All posts by penlopependergast

fake tails

 

Its not as weird as it sounds, I promise. When you are showing a huge thing that matters in your appearance.  So we put fake tails in their real tails to add to their appearance. It is just like hair extensions but they are removable. Your braid them in, but it is really hard to do because they have to fall just right, in line with the bottom of their ankle. Some things you have to keep in mind are that the braid are going to give a little if you don’t braid really tightly.  Also depending on the classes you are showing that day and what patterns you have to do you have to adjust the height because you can rip them out if you back up really fast or stop really hard. This is a big part of tails because they cost a lot of money. A good tails requires the person who is making the tail to come and look at the color, length and whether or not it should be weighted. Some horses move their tails around a lot and it is distracting. Some people decide to remove the mussel right above their tail and then they hold it still and it sits flat, the problem with that is that sometimes it can get messed up during the surgery and at the big shows like worlds and congress they check the tails. They take like a pen and tickle the tail and if the horse can’t pick it up past level you can get in serious trouble. If you placed at all they can take it away, take your horses papers, or take your membership. So an alternative option is to put weights in your tail and it will hold their tail stiller.

I always start putting a tail in by having two main braids at the top, which I always double band because it holds better and longer. Then you need two stabilizing braids on the sides and I always make sure my braids are really tight so that the tail doesn’t drop by the end of the day. Then most of the time I split the fake tail in half and band it underneath to hide the braids better. The big thing to keep in mind is that the tail should be hidden/ not seen.

Here are some more tips:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8C9mLe-KAs

Heres what it should look like:

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equitation

Equitation is a class where mainly the rider, but the horse is also taken into consideration when being judged. The rider must have a good seat, hand and leg position and do all these things when they are asked to do patterns that involve trotting, loping, and walking.

Riders are being judged on how accurate and smooth they deliver their cues to the horse. Equitation riders are classified according to their age and previous winnings in equitation classes. So there is thirteen and under and fourteen to eighteen. they  also have novice youth classes for kids who have under a certain number of points. the hardest part of  equation for me is posting. When you post, you have to come up on the right diagonal, its called rise and fall with the leg on the wall. it all comes with time and feel and some people are better than others. And I am not very good. All the people ive talked to said it just takes time and practice to get it. But for the life of me I cant figure it out.

In equitation, it is the constant goal of every rider to be in perfect form as much as possible.The pattern, if you want to win the class, has to be perfect as well as the posture has to be perfect as well. You want a line straight from the elbow to the horses mouth, the line created by your arm and the rein. You want your back to be straight and have your heels pressed down with our leg extended. This is called basic position.

All riders must have a good basic position. Not all of us have the perfect body for it, with nice long legs and a thin torso. That doesn’t mean that we can’t be effective with what we have.

The most important body part for riding, in my mind, is the leg: It is what keeps us on our horses and determines what they do. A strong, quiet leg, in contact with our horse’s side – with heels down – is what a judge is looking for. A weak leg tends to slip back, the heels come up, and all security is lost, causing the connection with the horse to be severed.

Rein length is very important too. You want the reins to be short enough to have a connection while looking relaxed.

Heres a picture.

Show Man Ship

My favorite class. Show man ship is a class that shows how a well-trained horse should behave on the ground. Every horse should be easy to handle, work effortlessly off his handler’s cues, allow others to approach and move around him without concern, and stand still when asked. Having a horse that willingly moves his feet and walks and jogs in-hand makes visits from the farrier and veterinarian a breeze. Now a days things are a little different. It is more about being connected wwiht your horse and being a really good team.

In my opinion, showmanship is fun! It’s an opportunity for non-riders, and those who aren’t quite ready to show in a saddle, to compete with their horse. It’s also useful for earning points toward overall and versatility awards. To add on to that, it is a chance to get really connected with your horse. A lot of people think the all around events are useless. You cant earn any money, you don’t get anything out of it, so why do  it? A lot of people don’t understand why we show horses. The main reason, for me, is the life lessons I have learned because of showing. But, whatever reason you’ve decided to give showmanship a try, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s an easy class. Like any other class, it takes preparation, practice and skill.

The best way to be successful at showmanship is to understand how it’s judged. In contrast to a halter class, in which a horse’s conformation is evaluated, the handler’s skills as a showman are being scrutinized. For me the best way to learn what the judges were looking for is going to different clinics and talking to judges. However, the horse’s appearance and training are significant to the overall score as well. If your horse isn’t cleaned up meticulously you are not going to do well. The most important thing you can do to improve in show man ship is practice. Setting up over and over again is the best way to practice.

Trail

Trail is a competitive class at  shows where horses and riders in a western saddle go through different obstacles. People ride the course one at a time and get scored based on a point system that starts at seventy and you can go up or down from there. I was originally designed to resemble situations a horse and rider might actually encounter when on a trail in the wild but, trail classes now tend to focus more heavily on agility and manners, with courses having little resemblance to real natural trails.

Performing in trail classes sounds so easy — after all, you aren’t actually out on the trails with wild creatures and dangerous ditches or fallen trees. You’re riding in a nice, safe arena, on soft ground and around somewhat easy obstacles. And the obstacles — a bridge, poles, gates and cones — seem so easy. How much skill could such a class involve?

As a matter of fact, with today’s courses focused on technical difficulties and less on dangerous or fearful maneuvers, you’ll need a high level of riding skill if you want to ride out with a win. While all competitors’ different, you’ll see that the winning riders have spent endless hours perfecting their communication with their horses and practicing the small details many overlook as unimportant.

the scoring system is very easy to understand. when you walk( or lope or trot or back) you start out at a zero. You can go up or down depending on how well you preform. If you hit any of the poles, which is very hard to train/ teach the horses not to) you get points taken off your score. often time when you hit any thing in the beginning it is harder the plus the rest of the pattern. When you do an element of the pattern and do a good job, depending  on how well the judge thought you did, you could plus half, plus one, or plus one and a half. then at the end of the class the scribes go through and add the scores up, and double check, and then place the class.

I really enjoy this class one, because its just really fun. Two because it is something different than just going around in circle. Three I love it because my horse and I are a really good team and are really good at trail.

Heres a picture of a trail course.

Horse man ship

In this blog I am going to go over horse man ship and the dos and do nets. I am going to cover all the events I do so if you are hoping I’ll do a different class i will be posting more shortly. In the class horse man ship you are judged mainly on your body and how well you communicate with your horse. you are given a pattern the day of the  show, but sometimes  the post the patterns for all the classes a couple day, sometimes even weeks before and you have the chance to memorize and practice them. The big thing that I have a problem with is when we practice I always try way harder in the show pen and end up messing up because of it. I get in my own way and in my own head and it causes me to mess up a lot. Horse man ship patterns have multiple different elements. The things are but not limited to loping, slow and fast circles, trotting slow and fast, turning left and right on both the hind end and fore hand. Lead changing both simple and flying.  Backing, walking, stopping, side passing and I think that is everything. The judges most of the time approve or supply the pattern depends on the show.

Once you get to the show most of the time the night before you run through it with your trainer and the other customers in your barn. Sometimes though it is difficult to practice because of the number of people riding, and you just have to work around it.

As far as posture goes, you could have an amazing pattern and not place at all because of your posture. The exact thing happened to me at a big horse show in Arizona one year. A big part of it was because of my posture and becasue my show shirt didnt fit properly. When you decide to start showing you have to make sure you gave a show outfit that proerly fits otherwise you will never have a chance to do well.

A big thing about horse man ship ass I have said is posture, but what do I mean by that? You have to be sitting up and be squarre on your horse. You have to be able to sit down fully in the seat and connect with your horse through your hand and legs and feet. There should be a straight line from the top of your head down to your shoulder and to your hip followed by a straight leg and connected to your heel. Your toe soud be up at all times and most of the way out of the stirrup. A big trend now a days in being able to ride your horse, showing that you are in control and able to communicate with your horse when something goes wrong.

So if the pattern starts with a jog, extended jog, lope or extended lope you have to start a few steps back to give your self plenty of room to be trotting or loping by the cone. If you walk at the cone make sure your horse will walk right off and stay in frame with forward motion.

Some exercises you can do to make your legs better would be two pointing, where you use your thighs to hold your self out of the saddle and with no stirups and long trot around the arena.

Here is a article to better inform you about horse man ship

http://services2.aqha.com/iphonedev/www/sections/sectionIV/rules/464-483/474b.html

here is picture of how it should look

really western pleasure

In my last post it really ended up being about the look and feel of a show bill and how a typical one looked and how I would do one. Thiss time I am actually going to talk about western pleasure.

One of the most popular classes within the spectrum of western riding is the western pleasure class. It is a typical class for beginners to the show ring to acquire experience and control over themselves in a show scenario. In contrast to events like reining, western riding, trail, and others, in a pleasure class the contestant is not alone in the show ring. He/she can “hide” among a group of other competitors and is not judged individually.

Of course, hiding among fellow competitors isn’t what western pleasure is all about, but for the novice show rider it usually helps enormously not to be the only one under scrutiny and not to feel the eyes of all the spectators focussing in on him. In a pleasure class, one can get used to being in the show pen. To be sure, winning a western pleasure class is NOT easier than winning any other class! In order to win or do well in a pleasure class, one needs to stand out in the crowd – which is the more difficult the more riders compete in the class.

Being competitive in a western pleasure class necessitates knowing what the judge is looking for – and being able to present your horse in that way. What is the judge looking for?

The western pleasure horse must, above all, look like it is a pleasure to ride. Obviously, a horse with rough gaits, a horse that’s difficult to control, tricky to get to pick up the correct lead, and ill-tempered towards other horses is not a pleasure to ride.

In a pleasure class, the judge is looking for the best mover, for the horse with the most pleasing and comfortable gaits that is controlled on a loose rein and responds to invisible cues. The pleasure class is not one where the slowest-traveling horse wins, like some seem to believe.

Some riders try to make their horses travel extremely slow, which leads to certain problems, all of which will cost you points: horses that jog in front and walk behind, horses that four-beat at the lope, horses that don’t seem to cover any ground at all, horses that appear unhappy, pinning their ears, switching their tails, moving with their noses behind the vertical – all because their riders try to make them do something that’s unnatural for them.

To win a tough pleasure class, you’ll have to have a pretty horse (conformation is judged to a degree under most rules, too) that’s a real smooth mover, that’s a natural as far as carrying neck and head level, one that’s not fazed by other horses crowding it, passing it, or jogging and loping ahead of it, and that will respond in the transitions willingly, readily, and without considerable work on your part. You’ll also have to have a good posture in the saddle and a winning attitude. When you look down on your horse, you are telling the judge: I don’t trust this fellow. So the judge’s response would be: If he doesn’t, why should I? If you sit your horse like a monkey on a whetstone and not proud like you had already won the class, the judge’s subconcious reaction would be: If he isn’t proud of that horse, why should I think enough of it to make it the winner?

here is some more info for you to learn about western pleasure, and there is a lot more out there to learn from. i would recomend a lot of AQHA things.

http://services2.aqha.com/iphonedev/www/sections/sectionIV/rules/464-483/465b.html

Western Pleasure

Western Pleasure might sound like a weird name for a class to a person who is unfamiliar with horses but to a person who shows them it is  just another class. I know it might be surprising= to learn that we when someone says they show horses they do something other than barrels or jumping, but trust me. There is  a lot more out there. A typical horse show that I go to run two shows over four days. A show with the first set of judges for Thursday and Friday and a set of judges for the second show on Saturday and Sunday. Most of the shows have three judges one day and three the next day, some have four both or just one day. It really just depends on the show.  So that might not seem to matter much but when you have to qualify for youth worlds the amount of judges counts because just one point can be the difference between going to youth worlds and staying home. Usually horse shows start out with show man ship, followed by halter, then on western pleasure, then horse man ship and ranch horse and reining, which are both usually pretty small at the shows i go to just because the pattern are mostly the same and all really similar and the horses are smart and tend to catch on pretty quick. The next day would usually start out with Hunt seat and then EQ, which takes a while. Followed by western riding and trail. The show schedule really depends on where and the people running it. For example in Minnesota they usually have a lot of Hunter jumpers, hours worth. But at this  last show i went to there were barely any and so one day ended at like twelve at night and the next day ended at like five. It is hard to gauge who will be coming and who wont before you make the show bill. If i was to make a show bill i would have Halter the first  morning followed by English classes and EQ. Then the western riding and ranch horse and reining classes. Then the next day have show man ship be the first thing, and I know i would have people mad at me for splitting up halter and show man ship because they are both ground classes, but you can never make everyone happy. Next I would have western pleasure followed by trail. I think this schedule would be optimal because it would split everything up and even things out. It might not make everyone happy but it would be a start.

http://markharrellhorseshows.com/ look here for shows near you

Braiding

Braiding. Braiding is not something I am familiar with. I currently have five superiors and need two more to get supreme Superior horse or something. Not very many people do this and it is a big goal for me. Unfortunately I need superiors in two more classes and have chosen western riding, in this class you change leads and have to do a pattern and you are judged on not only the lead changes but the timing being in the middle of the cones. For that class I can use bands but in the other class I have to do, the equitation, I need braids. In the EQ you are in an English saddle, breeches, a helmet, and a hunt coat. The breaches are why i dis like this class, they are very similar to yoga pants and i have never enjoyed them. Anther reason why i have enjoyed the EQ is because of the posting. Anyways at the big shows on the day i have the EQ I will have to get my horse banded the days I have western events and braided the days i have English events. A lot of the people I have talked to have said that the people who band really well cant braid very well and vise versa. I ahvent learned how to braid yet but I am hopeing to. Here is a video and a like for step by step instructions. Enjoy!

Link: http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-exclusives/horse-mane-braiding.aspx

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqb5zhNYVjU