Showing for dummies

Joined
17 June 2015
Messages
290
I am after a total novice guide to showing! I am toying with the idea of doing a little but I've no idea about any of it, having been a happy hacker only for the last 10 years!
So here is my first round of questions:

1/ as I understand it, unaffiliated means anyone can have a go and affiliated means potential prize money and points on your card, but I don't understand the affiliation process. I joined the side saddle association this year and they sent me a points card - does that mean I'm affiliated?

2/ is it acceptable to take my horse to a show without competing, just so she can get used to the atmosphere? If that is allowed, do I need to ask permission?

3/ how far in advance of the first class should I arrive?

4/ any useful tips appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
 

conniegirl

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Joined
3 November 2004
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4,826
1)unaffiliated means that anyone can enter, you don't qualify for anything, the judges are not necessarily qualified. they can still have prize money etc

Affiliated means it is run under the auspices and rules of one of the showing societies, no "points" as such, but it means judges have to be qualified, if you win (and sometimes if you come 2nd) you qualify for a championship show of some sort. Winning an affiliated class can/does affect your novice status if applicable. Most affiliated classes you do not need to be a member to enter but you do need to be a member to qualify, however some like HOYS and RIHS qualifiers you do have to be a member to enter the class.

All you have to do to become affiliated is to become a member of the relevant societies.

2) Generally not, if you go to a show with the intention of letting your horse see the sights then it is the correct thing to enter at least one class, even if you have no intention of actually going in the class. This helps shows pay for the facilities, time, judges etc and for thier insurance.

3) how far in advance will depend on your horse, with youngsters or first time out horses I like to arrive a good couple of hours before my class, time enough for all the grooming, a good walk round to see the sights and some lunging if its all going a bit wrong. Its also not helpful if you are stressed so gives plenty of time if you get lost or stuck in traffic
With my been there, done that old boy I have rocked up 10 mins before the class (traffic issues) shoved a bridle and saddle on him, husband has groomed whilst I changed and I've warmed up on the way to the ring. I dont reccomend it but it is possible, I prefer about 30 mins before a class.

4) useful tips: you win your rosettes at home, you only go to shows to pick them up. You should not be schooling at the show, your horse should be schooled to perfection at home. true shine comes from within and needs proper feeding well in advance of the show and coat condition is largely a product of feeding and correct grooming during your weeks/months before the show. I have taken my pony to shows (and won) having only washed his 2 hind socks.

what class are you planning on doing and any photos of your horse?
 

be positive

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Joined
9 July 2011
Messages
16,968
There are many different affiliated classes run by many different societies so being a member of one does not always allow entry into others, it all depends on what type of horse you have as to what you can join/ do.
As a SSA member I think the points card will be used, assuming it is similar to other point systems, so you can gain points in various events/ disciplines that you do SS, when you are placed you get the judge to sign the card.

You can usually go to shows and not compete but many have tightened up the rules so you will need to ask before you go, most are wanting to check passports and may expect an entry even if you do not actually compete.

It depends entirely on your horse, an hour is usually the minimum to warm up, tidy up and be ready without rushing.

It sounds as if you would be best going on foot to a couple of shows to learn some of what goes on, if there are an suitable clinics in your area they would be worth doing, otherwise find an instructor who knows about showing and pick their brains, I guess as you ride SS you probably have someone involved who can help guide you.

As a starting point it would help if you told us what type of horse you had as turnout will vary from type to type.
 
Joined
17 June 2015
Messages
290
Thanks for the replies! I went to watch a SS clinic last weekend and the ladies were very encouraging to start going to shows. I guess there are so few of us riding SS the association wants as many us to be out and about as possible so this type of riding continues...
I have a shire mare called Alice. I will try to get a photo of us wobbling around side saddle!
Good tip to go to a few shows on my own first. Also, the tip about entering without competing- hadn't occurred to me that I could do that. The only classes we would enter (if we enter at all) would be novice ones for a while!
 
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