When things go wrong in the horse show ring Part 1

If you plan to step into the horse show arena, expect the unexpected. Few sports have more variables than equestrian. This is the 1st of a 3 part article I wrote for Canadian Horse Journal. What might you expect to go wrong in the show ring? I’ll put on my horse show judge’s hat and share common equestrian mistakes. Additionally, I’ll wear my hat as a specialist in equine behaviour. Fixing WHAT happened depends on discovering WHY it happened.

Riding the rail: winning tips for horse show flat classes. Part 4

Do judge’s care if…? Do judges prefer…? Horse show judging has taught me that the pressure to sort through a group of moving horses in a limited time doesn’t leave room for pet preferences. Without a good mover and correct leads, bling and brand names won’t land anyone in the ribbons for flat and rail classes.

Riding the rail: winning tips for horse show flat classes. Part 3

First impressions are lasting impressions in horse show flat classes. Enter the show ring with confidence – in show mode, not training mode. Though judges aren’t yet officially scoring, they’re forming opinions as they organize bookwork and check tack. Get in there promptly. Don’t dilly-dally and contribute to a delay. That’s irritating to a horse show judge – the judge you’re hoping to impress. As a bonus, making an early entrance into the show ring carves out extra warm up time while the judge is recording numbers…and waiting for the tardy entries.

Riding the rail: winning tips for horse show flat classes. Part 1

Flat or rail classes are the most subjectively judged of horse show events. Without the numerical scoring systems of other disciplines, a horse show judge has more latitude for his preferences. Still, there’s more to the sorting process than “The judge just didn’t like my horse”.

It’s More Than Horse Shows

Lindsay Grice lessons

I was 13 when I entered my first horse show. The judge advised me that the yellow macramé browband I’d crafted for my gelding’s bridle was not customary horse show attire. In 25 years as a professional riding coach and horse trainer, I’ve worked with 100s of horses and coached even more riders. What I’ve learned from horses and their people! What I’ve learned about myself in the fishbowl of the show ring! Horse shows have enriched the lives of so many – and been the catalyst for the train wreck of others.