Little Bit Surprised By Standard Of Riding At Local Show

Mithras

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I went to my local show yesterday, its actually quite a big show which attracts a good quality of horse in the showing classes. But I was quite surprised at how many horses were unable to canter in the Ridden Horse and L/W Hunter classes. I was constantly overtaking people, which I don't like doing, but if you are meant to be cantering and there are still people trotting in front of you, what can you do? Some of them didn't even make any attempt to canter when asked. Even in trot, so many horses weren't going forwards properly so I was constantly overtaking even then. Its not just me because I heard the judge making the same comments.

None of them were playing up, its just that the riders seemed scared to ask their horses to do anything! One even asked to leave the ring when the line up was called in as his horse was only 5 years old. The judge tried to tell him just to let his (perfectly happy) horse stand with the others as it would be a good education for him, and she wouldn't ride him. But I think the rider's nerve had run out and he left. My horse was out jumping British Novice as a 4 y o!

Is it too much to ask of adult riders that they school their horses to be able to do a walk, trot and canter in a ring?
 

miss_c

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Must admit that I have come across the same thing at various shows. I try to circle around into a space to avoid overtaking people, but usually end up spending the entire group work constantly circling! Genie is forward going (to put it mildly... goes like a train is a bit more appropriate!), so for me it is a constant problem.

A friend of mine has also commented on this, especially at her yard's in-house show, where many of them are too worried to canter as part of a group. They're not incompetant riders (many of them are far from it), just not confident enough to do it.
 

Theresa_F

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The only time I have not cantered was in Chancer's first outing, early in the season - he was rising 4 - though for show purposes a 4 year old and his canter was ok but still a bit unbalanced on corners. He had never cantered in company of more than 3, and was not used to cantering corners on wet grass.

I trotted round (at a good forward going pace) and had advised others in the class and judge of my intentions. It was a fairly big class in a small ring on slippery grass and I played safe as he was so inexperienced and wanted him to enjoy himself first time out.

On his third class, we did canter the straights but slowed for the corners.

However, I did everything else and did canter on my individual show but did not show gallop, again due to his inexperience and the wet grass.

On his second show, we did canter, albeit slowly. After that he was used to going round with others and his canter had improved so we were fine in the go round, and he does love doing his gallop - but again I waited until he was doing it well at home before trying it in the ring.

Were they all on young very green horses on first time out? That is the only reason I could think of for not cantering round. Most novice classes don't canter on the go round, but you can't always find these classes at shows.
 

Mithras

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No, Midlothian (am down south until the Royal Highland).

Honestly, there were too many going slow not to overtake. Its dissappointing that so many people are unable to teach their horses to go forwards off the leg, but instead hang onto their mouths and get them doing some crabby apology for a trot and canter. My horse is anything but a show horse but we got called in second in front of some much superior animals because at least she was moving enough to actually be judged!
 

Kenzo

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I can agree with you to a certain extent and completely understand where you are coming from when some riders just don't bother to canter, usually to cover up a multitude of sins...wrong leg, excitability and is a pain when getting in the way of those who can canter nicely in group.

But I can also sympathise for riders on young horses when things are not quite going to plan, you commented ''but I think rider's nerve had run out and he left. My horse was out jumping British Novice as a 4 y o! Is it too much to ask of adult riders that they school their horses to be able to do a walk, trot and canter in a ring? ''

Its all very well schooling a young horse to perfection at home, but it doesn't mean they will behave and go as well in a ring full of other horses at a show, it would be carnage if every person on a young excitable horse had 'too much nerve' and didn't use their common sense, there would be people coming off left right and centre, I'm sure the judge would rather people didn't get injured or put other horses at risk of been kicked.

I think its a case of give and take, yes at County level and Agricultural Shows you expect more, but at local level you will have people taking their horses on first outings, some take 6 months before they settle and ride well, not everyone can make to training day and clinics etc some horses take more time than others and not forgetting that some horses are not even broken in at 4.

Your lucky your horse was jumping BN at 4 , but not everyone is that fortunate or blessed with horse with the same attitude to work an new surroundings.
smile.gif
 

Mithras

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It wasn't a novice class and I doubt many of the horses not cantering were particularly young. Although I'venoticed what some people class as young horses and "babies" seems to include 8 and 9 year olds! ;-) Actually they were all very well behaved, it seemed to be that the riders were too nervous to get them move off the leg. The judge commented on it to the two riders placed below me (she actually told one she would have shaded it over my horse if she had shown a better canter as her horse was ahead on conformation) and I heard her say the same thing generally about the class to the ring steward).

I've noticed a trend for people to canter very slowly, barely covering the ground, thinking that they are collected, in control and on the bit, and instead their horse just isn't going forwards. Is there maybe an increasing trend to teach people to ride like this or something?
 

TheBlackMoth

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Surely local shows are where people go to learn. Therefore you must expect a varying level of experience. You were a learner once, I think you should try for a little bit more tolerance.
 

josiesmithuk

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I would take the inside track and do my own merry thing. If anyone objects then you have genuine reason. I have a 6 year old out this year 1st season under saddle, I think you just need to take the good with the bad. It would be better for those not wishing to canter to go into the middle but these things are never straight forward are they.

Just look as far in front as you can and find the gaps!

Enjoy x x
 

WishfulThinker

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I agree with the OP to a point. Even if it is a local show, folk should know what is going to happen in the class and try at make sure that they can fulfil the criteria. But things can go wrong...........
She has said that it attracts a large amount for the showing........which would include a fair few folk that do it religiously.

I remember my 1st show with mine. He was usually a little bugger in a group cantering bt for some reason he decided he did NOT like the other horses and he refused to canter or listen to my leg. It wasn't a huge show - I would say local - but the class was one where folk could qualify for other shows............So I retired him from the class as I was in no way getting int he way of a 17hh hunter with dinner plates for hooves and a booming rider.

He was then a saint and even did some good jumping - wee bugger.

My wee bug bear is folk having horses that are in a class where they judge WILL ride them, and the horse is not at all used to other people riding it.
 

Mithras

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Thats why I was there! It was my horse's first showing class in a year, her second flat class ever and she can be very spooky, I went to see whether it would be worthwhile proceeding with the Novice Hunter class at my county show, along with the Working Hunter. I'm going to go ahead and do it now.

You are right Wishful Thinker. I don't really know the showing scene that well but I'm certain there were more than a few there who specialise in showing at least locally as even I recognised some of the faces and names.

I was told by a couple of showing professionals to overtake if crowded, but I've never had to overtake as much as that!
 

Vicki1986

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the person who left the line up (was probably thinking ahead for lap of honour?) may have decided horse has performed well and to call it a day. but IMO if horse has not caused reason to be asked to leave to stay put when it comes to a show ring. horses need to learn, and it wont learn if you take it out situations you will later expect it behave well in just because its older. Horses dont suddenly know what to do in a situation and behave appropriately, you have to educate them. Its very hard to do if your nervous, which is why i'm a strong believer in if you are too nervous to give a youngster the best possible education its first few experiences should be with someone who is. I make the judge right by saying it would be better to stay.
not all local show riders cant ride though. the standard at many is high. sometimes it just depends on the show and the sort of people it attracts, if its more a fun show / a serious one
 

0ldmare

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I agree its sometime difficult, but I always try to circle away rather than overtaking as it can badly upset an already unsettled horse. It does sound like they were being a bit overly cautious however!
 

galaxy

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I had the same experience but at the New Forest Show last year! I was doing the novice New Forest Pony class, but would still have expected at that level people to be able to continue cantering around the ring. People couldn't even check their horses and slow the canter if there was a problem ahead and just broke to trot. There were some really interesting moments!

However the judges comment to be was that I pushed my boys trot on too much. I have mainly done dressage on him, and took plenty of advice from friends who have done a lot of county level showing about his trot and was advised to basically do a medium trot (his working trot isn't his best pace). Anyway, that judge didn't like it, and told me so. She said that was her reason for putting me down the line, even though he had behaved miles better than many further up the line and as I said did whatever pace was asked for.

I'm sticking to dressage!
 

Paint it Lucky

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Hee hee, the first time i cantered my horse in a showing class he bolted off at a flat out gallop and it took several laps of the (fortunately large!) field before i could stop him (after nearly running over the judge!) We gracefully retired after that! He was only young though and didn't used to have very good brakes. So I can see why some people might not want to canter. But after this episode I did a lot more schooling of my horse in company and he is now much better behaved.
 

Lucy_Nottingham

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Ye galaxy, thats the big downfall with showing in that its totally judges opinion of the horses, what it prob was was that she liked the look of the higher placed horses better (colour, markings etc) and that was just a feesible excuse! Or on the other hand maybe she just noted it as a not for her thing!

Some people do struggle in the group secitons of shows either due to their own fears or scared of the horses behaviour. I would expect them to either come onto the inside track to ensure those doing the correct pace could pass safely, or to come and hault in the middle.

This easter my horse went the opposite way, got full of beans and pinged round the group section (not dangerous just excited) and I always ensured (as best I could) that I effected others as litle as possible (although did scare the judge once, didnt get placed then!)

Just keep trying, showing can be fun noramlly!
 

wench

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If you cant canter as a group, you either shouldnt enter or be prepared to move over for someone that can canter. I went to a local show and was placed last due to the fool in front of me doing about two strides of canter then back into trot.
 

YorksG

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In the open equitation class at our RC show last year (open to non members) the number of people who either did not understand, or could not follow, the judges instruction to canter a half circle and then trot the half circle and continue to do this, on both reins until asked to stop, as a group. It did make it difficult to follow the instructions when the person in front trotted when she should have cantred and vice versa!
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