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I Need to be Educated on Showing Western....

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  • I Need to be Educated on Showing Western....

    Okay guys, Ive only show English but now find myself with a little girl who wants to show western. What do I need to know about the western show world basics low level? What are the rules? Educate me
    Mitkowski Equine Services
    Love my Fjord Magni "Tigger" and my HanoxTb Frescoe "Wenny" --- My boys

  • #2
    What kind of horse is she showing in a western saddle?? Arabs and gaited are ridden/allowed a few different things than a stock type horse.

    Comment


    • #3
      And there are lots of different classes/events within the "western" disciplines. Pleasure, horsemanship, showmanship, western riding, trail, or are you talking about "gaming" --barrels, poles, etc. ?

      Comment


      • #4
        For WP:
        -the color/make of your saddle is VERY important. Do not show with "dark oil" if its now to have trendy "light oil"
        -learn how to put in a fake tail
        -who you train with may determine your placing in a show.
        -very much based on "looks". DH calls it a "beauty pagent"
        -the more color the better in the shirt, etc
        -competitive horses cost at least 20K
        -can be a "drama fest" even at the local level and people get quite "serious"

        Disclaimer: I have no experience but my friends are hard core into the QH world. These are my observations based on their stories!

        Comment


        • #5
          I showed a training horse western Pleasure and eq last year at the local level. I wore my english helmet and had bright aqua chaps over my breeches and paddock boots. My horse had a honey colour saddle with black accents and a black saddle pad. We had a fake leather light tan bridle (I think it cost $7 on ebay). He was just 4 so I direct reined in a snaffle.

          We showed against breed show people who had fancy silver tack and fake tails, but nobody cared that I wasn't trendy; the judge judged my horse and we managed to do how I felt we should have done, including a 1st in eq and a 2nd in pleasure.

          Things that I do think are important:
          - Typically when turning around you should do a pivot on the haunches.
          - Some judges really frown on passing or circling. My horse was quite green and not super joggy, so I made sure to stay well in my corners to make up room so we didn't look like we were racing the other riders.
          - Make sure you can do an "extended" jog and lope...and understand what they should be. Do not confuse them with dressage extensions....they are just lengthennings.
          - You tend to have to do a rein back once in the line up. The judge may just walk down the line nodding at the riders to let them know to back up. Make sure your kid understands this.
          - And of course be sure you know all the rules such as how to hold the reins depending on the type of reins and bit you are using.

          I really just went to have fun and get the horse exposed to the show ring...and I think that helped us in the end as I truely was having fun and my horse settled nicely into the smooth relaxed gaits that the judges wanted to see.
          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

          Comment


          • #6
            My Daughter showed western her first time this year. She did it at the local 4H show, this was the most uncostly way to let her see if she liked it.
            The only items I had to buy was a pair of western boots and some western style jeans, we already had the white shirt, She wore her helmet and was the only one in the stockseat class wearing one. We had a second hand western saddle and an Ebay bridle. She came 2nd, and then decided she wanted to stick to English.
            I'm so pleased we did it the 4H way, as I would hate to have bought all the bright coloured expensive stuff and then have her say "I don't want to do it again" 4H also helped her learn what was expected of her and her horse, and all the other competitors were so friendly and gave her tips.

            Comment


            • #7
              Here is a good guide put together by AQHA, you can learn their rules for western events, and what the judging criteria is for each class, and other helpful information:

              http://www.aqha.com/showing/guidetoshowing/index.html

              Here's their descriptions of the western classes:

              http://www.aqha.com/showing/guidetos...sses.html#wes1
              There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

              Comment


              • #8
                The links munchkinsmom posted are great to refer to, and remember ebay is your friend when it comes to finding tack and apparel. My favorite company for show clothes is hobby horse, they are great clothes that not only look fabulous but are easy on the wallet too. Remember too that trends vary by breed and by region, best thing to do is talk to a local trainer and go observe a few local shows to see everything first hand before jumping into it with both feet.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Amitko...you aren't too far away from It's All About Horses. The owner of the store can help deck your student out. She carries western items as well and often times has some nice consignment items in the store as well. I also suggest if it is just local open shows, to check out the Triangle Wide Horseman's Assoc.--go to one of their shows and see what the kids are wearing too. And be sure to ask the folks on the NC board as well...You two have fun! Starting to show for a kiddo is a pretty exciting time :-)

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by SLW View Post
                    What kind of horse is she showing in a western saddle?? Arabs and gaited are ridden/allowed a few different things than a stock type horse.
                    Saddlebred
                    Originally posted by saddleup View Post
                    And there are lots of different classes/events within the "western" disciplines. Pleasure, horsemanship, showmanship, western riding, trail, or are you talking about "gaming" --barrels, poles, etc. ?
                    Probably not gaming, She's more a beginner walk/trot/just cantering rider but has a saint of a horse.
                    Last edited by amitkoequine; Oct. 20, 2010, 12:36 PM.
                    Mitkowski Equine Services
                    Love my Fjord Magni "Tigger" and my HanoxTb Frescoe "Wenny" --- My boys

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Flash Jr rode Western the first few years he rode. He fell in love with a black synthetic Abetta western saddle that had lime green ostrich skin accents. He loooooved that saddle. You can get away with synthetic and unusual colors at the lower levels. He showed 4H and went to the State Fair every year. He wore a plaid or striped long sleeve shirt, a tie, tan jeans, black zip up paddock boots, and a tan trail helmet. For the showmanship (in hand) classes he had a tan cowboy hat, and he wore a navy blue blazer for the in hand classes as well. It's much cheaper than English - you can pretty much get away with "normal" clothing, with maybe a splashy vest or coat if she is doing in hand classes.
                      Man plans. God laughs.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I just had my very first Western show yesterday! A bunch of girls on my IHSA team wanted to try Western and we just had our debut.

                        Clothing:
                        -We just polished up our black paddock boots
                        -chaps: black and fringed is pretty common, and they should be tight and longer than english chaps. You pull up the hem when you're on the ground so they don't get dirty.
                        -pants: high-waisted pants the same color as the chaps, with a belt
                        -shirts: were bright and blingy and style depends on what you're doing
                        -hat: necessary, should be snug around your head. Some people use double stick tape, but you can also use a little hairspray on the inside front. Same color as chaps.
                        -hair: pull hair into a low bun and hairspray the hell out of it!
                        -makeup! our coach told us about this one at 4:30am the day of the show lol. Don't know how this compares for the kids though...

                        Remember that the more flash you have on your hands and belt, the more attention you draw to them so unless kiddo has really still hands and a quiet seat, keep those areas subdued.

                        Show ring things:
                        -No circling or cutting through the ring! Passing was fine, but you get on and off the rail as quickly as possible.
                        -Reverse directions should be done as promptly as possible with, again, little time off the rail. Be careful that the horse doesn't stop or break gait.
                        -Practice backing. In four horsemanship (equivalent to equitation) classes we were asked to back in all but one.

                        Have fun!! I had a blast yesterday at my first, everyone seemed so laidback and helpful! It could also have been that my teammates and I were running around looking lost and like no source of competition
                        "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                        Phoenix Animal Rescue

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by amitkoequine View Post
                          Spotted Saddle Horse

                          Probably not gaming, She's more a beginner walk/trot/just cantering rider but has a saint of a horse.
                          Okay, now we can help. She can use split reins or rommel reins. Decide which one because they are held in the rider's hand differently.

                          I'm guessing this is a horse over the age of 5 so she will need to use a shanked bit with curb chain. The association may have a limit on how long the shank can be so check that in the rule book. Ditto the mouthpeice of the bit.

                          Do you know the difference between what is being judged in a pleasure class verses a horsemanship class?

                          Around here at the local open shows and on a very nice local circuit, the gaited horses show in one earred bridles with minimal adornment on them. Neat, plain & clean. Same with the saddles. Do spring for a nice saddle pad in a solid color or with minimal print. Maytex use to make them for $30 and you used that over a thin felt pad.

                          For the rider, monochromactic will be elegant. That means the shirt and pants match. Add a scarf for a splash of color. Will your friend use chaps?? Does she have a felt hat or will she use a straw hat?? No goofy hat bands, please.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by SLW View Post
                            Okay, now we can help. She can use split reins or rommel reins. Decide which one because they are held in the rider's hand differently.

                            I'm guessing this is a horse over the age of 5 so she will need to use a shanked bit with curb chain. The association may have a limit on how long the shank can be so check that in the rule book. Ditto the mouthpeice of the bit.

                            Do you know the difference between what is being judged in a pleasure class verses a horsemanship class?

                            Around here at the local open shows and on a very nice local circuit, the gaited horses show in one earred bridles with minimal adornment on them. Neat, plain & clean. Same with the saddles. Do spring for a nice saddle pad in a solid color or with minimal print. Maytex use to make them for $30 and you used that over a thin felt pad.

                            For the rider, monochromactic will be elegant. That means the shirt and pants match. Add a scarf for a splash of color. Will your friend use chaps?? Does she have a felt hat or will she use a straw hat?? No goofy hat bands, please.
                            My Student is 8 years old so I personally would prefer that she ride in a helmet. How much of a no no is that? She will just be doing a local show where she just needs to be dressed nicely but I think her g-ma will dress her to the nines anyway.

                            Why do gaited horses show in one-earred bridles?

                            I don't really know the difference between horsemanship (I think that's like eq??) and pleasure [help! ]


                            Which reins are for which? Right now we are working on holding the reins with one hand but she still likes to go in with the other hand every so often? Can I teach her to hold them with both hands?
                            Mitkowski Equine Services
                            Love my Fjord Magni "Tigger" and my HanoxTb Frescoe "Wenny" --- My boys

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by amitkoequine View Post
                              My Student is 8 years old so I personally would prefer that she ride in a helmet. How much of a no no is that? She will just be doing a local show where she just needs to be dressed nicely but I think her g-ma will dress her to the nines anyway.

                              Why do gaited horses show in one-earred bridles?

                              I don't really know the difference between horsemanship (I think that's like eq??) and pleasure [help! ]


                              Which reins are for which? Right now we are working on holding the reins with one hand but she still likes to go in with the other hand every so often? Can I teach her to hold them with both hands?
                              Gaited horses do not have to show in one-ear bridles, I'm guessing that just happens to be the current fashion where that poster lives. I've seen one ear, two ear and browband bridles in equal numbers. Generally a browband bridle is used with a snaffle and one and two ear bridles with curbs. I use a browband bridle with a curb because that's what I have that has silver on it and matches my saddle.

                              Some judges, especially coming from a breed show background do have a bias against helmets in the show ring. Have the kid wear her helmet anyway. Safety trumps fashion.

                              Western pleasure is 100% on the horse. It is judged on the rail, no pattern.

                              Horsemanship is on the rider. While it normally is a pattern class, depending on how your particular local circuit runs things and which rulebook they follow and the age division your kid is going it can also be run as a rail class or as a pattern class with a rail portion. I've shown in all 3 variations. The enty form and/or rulebook of your local club should spell this out for you. IME these things really vary from region to region too.

                              Western Equitation can be either a rail class or a pattern class. Again, this is going to depend on how your local club runs things. Usually in Western Eq 10& under kids will be judged on the rail.

                              For an aged horse in a curb bit either romel reins or split reins held in one hand (no finger in between!!) is correct. I see split reins used more on gaited horses - the weight of a good pair of romels can work against you if your horse has any headshake. Plus split reins are a whole lot cheaper than nice romels.

                              I have always been told to never switch rein hands in a class but I'm not sure if this is actually in a rulebook anywhere.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Wait - is it a Saddlebred or a Spotted Saddle Horse?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Where in NC are you?

                                  Saddlebreds are fine stock, and if it is a small local show, the color of leather really doesn't matter as much as a good seat and well trained horse.

                                  I have 2 'cheap' sets of romel reins (one w/silver, one w/out) and cheap pseudo-silver headstall that I can loan out if you're close to me. Something that will give you a chance to try out the western look without hurting the pocket book if your rider finds out it is a 'no go' in the western attire. I've been out of the show loop for a while, but I would be more than happy to help couch on proper seat, hands, ring manners, etc if more help is needed.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by chance2jump View Post
                                    Where in NC are you?

                                    Saddlebreds are fine stock, and if it is a small local show, the color of leather really doesn't matter as much as a good seat and well trained horse.

                                    I have 2 'cheap' sets of romel reins (one w/silver, one w/out) and cheap pseudo-silver headstall that I can loan out if you're close to me. Something that will give you a chance to try out the western look without hurting the pocket book if your rider finds out it is a 'no go' in the western attire. I've been out of the show loop for a while, but I would be more than happy to help couch on proper seat, hands, ring manners, etc if more help is needed.
                                    I'm in the triangle, not too close to you. But I'll take all the coaching I can get.
                                    Mitkowski Equine Services
                                    Love my Fjord Magni "Tigger" and my HanoxTb Frescoe "Wenny" --- My boys

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by LuvMyNSH View Post
                                      Gaited horses do not have to show in one-ear bridles, I'm guessing that just happens to be the current fashion where that poster lives. I've seen one ear, two ear and browband bridles in equal numbers. Generally a browband bridle is used with a snaffle and one and two ear bridles with curbs. I use a browband bridle with a curb because that's what I have that has silver on it and matches my saddle.

                                      Some judges, especially coming from a breed show background do have a bias against helmets in the show ring. Have the kid wear her helmet anyway. Safety trumps fashion.

                                      Western pleasure is 100% on the horse. It is judged on the rail, no pattern.

                                      Horsemanship is on the rider. While it normally is a pattern class, depending on how your particular local circuit runs things and which rulebook they follow and the age division your kid is going it can also be run as a rail class or as a pattern class with a rail portion. I've shown in all 3 variations. The enty form and/or rulebook of your local club should spell this out for you. IME these things really vary from region to region too.

                                      Western Equitation can be either a rail class or a pattern class. Again, this is going to depend on how your local club runs things. Usually in Western Eq 10& under kids will be judged on the rail.

                                      For an aged horse in a curb bit either romel reins or split reins held in one hand (no finger in between!!) is correct. I see split reins used more on gaited horses - the weight of a good pair of romels can work against you if your horse has any headshake. Plus split reins are a whole lot cheaper than nice romels.

                                      I have always been told to never switch rein hands in a class but I'm not sure if this is actually in a rulebook anywhere.
                                      This is all correct.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        That's right, don't switch hands. The ends of the split reins should both drape off the same side of the horse, the rein hand's side.

                                        Reversing the horse is done by turning toward the middle of the arena.

                                        Pin her show number on the saddle pad corner with saftey pins top and bottom or both left and right sides. Don't let that number flap around.


                                        I would use a browband bridle on any child's horse for the added safety of a throatlatch rather than a one ear. A hearty head shake can slip a one ear loose on some horses.

                                        Comment

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