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Saturday, 30 January 2016

Planning for a Show Debut

I volunteered this morning at a local hunter schooling show.  Apollo and I will be attending a show in the same series at the end of February.  I didn't take any pictures at the show so this post will instead be broken up by a few of my recent attempts to take selfies with Apollo and Mystic.



Am I good at taking selfies with ponies? Neigh.



I'm glad I decided to volunteer!  I wanted to get a sense of how things run but mostly I wanted to get a better idea of what to wear (ha!).  I don't think I've ever been to a hunter show, if I have it was so long ago that I don't remember anything about it.  I only ever did Pony Club shows (and that was about 15 years ago!).  I am a complete hunter noob.




This show is referred to as a "fat and fuzzy" show and is supposed to be very casual in terms of attire.  I haven't bought any items yet as I didn't want to look ridiculously over or under dressed.


Here's what I observed in terms of attire (separated into horse/rider categories):


Riders:
- Hairnets on about 50% of riders
- About 80% of riders wore traditional hunt show coats (or at least what I picture as a traditional hunt show coat in my limited experience), the rest wore non-traditional coats or show shirts/sweaters
- Coat colors were about 50% black, 30% navy, 15% brown and 5% grey 
- All riders wore white shirts (except two)
- A few riders had bling on their bridles, boots, belts or coats 
- Black gloves
- 100% wore tan breeches
*I didn't really  look at boots/footwear because I'm already set up in this department!*



Horses:
- Very few braided (maybe 10% of all horses were braided, only one horse with a braided mane and tail)
- 80% of horses were wearing shaped fuzzy white pads and 20% were either in white or colored AP pads
- Brown bridles/saddles 
- A few breastplates



So I stayed for the 18", 2', 2'3" and the start of the 2'6" class.  There was maybe 30 riders spread out between those classes.  The 2'6" was the largest with the most well turned-out horses.  I was disappointed that I wasn't able to watch the rest of the 2'6" classes or the bigger classes.  Had to go to work unfortunately!





Coach D told me I could just wear a nice sweater...but I think I will get a basic black hunter-ish looking coat.  Maybe something that could serve a dual purpose as a dressage/show-jumping coat for my low level eventing plans for this season (is that a reasonable idea?).

So after today here's what I've decided need to be ready for the show:

1) White fuzzy shaped pad
2) Brown bridle (I already have my eye on one!)
3) Black gloves
4) White show shirt
5) Black hunt/show coat 
6) Hairnet
7) Tan breeches

Although I think I can get most of those items used I will likely buy a new white fuzzy pad, new hairnet and will buy the new bridle I've been eyeing rather than a used one.  My mom's best friend is an awesome seamstress so if I can find a coat/shirt long enough for my arms she can take it in for me (within reason).  I don't really plan to do any further showing in the hunter world (other than dabbling in schooling shows with Apollo and my young horses) so although I like fancy things...I don't need fancy things.  I'm hoping to get all my supplies for the show for under $200... which I think is reasonable.  I think after the show I'll do a follow-up post about if I managed to stay on budget or not.


Ready to be a hunter pony Apollo?  



Lucky for me I already have decent field boots, so I don't need to buy anything new in the footwear department.  They are actually the same field boots I wore to Pony Club 15 years ago - so they've served me well! :)


The atmosphere at the show was quite fun and relaxed.  I think it will be a really positive outing for Apollo and I.  I had been waffling about doing the flat class for my division a bit... after today I think I'm going to go for it.  I was worried it would be packed full of horses but there was only 3 or 4 horses in the flat classes for each division.

I have a few aesthetic things to torture Apollo through before the show...such as:

1) A bath
2) Feather, beard and belly hair trimming
3) Mane thinning
4) Braiding practice....hahah poor guy. 


Anyone have any show tip preps for me?  Looking at you Stacie :P


Currents feelings about the show:







28 comments:

  1. Good luck with your show. Definitely braid. My only advice is to figure out what you need to be relaxed. Me, I need to feel like I have lots of time. This keeps me steady and calm. Remember that it's supposed to be fun. Otherwise, what's the point?

    Feel free to remind me of this when Carmen and I head off to our first show!

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    1. I've been working on a mantra that I can repeat to stay calm. I really want it to be a positive experience for both of us...and me being calm is about the only way that it will be ;)

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  2. So exciting! And your turnout ideas sound great to me, very similar to what I wear to our local hunter/jumper and dressage days (except I switch out the shaped pad for a white square one for dressage, otherwise my tack and attire is the same) When I quizzed my coach about it, she was like "You're an adult, wear what you want and wear it with confidence!" (Although I suspect if I had a tendency towards hot pink or bling she might have taken my question more seriously!)

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    1. I like your coaches thoughts! I'm super tall which can be challenging for finding clothes...hopefully I can make something work :)

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  3. I would love to hear what jacket you find to fit long arms. I think we are similar height and the ones I've tried don't fit my freakishly long arms.

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    1. The struggle is real! I'll keep you posted on my findings :)

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  4. I like the idea of a black coat being dual purpose. Definitely think that can work. Have fun!!

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    1. Thanks! I hope I can find something that will work for everything I need it to :)

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  5. I think your ideas for attire are just fine. We showed in hunters for more years than I care to count. Way back to the days when the breeches were rust colored (which by the way makes more sense than tan when you're working with horses). Always wore a hairnet too it's just neater looking. White shirts add a classic look. I'd definitely braid the mane and bathe Apollo. The most important thing is be prepared for anything including the last minute wash for a dirty butt (on the horse). Try to pack everything ahead of time. When you get there relax and have fun and try not to stress but use the show as a training experience. If you go in trying to win you might be disappointed if you don't, but if you use it as a barometer for what you did right and what you need to work on it's a more positive experience. Have fun!

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    1. I'm definitely looking at it as a training experience! Thanks for the tips :)

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  6. It all sounds well thought out to me - especially the dual purpose coat. Good luck!

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    1. I hope I can find something that works! Thanks :)

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  7. Fun stuff!! Hope you have a great time at the show, work has a way of putting kinks in my plans too :/

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    1. Thanks! I think if I remember to breathe I'll be ok...we'll see! :)

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  8. omg so exciting!!!! and nice reconnaissance mission haha. your attire takeaways sound right on point for a schooling hunter show and your plan makes perfect sense. if you wanted to do more h/j stuff in the future, i'd actually recommend a navy or dark gray jacket instead of black - but black makes more sense for dressage and won't be out of place at the h/j show. as far as other prep goes - maybe just plan a talk with your trainer about what you'll be asked to do in your classes so nothing takes you by surprise. hope you have so much fun!!!

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    1. I'm so creepy! I think I might end up with a dark grey jacket, there seem to be more out there. I just like black better haha. I'm so glad Coach D will be able to coach me that weekend...otherwise I think it would be a mess haha

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  9. SO EXCITING!!! I love new show clothes ;)
    So as for turnout, you want to be neat and look huntery, but still relaxed. Your plan is a good one, get a nice dark coat that you could also wear for dressage and show jumping. I think the biggest difference between the hunter jackets and dressage (and I may be wrong here since I don't ride dressage!) is the back. I'm pretty sure the dressage coats are single vented and the hunter ones are double. But at the lower levels of either discipline, I don't think you'd be faulted for crossing over. I would go with black. Yes to tan breeches, white shirt, black gloves, and shaped pad! I wouldn't worry too much about braiding. I normally don't for schooling shows, and it sounds like most of the other riders didn't either. Unless you want to practice and see how Apollo feels about wearing braids, in which case go for it! Also, yes to hairnets!
    I think you'd be ok with a black bridle if that's what you have. But also, new tack is so fun! So maybe go for it if it fits in your budget... (I'm an enabler, sorry.)


    www.amateuratlarge.blogspot.com

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    1. See if you can find an RJ Classic jacket. They usually aren't super expensive, but they're gorgeous and fit well. They do come in tall!

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  10. I type up a whole long comment on my phone, but I guess that didn't actually get posted. I have the Kerrits competitor coat. It's cheap, lightweight, and can be thrown in the wash. It wouldn't hold up to a rated hunter show, but it's fine in dressage and school hunter shows. I'm tall and have a long torso and this covers me very well. The DIY15 code seems to still be working on riding warehouse even though it was supposed to expire yesterday and it's only $105 with the code.

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    1. That's so funny, one of my good friends recommended that exact coat! I think if I can't something used that's what I'll go for! :) The price is sure right.

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  11. Ooh, that is such a good excuse to go out and volunteer. I'm always worried about what to wear when going somewhere new (or showing in a new discipline). When we did our hunter show last year, I bought a Toklat shaped pad and I LOVE it. Nice and thick so I didn't need to worry about if my half pad was hunter appropriate, super fancy looking, and not all that expensive for a nice show pad. I can't wait to see all the things you find!

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    1. Thanks for the tips! I'm hoping I can find some deals :)

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  12. Great choices. You'll fit in at the hunter show for sure! Good luck!

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    1. Thanks! I hope so... would like a fancy ribbon ;)

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  13. Sounds like a cool series, I'm sur you guys will be great!

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    1. Thanks! I'm looking forward to it :)

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  14. I know you are somewhere in the Calgary area, so have you ever checked out The Tack Collector? They have a massive selection of great used english tack, and "english" clothes. Might be a good place to find some stuff for you to try out, but not have to commit to new prices? Good luck with the series, what a cute name "Fat and Fuzzy" - love it!! That's what me and Lady are right now :)

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    1. That's where I'm going on Saturday ;) my friend told me that they have many used hunt coats in the clearance section. Fingers crossed! Apollo and I are very fat and fuzzy hahaha

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