Is he registered? Or did you get papers detailing things like his breed, height, sex, etc., when you bought him? That would be the easiest way to find out haha. I mean, he could be either one…there are solid-color paints, and certainly it’s possible he’s a QH as they’re pretty common in all colors. Also, I forget how the genetics for eye color works in horses so don’t quote me on this, but I don’t think the blue eyes necessarily mean he’s a paint, I think the gene can exist in other breeds. Sorry I couldn’t be more help, but maybe one of my followers will have more to say :)
(part 2) or any of the horses I ride. I don’t get that time to brush or tack up because it’s usually done before I get to the barn due to my short lesson times. I don’t know if I should look into finding another barn where I can actually stay and do some of these things. I would consider the last barn I rode at but they do not teach my current discipline and I’m not sure how to find other barns around me since someone recommended my current one and I didn’t find it myself.
Talk to your mom about why she doesn’t trust them— she could have some valid concerns, in which case you can look at your situation and see if you want to switch barns entirely. However, if her reasoning doesn’t make a lot of sense or you feel it’s wrong, that’s your chance to explain to her (politely) why that’s nothing to worry about and why you want to work/hang out. I also think it might be helpful if you ask your trainer ahead of time to talk to your mom the next time you’re at the barn together, so that your mom can have some face-to-face reassurance that it’s a safe environment. And by the way, if for whatever reason you need to switch barns, I like to do a quick preliminary google search for barns in your area that train for your discipline just to see what’s out there, and then narrow it down to a few top choices by looking at their websites/asking around for recommendations/etc. Then you can tour a few and see which is the best fit :)
You might be interested in learning about western dressage! It’s kind of a cool thing that’s been in the spotlight lately, and hits on a lot of what you’re talking about :)
I don’t know too much about this, but I believe the fundamental aspects of getting a horse to soften and perform basic dressage movements are the same— for example, balance, flexibility, and self-carriage are key ideas, the horse has to be active through the hind end and responsive to rider aids. However, the details of how those fundamentals are performed will differ between the disciplines…western movements will be more suited to the maneuvers asked of a western horse in terms of gait and execution. How “easy” it is to get a western horse to move more dressage-y also depends a bit on his discipline…a lot of western pleasure horses are trained to move downhill and on their forehand with little contact which doesn’t necessarily lend itself to dressage, whereas a skilled trail horse or reining horse will be a little more adaptable. And how much emphasis the horse had on flexibility/engagement/etc in his training will mean the skills will be more interchangeable…so the reining champion in your example would probably be easier to soften than some others. Of course, it depends a lot on the individual horse, quality and temperament and predisposition and whatnot.
Talk to them! Basically take all the points from this post and change them to fit your situation :) good luck!!
Yay, thanks for the update! That’s so awesome, good for you! Wishing you many more successful shows in the future :)
Aw good for you, I hope you can work something out! Some barns have a work-to-ride/working student program in place for riders who come from less financially well-off families, so you could look into that. For actually making money though: try babysitting, petsitting, working “odd jobs” (yard work/car washing/whatever), selling items you make, etc.
Haha no worries, no one is born knowing these things! It’s the Winter Equestrian Festival, a really big AA show in Florida that goes on for approx. 3 months (most people don’t go for the whole time though). Very fun, very competitive, and for those of us not coming from the south it’s a nice break from the cold ;)
Cool, have fun! My advice would be to find yourself a spot to yourself when you enter the ring— try to leave as much space between you and other horses as possible without seeming to conspicuous. If this isn’t possible (or better yet, in addition), try to observe a few of the horses beforehand and position yourself behind one with a longer stride. When the class starts, pace yourself— don’t limit your horse’s stride, but try to package him up so he’s not forging ahead…a few steady half halts will go a long way, get him using his hind end and not leaning on his front end. If your horse has a naturally long stride, shortening his stride a little won’t be a dramatic change in comparison to the other horses. Ideally, you want to be able to manage your horse’s stride so you don’t have to pass or circle. You can use little tricks as well, like stay out farther in your corners to give yourself a bit more room from the horse in front of you. If you do face the choice between having to circle or pass the horse if you’re in a good spot to pass (not directly in the judge’s line of sight/not in a crowded area), you can do so smoothly. However, use your judgement: if you risk cutting the rider in front of you off if you pass, just do a nice balanced circle. Cutting across the ring to an open space is less distracting than excessive circling.
Good luck this weekend :)
You’ll have the basic points down and you’ll have most of the muscle that will enable you to pick up on the differences faster than the average beginner…plus you’ll already be comfortable on and around horses, which is good. “Successfully” is a subjective term, but I wouldn’t see you having a lot of difficulty in the beginning. You can use an english bridle at first if the horse is comfortable, but if you’re considering a bigger switch over to western I’d recommend using a western style bridle (it’s not a must, depends on the horse/how much you care either way).
Hey, that’s great! I’d look in the rules for the particular division you’ll be showing in, or ask your trainer…since it’s a lower level class I think you should definitely be able to trot it if you’re more comfortable that way, but it never hurts to double check. If it’s a timed course and you trot it you run the risk of adding time faults, but that’s really not a big deal for a low level class and especially for a first show…shows are just about gaining experience and getting more comfortable each time :)
As far as ring etiquette goes…I’m assuming you’re talking about the schooling ring? It’s mostly just common sense— keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings to avoid any crashes or miscommunications. Pass left shoulder to left shoulder when appropriate, and when everyone else in the ring is going one direction try to track that way as well. Call out your jumps/where you’re going (e.g. “vertical” or “inside”) so people know to look out for you. In the show ring, it’s just a matter of knowing the basic rules for your discipline…don’t walk past the timers before the buzzer rings, know your course/time allowed, walk in and out of the ring (don’t canter or trot), etc. Good luck, have fun!!