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Here's a New One: Garters, Bows and First Ladies?

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  • #21
    I too got confused and was thinking of leadliners, and my first thought was 6 3/8 in, no way could the helmet fit that small of a child. Although realizing it was a medium, and seeing the picture of a similarly outfitter rider I don't see the problem.

    I can see how it looks better with hair tucked up than bows, because that would just add more to the 'big headed' look so to speak.

    And I cannot WAIT to put DD in leadline (at the local shows) with those big bows!! But once you graduate to riding on your own, the hair belongs in the helmet.
    You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!


    • #22
      It wouldn't bother me. I mean, like someone else posted, I truly think the very colorful, big bows (and let's face it some are HUGE) are way more distracting to me as they fly around in the air behind them. Small ones can be cute, but big ones? Not for my taste! Helmet is fine.
      “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
      ¯ Oscar Wilde


      • #23
        Originally posted by alternativename View Post
        (Borrowing an alter from a friend...does this make me the ultimate house-guest/sybil?)

        Posting anonymously to protect myself and those involved...

        Recently judged at a smaller A show in my area. Had a kid in one of my medium pony classes that was wearing short boots, garters, braids with bows and a GPA First Lady. Kid had a super nice pony and I ended up placing her pretty high in all three classes. However, I was so distracted the entire time by what looked like a martian helmet on her head that it was almost enough for me to penalize her for it. There's nothing more distracting/odd looking than a teeny kid on a teeny pony with a massive helmet with braids flying out the back, going every which way.

        Someone please tell me that this is not the new trend for the 12 and under crowd...as a judge, would you go so far as to consider this "unconventional"?
        I don't think that you can argue that a GPA (First Lady or otherwise) would be considered unconventional these days.

        The First Lady offers better sun protection than most helmets due to the slightly broader brim. There are those that feel the wider brim offers better protection in a fall, as well. I would be willing to bet that the parents who purchased that helmet did so for one or both of those reasons. I cannot imagine why on earth you would consider penalizing a child on that basis.
        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


        • #24
          I think you were smart to use an alter, as I don't think you would be getting many judging jobs if you're scoring based on helmet preference.


          • #25
            For heaven sakes. Judges are human. If something distracts them from the ride, it isn't helping. Some of the avante-garde helmets and monster bows absolutely beg to distract your eye. Makes you wonder why the rider DOESN'T want you to look at their pony, LOL. I'd say the kid was lucky she had a great judge who was able to look beyond it.

            Attire should be conservative and not detract from the horse, who is, after all suppose to be the focus.

            Remember all the uproar about the 'bling' some years ago? Rhinestoned helmets and sticks. In my opinion, hair bows belong right up there. Want to draw the eye to the rider? Go ride Western Pleasure. I'd rather look at the horse.
            The truth is always in the middle.


            • #26
              The USEF rulebook on attire - which pretty much states that a rider is not to be marked down for their attire - the exception of maybe blingy helmets (like ones w/ crystals) and inappropriate attire which is defined as collars shirts, chaps - not an approved helmet which a judge finds too large for a kids head...leave that kind of judging to Joan Rivers.


              • #27
                Originally posted by alternativename View Post
                (Borrowing an alter from a friend...does this make me the ultimate house-guest/sybil?)

                Posting anonymously to protect myself and those involved...

                Recently judged at a smaller A show in my area. Had a kid in one of my medium pony classes that was wearing short boots, garters, braids with bows and a GPA First Lady. Kid had a super nice pony and I ended up placing her pretty high in all three classes. However, I was so distracted the entire time by what looked like a martian helmet on her head that it was almost enough for me to penalize her for it. There's nothing more distracting/odd looking than a teeny kid on a teeny pony with a massive helmet with braids flying out the back, going every which way.

                Someone please tell me that this is not the new trend for the 12 and under crowd...as a judge, would you go so far as to consider this "unconventional"?
                I am not a huge fan of the look of the GPA first lady (wide brim) and I find them distracting (luckily I am not a judge). My kid wears a GPA speed air evolution but only for practice - they feel very eq-ish to me. Per me and our coach she must switch back to the more traditional CO for shows in the regular PH division. I see lots (not all) of kids doing the same thing.


                • #28
                  Googled a GPA First Lady and came up on this picture:


                  All I can wonder is who really wears their helmet without their shirt??


                  • #29
                    Perhaps there is a reason

                    why they chose that particular helmet. It may fit very well. I have had an abnormally shaped head since infancy, back in the day, in order for any helmet to fit, it required my father putting it in a vice and being so tight I thought I'd go blind from the pain.

                    Decades later, I discovered CO helmets, which, except for my Patey (which I can no longer show in, but has never left my head in spite of several double-flip twist flying dismounts) fit me the best. If it was a** ugly, I'd still wear it if I had anything fancy enough for the "A" shows.

                    She's a kid, maybe she has a vision or skin condition which make the brim more necessary. Maybe she likes it.

                    I personally, detest the pippy longstocking braids and huge bows, I'm of the "if you can ride your own pony over fences you can put your hair up" camp.


                    • #30
                      So you're saying that even though the kid rode well and was dressed appropriatly you seriously considered penalizing her because you didn't like her helmet?

                      Are you F-ing kidding me? Good thing you were smart enough to use an alter because that's pretty awful behavior for a judge.


                      • #31
                        I kind of find it hard to understand how a neatly-restrained dressage bun/ShowBow (the brand-name hairnet) are ugly or distracting, but the floppy braids in those pictures are appropriate turnout? They look really messy.
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                        • #32
                          So in reading this post, I didn't know what GPA First Lady Helmet looked like, so I did a google search. On this website

                          I scrolled down to the bottom and there are lots of pictures of awesome falls...and by awesome I don't mean that it was awesome that they fell, becuase certainly it isn't and I hope everyone is alright, but that the moment of capture is awesome. Most of them are actually really painful to look at but the first one of the horse going over the jump is funny to me because I have a horse that jumps like that and have many "super horse" photos of her like that...thankfully not with me going over the horse's head though.
                          Teaching Horseback Riding Lessons: A Practical Training Manual for Instructors

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Tha Ridge View Post
                            Is this a joke? Have you never seen a pony hunter rider? http://www.phelpssports.com/content/photos/71711.jpg

                            That, just with this helmet: http://www.gpa-sport.com/thumbsphotos/p_first-lady.jpg (which the OP took issue with).

                            A GPA is a type of helmet and garters are proper attire for a rider not wearing tall boots.
                            Not a joke. I don't show, and I don't follow hunter jumper fashion. The two pictures you linked were beautiful, IMO. Not the image that I got when I read about somebody showing in shorts and garters. LOL. My bad!
                            I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


                            • #34
                              Personally, (and please don't rip my head off for this) I think speed airs look horrible on young riders. There are plenty of GPAs that don't have large shiny vents. If you absolutely MUST wear a speed air in the pony hunters, then just use a plain ol' speed air... don't see the need for the extra large brim version for a few trips and a hack.

                              IMHO, I think what the OP did was reasonable... they were taken aback, thought about adjusting placings because of the helmet/bows, then chose to overlook that and place the pony and rider well.
                              Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


                              • #35
                                I feel for you OP--you did the right thing, but admit that the over-the-top bows and big-ass helmet distracted you. (I can see many folks have trouble reading for comprehension--judge did NOT score down based on her/his opinion). I have been announcing alongside judges this past year, and have listened to their comments regarding horses, clothes, tack, bits, trainers, etc. None of those distractions/comments figured into the results. But believe me, those in the booth notice. The giant bows are annoying, flopping around. I, too, have seen the tiny child with the giant helmet look--not my favorite, and certainly not penalized, but maybe fitting an approved helmet that flatters and protects a child instead of worrying about "the right brand" would be a better choice? Who knows about the OP's pony rider--might have been the only choice or not, but after spending all that $$, maybe a look in the mirror with honest eyes would help.
                                Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                                • #36
                                  Penalizing a child for wearing a helmet of any kind is insane. I would also like to add to those who think hair should only be worn up in a helmet have never had to deal with really thick hair. To get thick hair up into the helmet, you would have to buy a helmet so much bigger than your head size, that you would take away a lot of the safety of the helmet. I am African American and I don't even think they would make a helmet big enough for me to wear my hair up in. I wear it in a single braid down my back.


                                  • #37
                                    But...but...she DIDN'T penalize the rider! The OP stated that she felt the look was off, but didn't penalize. I think that parents and riders really need to look at the whole picture--don't follow the "hey, what's hot in the hunter ring?" crowd and do what is safe and age-appropriate.

                                    Thick hair or not, a properly fitted and appropriate for the sport helmet is important. There is a certain uniform code of hunterland that needs to be followed, but be prepared if your personal choices put you on the "what was she thinking?" side of the judge's mind...however, a judge in the hunters is looking for the best ride, not the best helmet, so your ride had better live up to the blingy-it-cost-a-lot-so-it-must-be-great item of apparel.
                                    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                                    • #38
                                      Maybe it does fit the kid and just looks a little strange. I look like a mushroom-head no matter what helmet I wear, but the shape of the CO at least makes me a properly-protected-mushroom-head.

                                      I think this whole discussion is absurd. Who cares if the kid's parents shelled out a lot of money for a helmet for their kid? That's their prerogative (and no one else's business). Maybe they wanted to have that kind of ventilation. Maybe it's what fit best. Who cares, as long as little Susie's noggin is protected?
                                      Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!


                                      • #39
                                        And let's face it, some kids get sweaty! Let them vent.
                                        “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                                        ¯ Oscar Wilde


                                        • #40
                                          Honestly, I am all on your side. Why would any 12 year old be wearing a gpa first lady? Pony riders are supposed to be wearing co's, or atleast that;s the fad right now. I show a circuit, and am currently at wef for the winter. I'm 15, and when I was younger, all hunters and eq pony riders wore the co jr8. I would see why its distracting - bows flying all around, and huge helmet on a tiny girl. I say, if you're going to do eq and hunters as a pony kid, wear a co. it's just the way to go. Speed airs/first lady was actually made for jumpers, hence the name "speed air". I don;t like the way the speed airs in the hunter or eq ring.

                                          Jumpers - gpa speed air, first lady, co ayr8, or co gr8

                                          hunters/eq - co ary8, gr8

                                          pony kids - co ary8, co gr8, or co jr8.

                                          thats how it should be.