HOYS - Showing the world that a lame and obese pony can be a champion

Elf On A Shelf

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I can never understand why people put wilkie's on lead rein ponies, a lot of judges don't like it either.
Because you can create a false outline and keep the ponies head where its supposed to be. Wilkie + short knotted reins + a handle on the saddle = fixed hands, fixed reins, fixed bit and fixed head. Voila!

I personally hate wilkies with a passion and it is well known. People have changed their ponies bits from one ring to the next when they show under me so they have a plain snaffle on.
 

RachelFerd

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As to RoR's the racehorse Champion yesterday has a Wilkie "snaffle" in as a bridoon. Most of those lead rein and first ridden ponies will have had Wilkies in too. I think it is time that showing came back and used only dressage legal bits rather than letting, what are essentially Gags, be used by children and as part of a double bridle.
I've just seen the photo - that should absolutely not be in a horse's mouth as part of a double bridle in the show ring. Least of all winning...
 

teddy_eq

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Because you can create a false outline and keep the ponies head where its supposed to be. Wilkie + short knotted reins + a handle on the saddle = fixed hands, fixed reins, fixed bit and fixed head. Voila!

I personally hate wilkies with a passion and it is well known. People have changed their ponies bits from one ring to the next when they show under me so they have a plain snaffle on.
Well yes, but all of that can achieved with a 'normal' snaffle too. You see enough of it.

I think it is more to do with what is perceived to be the correct etiquette as I know enough lead rein riders to know they don't really influence the pony at all, regardless of what is in the ponies mouth.

People entering into showing just assume a wilkie is the correct bit when actually, a lot of judges have a distaste for them on lead rein ponies. That is what I don't understand. Not the 'mechanics' of what a wilkie can do.
 

RachelFerd

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Well yes, but all of that can achieved with a 'normal' snaffle too. You see enough of it.

I think it is more to do with what is perceived to be the correct etiquette as I know enough lead rein riders to know they don't really influence the pony at all, regardless of what is in the ponies mouth.

People entering into showing just assume a wilkie is the correct bit when actually, a lot of judges have a distaste for them on lead rein ponies. That is what I don't understand. Not the 'mechanics' of what a wilkie can do.
I keep encountering surprising ignorance from folk taking part in showing though. A lady that told me her horse was being unfairly discriminated against when she took him out to do dressage and kept getting poor marks for her free walk - "he can't stretch down because he's a show horse so we train them not to".... riiiiiiiiight - didn't even know where to begin!
 

teddy_eq

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I keep encountering surprising ignorance from folk taking part in showing though. A lady that told me her horse was being unfairly discriminated against when she took him out to do dressage and kept getting poor marks for her free walk - "he can't stretch down because he's a show horse so we train them not to".... riiiiiiiiight - didn't even know where to begin!
It is sad. Maybe there is more bad than good but from my experience, in terms of how I produce my own and how my friends produce theirs, we all try to do things correctly and the horses wellbeing is always paramount.

I am probably too personally invested in showing to be truly objective however, there is a lot of good in this industry and it's just a real shame that sometimes the headliners are not necessarily doing things 'correctly'.
 

Elf On A Shelf

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Well yes, but all of that can achieved with a 'normal' snaffle too. You see enough of it.

I think it is more to do with what is perceived to be the correct etiquette as I know enough lead rein riders to know they don't really influence the pony at all, regardless of what is in the ponies mouth.

People entering into showing just assume a wilkie is the correct bit when actually, a lot of judges have a distaste for them on lead rein ponies. That is what I don't understand. Not the 'mechanics' of what a wilkie can do.
Of course it can be achieved through correct schooling with a simple snaffle but no one wants to out the time and effort into that now. No one wants to wait for their ponies to mature and develop a natural top line and carriage. It's always the here and now. Wilkies are still top of the list because many judges still won't drop a pony for being in one, same as the obese aspect of things.

Judges need to be braver. But then in this day and age social media rules. Judges don't want to be different from the norm, to break away and put down the line what they don't see as correct because their name will be screamed across the airwaves for all and sundry to hop on the band wagon and slag you off. Very few new judges are going onto panels because they don't want to know or see what people write about them. Before social media you just slagged the judge off in the box on the way home and that was the end of it. Not any more sadly.
 

Berpisc

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(dons tin hat)

I watched the ridden welsh cob class at GYS and thought some of the stallions were hideous.

I get that stallions are expected to have a large cresty neck but I don't believe thst said crest should be wobbling side to side. Nor should they be blowing hard after trotting one circuit of an arena.

(crawls back under a rock)
The annoying thing is they were like this over 20 years ago when I used to go and watch, there were noises made about grossly overweight cobs then. So depressing.
 

ycbm

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By that argument anything with an artistic merit mark isn’t a sport, best tell the rhythmic gymnasts, the synchronised swimmers, Figure skaters etc
The artistic merit component, for me, isn't sport, but what is left requires sufficient training and is so far removed from the day to day activity of ordinary people just moving about, swimming or skating as to constitute sport.

Showing, if you take the artistic merit mark away, is doing nothing that the vast majority of horses which are not showing don't also do, and therefore to me that is not a sport.

Whether it's a sport or not, that pony winning shows that there are still big problems with it. I've not seen so much cellulite since I caught a glimpse of my thighs in the mirror this morning.
.
 

conniegirl

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The difference is you don't lose Olympic gold for having a bone at slightly the wrong angle or a scar ;)
But you can if your skating costume detracts from your performance.

Showing, if you take the artistic merit mark away, is doing nothing that the vast majority of horses which are not showing don't also do, and therefore to me that is not a sport.
By that argument Dressage is doing nothing that the vast majority of horses don’t do already, particularly at the lower levels. So is that also not a sport?
 

OrangeAndLemon

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Has anyone got a link to a recording of the pony either during judging or on the lap of honour. I've been searching because I'm interested at looking at the lameness described (being nosey really).
 

teddy_eq

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But you can if your skating costume detracts from your performance.


By that argument Dressage is doing nothing that the vast majority of horses don’t do already, particularly at the lower levels. So is that also not a sport?
I agree with this.

Horses are often more through and correct in open level showing than in Novice level dressage, for example.

Also, a hack for example is required to rein back. More technical than a lot of low level dressage tests.

I think anyone who actually does high level showing and has first hand experience of how competitive it is, would be shuddering at this thread.
 

RachelFerd

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By that argument Dressage is doing nothing that the vast majority of horses don’t do already, particularly at the lower levels. So is that also not a sport?
Well obviously dressage has a very clear structure of progressive levels that create a clear development of skills that take someone to the highest levels. So the fact that prelim is boring doesn't mean much - prelim is part of a set of stepping stones that you can use to work up the ladder. No clear skills based progression exists in the show ring.
 

sarahann1

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Dons tin hat.

I love showing, I love the prep, I love the process of schooling on to be as correct/the best we can possibly be as a pair, love seeing the polished horses and riders all beautifully turned out, love being in the ring showing off my horse, love love love it!!

I’m very sad/angry fat horses are *still* getting placed though. I’ve seen judges place down for weight round my way more than once, so there are good judges out there.
 

Roasted Chestnuts

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Yep, I've watched quite a bit of ROR 'elite' showing in person. As someone who is passionate about retraining racehorses for eventing, I found the entire thing rather odd to watch. It isn't a sport. It isn't unskilled (clearly there are lots of skills on show), but it isn't a sport. I'm not saying people don't work hard - you can work hard at things that aren't sports. You can work very hard at writing a book, or being a supermodel... still not sports.

PS - the whole bit where you are being assessed on tack, turnout and conformation is specifically the bit that makes sure that it is NOT a sport.
Is that chip on your shoulder not really heavy?? So it’s not for you doesn’t quite make it not a sport.

I don’t believe that BMXing is a sport but it’s at the Olympics, neither to me is skateboarding but there are gold medals for it, go figure, doesn’t mean I’m right just because I don’t believe it. I don’t believe in god but that doesn’t mean that for others he doesn’t exist.
 

LegOn

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So in the pros column for showing - I would agree with @sarahann1 there is nothing nicer than getting fancied up with your horse and going out to perform the best you can!

For me the training for showing really bonded me & my horse & taught us both alot of skills - trotting up nicely in hand, having manners in a group, having manners for a judge, patience for standing around, patience for being fussed at and generally being an allround nice horse to around and behave. The better we did at all those things, the better our results.

Saying all that, having done it now for all of 2 years, I still dont know maybe people out showing, its quite clichey but you start to see the 'producers' & get to know the 'judges' that will just look at the start list and mark out the winners before ever looking at a horse in the go-around. So no, we will never get 1st or 2nd or achieve our goal of wearing a sash one day (I might just make my own!) but yeah its a nice day out where I get to practice stuff with my horse that I've trained for at home and I love the feeling he gives me on a gallop or in the canter showing off so as long as we are having fun, then I'm in! (We also do working hunter, showjumping, hunter trialling and all other general allrounder stuff!)

But as an outsider - I do see a definitely need for an evolution of the sport (not going that road!) and everything needs to adapt and move with the times, we have seen it with showjumping and eventing and even dressage for better or worse but yeah - it really does need a shake up. I dont see why there cannot be score sheets, with accurate evaluations and comments so you can improve etc just like dressage. Actually during lockdown I did some online showing classes and we got just that - a marked sheet with comments and feedback (we won that one!) but it can be done!

Its really noticeable aswell when a ride judge gets more say than a conformation judge aswell or the other way around, I've had conformation judges love my horse as a traditional stamp but then get overruled by a ride judge - so you just cant predict on how it goes to swing! And I've seen ride judges not drop down a 'producer' when a horse behaves badly or just doesnt perform on the day - because they dont want the backlash which they know will come. One time a ride judge brought me right up the placings on the ride and dropped a producer out of the line up completely - she got verbally attacked by him in the car park and was literally pulled away by other people shouting at her, its not acceptable behavior but there is no one body governing showing like there is with dressage, showjumping and eventing so how do you get things changed (sorry now thats true for Ireland, not sure about the UK).
 

RachelFerd

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Is that chip on your shoulder not really heavy?? So it’s not for you doesn’t quite make it not a sport.

I don’t believe that BMXing is a sport but it’s at the Olympics, neither to me is skateboarding but there are gold medals for it, go figure, doesn’t mean I’m right just because I don’t believe it. I don’t believe in god but that doesn’t mean that for others he doesn’t exist.
I am trying to argue a pointlessly nuanced position here (and i'm not even sure why... boredom?) which is that we can't continue to angry about showing doing x,y,z wrong, given that it isn't a sport and doesn't operate like one. And therefore can't be held to the same levels of accountability for consistent results that we would expect of a sporting discipline. (AKA 'why are you all so shocked'?)

Unfortunately, that lack of accountability in results then does seem to lead to a bunch of welfare concerns, which are documented here and in a million other threads on this forum and elsewhere.

What i'm not saying is sport = good, not sport = bad. It's just about expectations of how an event is run and managed. When we all sound shocked about a result being wrong, it's usually because we're trying to apply sporting logic, rather than accepting that this discipline is not a meritocracy in the same way that (generic) 'sport' should be.

The whole thing is broadly out of date anyway, because the real 'showing' classes to showcase good breeding, movement, jump, trainability etc. etc. take place in BYEH and NEXGEN etc.
 

sarahann1

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Definition of sport according to the Oxford dictionary;

“an activity providing diversion, entertainment, or fun; a pastime”

also

“an activity involving physical exertion and skill, esp (particularly in modern use) one regulated by a set of rules or customs in which an individual or team competes against another or others.”

Last time I checked, I was competing against others with rules when I was showing.
 

ycbm

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By that argument Dressage is doing nothing that the vast majority of horses don’t do already, particularly at the lower levels. So is that also not a sport?
I guess on thinking about it that riding itself is a sport, so maybe it's a bit strange to say that an activity which involves riding isn't.

I'm not sure how else to separate horse showing from dog showing in my mind, though. And there's a chasm between showing and dressage as competitive sports because a horse with wonky legs can win a dressage class when it can't win a showing class, which is so strongly biased towards appearance.
 

RachelFerd

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I guess on thinking about it that riding itself is a sport, so maybe it's a bit strange to say that an activity which involves riding isn't.

I'm not sure how else to separate horse showing from dog showing in my mind, though. And there's a chasm between showing and dressage as competitive sports because a horse with wonky legs can win a dressage class when it can't win a showing class, which is so strongly biased towards appearance.
Plenty of showing is in hand and doesn't involve riding either - so really is just appearance based.
 

ycbm

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Definition of sport according to the Oxford dictionary;

“an activity providing diversion, entertainment, or fun; a pastime”

also

“an activity involving physical exertion and skill, esp (particularly in modern use) one regulated by a set of rules or customs in which an individual or team competes against another or others.”

Last time I checked, I was competing against others with rules when I was showing.
I stand corrected, dog showing is a sport, but then by that first definition so was my going out for lunch today 🤣
 

Elf On A Shelf

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The whole thing is broadly out of date anyway, because the real 'showing' classes to showcase good breeding, movement, jump, trainability etc. etc. take place in BYEH and NEXGEN etc.
BYEH and NEXGEN etc. Do not take into account breed type. These horses can be of any breed but they may not be true to type. A large Welsh Sec D who has no Welsh movement and is very much a horse not a pony would do well here but not in a traditional showing class no matter how well schooled it is because it is not of BREED TYPE. This is where showing differs and the futurity stuff for sport horses is completely and utterly different as they are meant to be. To compare them is utterly ridiculous! A horse does not need good conformation to win at these events. Hell it can even throw its legs out sideways but so long as it performs it wins. Same as I racing. In traditional showing movement, breed type and conformation is the main aspect.
 
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Just in case anyone was wondering what happens to that huge crest once the pony is out of showing work- it just collapses to the side. Unsurprisingly I don't often save pictures of my (ex-showing) dartmoor's awful fallen crest, but basically she has a good 4-5 inches of solid crest, just lying sideways (even when she's ribby).
 

Elf On A Shelf

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In-hand showing is much more than simply appearance, it’s the horses way of going, how true to type it is or not, how correctly it moves for the type, a check on manners.
Exactly! And a good horse shown badly can be dropped down the line. A not so good horse shown well can still win. Its more than just appearance. A skilled showman can work wonders with an average horse.
 
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