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Open horse show rules, hunter classes

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  • Open horse show rules, hunter classes

    My daughter went to an open horse show today, and I was a little confused about which rules the judge was judging.

    The only English classes offered were flat class only.

    No martingales allowed, even a standing martingale. All English classes, hunter pleasure, go as you please.

    The judge must lean towards AQHA hunter type, because that is what won. (which is fine) Oh, and bits, no problem with a Kimberwick in there.

    It would just be nice to be on the same page as the judge, especially when equipment is concerned.

    What would you do? Go ask him/her, check ahead of time through the contact listed on the class list?

  • #2
    Most Open shows that I have been to (20 or so in the last year) publish which set of rules they are following on the prizelist (ie: "Equine Canada rules for Hunter apply").

    Next step is to check which memberships they want. Many of our shows use the Provincial Governing body, which also has a set of rules. Mostly they refer back to EC rules, but sometimes not.

    In the absence of that, some Open shows have their own rules...like the one I just entered where "English Appointments are appreciated for the Hunter Class, but not required"

    Some of the Open Shows I enter are pretty much stabs in the dark. I try to look up the Judges, and guess. AQHA judges like to follow those rules, etc.
    Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

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    • #3
      I find that most "open" shows that also have western classes (and are using the same judge for hunter/english classes) are almost always geared more to the stock horse type of judgeing. Like low headsets, kimberwicks/Myler bits, and slower strides. I don't know of any show where you can use a standing (or any kind) of martingale in a flat class.
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      • Original Poster

        #4
        I find that most "open" shows that also have western classes (and are using the same judge for hunter/english classes) are almost always geared more to the stock horse type of judgeing. Like low headsets, kimberwicks/Myler bits, and slower strides.
        That is exactly the way this show was set up and judged. This is the first time we have been to this "open" show format at this barn. I learned something new today.

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        • #5
          You aren't allowed to use a standing martingale in a flat class at an H/J show either, and while you may not see it often, I don't think there's any problem with using a kimberwick in a hunter class at a regular H/J show. So I don't really see what the rule difference is?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Tex Mex View Post
            You aren't allowed to use a standing martingale in a flat class at an H/J show either, and while you may not see it often, I don't think there's any problem with using a kimberwick in a hunter class at a regular H/J show. So I don't really see what the rule difference is?
            Kimberwickes are frowned upon in the A hunter world and tend to be heavily penalized by judges.
            "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
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            • #7
              I agree that open classes tend to be a little more stock horse skewed--more along the AQHA/APHA HUS standards. At least the English classes in open shows I've been to have been that way...
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              • #8
                Read the prize list. That will tell you whether you ought to ride your horse like an AQHA or a USEF hunter.

                That having been said, I did really well riding my DWB like a USEF hunter at a little open show. The judge called us "refreshing." I took it as a great complement, especially since the AQHA world can seem quite specialized and inward-looking at times.
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                • #9
                  hmmm...pretty much explains to me why I got *nothing* for the first time ever on my big extended trot appendix QH in an open class last weekend...I could feel this judge being kind of "stock horsey" but I thought it was my imagination.
                  Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!

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                  • #10
                    I've never been to a show where a martingale, standing or otherwise, could be used in a hack class. Kimberwickes, in small open shows, are usually given the okay, although some judges will mark them down...others don't care. I've seen ponies pin very well at our state competition in a kimberwicke ( , albeit they were very nice moving ponies...I just don't think kimberwicke screams pleasure, IMHO).

                    And hunter pleasure classes tend to be judged a little different than a normal hack class in a hunter o/f division. Consistency is as important as movement, so it is possible that while your horse was the superior mover, some nice little QH type just motored around without the rider having to do a thing...that helps win pleasure classes. I've seen the judging sway both directions. I've been the owner of the pokey little quiet QH types and of the nicer moving big stepping ponies and different judges will pin differently. I've given up trying to second-guess.

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                    • #11
                      Before you go to an open show like this, Google the judge's name. If his/her name comes up in association with breed shows, you know they will prefer that way of going. Likewise if it turns out they typically judge (or show in) USEF hunter shows.
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                      • #12
                        Yeah, I feel ya, no matter what we just are what we are and we're gonna do what we're gonna do. My boy's plenty nice, but everybody's gonna get burned occasionally. The critter that won was a chunky little sort, cute enough...in a kimberwicke. I could go on a little rant about this judge, and maybe I just will The adult equitation class was both english and western (for fear of lack of entries.) The top two places went to the only western riders in the class. The judge proceeded to give a lecture to "you hunter people" looking straight at me "who can't stop your horses where you're supposed to. You give the judge the impression you can't control your horse." My horse muffed the halt from canter by a couple steps, does a working canter and goes in a snaffle, as opposed to doing a "lope" which looks more like an inchworm and being stopped by curb. But hey, fair enough - until she gave a high ribbon to a horse in later class that kicked another horse when asked to back up. After that spiel about not being able to control your horse? Uh-uh.
                        Blog: The Continuing Adventures of an (ahem) Mature Re-Rider without a Trust Fund...but, finally, A Farm of Her Own!!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
                          Kimberwickes are frowned upon in the A hunter world and tend to be heavily penalized by judges.
                          You know, people say that, but I've never actually seen a class where a pony wearing a kimberwicke (in the pony hunters or the children's ponies) was penalized. We had a pony in my barn last year who went in a kimberwicke and did well all year at the A and AA shows. I don't think judges really have this preoccupation with what's in the horse's mouth.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by supershorty628 View Post
                            You know, people say that, but I've never actually seen a class where a pony wearing a kimberwicke (in the pony hunters or the children's ponies) was penalized. We had a pony in my barn last year who went in a kimberwicke and did well all year at the A and AA shows. I don't think judges really have this preoccupation with what's in the horse's mouth.
                            Ponies are a bit different than horses. Judges really do frown on kimberwickes on horses, but are more forgiving with the ponies. Pony kids get away with a lot that us adult sized people don't.
                            "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
                            -George Morris

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
                              Ponies are a bit different than horses. Judges really do frown on kimberwickes on horses, but are more forgiving with the ponies. Pony kids get away with a lot that us adult sized people don't.
                              Ah. My apologies. I only have experience with kimberwickes on ponies. Sorry, sorry, sorry!
                              http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
                              Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

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                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
                                Ponies are a bit different than horses. Judges really do frown on kimberwickes on horses, but are more forgiving with the ponies. Pony kids get away with a lot that us adult sized people don't.
                                Very interesting. My daughter competes on a topof the line Medium pony. She is flatting in a snaffle, and at home he does well in a snaffle, but he can get strong at a show. She is learning to use the pelham, but her kimberwick is easier.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Mo's Mom View Post
                                  Very interesting. My daughter competes on a topof the line Medium pony. She is flatting in a snaffle, and at home he does well in a snaffle, but he can get strong at a show. She is learning to use the pelham, but her kimberwick is easier.
                                  As SuperShorty628 said - there are plenty of ponies out there winning in kimberwickes. Pelhams are more traditional, but if it's okay with your trainer and it's easier for the kid, I wouldn't think that using the kimberwicke would be a big deal.
                                  "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
                                  -George Morris

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                                  • #18
                                    Small show politics are often as guilty as A show politics and not knowing why your horse did not pin well can be really frustrating.
                                    I have been to some judging clinics with the major USEF judges and find that the questions from the participants enlightening and downright amusing.
                                    "Question" If kimberwicks are universally frowned on in the hunter classes why did I win the junior hunters at (the garden- some other huge horse show) in the 1980's on a horse wearing that bit ?
                                    Horse shows will always be based on fashion and perception, if you are not getting the prizes you think that you deserve tally your results over a year of showing.
                                    I prefer to stick with shows that hire judges that have a strong background of H/J experience, even then you might have some real moments.
                                    FWIW I stop entries at the gate at my little schooling show from going in with a martingale. A big no no wherever you are.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Mo's Mom View Post
                                      My daughter went to an open horse show today, and I was a little confused about which rules the judge was judging.

                                      The only English classes offered were flat class only.

                                      No martingales allowed, even a standing martingale. All English classes, hunter pleasure, go as you please.

                                      The judge must lean towards AQHA hunter type, because that is what won. (which is fine) Oh, and bits, no problem with a Kimberwick in there.

                                      It would just be nice to be on the same page as the judge, especially when equipment is concerned.

                                      What would you do? Go ask him/her, check ahead of time through the contact listed on the class list?
                                      Typically, the open shows here in Ohio are done the same way. The jumpers, if a show offers jumping, will go out first, then English Halter, Showmanship, and finally the flat classes. The Western classes will be done during the second half of the day.

                                      Our open shows are done under Ohio 4H rules, which if read closely, mirror what the AQHA and APHA rules are, with just enough differences to keep them from getting copyright infringement lawsuits.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Judging preferences...

                                        Also, a Western judge may have judged the entire show and with only a few English classes offered, they may have been looked at the same way. It may explain the preference for the type of horses that won...

                                        However, that being said (or maybe that explains it), there are no martingales in any flat classes...Even the open shows, non-USEF rated, generally go by the USEF rules.

                                        As for Kimberwickes, I am not a fan at all with the exception of the hunt field. If the best trip though in front of me is wearing one, I will still use that horse on top. It could be a tie beaker however, with
                                        2 similiar rounds.

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