini-Derby idea! Maybe also a pairs class on the flat, where the ribbons go to the pairs that are most in unison?

          Comment


          • #6
            Gambler's choice classes are always fun.

            Comment


            • #7
              I would love if my local show would have a derby.

              Comment


              • #8
                We used to do a pairs o/f class where one person starts inthe lead with the other following and then they switch positions in the middle of the course. We also did a grooming class where the judge would go over your horse with a white glove and judge you on your presentation. That's a fun one and the winner would get a big prize bag with nice grooming supplies. Also partner classes on the flat would add something different. Would be more 4-H style.

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Some great ideas! Thank you!

                  Really love the mini-derby idea and the turnout class. A "make your own" course could be fun too.
                  __________________________________________________ _
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                  • #10
                    I really like the idea of a mini-Derby, and a Gamblers' Choice or medal class sound great, too! A pairs class, like Highflyer mentioned, would be lots of fun, as well! Also, what about doing a showmanship and/or model class, a command class, a bareback equitation, and/or go-as-you-please/country pleasure class?

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                    • #11
                      Not sure if this is too gymkhana-ish, but a sit-a-buck class is always fun and a good test of your position! Riders also will have an incentive to recruit their friends because the more entries, the more $ to win!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I do some horse show announcing and one of our local shows does a ground pole class. It is for the very beginning rider, too beginner to jump so they do four ground poles. Great for the very beginners to get a taste of jumping some what of a course in a show arena.
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                        • #13
                          I was at a schooling show once with some sort of "hunt" class, where there were obstacles and a course set that was similar to what you might encounter while on a field hunt. I think there was some sort of pleasure flat before the obstacle course that was scored as a part of the whole class. Riders had to open a gate (you could set up a pair of standards with a long rope between, tied at one end with a loop on the other. Riders remove the looped end to pass through the "gate" and then replace it when they're through the "gate"), dismount and remount from the ground, walk through poles raised at one end, (we had those block thingies, and each pole was raised at one end, and the ends they were raised on alternated), side-pass over a pole that was three strides out from a small X before walking over the pole, picking up the canter, cantering two strides to the jump, jumping, and halting two strides after. I immagine you could ask riders to dismount, pull their saddles, then re-tack and re-mount (the "checking for burs under the saddle blanket" obstacle) or dismount and lift all four of their horses feet ("checking for stones") or something. Be creative. It was a nice way to show off hunter horses who could, theoretically, actually hunt. Everyone had a blast. The prize could be something "hunt themed"

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                          • #14
                            I've always loved that JWI does "horseless horse shows"

                            Kids "jump" a course on foot, but to make it more educational, should place checkpoints where basic horse knowledge must be tested at start and finish of the course

                            Otherwise, bareback dollar has my vote!
                            "You either go to the hospital or you get back on! Hospital or on!"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bluebuckets View Post
                              I was at a schooling show once with some sort of "hunt" class, where there were obstacles and a course set that was similar to what you might encounter while on a field hunt. I think there was some sort of pleasure flat before the obstacle course that was scored as a part of the whole class. Riders had to open a gate (you could set up a pair of standards with a long rope between, tied at one end with a loop on the other. Riders remove the looped end to pass through the "gate" and then replace it when they're through the "gate"), dismount and remount from the ground, walk through poles raised at one end, (we had those block thingies, and each pole was raised at one end, and the ends they were raised on alternated), side-pass over a pole that was three strides out from a small X before walking over the pole, picking up the canter, cantering two strides to the jump, jumping, and halting two strides after. I immagine you could ask riders to dismount, pull their saddles, then re-tack and re-mount (the "checking for burs under the saddle blanket" obstacle) or dismount and lift all four of their horses feet ("checking for stones") or something. Be creative. It was a nice way to show off hunter horses who could, theoretically, actually hunt. Everyone had a blast. The prize could be something "hunt themed"

                              I want to do that class! Sounds fun! I was thinking mini derby as well. We've done schooling shows with Gamblers choice where each jump has a certain point rating. You are allotted 'x' amount of time and kids create their own course to get highest number of points. We've done puissance classes as well. Another fun class has been pairs. As someone mentioned before one person starts course, then in middle they switch positions and the last jump is wide and they jump it together. They also had to dress in like costumes and be themed. When I was younger I participated in a pro-am class as well. There are several options!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                7 out of 8

                                At a local show they had a 7 out of 8 class. Riders did a hunter course of 8 fences and then let the judge know which fence they did not want judged so they were judged on 7 of the 8 fences they jumped. Sometimes the riders picked the right fence to discard and sometimes not. Was interesting.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  A flat pattern, kind of like in NCAA or AQHA equitation.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I absolutely love the mini derby classes! In early October a local show held a mini derby and had us jump in and out of the ring... it was very exciting! An Equitation Challenge class might be really cool too--tests on the flat would invite riders not ready to jump or with green horses that aren't ready for the derby!

                                    Can't wait to hear what you come up with

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I always thought it would be cool to have a "trainers equitation" class. Maybe make a class where the combined score of the trainer's equitation round and the students equitation round is used to determine the winner.

                                      Love the equitation derby idea mentioned above.

                                      LOVE LOVE LOVE the grooming class idea. I suggest have three rounds and then an overall "champion". A flat class, equitation round, and an in-hand class. The in-hand class should be judged on turnout and "ring-side preparation". In other words, you come in with your grooming box or backpack and the judge inspects the contents/organization of that as well as the overall turn out of your horse. Placings would be given for each class and then the points totals for overall placings or champion/reserve. Kind of like the versatility format at open shows (western pleasure, english pleasure, equitation pattern, barrels, and then overall placings).

                                      Also consider some written classes? Make a horsemanship quiz or a quiz bowl type of class.

                                      Then of course have a wider variety of divisions. I would suggest having all or most equitation classes if you are trying to gear more to that. Avoid age restrictions and instead have novice, limit, open, etc. Base it on height and the number of years shown instead to get more entries in each class and more competition!
                                      There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
                                      inside of a man.

                                      -Sir Winston Churchill

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        A pro-Am jumper class is also fun. Power part is done by one rider and the speed rider is done by the 2nd rider. Hilarious mounting ensues.
                                        EdgeBrook

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