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How do YOU stand out in under saddle classes?

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  • How do YOU stand out in under saddle classes?

    Hi everyone!

    I'm writing an article on some of the ways to really stand out in under saddle classes, so I thought I would ask some of you COTH's what your tactics are! If you have a few tips for really catching the judges eye, be it attire, tack, the way you position yourself in the ring, or anything, I'd love to hear from you!


  • #2
    Purple and orange nylon tack! Hoof glitter! Neon polo wraps!

    Oh, I bet you mean "stand out" in a good way, don't you?
    "If you would have only one day to live, you should spend at least half of it in the saddle."


    • #3
      stay off the rail by like 3-4 feet just enough so that another horse and rider can't get between you and the rail.

      avoid clumps and try to space yourself really well.

      have the best moving horse in the ring
      Hunters should be galloping - George Morris


      • #4
        Know what speed shows each of your horses' gaits off best. If your horse has a nice trot when they're slowish, but a WOW trot when they're a bit faster, ride a bit faster.
        A proud friend of bar.ka.


        • #5
          Enter the ring and pick up whatever gait shows your horse off the best, ride the ring like you own it and look like you are having fun. Balance in the corners, float down the long sides.
          Can you stress-fracture your brain?


          • #6
            1. Ride off the rail so that the judge can see my horse better.
            2. Be confident and focused.
            3. Be cognizent of the other riders around me and avoid trouble before it starts.
            4. Look like I'm enjoying myself, even when I'm having a terrible ride.
            5. Definitely play up the "good" gaits. My mare has a great trot when she's not putzing along, so I make sure she moves out to show it off.
            "I was not expecting the park rangers to lead the resistance, none of the dystopian novels I read prepared me for this but cool."


            • Original Poster

              These are great!


              • #8
                oh, and smile
                Hunters should be galloping - George Morris


                • #9
                  The nice moving chromed out horse helps (and sometimes hurts).

                  Getting into the ring first and making a nice pass down the quarter line in front of the judge all alone can work well.

                  I try very hard to put my horse in "holes" away from bunches of other riders. People tend to get clumped together for whatever reason -- getting into a solo spot can really let you show off the horse's movement without having to worry about needing to check up or circle.

                  Like Heineken, I use the corners to regroup and then let him really move out on the long side.
                  According to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your life accordingly.


                  • #10
                    Position your horse beside a not so nice hacker....


                    • #11
                      Keep in mind that lots of judges will pick say, 10 horses to watch as her favourites right as you're coming into the ring. So if your horse has a nice trot then show it off! Try to be one of the first in the ring so you can position yourself away from the other horses. Always be aware of problems going on around you. Bucking is contagious Know at exactly what speed your horse is shown off the most. Prepare for your transitions well so that they remain smooth and your horse stays consistent. Keep in mind that it is an undersaddle class not equitation, transitions do not have to be immediate, you can take a couple seconds to adjust things (of course, try not to be the last one cantering!). And be prepared, most judges have a formula (walk, trot, reverse, walk, trot, canter, reverse, canter etc. etc.) Think ahead!
                      Faibel Farms Custom Fly Bonnets
                      Like us on Facebook!


                      • #12
                        Also, for example my coach has a very nice mover but sometimes gets ripped off because he doesn't stand out because he is a plain bay in a pack of say bays and chestnuts mostly, so my coach as the rider tries to stand out and look different from the rest of the riders on bays by wearing her brown CO helmet and a none navy jacket like everyone else


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
                          Position your horse beside a not so nice hacker....
                          this is terrible but i actually do that. i have a little tb with an ok trot and if im close to a bigggg fancy warmblood i move haha.
                          1. quarter lines
                          2. off the rail a little by the judge.
                          3. NAIL YOUR TRANSITIONS!!!! if you have a really great walk to canter transition, get in a place where the judge can see you well for it.
                          4. keep em movin'. most horses trot best when theyre moving. its a hunter ring not the pleasure ring.


                          • #14
                            mostly by keeping myself in a good spot away from lots of other horses, and looking confident and happy

                            And not that I show often, and when I do, it's not at big/rated shows, but I always try to make sure that my walk is a nice walk. A nice, big, marching walk that is going somewhere and engaged... at my lowly level I notice a lot of people shuffling in the walk, or treating it as the throwaway gait between the trot and canter
                            "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                            My CANTER blog.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by caffeinated View Post
                              And not that I show often, and when I do, it's not at big/rated shows, but I always try to make sure that my walk is a nice walk. A nice, big, marching walk that is going somewhere and engaged... at my lowly level I notice a lot of people shuffling in the walk, or treating it as the throwaway gait between the trot and canter
                              Oooooh, definitely! I love seeing horses in the hack who have a REALLY nice, big walk and use themselves well. I think that a lot of people really underestimate the importance of having a nice walk.
                              "I was not expecting the park rangers to lead the resistance, none of the dystopian novels I read prepared me for this but cool."


                              • #16
                                Ditto most of the above. Also, I work to ride *forward* through the down transitions.

                                Too often, a horse strokes along great in the given gait, but when the rider is asked to drop down to the walk (or canter-to-trot), he/she just takes of the leg and lets the horse plop into the slower gait, or do the stop-and-shamble-off maneuver.

                                I'm guilty of this, having started on hotter TBs, where it was often better to ease them down. Now that I've gone over to the WB dark side <G>, I have to keep in mind that it's my job to help maintain the forward momentum when slowing down.


                                • #17
                                  Obviously working your horse at the appropriate speed to show off each gait to its full advantage as well as executing the transitions smoothly is first

                                  Then, it's all about making sure you get seen - folks have already hit on the importance of taking advantage of your entrance and the minutes before the class begins as well as working the quarterline and staying out of traffic

                                  I will also use the middle of the ring - ie do some circles going toward them if they're in a box on the side so they can see me and also how well balanced my horse is an their ability to bend etc. - again you need to have a horse is broke on the flat. I'll even go straight down the middle of the ring (ie even fruther inside then the quarter line)....of course that's only on one that moves well enough to do that

                                  Just make sure that if you are doing either of these, you're not buzzing the judge if they are standing in the middle - hitting the judge, or almost stepping on them, generally doesn't increase your chances of pinning


                                  • #18
                                    I try to always be the first one in the ring (sometimes not possible if you job, which we will take that any day haha). I pick up the canter, canter down the down the longside in front of the judge and down the opposite outside. I come down to a trot in the second corner after the second long side. This is when most horses move their best. If you keep a feel and lots of leg through the downward transition your horse will more often then not move out very nicely. trot down the judges longside and return to a walk where ever you wish. I usually will come down to a walk in the second corner after the judges longside. I like my horse to chill out and soak up how many horses are in the ring and his surrondings after I have made my entrance and he is focused.
                                    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
                                    inside of a man.

                                    -Sir Winston Churchill


                                    • #19
                                      Have a great moving toe flipping beautiful horse with immaculate turnout.

                                      Make sure you get seen by the judge - stay alone, and be aware of when the judge sees you.

                                      Be aware of horses around you.

                                      Show off your best gaits, hide a little on the weaker ones.

                                      Don't ignore the walk - have a good working walk, not a toe-dragging sleepy walk.

                                      Be aware of your horse's expression - most of them will prick their ears up with a horse 20 feet in front of them -- don't kick right in front of the judge if your horse puts his ears back when you have to kick them on - get some momentum and then relax in front of the judge so your horse "wears their ears" in a pleasant way.

                                      If you KNOW that the judge has seen you (sometimes you or someone at the side of the ring can see the judge write your number down), at all gaits, then go hide -- don't risk a blow up from a horse who runs into you.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by LH View Post

                                        If you KNOW that the judge has seen you (sometimes you or someone at the side of the ring can see the judge write your number down), at all gaits, then go hide -- don't risk a blow up from a horse who runs into you.
                                        I beg to differ.

                                        Don't EVER make the judge have to search for you, especially towards the end of the class, as s/he is making the final decision and marking the card.

                                        The only time to hide is when you're likely to make a mistake- wrong lead, late transition, etc.