Saturday, July 16, 2011

FAQ, Part 6

Why is adding strides bad in the hunter ring?
Hunters are supposed to have a ground-covering stride. Adding strides means that your horse does not meet this requirement of the class. If you consider the hunter ring's distant roots in the hunt field, a horse that can gallop easily would make a better hunter than one that has to waste energy trying to keep up with a short, choppy stride.

What is the “left to left” rule in the warm-up?
The “left to left” guideline in the warm-up ring is a way to avoid collisions by having riders pass left shoulder to left shoulder. That means that if two riders are approaching one another in opposite directions, the rider on the left rein should take the outside track while the rider on the right rein should move to the inside. This guideline is complicated by the nature of the jumping warm-up ring, with riders needing to get to the jumps in the middle from both reins. Generally, the riders who are jumping should have priority and the others should make way for them to be able to get to the jumps. That means that every rider in the warm-up ring should keep an eye on who is jumping which jump and make an effort not to block their way (and not cross in front of the jumps while there are horses approaching or landing from them).

At what age should a child showing in the hunters start to wear tall boots?
There isn't really a set age for a child to move to tall boots. If the child is wearing braids and hair bows, tall boots don't usually look appropriate. I would say that, personally, at the point where the child is really riding the pony and fitting it well instead of looking like a tiny passenger, tall boots are a good choice. It's also fairly safe to go along with what other riders in the division are wearing in your area.

Can you tie for reserve champion at a horse show?
You can have the same number of points as someone else and in that sense be tied for reserve champion, but there should always be a tie-breaker. In the hunters, the horse with the most points over fences will take the championship. If there is still a tie, most horse shows will move to a coin toss. In the jumpers, a coin toss is almost always used, although it is possible to use a jump-off.

This is the Equine Canada rule for hunters:
5. In the case of a tie the championship and/or reserve shall be awarded to the horse that has accumulated the most points over fences. If there is still a tie, the tied horses shall be shown at walk, trot, canter and gallop (pregreen and green hunter not to gallop) to determine champion and reserve. Tossing a coin to break the tie is permissible if all participants agree. This competition shall be judged as an independent hunter under saddle class with conformation, quality, substance, soundness and performance to count as prescribed throughout the appropriate division.
This is the Equine Canada rule for jumpers:
3. In the case of a tie for the championship there may be a jump-off after the last jumping class of the Competition. Exhibitors tied for Champion or Reserve may elect to jump-off or toss.
Can you use brown gloves at a hunter show?
Yes you can. There is no rule about glove colour in the EC rulebook, but it would be wise to keep the gloves a conservative and discreet colour that matches the rest of the rider's attire.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How to Jog

One of the most common mistakes I've noticed so far this show season has been made in the jog. The winner, never having led a jog before, starts a pattern that results in the judge not being able to see most of the class jog, or only crosses half the ring so that there isn't room for the last horses to be jogged!

In this post we'll be looking at the patterns that work in several different ring set-ups, as well as a couple of definite no-no's.

Jogging is not complicated, but you need to keep a few things in mind when planning your track:
  • Make your turn on the left rein so that you're not trying to outrun your horse on the outside.
  • Halt in a location where the line-up will not block the judge's view of the remaining horses.
  • Halt well back from the in-gate. You should proceed forward towards the ribbon-giver only when the judge has approved the class and the announcements begin.
  • Make sure that you use enough of the ring that there will be room for the entire line-up to halt while still leaving room for the last horses to jog for more than a couple of steps.
  • If you're further back in the line, halt about a horse length back from the horse in front of you so that everyone can fit in.
In these diagrams, the arrows beside the judge's booth show where the judge needs to be able to see the ring.  If you're blocking those arrows, you're blocking the judge's view of the jog.  If you are finishing the jog on the side furthest away from the judge, you can halt closer towards the in-gate since you can't block the judge's view. The dashed lines show where you should be trotting, and the dotted lines show where you can come down to a walk/halt.

Good patterns:

And some bad:

Halting in front of the judge's booth, blocking his/her view of the jogging horses 

Not jogging far enough into the ring, both blocking the judge's view and not giving the last horses room to jog

If you've had a good round and you're waiting for the jog, take a look at the ring and figure out which pattern might work if you're called first. As long as you jog far into the ring and make sure not to halt in front of the judge, you can't go too wrong!