Tack for local showing?

**Vanner**

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Hi all,

I haven't posted for a while but feel compelled to this evening.

I have been out watching my friends showing locally today and was slightly bemused by some of the tack I saw being used in the hunter and novice class I watched.

  1. Flash nose bands on several horses ( I have always been told that flashes are a no, no for showing)
  2. A saddle cloth being used!
  3. A martingale ( in a novice showing class - not working hunter!)

Now, it may just be me but, in all cases I think this is wrong. I appreciate this was a local show but I do think you should use correct tack and turnout your ponies in respect of the judge!
 

Louby

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It appears anything goes these days, gone are the plain caveson nosebands for hunter classes, dainty raised nosebands for showing classes with doubles or rugby pelhams, lip straps, velvet browbands, white girths :), garter straps, show canes etc. I appreciate its local level too and that not everyone can afford the right stuff but remember knowing even as a kid what was and wasnt acceptable and used to polish my rubber riding boots the night before wishing they were leather ones.
 
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We do our best, but going to a local show is a rare treat. We potter round the clear round, eat some chips, my friend does handy horse/pony (she's 12, I no longer qualify at most shows :-( ), and we maybe go in a little showing class (something like 'local hack' or 'horse of any type' or something equally vague and clearly put on for the likes of us) and if we come out with a rosette (pink or purple usually!) we are highly delighted. We don't have all the right kit, but we try to look as presentable as possible, and it's always clean and polished. We don't do enough to make it worth buying a whole set of stuff to be properly correct, but we hope the judge can see we've made an effort with what we have. I know how I'd like to kit Her Ladyship out for shows, but we just have to use what we've already got because there are more important things to budget for.
 

TelH

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It's one of my pet hates when people say because it's a local show it doesn't matter how you turn yourself or your horse out. Fair enough if you can't afford to buy specific stuff, but when people are going to kit themselves out you would think they would take the time to find out what is correct.
 

WelshD

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A basic amount of attention to detail wouldnt go amiss at many local shows

You don't have to buy a whole new set of kit to get most things right. In the examples given by the OP the flash, martingale and saddle cloth on each exhibit could simply have been removed to make a much more correct and pleasing picture
 

Shysmum

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I'm interested in this - but I am a total heathen.... I would love to do a local show again, but we are bitless and have a barefoot saddle (with stirrup cages due to my weak ankles). I think a judge would faint if they saw us coming. :eek:
 

flojo

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In the examples given by the OP the flash, martingale and saddle cloth on each exhibit could simply have been removed to make a much more correct and pleasing picture
Yes, this is true. I have many pet hates myself, loosely knotted ties and dirty bits the main culprits.

However I do sympathise with 'Wooly Hat n Wellies'
I've spent a fortune over the past few years to enable my daughter to 'look the part' in her showing classes. Hunter bridles, WH saddles, Tweed jackets and then navy for evening performances, velvet hats and toppers. straight topped boots for showing, dressage cut for dressage...the list goes on and on!

When I started off showing 35 (gulp!) years ago the main priority was to look clean, neat and tidy. Tack spotlessly clean (with all buckles, bits and stirrup irons polished) , pony groomed to within an inch of it's life.
A well groomed, well schooled pony with a capable rider would beat hands down a picture perfect fashion plate that didn't perform as well.
Unfortunately that's not something you can say with confidence nowadays.
 

WelshD

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A well groomed, well schooled pony with a capable rider would beat hands down a picture perfect fashion plate that didn't perform as well.
Unfortunately that's not something you can say with confidence nowadays.
In some classes there is almost a checklist of items needed. Similar Or even identical items from different retailers are ignored in favour of the holy grail of 'correct turnout' the saddle must be x style from x maker, the bit must be x type from x maker etc etc, even to the point of the pony not actually needing said bit - youd be hard pressed to find a pony not in a wilkie in certain classes for example.

In other classes the standard of riding can be poor - i dare say more money was spent on the browbands than lessons!
 
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You don't have to buy a whole new set of kit to get most things right. In the examples given by the OP the flash, martingale and saddle cloth on each exhibit could simply have been removed to make a much more correct and pleasing picture
I do agree on this, I wouldn't deliberately enter a class in something totally, wildly inappropriate or against the rules. Sorry, I should have made it clear I was commenting in a more general sense. My fault!

I do feel a bit 'cobbled together' at shows because we have to put horse and rider in whatever is closest to the correct picture, but often it isn't quite right. For example, I feel like I shouldn't be wearing my old school shirt and tie at 25 when other riders are in nice stocks, but it's what I have so it's what I have to go with. I'm also a sharer so I do feel awkward telling the owner to take the saddle cloth off when she insists that she wants it on, or when she says that the velvet browband is prettier when plain would be better. She doesn't have to take me with them to shows at all, so I don't like to nit-pick when I know we won't be winning any prizes anyway.

If it's a very small local event, and we know full well we'll come last, if everything is clean and smart otherwise, and the item of tack is not actually prohibited in the rules, can we not just toddle round a general riding class, at the back, gracefully accept defeat, congratulate the winner, and thank the judge on the way out? Particularly if others are doing the same? I accept that in principle OP is totally right, but sometimes you just have to do the best you can under the circumstances, or have a horse who never has the experience of going anywhere and riding around a ring with strange horses, and potentially blows its socks off the first time it does go.
 

Walrus

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I agree that if it's a one off, local show then making the best of what is available is fine but my pet hate is long hair that's sticking out of the flipping hat. I was having a nosy at the professional pics from a local show near us and the number of people with their hair either loose or in a ponytail with it all falling out and sticking out the sides of their hat was unbelievable. A hairnet is cheap, at the very least brushing it and putting it in a neat plait or pony tail costs nothing.
 

Sheep

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I agree that if it's a one off, local show then making the best of what is available is fine but my pet hate is long hair that's sticking out of the flipping hat. I was having a nosy at the professional pics from a local show near us and the number of people with their hair either loose or in a ponytail with it all falling out and sticking out the sides of their hat was unbelievable. A hairnet is cheap, at the very least brushing it and putting it in a neat plait or pony tail costs nothing.
This! I suppose this is a good example of how a small and simple change can make a big difference to the overall picture. I know very little about showing but should I ever decide to go down that route rest assured I will google the bejaysus out of whatever type I am going for and make sure I am suitably attired, I'd feel like a right plonker if I showed up in the completely wrong kit! I'd say most people could cobble together something suitable for whatever class it may be, better to keep it simple and make sure horse is clean!
 

catkin

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Woolie hat n wellies - you are not alone, loads of us cobble together our kit, we have to as can't afford a whole new set of gear for a few days a year!!

Primarily in all showing classes it is the horse that is 'on show', so anything it's wearing should be firstly neat and unobtrusive, and where possible enhances it's typey-ness.

The trick is to plan ahead - if you want to show then check out the turnout for your type of horse - then look to kit yourselves out with best approximations from the start, ie if you have a native pony like me get a neat brown bridle rather than a black one, and look for a tweed coat rather than black jacket for example (they can be used for all types of competition and the bridle is used everyday, so we are halfway there with our existing kit). Plain leather browbands and hunter nosebands can be picked up second-hand if you give yourself enough time to search them out, same with ties and waistcoats for in-hand.

Saddles can be difficult - comfort for the horse has to come first over looks, though even here neat girths and unobtrusive numnahs can help the overall appearance. Most judges at local level will empathise and accept this.

The rest is down to elbow grease and schooling to present the best picture!
 

**Vanner**

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A basic amount of attention to detail wouldnt go amiss at many local shows

You don't have to buy a whole new set of kit to get most things right. In the examples given by the OP the flash, martingale and saddle cloth on each exhibit could simply have been removed to make a much more correct and pleasing picture
That was exactly my point. I have always been conscious of trying to ensure I was turned out correctly even if I can't afford to have the "in vogue" tack. I have always turned out my ponies and myself to the best of my ability. Flashes, saddle cloths and martingales have never been allowed, to my knowledge, in showing classes in my 30 years of being around horses which was why it shocked me yesterday - my own riding club wouldn't accept it!

And there is nothing wrong with using a 25 year old school tie :). I love the nostalgia of things like that. I still use the stock pin I was given for my 11th birthday to go showing on my old welshie.
 

Dreamer515

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i would love to be able to afford the correct tack for my horse for showing but unfortuantly i cant. i have a plain cavesson bridle with a simple snaffle but i am put off showing as i have been told it is "correct" to have a double bridle. i cant afford this and i am currently saving up for a decent saddle as although comfy and well fitted to suit my horse it wouldnt be acceptable for showing. it is something i would love to do but it seems a sport for the wealthy. because of this i think that local shows are brilliant! i havent competed in one but have been a spectator and even without the "correct" tack those horses and ponies are turned out beautifully and you can see the effort that went into them. as low level local shows, aslong as it is not absurd then yeah anything goes aslong as everyone is enjoying themselfes and trying their best with what that got.
 

**Vanner**

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You should go. A cavesson bridle is fine - it doesn't have to be a double - although you should be able to pick up a nice second hand pelham on eBay fairly cheaply and that is just as correct for showing. As regards saddles I see a lot of people competing in wintecs or similar - so long as they are plain and not coloured - and clean, with a plain numnah or no numnah you will be fine.

My issue was more flashes and martingales as I really don't think they have a place in the show ring.
 

Elf On A Shelf

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And then you get the greys/multi-coloured horses that haven't had a bath and look as though they have been dragged through a muddy bog backwards ... Just give them a scrub! It's not hard! Bit of fairy liquid will do!
 

rara007

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If I was taking a youngster to its first show at an early season local showing show I wouldn't think twice about using a martingale or flash if that's what they're used to! Local level is really meant to be encouraging for novice horses and riders... If the horse is being aimed at something other than showing it may not be an issue what tack they're in, and if they're there for schooling they no doubt accept being placed lower because of it. Showing at local level is a good low pressure intro to the world of competing for both riders and horses where you can get aural feedback from the judge and have the comfort of not being alone in the ring. If you don't know the back story and they're out enjoying their horses, good for them, live and let live :p
 

atouchwild

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In some classes there is almost a checklist of items needed. Similar Or even identical items from different retailers are ignored in favour of the holy grail of 'correct turnout' the saddle must be x style from x maker, the bit must be x type from x maker etc etc, even to the point of the pony not actually needing said bit - youd be hard pressed to find a pony not in a wilkie in certain classes for example.

In other classes the standard of riding can be poor - i dare say more money was spent on the browbands than lessons!
See I disagree. Correct turnout need not be expensive at all, granted there is a lot of kit to get but if you collect it over the years it's.much easier. I started on naughty ponies, doing as best I could to use the correct gear and now am showing at a very decent level. I'm still wearing a white or blue shirt which were £5 from Tescos, my school tie, my boots where second hand many years ago, as we're all my jackets. My hat was expensive I admit at around £80, but it's now in its ninth season. I bought an ancient beagler off ebay last year for £5. My saddle and bridle are a million years old, also bought second hand and I'm doing fairly well in the ring. Mainly because I make sure whatever im riding is schooled as best as it possibly can be and is clean and tidy.

I agree it can be hard it you only do it once or twice many of the people who are incorrectly turned out are also the ones on grubby ponies (nit always I know) and I'm sorry but if you are going to go showing you have to make the effort. I wouldn't care if somebody had a synthetic saddle at a local show because I would presume this is all they had and that's fine, but there is a massive difference between somebody making the best of limited kit and somebody who hasn't bothered to read the rules or make the effort.


Agree with the comment 're lessons!! beautifully schooled ponies at local level are unfortunately a rarity these dAys.
 

WelshD

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See I disagree. Correct turnout need not be expensive at all,.
I didn't say it was expensive though. I'm almost trying to say the opposite - there is no need for there to be a 'holy grail' list of show stuff

For example I was trying to sell a lovely Jefferies show saddle, virtually identical to one made by a different saddler with a similar reputation. Two people have rejected it so far in favour of one more expensive that bears the all important other name.

I find the adult's classes are less a victim to this, there is more variation in the tack and turnout.
 

xgemmax

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I've seen someone wearing fetlock boots on all 4 legs, a saddlecloth and a tail bandage.. in an actual showing class :confused: How people get away with it i do not know!!
 

conniegirl

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WElshD,you'll find that whilst they look the same they dont ride the same and when people are used to one saddle then they are not going to risk a jeffries.
I had an oakfield Santana and a farrington WH saddle, they looked very very similar, I HATED the oakfield for general riding but could jump in it, loved the Farrington for flat work and hacking but got jumped out of the saddle everytime!

I'm now a total convert to the Ideal Ramsey, which to outward appearances are identical to the fylde marjorie, but I just cannot ride in a fylde, the shape of the seat is just wrong for me!
As I'm going to spend £600+ on a secondhand saddle I want it to be right for both me and the horse! so the Ideal Ramsey is on my must have list.
 

WelshD

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WElshD,you'll find that whilst they look the same they dont ride the same and when people are used to one saddle then they are not going to risk a jeffries.
I had an oakfield Santana and a farrington WH saddle, they looked very very similar, I HATED the oakfield for general riding but could jump in it, loved the Farrington for flat work and hacking but got jumped out of the saddle everytime!

I'm now a total convert to the Ideal Ramsey, which to outward appearances are identical to the fylde marjorie, but I just cannot ride in a fylde, the shape of the seat is just wrong for me!
As I'm going to spend £600+ on a secondhand saddle I want it to be right for both me and the horse! so the Ideal Ramsey is on my must have list.
I absolutely see what you are saying but feel many people don't see it like that or give these things as much consideration as you - they just want something because it is 'the thing' to have.Like I said its not really in the adults class where you see the 'must have' fraternity - its in the lead rein/first ridden classes that keeping up with the rest is more obvious
 
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**Vanner**

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I've seen someone wearing fetlock boots on all 4 legs, a saddlecloth and a tail bandage.. in an actual showing class :confused: How people get away with it i do not know!!
Good lord! I don't understand why the judge allows it. I would ask them to leave - remove and then come back in.

ETA - I'm not a judge! Just if I was one.
 
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atouchwild

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I really hope this isn't on your head when you are anywhere near a horse :eek3:
Yes it is, I do ridden classes in it where appropriate. The fact that it is old didn't worry me since it effectively offers no protection anyway. But please, I really don't want to get into a hat debate...
 

minesadouble

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I absolutely see what you are saying but feel many people don't see it like that or give these things as much consideration as you - they just want something because it is 'the thing' to have.Like I said its not really in the adults class where you see the 'must have' fraternity - its in the lead rein/first ridden classes that keeping up with the rest is more obvious
I'm guessing the 'must have' you are referring to is the Fylde Hayden, especially in lead rein. Most of the ponies do wear them - I have one RP who is LR and FR and a LR section A - they each have a Hayden. Whilst they do seem to be a 'must have accessory they are fab for the tinies as they are such a good fit for the ponies and the suede give the tiny jockeys a touch of extra stickability!
We had a Jeffries show saddle for our 13 hand section B, it was lovely to ride in with a really comfy seat but there would have been 'too much' saddle to put on a LR. (Not saying it was the same style as yours btw and couldn't tell you what 'model' it was)
 

Peregrine Falcon

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Oh don't get me started on the lead rein outfits. Even a judge remarked to me recently how ridiculous it's become.

A smart tidy rider on a clean well turned out horse which is nicely schooled should be all you need at local shows.
 

minesadouble

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Oh don't get me started on the lead rein outfits. Even a judge remarked to me recently how ridiculous it's become.

A smart tidy rider on a clean well turned out horse which is nicely schooled should be all you need at local shows.
Ooh I love lead rein outfits, especially M&M and SHP - any excuse for tweed ��
I run a few local shows a year, medium size affairs and we get some perfectly turned out competitors and also those who don't have all the gear but generally the vast majority are well turned out.
i don't think any of our regular judges would mark someone down for their turnout in a ridden class (unless it was best turned out). Everyone is aware that not all can afford the 'right' gear. An unsuitable bitting arrangement or being filthy is probably the only thing that would negatively affect a competitor's placing.
 
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