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Western leadline...need some help

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  • Western leadline...need some help

    Hi everyone. Mini MO is going to be doing some western leadline in addition to her huntseat leadline this spring/summer and I need some help.

    Ok, number one, how the heck do you attach a leadline to a western headstall/curb bit? I seriously don't have any idea how that is going to work!

    Number 2, is it better to get real suede chaps for mini MO, or the synthetic ones? Mini MO is a stick, and I figured the fake suede would be easier to get a friend to do some alterations than trying to cut/sew the thicker suede, but I don't even sew buttons back on to stuff after they fall off so I know zero about these things. I'm assuming real suede probably looks nicer, but the fake stuff is supposedly machine washable which would be a bonus with Mini MO who is very much like the pigpen character from Peanuts. Synthetic ones are cheaper by about 10 bucks so I guess that isn't a huge factor.

    Mini MO WILL be wearing a helmet, even though I'm betting she will be the only leadliner in protective headgear at this particular circuit. Do we just stick with her black velvet or is it better to get one of those slinky helmet covers to match her outfit?

    I scored a matching pair of hobby horse vests on e-bay for $24.99. I know that vests are probably not in fashion but I am definitely not spending hundreds of dollars for a bedazzled show jacket, no matter how cute they are. It is leadline after all! I figure I can jazz us up with some scarves in an accent color and nice earrings. Should I wear black jeans or black dress pants?

    With rising gas prices and limited showing opportunities, this circuit should be a fun opportunity to try some new stuff, but the absolute best thing is that leadline is not at 8:00am!!! Yay! Finally, a mom was in charge of the schedule!! We will be the last clas before lunch break so no more pulling out of the driveway at 5:00am for this busy mom who is definitely not a morning person!

    Anything else I need to know? I have asked my friend who has done this circuit before, but she doesn't have kids and has never paid any attention to the leadline class. She did tell me that we will both need to wear lipstick and blush. Kind of makes me feel like a pageant mom.
    Last edited by meaty ogre; Mar. 28, 2012, 09:17 AM. Reason: typos

  • #2
    I did western leadline at a really small schooling show, so it was probably a much lower standard to what you are referring to, but here is how I did it: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...type=3&theater

    From what I had seen online, you actually use a nice show halter under a show bridle (see the first pic): http://www.equinechronicle.com/ridin...ue-ribbon.html

    I did not have one because I show english, so I just used his nice show leather halter under the only somewhat decent western bridle I own. Had it been a bigger show, I probably would have borrowed some nicer things from my fiance's family.
    Southern Cross Guest Ranch
    An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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    • #3
      My DD wore the microsuede chaps for leadline...loved the washability and really, there's not huge difference in appearance. I later sold them to an acquaintance. When DD moved up to walk/trot, I found a custom-made pair of show chaps on CL for a song. After she outgrew them, I sold them on CL for nearly what I paid.

      IME, depending on the size of the show, a lot of tots don't even wear chaps. And, I would probably skip the makeup for her...maybe, I've just watched too many episodes of Toddlers and Tiaras.
      Is it me or do 99.9% of cowboys just look better with their hats on?
      <><

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      • #4
        One clever mom I saw had sewn a line of black fringe along the seam of her daughter's black jeans. You had to really look twice to see they weren't chaps. The mom and daughter wore matching vests, by the way. Very cute.

        This was an open show, but most of the participants had really spruced up, and it was a fun class to watch.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by OveroHunter View Post
          From what I had seen online, you actually use a nice show halter under a show bridle (see the first pic): http://www.equinechronicle.com/ridin...ue-ribbon.html

          I did not have one because I show english, so I just used his nice show leather halter under the only somewhat decent western bridle I own. Had it been a bigger show, I probably would have borrowed some nicer things from my fiance's family.
          I never in a million years would have thought of that. Thanks so much!

          This is a local circuit, however it is attended primarily by riders who also do the rated breed shows, or so I'm told, so it's basically a very low-cost show where very high-end QHs, paints, appaloosas etc. all come together to show for fun. So while Mini MO's saddle doesn't have a speck of silver on it, we definitely need to spruce ourselves up within our budgetary means. As with anything I know that clean, tidy and well-fitting will get us far in our venture. I've found a ton of inexpensive options on e-bay, CL and amazon. I got the deal on the vests on e-bay, I'm going to go with the cheaper synthetic chaps for Mini MO, we already have the pants and shirts. I'm going to add solid neck scarves that match the saddle blanket, and we are very fortunate to be able to borrow the horse, bridle, and I'm pretty sure the fancy silver halter. The only bling we will have will be matching lapel pins, but who knows, maybe in this economy other exhibitors will be getting over the all blinged out look too and reverting to more conservative apparel. Sounds like we are just about set!

          The only cowboy boots I have are tan, so I was thinking of just taking black shoe polish to them, or should I just wear my english paddock boots? Will anyone notice?

          I'm hoping I can borrow a hat because I know those are very expensive. Can I get away with a cheap black hat or will they spot that from a mile away? Is a straw or woven hat a definite no-no?

          Frankly I think the ones I've seen in recent show photos look a little silly with the super high crown and oversized swept up brims that seem to be in fashion at the moment. But then again it looks wierd to me to see anything but a helmeted head on a horse just because that is the norm where I've ridden. Maybe I'll really make a statement and wear my hunt helmet to match Mini MO's?

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          • #6
            1) I attach it to either the bottom of the left curb shank where the rein attaches or snap/buckle around the curb chain

            2) Real suede is better if it's a judged class on a breed circuit, nice synthetic suede chaps are fine though (unless you're going to a World/National show)

            3) Helmet is fine. If you want, you can get her a kid sized version of one of the leather covered western themed helmets, but lots of the kids just show in their multi purpose helmet with a cover that matches pad/chaps etc.
            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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            • #7
              I was browsing the Hobby Horse website for the first time in eons and saw this:

              http://www.hobbyhorseinc.com/shoppin...e_halter.shtml

              Probably too expensive, but apparently, a sleek halter under the bridle is how Western lead-liners do it now.
              If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
              Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous

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              • #8
                Originally posted by OveroHunter View Post
                From what I had seen online, you actually use a nice show halter under a show bridle (see the first pic): http://www.equinechronicle.com/ridin...ue-ribbon.html
                Several years ago when I did lead line with my mare and a friend's child, I used my nice silver show halter under the bridle, exactly like the attached photo quoted.

                IMO if you are at a "local" show, a nice, clean, leather halter and lead will work ok also.

                I have done lead line previously with a pony, who was considered to be a VERY safe child's pony. For whatever reason he started rearing in the class (convienantly the right size that I was able to just scoop the child off the pony at hip-height with no negative concequences to the incident).. but had I only had the lead line clipped to the shank or curb strap I would not have felt comfortable dealing with the naughty rearing pony. Having the full control of a halter was helpful. Just make sure the halter is UNDER the bridle.

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                • #9
                  Around here, everyone puts the show halter OVER the bridle. I think it's actually an official rule at the shows here that it has to go over the bridle. It is absolutely not acceptable to clip a lead rope onto the bit or curb...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've never done Western LL before, but found this article that talks about it:

                    http://www.hobbyhorseinc.com/dress-f...e_chap13.shtml

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CruzN View Post
                      Around here, everyone puts the show halter OVER the bridle. I think it's actually an official rule at the shows here that it has to go over the bridle. It is absolutely not acceptable to clip a lead rope onto the bit or curb...
                      THIS
                      It sounds like a circuit quite similar to the one that we show on - open breed show with everything from grade horses with novice riders to Congress and World champions. The leadline class is cute and most people do have nice tack and matching outfits, but it doesn't have to be crazy, over-the-top expensive - just clean, well-fitting and safe.
                      Lapeer ... a small drinking town with a farming problem.
                      Proud Closet Canterer!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ultra-suede is great. Leave off the helmet cover. Black jeans for you, not dress pants. You'll probably want to practice banding your pony's mane, that isn't as easy as it looks and really makes a difference. Use a chain shank looped through the left cheek of the bit. And here are some show proofs of POA leadline I found in a quick google search
                        http://shaneruxphotography.exposurem..._poa_leadline2

                        Hope this helps! Have fun!

                        And while I've seen it done, the heavy makeup is unnecessary (and awful IMO)
                        Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian

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                        • #13
                          Could you attach a leather bit converter to the top rings (if it's a tom thumbesque bit) and snap the lead to that?

                          Then you won't have the added bulk of a halter.
                          Friend of bar.ka!
                          Originally posted by MHM
                          GM quote of the day, regarding the correct way to do things:
                          "There's correct, and then there's correct. If you're almost correct, that means you're wrong."

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                          • #14
                            I looked online and I have seen pics of both the halter under the bridle and over the bridle at reputable shows. I don't know if there is a rule about it, but personally I like the look better with the halter under the bridle.
                            Southern Cross Guest Ranch
                            An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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                            • #15
                              I can't believe that POA allows leads to be attached to the bridle . Not safe! I have never seen it allowed any where else.

                              As far as whether to put the halter over or under the bridle, most put it over to prevent damaging expensive show halters and you also actually have better control with it over the bridle.
                              Lapeer ... a small drinking town with a farming problem.
                              Proud Closet Canterer!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I think that the halter over or under would depend on how nice my bridle vs how nice my halter is but with would work nicely

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I don't really see what is so unsafe about attaching the lead to the bit. That's how every horse gets led to the ring at h/j shows. I never had a problem with doing that, and a POA leadline pony is about 1.5 trillion times less likely to get in trouble than a GP showjumper.
                                  Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I've always attached the lead to the bit...I use a special leather lead with a snap, no chain so it is lighter weight. Done this at large open shows and breed shows, with the kids winning many classes, day ends and year end awards...have NEVER had a judge or show manager comment on it. But on the other hand all of my horses are showmanship broke, so work primarily off my body language and not a lead and the kids are riding w/t/j at home off lead.

                                    As to the rest, you can make a pair of microsuede chaps for about $15 in materials and an hours time if you want to do that route...plus they are washable and you can pick from a bunch of different colors. Here in NY anyone under 14 is supposed to wear a helmet, and even at shows that don't enforce that our kids wear them...we usually just stick with a black velvet one as most of the kids do western and huntseat leadline, so don't have to worry about changing a cover.

                                    On a personal note...I stay away from the matching outfits...to me they just look silly, more like dress up than anything else. Not saying that you shouldn't coordinate outfits, but head to toe the same...not so much.
                                    Last edited by sahqueen; Mar. 30, 2012, 09:53 AM.
                                    The best little horse show series around! www.WinningWeekends.com

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                                    • #19
                                      Can't offer any advice but I do want to remind you that this thread will be worthless without PICTURES!!!!!

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Thanks for all the replies and links everyone. When we show english I used to clip the lead to the left ring of the snaffle bit, but then I saw a lady using an arabian type leather lead (with a leather and buckle end instead of brass snap) attached to the noseband and I though it looked better, and also prevented the constant, albeit mild pull on the left side of the horse's bit, so that is the way I do it english. I attach the buckle of the leather lead to the back of the noseband, right under the chin groove. It looks very nice.

                                        I would not feel comforable attaching a lead to a shank bit. If I did need to make a correction or grab the horse that's just not safe. I thought about just doing leadline in a snaffle bit but I'm still researching the rules on that. I tried the halter/bridle combo on the horse last night and it works better with the halter under the bridle. The other way all the silver seems to be catching on each other and it makes the ear loops on the bridle sit funny. Thanks again for all who shared this tip...it looks very nice and I never would have come up with that on my own!

                                        I also tried it with just putting a plain english caveson under the bridle, and it looked very nice and streamlined to me, but I just don't know if it would be kosher in the ring, and also, if I did have to make a sudden pull or correction I'd really hate for the whole thing to come flying off the mare's head and have my kid loose in the ring doing an impromtu bridleless exhibition!

                                        This horse has done showmanship and does work very nicely with minimal handler interaction. She is also super laid back and I don't expect any problems, but we all know when we let our guard down that will be the one time that someone's dog runs into the arena or their mini stallion gets loose, etc, and I want to be able to grab my horse and my kid. I can't imagine if you yanked a lead attached to a curb bit. I'm envisioning rearing and flipping, not to mention the bruising it could cause the horse. Even if they just spooked or yanked their head to get a fly that could be problematic with the lead attached to the shank of a bit that isn't a snaffle.

                                        I will be sure to come back with pictures, me edited out of course!

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