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Any Western Pleasure People? Update w/ pics #30!

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  • Any Western Pleasure People? Update w/ pics #30!

    Sorry, kind of long.

    I am probably going to take my hunter to a western show this weekend and show in a WP class. Why you ask? Because I am extrememly competitive and the last show for this saddle club only had one person in the adult WP classes so my boyfriend (who actually rides WP and has a WP trained horse) and I want to both enter and see who wins! We figure it will be the two of us and maybe one or two other adults. My hunter is really my all around horse who totally goes with the flow. He is one of those who searches for the bit and listens to your body position for speed, so when I sit on my butt and lean back with long reins, he slows down and lowers his head - Perfect jog!

    Anyway, because we are competitive and want to beat each other, he refuses to help me! I have never shown WP and my horse is a hunter, but after a couple of weeks, my little paint has been jogging super slow and keeping his head down on a loose rein. In fact, I think his jog is better than my boyfriend's mare's jog.

    The question is how do I hold my hands? Lance (boyfriend) rides his mare in a shank, so I know how to do that, but I want to ride my hunter in a snaffle and I think you are supposed to go two handed... I am used to the straight line from bit to elbow, which of course isn't possible with long reins, but can I keep my hands in the same position I would if I were riding hunters with super long reins?

    Next question, I don't own a cowboy hat and those things are freaking expensive. Do you think I could get away with wearing a helmet? Should I do my hunter hair?

    TIA, I may be slightly overcompetitive, but I hope I kick my boyfriend's butt!
    Last edited by OveroHunter; Oct. 17, 2011, 10:31 AM.

  • #2
    My first question is how old is your horse. If the horse is over 5 years old, it needs to be in a shank bit. If your horse is under 5, a snaffle is fine and riding two handed is normal as a snaffle is a two handed bit.

    As far as your hands and arms, relaxed. Thumbs up, slight bend in the elbow, shoulders back.

    Depending on the type of show, you may be able to get away with a cheapy western hat, but normally, for the local 4H shows helmets are fine. I always did my hair pulled back in a bun with a bow at the base of my neck.

    Good Luck!! PICTURES!!!

    BB
    Boomer's Hopes & Dreams
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    Tia - The Rescue
    RIP Boomer - May 21, 1989 - November 3, 2010

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    • #3
      How old is your horse? Most shows have pretty strict rules regarding bits.. so make sure yours is legal. You will need to neck rein.. i can't think of any non-junior WP class where they allow 2 hands on the reins.
      "Sadly, some people's greatest skill, is being an idiot". (facebook profile pic I saw).

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Yeah... He's 7. This is a little country show. We sell some cheapo cowboy hats in our gift shop so maybe I'll grab one of them.

        As far as the bit, I read the rules and it makes no mention of bits for western classes. They do have a class called "Dressage On the Rail" that would make a real Dressage rider cringe, but it is the only class in the rules that requires a specific bit. So I don't think I"ll be breaking any rule if I show him in a snaffle.

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        • #5
          You probably want to check with show management on the bit...senior horses (6 and over) show in a shanked bit as the industry standard. The show might consider it one of those rules that everyone knows and not state it specifically in the prize list. Kind of like no martingales in a flat class for hunters...everyone should know but not always in the prize list.

          If it were an AQHA sanctioned show you could show any aged horse in a snaffle in the Green class, but that is not the norm for the western/stock breed world.

          If you are able to ride in a snaffle, make sure your reins are 'bridged' (crossed over the withers and hold both reins in each hand, not one rein in each hand like riding huntseat), with light contact. You don't show a western horse in a snaffle on a drape like in a curb. You should have a chin strap on your bit attached below the reins.
          The best little horse show series around! www.WinningWeekends.com

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by sahqueen View Post
            You probably want to check with show management on the bit...senior horses (6 and over) show in a shanked bit as the industry standard. The show might consider it one of those rules that everyone knows and not state it specifically in the prize list. If it were an AQHA sanctioned show you could show any aged horse in a snaffle in the Green class, but that is not the norm for the western/stock breed world.

            If you are able to ride in a snaffle, make sure your reins are 'bridged' (crossed over the withers and hold both reins in each hand, not one rein in each hand like riding huntseat), with light contact. You don't show a western horse in a snaffle on a drape like in a curb. You should have a chin strap on your bit attached below the reins.
            Thanks! I was actually wondering how I should lay the reins if I got to ride in the snaffle!

            I may just go ahead and put a shank on him since he neck reins pretty well. I'll try one tonight and see how he does.

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            • #7
              I did this a few years ago when my mare was recovering from an injury. We both had a BLAST. Small local show so no real stress. I board with mostly western pleasure peeps, so they had the fun of dressing us.

              I think we even got a ribbon. ;-p

              HAVE FUN!!! Western pleasure is WAY more fun than I'd ever imagined!
              The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....

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              • #8
                Wear a helmet, sans hunter-hair and you will be fine. I show on the breed circuit in a helmet and low bun/folded braid.

                I would use a shanked bit, reins held in the left hand and bight of reins in right or hanging (in which case I'd gave my right hand down at my side or at the level of my belt buckle) or use two hands on the snaffle, good advice above on rein position. Most important is to not change rein and hand position during the class (no switching back and forth)
                Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                Sam: A job? Does it pay?
                Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
                Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.

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                • #9
                  More technical details on rein hold. You may put 1 finger between the reins. If you do the bight of the reins must fall on the SAME side of the horse has your reining hand, they may not be held on the non-reining hand. If you put no fingers between the reins then the bight should fall to the opposite side of the reining hand and may be held in the non-reining hand. http://www.rainbowag.com/eraldi_38.html

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Renae View Post
                    More technical details on rein hold. You may put 1 finger between the reins. If you do the bight of the reins must fall on the SAME side of the horse has your reining hand, they may not be held on the non-reining hand. If you put no fingers between the reins then the bight should fall to the opposite side of the reining hand and may be held in the non-reining hand. http://www.rainbowag.com/eraldi_38.html
                    The tail may be held in the non-rein hand if you are using rommel (sp?) reins in lieu of split reins (many of the AQHA trail folks, and arab WP folks use them). If using split reins, then the non-rein hand is not to touch the reins at all (penalties).
                    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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                    • #11
                      both the NSBA and AQHA rulebooks have information on holding the reins. If they do follow the bit rules your horse would be considered a senior and ridden one handed in a curb like the others have said. If so try a tom thumb or low port curb, and see which your horse prefers. As far as a helmet go right ahead and wear one, and put your hair in a bun or in a ponytail. Good luck and have fun!

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                      • #12
                        All good advice.... We definitely need pictures! Have fun and try not to gloat when you whoop him!
                        Alis volat propriis.

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          I will definitely post some pics. I'm going to Horse Town tonight and may buy a blingy shirt and belt and a cowboy hat if I can afford it!

                          I have been going back and forth on the bit, but I think I will just call the show manager and if they let me ride in a snaffle, I will, if not, I have a BEAUTIFUL show shank with silver laced split reins that I have never been able to use because I don't show western... Of course, my horse will have roughly 3 days to get used to it

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                          • #14
                            I show the circuit in this shirt (not at regionals mind you but it's nice enough for A shows)
                            Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                            Sam: A job? Does it pay?
                            Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
                            Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Another Question

                              What is the industry standard rule on bosals? I know you can show in them, but does you horse have to be 5 or under?

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                              • #16
                                yes, only junior horses can show in a bosal or snaffle

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Thanks Burbank, that's what I figured, but it was worth a shot.

                                  So I bought a cowboy hat last night! I didn't get a bling-tastic show shirt because they were all too short for my long torso, so I think I'll just go to Tractor Supply and get a western shirt. It's not like we're going to the APHA Congress... This is a tiny show down the road from the ranch.... But I want to (quite literally) SPARKLE! You never get to wear bling in hunters .

                                  We should all be able to enjoy laughing with (at) me when I post pics this weekend

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    good luck and have fun, who knows you may start showing wp along with hus, besides you can sparkle with your tack to

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      When I or my 4-her show my older gelding western he is required to be in a shank bit since he is (most definitely) older than 5. Even at a small saddle club show. That being said there are many western bits that can be quite gentle. I show my horse in a junior cow horse bit with a very low port (essentially just extra tongue clearance) or a bit that looks much like a tom thumb but with a copper roller in the middle. Both bits have short shanks and work fabulously for my semi retired jumper horse.

                                      Good luck and can't wait to see the pictures!
                                      My blog:

                                      RAWR

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by OveroHunter View Post

                                        So I bought a cowboy hat last night! I didn't get a bling-tastic show shirt because they were all too short for my long torso, so I think I'll just go to Tractor Supply and get a western shirt. It's not like we're going to the APHA Congress... This is a tiny show down the road from the ranch.... But I want to (quite literally) SPARKLE! You never get to wear bling in hunters .
                                        At a charity show I went to one year, they had six entries in the adult WP class. Five were women wearing blinged-out blouses, blinged chaps, sparkly things on their hats, sparkly buckles, rhinestones on the horses' headstalls and saddles...it was like Real Housewives of New Jersey meets Hey Dude.

                                        The sixth entry (the one that claimed the blue ribbon) was a guy that wore a white dress shirt, a pair of clean blue jeans and plain smooth brown leather chaps, and a standard grey/white cowboy hat. His very gorgeous and non-flashy sorrel gelding had a plain brown leather western saddle, a plain headstall, and absolutely zero bling. He was also the only one that looked like he was enjoying his ride, and his horse seemed to read his mind. Although the horse and rider were well-groomed, clean, and shiny (horse - not rider!) it looked as though he just decided to stop rounding up cattle and head over to the ring.

                                        The women all forced fake smiles and looked like they were being paid to ride.

                                        I wish I had a picture of the guy that one. He looked like Sam Elliot and was more than happy to chit chat with folks after his win.
                                        Last edited by HydroPHILE; Oct. 13, 2011, 12:42 PM.
                                        If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
                                        DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
                                        Originally posted by talkofthetown
                                        As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

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