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Driving in Shows - Etiquette and Advice, please.

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xrdh

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I competed in my first Open horse show this last weekend and a couple of things happened that I need advice about.

First; while in a Pleasure Driving class of 4 ponies, one of my reins got stuck on my shaft. I didn't know what to do, so I did what I do at home - I reached forward with my whip and pushed the rein back over the shaft. It took 3 or 4 tries, but it did fix the problem, but also scared some people in the audience. What do people normally do when that happens?

Second; the announcer called out to reverse direction on the diagonal. I had no idea how to do that. Are you supposed to go to the nearest corner and then turn inwards, or go to the corner that the first driver took? Are you supposed to follow the driver in front of you, or is it OK for everyone to take a different corner and cross other drivers in the center of the arena?

Third; while lined up in front of the judges, the driver next to me started a conversation. How do the judges feel about the contestants talking to one another during the class? How about talking after the judges have sent their results to the announcer? The same thing happened in the halter class. The person next to me started a conversation with me about out horses during the class.

Fourth; what is the proper etiquette for talking to a judge during a class? Only speak when spoken to? Only answer their questions?

And lastly; what is the proper way to drive to the center of the arena at a trot to line up in front of the judges? Who goes where?
 

Al B

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First; while in a Pleasure Driving class of 4 ponies, one of my reins got stuck on my shaft. I didn't know what to do, so I did what I do at home - I reached forward with my whip and pushed the rein back over the shaft. It took 3 or 4 tries, but it did fix the problem, but also scared some people in the audience. What do people normally do when that happens? I would use my whip carefully, however if your reins got stuck on the shaft it may be too far forward.

I

Second; the announcer called out to reverse direction on the diagonal. I had no idea how to do that. Are you supposed to go to the nearest corner and then turn inwards, or go to the corner that the first driver took? Are you supposed to follow the driver in front of you, or is it OK for everyone to take a different corner and cross other drivers in the center of the arena? If the ring steward is on the ball they will stand at the corner that should be used and indicate such. Every one should follow in line. As you get to the other side, track to the inside so as to allow those that have not reversed an outside path to the corner.

Third; while lined up in front of the judges, the driver next to me started a conversation. How do the judges feel about the contestants talking to one another during the class? How about talking after the judges have sent their results to the announcer? The same thing happened in the halter class. The person next to me started a conversation with me about out horses during the class. Never talk to another competitor while the judges are still judging. After judging you can as long as its not disruptive.

Fourth; what is the proper etiquette for talking to a judge during a class? Only speak when spoken to? Only answer their questions? Only speak when spoken to.

And lastly; what is the proper way to drive to the center of the arena at a trot to line up in front of the judges? Who goes where? Again if the ring steward is on the ball they will indicate the line to line up on. Find an empty space and go there. Leave plenty of room. Walk the last few steps.

My opinion
 

Minimor

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In addition--if the ring steward does not indicate which corner to turn from (and I have noted this is a problem at the small equine shows)--never had an issue with the big horse driving classes--you do not turn at the first corner you come to. You should go around the end of the arena and as you start down the long side THEN you turn down the diagonal. This way you have the wider turn on each end. If you try to turn at the first corner the turn is very tight and awkward at both ends.
 
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Minimor

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Done this way there are only 2 corners anyone can turn from--so even if the ring steward does not give direction and two drivers start their turn at the same time from opposite corners you will never cross each others path. Both drivers keep to the right and they will pass each other on the diagonal. If there are several drivers following each path, everyone stay to the inside as they return to the rail (obviously you will be off the rail since you are staying to the inside but you know what I mean) and horses will meet and pass each other safely until all have changed direction.
 

xrdh

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Thanks, all. I accidentally reversed on the diagonal correctly the first time, but then followed the person in front of me for the second class (assuming that it wasn't her first show, too) and we all ended up criss- crossing in the center, like some Drill Team maneuver! If the Ring Steward indicated which corner to use for the change, I didn't see it. I may have been looking at my horse's ears though, which is a stupid habit beginners seem to all have.

I had a blast, but I bet I ticked off the professional drivers in the classes with me.
 

Performancemini

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We all gotta' start sometime and be 'beginners' or 'first timers'- and we all make mistakes, not just as beginners either.
Enjoy!
'Don't sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff' in the great scheme of things.
 

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