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1st time showing Hunter Breeding baby ????'s

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  • 1st time showing Hunter Breeding baby ????'s

    This is a repost from Sport Horse Breeding...

    So, I am considering taking Thomas, our Crown Affair baby that is coming 2 to a small A show in 5 weeks to show in the hunter breeding division.

    I have been working on all the obvious things, teaching him to wear a bridle, and lead in it, teaching him to stand up, working on loading and unloading in the trailer, walking in and out of the cross ties and standing. He also lets us pull his mane and trim him up so I think he will do ok with braiding and an ear trim.

    My questions are the following, do you use cotton in the babies ears, do you need to hang a fake tail? Also, any turnout suggestions and other preparation suggestions would be very much appreciated.

    He is probably a bit light for a true HB horse but I do NOT want him to become a sausage just to show in a few classes this year. He has a nice Equusport Bridle that I can hang a plastic or metal D-ring, anyone know if this matters (I would prefer to use the plastic if is acceptable), and his coat looks very good considering the time of year, I don't think he will need a body clip.

    This is totally new for me, I know who will handle him and I am comfortable with that part of the puzzle but any other suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!

    Thanks in advance!
    Specialized Equine Rehabilitation, Reproduction, and Fitness in the Wine Country of Northern California

  • #2
    I've done some hunter breeding classes (really a wonderful way to introduce a young horse into the show world). We didn't use any ear puffs but I would assume that they are okay (I could be wrong on this one). I didn't see any fake tails at the shows, some had beautiful, thick, natural tails and some had very thin tails (judges did not seem to care). As far as turnout, same as a hunter u/s class (trimmed, braided, polished feet, etc).

    One word of advice is to be prepared- find out where, when and how the classes are going to go. For our first show I got my horse down to the warm up area a good 20-30 minutes ahead of time and walked around, did some trotting and standing to "warm up". The second show we only got there 15 minutes ahead of time which was plenty (since he had already seen the arena).

    I liked your sausage comment. I saw lots of 1 and 2 year olds that looked like 5 year olds! My little guy (he was by far the smallest) always got mixed reviews. He was a little awkward looking because he hadn't filled out but had correct conformation and gorgeous movements. Haha, we were either in the top two or last two with the different judges!


    • #3
      I sometimes used the ear puffies. Depends if your baby will shake their head. Not worth it if the whole time you are trying to line up & pose they are shake shake shake shake shake.

      I used a metal D bit.

      I didn't use one, but I did see some fake tails. I guess a fake is ok if it's done correctly, but a very full long tail on a 2 YO screamed "FAKE". Make sure it's a proper length & adds the correct amount of fullness to enhance your baby, not detract.

      Practice the leading & posing/standing & some jogging. Practice with other horses (adult horses) so you can jog first or last, line up behind or in front of others. Whatever you can do to simulate the show ring I think helps.

      Have fun & good luck. Love his name too!
      "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"


      • Original Poster

        Thanks for all the suggestions, never tried the HB but I think it will be fun no matter what!
        Specialized Equine Rehabilitation, Reproduction, and Fitness in the Wine Country of Northern California


        • #5
          OH, have fun!!!! And, yes, its good to practice at home with a "line up" going head to tail, or side by side.
          hunter/jumper ponies


          • #6
            Hey! It is Lara. You'll have a good time at the Northern Winter Classics. They always get good judges. I think it depends if you are going for experience or going to win. If you are going to win, then I would plump up the baby, make sure it is fit, professionally braid the mane and tail, corn starch the white socks and use a well fitting bridle. I've normally shown my ponies in a plain dee or a custom dee with the rubber mouth, er, the Jay Shuttleworth ones. I always get a stall for the first few times so they can ship in the night before and settle.

            After every class I pick the judges brain about what they like about the animal, don't like, comments about turnout and what they would like to see next time that would improve your placing.

            Make sure the baby jogs quietly. Sometimes they get a little backed off going by the judges so make sure you practice trotting and passing by someone on either side. I see the handlers of the full size horses jog incredibly slow...I move mine out to get the big step and sweep. I guess it depends on the animal. Some don't move out, just go faster. Good luck and let me know how it goes!!

            P.S. I've only put fake tails in 3 year olds that need it. Even then, it better be a good one that isn't very thick. No one wants to see a broomstick on a breeding horse. I wouldn't worry about it on a 2 year old. Their tails aren't full length by that age anyway.


            • #7
              I agree with practicing the routine, especially the jog, with other horses and a stand-in for the judge. It's very hard to judge the babies properly when they buck and leap, rather than jog. Obviously any baby can have a meltdown in the ring, but try to get them to understand the process in advance.

              Good luck!


              • #8
                If it is the Northern Winter Classic (and I'm thinking it is) you should also know that they have all the arenas covered with tents (at least they did last year) - big white tents. The tents are usefull if it rains but can be a little intimidating to the horses. I'd get there early enough to walk the baby around to get used to the tents and I would probably use ear muffs. Last year when the wind blew some of the tents flapped quite a bit as well.
                The ultimate horse mom



                • #9
                  I've done a grand total of one hunter breeding class in my life. It was interesting to say the least. I felt confident about the turn-out part (although horse wasn't quite as clean as I would like, but I wasn't the one bathing him and my anal-retentiveness wasn't going to be tolerated. I did insist on a pro braider and it was well worth it. The braid were lovely, mane and tail. ) The rest...not so much.

                  I practiced standing horse up A LOT and trotting off. I also practiced having him reach out a bit with his neck (crinkling a candy wrapper or some such). Imagine my chagrin when he was a little difficult to stand up and trotted with his head sky high because he was herdbound to his neighbor. He screamed the entire time as well. Sigh. There is some photgraphic evidence that we had some good moments, but it wasn't as great as I had hoped.

                  Competition-wise, we stood no chance...but we weren't there for competitions sake, so it was fine. There were only three horses total, the other two were leading the nation in HB points. Their owner was very nice and gracious about the whole situation, even with my charge screaming his ever-loving head off.

                  So I guess my suggestion is groom as if you're going to an A show. Use a pro braider. Do some research by looking on youtube for some hunter breeding classes and then just go have fun.
                  Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                  Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


                  • #10
                    Get them out there early to really have a look at things and practice at home.
                    Prep the horse so that he really looks the part. I agree with others that a fake tail can really add some zazazou but shouldn't be that of a 10 year old horse. Use a pro braider to help clean up the growing topline.
                    Good luck and enjoy!
                    "ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."


                    • #11
                      Have fun... it's great experience for the horses and you. I have not used cotton in the young ones because they tend to shake their head and it could be a bad experience.
                      I have used a fake tail once when a donkey chewed my horses's tail.
                      ~ Bill Rube ~
                      Check us out on Facebook


                      • #12
                        Have a great time and let us know how it goes! :-)


                        • #13
                          Chances are your baby is going to lose about 50% of its training when you go in that ring, so be WELL prepared. There is a lot to look at, new horses to talk to, and just a lot of excitement for a little one.

                          I wasn't so prepared showing my baby but we had fun anyway! So good luck and have a great time!