Children’s Showing Classes
Whether you’re a dab hand at showing, or you are new to the game, it is always worth considering how best to impress the judges, in order to get that winning place. There are a variety of children’s showing classes which incorporate lead-rein classes, first ridden, show hunter and mountain and moorland, intermediate show ponies and intermediate show hunters, and entering the correct class for your pony’s type and the child’s age is essential.
What to wear varies according to the class. Tweed jackets are commonly used in showing and there is a wide variety of colours, cloth weights and styles available; Jodhpurs should be fawn, cream or buff, and children on show ponies often wear yellow or canary coloured jodhpurs. Children wear jodhpur boots until moving up to intermediate classes, after which older children should wear plain, straight topped brown or black leather boots, with a garter strap.
When you are in the show ring with a horse or pony, remember showing in an old-fashioned sport and manners will go a long way. Always important to be polite to your fellow competitors whilst in the ring, and avoid any rushing or pushing in. Remember to smile and encourage your child to encourage others, as courteousness in the ring is seen as highly regarded!
The child’s riding position on the horse or pony is critical, and though expectations and personal taste can vary, essentially for children’s showing classes, judges are looking for riders to have a confident seat with their heels down, their shoulders back, and quiet hands. A big smile certainly goes a long way too!
In some cases, the judge may talk to the child and ask them questions about their mount, their age, or how long they’ve been riding. This is rarely an actual part of the judging, but a way to interact with the children, and make them feel more at ease. It is important to prepare your child for this, so they expect it and are able to answer the judge’s question comfortably. Being friendly and polite will definitely mean that the combination is one which is remembered by the judge when they are totting up scores, and making their final decisions.
Finally, if you are joining your child in the ring in a lead-rein class, make sure you are leading the pony correctly. You should be at the shoulder and have him in front of you. If the pony is strong, use a suitable bridle and bit to keep him in check, but keep the horse or pony moving out freely to show off their paces! If you have a spooky pony, make sure you practice at home around items such as flower pots for example, to de-sensitise them, in order to show them off to their best in the ring!
We love the Equicraft Ltd Heritage Hunter Bridle With Reins. It's a high class pony or horse bridle (small pony to X-full sizes) at a low price! the Show Stitch Heritage Hunter Bridle (without reins) is also gorgeous.
And if you just want a show-stitched noseband for your bridle, Equicraft Ltd offers a lovely range in Shetland-Full.
You can read another showing blog on in-hand showing HERE.