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Beginner: Our teacher is pushing us to do a Walk Trot class

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  • Beginner: Our teacher is pushing us to do a Walk Trot class

    OK I may show my stupidity here but I've been riding since October and today our teacher was giving us a bit of a guilt trip about riding a walk-trot class in the next school show in April. I wouldn't mind riding but its been a long time since I did a couple of shows and I don't even know what's involved in a walk-trot class.

    The couple of flat classes I did as a teenager were in a group but that is all I remember. It felt just like a group lesson. Is there anything I should know about the walk-trot class before saying yes?

  • #2
    Nope. Just have fun. The judge will tell you what to do (walk, trot, walk, change direction at the walk, trot, walk, line up in the center of the ring). You just listen and follow instructions. If your trainer is asking you to go, I'm sure she thinks you are ready. Since you said school show, I'm thinking this show is at your barn. Either way, ask about total expenses before saying yes so you know what you are going to have to spend. If it's at home, you might just have to pay for the class and using the horse, but you might also have to pay a coaching fee. I know other barns that charge the same as a lesson for their own people at their home schooling shows. If its at another barn, there are things like trailering and grooming too- so its best to be clear about costs up front.


    • #3
      Also ask your trainer what you need to wear (unless you already have appropriate show clothes). Ask lots of questions now so you are prepared and just have fun!!!


      • Original Poster

        Thanks! So its riding in a group. I can do that!

        This show is just for the students so I think I'm in luck. Pictures from their last schooling show show a lot of chaps and paddock boots and not too many jackets. I have the breeches, paddock boots and chaps-all in black! We get a flyer every month and they just charge one fee so I'll have to find the flyer to see how much it costs.

        I'm actually looking forward to it!


        • #5
          How often are the shows held? You would probably feel a lot more comfortable if you were able to attend one of the shows first as a spectator.

          Our barn holds monthly schooling shows and they're VERY low-key. I had never been to one, but I've always been a very show-averse rider-- my excuse was always that I didn't have all the right "show clothes," but in reality the whole idea was very intimidating-- and I've been riding for 28 years!! Anyway, I adopted a green OTTB last fall, and one day I happened to come out to ride on the day of one of the schooling shows... much to my surprise, it was MUCH more relaxed and low-key than what I was expecting (no show attire, all ages and levels of riders, etc.), so I decided, what the heck-- I would enter a couple of classes the next time around.

          That was 4 months ago, and I've entered a few classes at each monthly show since. I'm SOO hooked! It's a great way for my greenie to get used to crowds and a little chaos, but more importantly it's given us real goals to work towards... before, my riding was pretty "aimless" to be honest, but the schooliong shows keep me focused on our training goals.

          I've also managed to coerce a few other adult re-riders at our barn to enter some classes as well, so an added bonus has been all the light-hearted trash-talking among the grown-ups.
          *friend of bar.ka

          "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


          • #6
            It's a great idea to attend one before hand if you can, just to get familiar with what you'll be doing.

            Some things to ask your trainer to work with you on...

            Finding and keeping a place on the rail.
            How to pass, circle if needed, or what to do if you get cut off. You'll want all those things too look seamless.

            And above all, have fun!!!
            "Aye God, Woodrow..."


            • #7
              Yes Just have fun, showing is a great way to give goals as the previous poster said for both you and the horse your riding. This will make you a better rider and usually helps give confidence if you place well. Even if its just a schooling show it can do wonders for your confidence and can make you work harder towards more shows if you decide to do some real ones. This is just what our equestrian group does but around here most riders dress in breeches, tall boots, show shirt, and jacket or polo. This also gives us a chance to practice our braiding (at regular shows we pay for professionals to braid) but the proffesional braiders all start out somewhere so this gives us a chance to practice braiding, even if they do turn out crappy. No worries its a schooling show! Just have fun and good luck. This will be a good experience for you
              A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves - strong, powerful, beautiful - and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence. ~Pam Brown


              • #8
                I would say go for it. Our barn hosts a schooling show every month or two, and it is mainly the kids who are beginning to ride/jump who enter. They always have a lot of fun, and it is a good way to begin showing. For our walk/trot flat classes, the entries are all in the arena together, and the announcer tells you when to walk, trot and reverse. You just follow directions and do your best.

                I agree, though, there are some questions you should ask your trainer:
                - Attire - are show clothes required? Are breeches & a polo ok? Jeans & half-chaps? If you need clothes you don't have, can you borrow from someone?
                - Fees - entry, hauling (if not at your barn), coaching, stabling, etc.

                FWIW, my trainer had a meeting where we discussed all of the options for showing (there were kids who are just doing w/t and over poles to amateur jumper and a junior hunter rider who do rateds) and had a handout where it outlined all of the fees required for various types of shows, including a basic range of entry fees, hauling to various shows in the area, coaching fees, etc. I think it was very helpful for the beginner parents so they'd have a picture of what it all involves at various levels. Ask if yours would put something like this together.
                A proud friend of bar.ka.


                • #9
                  Why a 'guilt trip' from the instructor? (Or is that just a phrase?) Seems to me that wanting you to show b/c she knows it will be good for expanding yoru comfort zone or helping you see holes in your riding is one thing, but to push you when it's not your thing is something else...


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by cyberbay View Post
                    Why a 'guilt trip' from the instructor? (Or is that just a phrase?) Seems to me that wanting you to show b/c she knows it will be good for expanding yoru comfort zone or helping you see holes in your riding is one thing, but to push you when it's not your thing is something else...
                    It's just a phrase. Actually I mean it in a good way. She's dealing with some nervous adult riders (including me) and has a skill for knowing when to push us/not push us. Sometimes with nervous adults, you need to push or at least, I need to be pushed sometimes. Our last lesson, we did a group canter in the indoor ring with five so now understanding what's involved in a walk-trot class, I'm sure when she saw that, she thought there's no way these ladies can't handle a walk-trot class.

                    I'm in my 40s so I don't see a glittering show career in my future. I started back riding so I could go on an advanced/intermediate weeklong trail vacation in France. But I see the smaller school shows as fun and a way to build my confidence.

                    Originally posted by Long Spot
                    Finding and keeping a place on the rail.
                    How to pass, circle if needed, or what to do if you get cut off. You'll want all those things too look seamless.
                    Thanks for the advice. Luckily these are exactly the things we've been working on in my group class. It was a bit intimidating when I first started riding but now its going a lot better.

                    Oh and thanks everybody for the heads up on attire and cost. I'm pretty sure show attire is not required and the latest flyer lists one $75 fee but its worthwhile to just doublecheck with the office.


                    • #11
                      They're probably also a nice way to socialize with others at your barn.
                      -Debbie / NH

                      My Blog: http://deborahsulli.blogspot.com/


                      • #12
                        Sounds like it would be a great low key way to have some fun! BUT...you can't not post pictures for us all!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Long Spot View Post
                          what to do if you get cut off.
                          Find them later in the class, and cut them off even worse. Just kidding, ring rage is not the way to go


                          • #14
                            You should go. I'll bet you have a blast.

                            We do in barn fun shows, and it's a great way to introduce people to showing. Plus it's another chance to ride the horses and have fun.

                            If it works like most, you'll walk then trot in one direction (tracking left). Reverse, and do the same thing. Then you'll line up in the center.

                            Really, you don't have anything to worry about. It will be easier than a group lesson because it's much shorter and you don't change direction as frequently.

                            The only bad thing will be that you realize it's over much too quickly, and you'll want to do it all over again!