It’s all in the details! Sometimes the littlest things can make a bad impression on the judge! 🙈
In my 30+ years experience in the judge’s box, and from having countless opportunities to officiate with hundreds of judges that I respect, I’d like to share with you some pet peeves that might help you to influence the judges favorably instead of negatively!
First and foremost, let’s talk about turnout.
As they say, “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” That first impression is when you enter the ring and the judge first lays eyes on you. Well-turned-out includes a clean, tidy, traditional appearance.
Turnout-wise, here are some pet peeves:
- Dirty boots
- Poor-fitting tack
- Yellow tack
- Too-large saddle pads
- Big fuzzy boots for horse in equitation
- Poor braid job
- Spurs sticking straight up instead of level with boot seam
- Untucked shirts
- Blingy belts
- Bling on Spurs
- Bling on brow bands
- Charms on spur straps
- Huge bows on pony children that obscure the riders number
- Short hunt coats that look more like an untucked fitted shirt
- Martingales that are too tight or too loose
- Crops that are brightly colored, have charms or are too big
- Odd colored hunt coats, breeches or shirts
- Boots with snakeskin or multi-colored leather
- Horse in poor condition (either/or—weight and condition of coat)
- Unconventional bits
- Messy hair
Basically, anything that detracts from the horse is frowned upon. It’s a horse show, not a people show.
Performance-wise, here are some major pet peeves:
- Posting to the canter
- Twisting and pulling on inside rein over the jump to attempt to land the lead
- Poor sportsmanship!!
- Excessive speed
- Too slow of pace
- Tired, sore or sour horse
- Horse behind the bit
- Rider too heavy in the saddle, or that rides behind the motion
- Looking for lead or diagonal
- Horse over-bent in turn or bent to outside
- Pulling on the inside rein for lead change
- No release or backwards release over the jumps
- Jumping ahead of the motion
- Getting left behind
- Ducking over the jump
There are others for sure, but in general, keep in mind the origin of the sport. Traditional hunting attire is the theme, so clean, conservative, classic turnout is a must!
Your turnout, appearance, and performance reflects respect for yourself, the judge, and most importantly, your horse!
Good luck and have fun😊
Julie Winkel was also a contributor to the blog post: “What To Wear in the Show Ring”
Form Follows Function
Top trainer, rider, judge and clinician, Cynthia Hankins, shares with us her insight into some of the common bad habits riders inadvertently acquire. In addition to pointing out these habitual position flaws, Cynthia demonstrates the correct, classical form stamped by the American Hunter/Jumper Forward Riding System.
Running Time: 26 minutes and 18 seconds
Form Follows Function Over Fences
In this topic, the second in a series, Cynthia Hankins, shares with us her insight into some of the common bad habits riders inadvertently acquire – this time over fences. In addition to pointing out these habitual position flaws, Cynthia demonstrates the correct, classical form stamped by the American Hunter/Jumper Forward Riding System. Make sure to watch Cynthia’s first video in this series, Form Follows Function.
Running Time: 13 minutes and 18 seconds
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