Showing…Do you even think about keeping the judge safe?
Its all to easy to focus on keeping your picture of perfectness….well: Perfect! But stop for a minute and consider a few really important issues that judges face every time they set foot in the ring…. think about keeping your showing judge safe and comfortable!
9 Top Tips from Adrianne Smythe (BSHA) who says that one important thing, which is increasingly being ignored, even by professional producers, is the tack and fitting, both to the horse and to the rider and the judge.
- The curb rein is considerably shorter than the bridoon rein, this is not a good way to start!
- Then the stirrups can be too large, or have weird safety rubbers on, and the leather on the leathers is thick, stiff and unused in other holes. “It can be a slow and fiddly job to get the leathers right, and some times there are not enough holes to adjust correctly. This is absolutely maddening and does not help the horse’s chances”.
- If you are very tall or short have a spare set of leathers and stirrups ready to put on for the judge!
- Often the saddle is shiny, stiff and unsoaped (“saved for best”!!) and one slides all over the place in it, getting a most unsatisfactory ride.
- A strictly dressage saddle with massive amounts of padding under the cantle is also often very uncomfortable with inadequate room for ones backside and pushing one into a weird position – again giving an unpleasant ride and making you feel as if you about 6 inches above the horse and riding by remote control.
- The reins are often too stiff – most annoying and this sort of thing is actually on the increase.
- Often the girths are too loose
- The nosebands much too tight.
- Adrianne says ”It cannot be stressed too strongly, the tack should be well used, soft and pliable and the leathers thin and quick to adjust. The saddle should be really comfortable and big enough for most riders”.
There are so many things to think about when producing top class show horses ( and any other sort really) but with the particular requirements for everything to be perfect in the ring its easy to slip up. If you want to keep or place your horse in a showing based yard then here is one to consider.
Playn Acre Farm Show Team Whitbourne, Worcester
Show production for all types, individual care from a small family team, training for horse and rider. Horses taken for performance production, show jumping or dressage, sale or schooling. Set in a quiet rural location we have individual turnout, 40 x 20 all weather school, full set of working hunter fences, grass ring for summer schooling and a comfortable lorry for shows. A fun team to be a part of!
With Lorna Cartlidge 10+ years experience on professional yards both here and abroad, concentrating on show jumping/dressage horses and performance stallions you could not be in better hands. Lorna has produced young horses from 3-6 years and competed up to 1.20m show jumping. The team accept all types of horses and ponies for the show ring for production, schooling, backing or sale. Lorna and her team have produced ponies for a couple of years now focusing on novices and ponies such as Beiliager Starlight Express (14.2 sp/pba) came through my yard to go on with new owners to great things.