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Q's about driving etiquette in the show ring

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Sanny

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I respect the fact that there are different ways and different methods of handling your driving horse and what is good for one horse and driver isn't going to be good for another.

Here is the question or maybe just a rant from me...

When you are in a driving class and there is another horse and driver near you that is causing a distraction, what do you do to get away from it and how do you handle it. I know if several drivers get really tight it is ok to pass or cut away to create more space, but what if you are not that close but still want to get away from someone.

I was at a show and another driver in the class was very distracting. My driving horse gets very soft quiet cues. In addition to my hands and the reins --- a cluck to trot, the word easy to slow down/settle down, double cluck to pick up the pace again and a quick short kiss noise to move out and a longer double kiss to really motor - like for DRIVE ON in Roadster Class.

At the show this weekend, another driver that was in several of my classes made constant (CONSTANT) very loud, long kissing noises....I am not kidding.....pretty much every other breath and for every gait -- walk, pleasure trot, extended trot and even to backing up in the line up. My hands were numb from holding my horse back and he was gritting his teeth in frustration and and snorting and blowing and acting up because he was getting mad at ME. Under my breath I talked to my horse the entire class trying to get him to focus on my voice rather than the other driver and afterward I had someone tell me she could hear me (she was sitting in the stands) talking to him (I was saying things like, that's not me, try to focus, easy boy...etc. etc.) I really wanted to cross the arena or circle around to try and get away from him but I wasn't totally sure what was the right thing to do and because of the number of drivers in the class and the way the judges were spread out in the ring no matter where I did it I would have had to cut VERY close to a judge to accomplish it. I know we have a shortage of good judges already and I didn't want to be responsible for running one over.

In roadster class I saw the same horse/driver combo heading for the ring and I stayed as FAR AWAY as I possibly could from them and even across the ring I could hear it still happening.

This is NOT sour grapes because I won the pleasure driving and roadster classes I was in. I was focused on my own horse, and I didn't know this person or the horses name so I don't know where they placed in the classes but I am sure this must have affected others in the class and I would have been upset had they placed above me. I would have liked to have asked a couple of other drivers in the classes if they happened to be affected by it or not but I was busy getting my kids ready for the youth classes that were right after mine. If I had a young, inexperienced horse or a very hot one I probably couldn't have kept control of the horse and I couldn't possibly have been the only one that was affected in these classes. If a driver like this had been in one of the youth classes I would have requested to have my child removed from the class for safety reasons. (That would have gone over BIG on the long drive home) I left the ring wondering how someone could possibly think that is OK and the way to drive a horse and wondering if anyone would say something to the driver at some point and I didn't know how to go about it myself or if it was even my place to speak up and I kept thinking this is my first year driving and maybe that sort of stuff is common and just comes with the territory and you just need to learn to deal with it. My husband heard and saw what was going on from the rail and he came in as my header and in the line up I happened to be looking him in the eye when this horse was backed up -- via a cue of several loud long kissing noises and I almost lost it and did wind up making a weird snorting noise.

Does this happen a lot??

EDIT TO ADD.....At least I learned to be very aware of this possibility and will be more prepared for it to happen and for SURE at future shows I will have be on the look out for "THE KISSER" and will make sure they go in first and I stay as far away as possible.
 
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_minihorses4ever_

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Wow.. That must have been extremly annoying (I would have probably lost it
).. I am pretty new to showing, so I don't know what to tell you. Maybe if you expierience a class with her again, calmy explain how she confuses your horse (and maybe others?). And if she could quiet it down a bit.. Wishing you the best of luck!
 

Dr. Pam

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No Mary, it doesn't. There are hitmen who take care of these problems if they persist--there is a private fund set aside for competitors like this.


BTW, thank you for not taking a judge out. You're right--we need all the good ones we can get.

Seriously, I wish I had been there, because I would have said something. This sounds like more than a nuisance -it really could endanger someone. At the very least, you can talk to the steward.
 

Fred

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Believe me I understand your frustration. It has happened to me more than once.

If you drive at nationals this year be prepared! They come out of the woodwork.

The best I can tell you is you did the right thing by getting your horse to focus on

you. Last year at nationals my horse was being a brat and I could deal with that,

but the driving was horrible. By the time the roadster class came I was so fired

up I told my friend if anyone got in my way they were toast. It can be just like

driving on the highway some days. Best of luck! Linda B
 

ruffian

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In answer to your question, you can always cut across the ring, across the middle, or short cutting an end. It is, however, bad form to run over a judge!! It's so hard to get their results if they're unconscious!!
 

midnight star stables

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Sanny said:
I respect the fact that there are different ways and different methods of handling your driving horse and what is good for one horse and driver isn't going to be good for another.
Here is the question or maybe just a rant from me...

When you are in a driving class and there is another horse and driver near you that is causing a distraction, what do you do to get away from it and how do you handle it. I know if several drivers get really tight it is ok to pass or cut away to create more space, but what if you are not that close but still want to get away from someone.

I was at a show and another driver in the class was very distracting. My driving horse gets very soft quiet cues. In addition to my hands and the reins --- a cluck to trot, the word easy to slow down/settle down, double cluck to pick up the pace again and a quick short kiss noise to move out and a longer double kiss to really motor - like for DRIVE ON in Roadster Class.

At the show this weekend, another driver that was in several of my classes made constant (CONSTANT) very loud, long kissing noises....I am not kidding.....pretty much every other breath and for every gait -- walk, pleasure trot, extended trot and even to backing up in the line up. My hands were numb from holding my horse back and he was gritting his teeth in frustration and and snorting and blowing and acting up because he was getting mad at ME. Under my breath I talked to my horse the entire class trying to get him to focus on my voice rather than the other driver and afterward I had someone tell me she could hear me (she was sitting in the stands) talking to him (I was saying things like, that's not me, try to focus, easy boy...etc. etc.) I really wanted to cross the arena or circle around to try and get away from him but I wasn't totally sure what was the right thing to do and because of the number of drivers in the class and the way the judges were spread out in the ring no matter where I did it I would have had to cut VERY close to a judge to accomplish it. I know we have a shortage of good judges already and I didn't want to be responsible for running one over.In roadster class I saw the same horse/driver combo heading for the ring and I stayed as FAR AWAY as I possibly could from them and even across the ring I could hear it still happening.

This is NOT sour grapes because I won the pleasure driving and roadster classes I was in. I was focused on my own horse, and I didn't know this person or the horses name so I don't know where they placed in the classes but I am sure this must have affected others in the class and I would have been upset had they placed above me. I would have liked to have asked a couple of other drivers in the classes if they happened to be affected by it or not but I was busy getting my kids ready for the youth classes that were right after mine. If I had a young, inexperienced horse or a very hot one I probably couldn't have kept control of the horse and I couldn't possibly have been the only one that was affected in these classes. If a driver like this had been in one of the youth classes I would have requested to have my child removed from the class for safety reasons. (That would have gone over BIG on the long drive home) I left the ring wondering how someone could possibly think that is OK and the way to drive a horse and wondering if anyone would say something to the driver at some point and I didn't know how to go about it myself or if it was even my place to speak up and I kept thinking this is my first year driving and maybe that sort of stuff is common and just comes with the territory and you just need to learn to deal with it. My husband heard and saw what was going on from the rail and he came in as my header and in the line up I happened to be looking him in the eye when this horse was backed up -- via a cue of several loud long kissing noises and I almost lost it and did wind up making a weird snorting noise.

Does this happen a lot??

EDIT TO ADD.....At least I learned to be very aware of this possibility and will be more prepared for it to happen and for SURE at future shows I will have be on the look out for "THE KISSER" and will make sure they go in first and I stay as far away as possible.

433172[/snapback]

sorry, that was too funny!!

I had never thought of this, I can't help you as I don't show in driving untill this august... thanks for the warning!!!
so sorry to hear about sence less & unfair people
its not right
 

Magic

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I had this same problem earlier this year in the warm up ring, and my horse WAS extremely green. He nearly exploded, he was so confused and fired up. I almost scratched my classes, but what I did was take him out of the warm up ring and walk him around, alone, til he settled down, and then made sure to be FAR away from the noisy "clucker/kisser".

It actually says something in the rule book about not making too much noise in the ring, but I don't know how one could deal with it if you are already in a class.

Perhaps talking to the person afterward could be helpful for the future? My horses learn voice commands ("walk on, trot" etc) but I do use encouraging noises also. Though I did vow to try not to after that fiasco when my horse almost blew up!
 

hobbyhorse23

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I hate people like that. My green horse also almost blew up the last time I faced that situation but thankfully we had gotten it in smaller doses at the ADS events and I had had a chance to teach him one good command: "NOT YOU." As in, "Easy Kody, not you, pay attention. T-rrot."

I also head this off by teaching my mini the same way you do a dog- always prefacing the command with their name. Obviously if it's just us driving I don't bother, and I don't if nothing is interferring. But in a crowded ring like that I get him back under control with a firm half-halt and a steady-voiced "Kody, NOT YOU. Steady up, trrrroottt." etc. And then after that, it's a quiet "Kody, walk. Kody, easy trot. Kody, trot on!" Usually by that point he's listening to me and can tell the difference between my clucking and someone else's and tunes out the others. But I need every trick I can find to get him refocused and calm in the first place.


I would probably make a polite complaint to the steward. The more you phrase it like a request and a "could you please help me, I'm concerned that my youth competitors may not be able to handle this, etc. etc." the more folk want to help you instead of getting huffy. But it would definitely bother me too!

Leia
 

Marty

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Some people are just "loud" people.

There is always that "one" at the shows that you can hear their big mouth from wherever you are. They are loud in the ring with their horses too.

If it were me and is that distracting, instead of risking insighting a riot by trying to speak to them personally, I would tell the ring steward and have him deal with it.
 

Russ

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Man....that would be really distracting to hear that loud kissing sound! I agree that is over the top. I keep thinking of that one song......Kiss This.... and I don't mean on my ruby red lips.... Maybe you shoulda hummed that when he was close by:lol:
Sorry, it isn't a laughing matter. Next time do say something to the steward. Bonus of all this is, you are prepared for the next "mad kisser bandit" type person (and there is always a loud mouth in every competition) you will recognize and learn to adapt a skill to over come this obstacle/distraction in the ring.....be it a person or even a distracting horse.

Congratulations Mary and family.....sounds like you did great!
 
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rabbitsfizz

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It's maddening when this happens, I know, I am so very glad you did not run the Judge over, though, it is always a real chore to have to go to the hospital for the results!! I say you should register a firm disapproval with the steward prefaced by the fact that this is NOT sour grapes- you won!! You need to do it at a time when the steward has time to listen, or make it short and to the point if it is as a class goes in, this would be better timing as the steward could then listen and decide for themselves if a rule is being broken. If it is you will need to do no more as the steward will then take care of it all for you. Definitely complain- someone could get hurt and you are not allowed to interfere with other people's horses- which is, basically, what this is. Do not suppose for one minute that this is not deliberate, she has probably seen the effect it has on other horses and spent hours getting her horse immune. Some people will do anything for a ribbon!! Congratulations on a win under difficult circumstances!!
 

willowoodstables

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Any driving class I have been in either has had a "mouthy" driver or a complete freak case horse piloted by a complete bozo
What to do is by the warm up ring or at least the first pass you know who or what to avoid. Watching others in the warm up ring can be a huge eye-opener of what to watch for (horse lippinzaning thru the air, upside down in the dirt, power steering failure etc). By the first trip around you will have seen it all.

Once I have figured out who/what to avoid, and what horse I want the judge to "compare" mine too I get there and keep my eyes moving. Go DEEPer into the corner than the horse in front of you and by the time you have hit the straight away you have dropped back a couple feet. Slow UP in the corner to give more distance. IF you must pass, go wide and PICK YOUR SPOT that you are headed to. Amazing how that "hole" will close before you get there so think before you do it. Get your horse off the rail a bit to give more of a "look" for the judge. If someone is "breathing" down your neck (have had horse goobers in my HAIR) a quick flick of the whip (not a slash just a wiggle) to warn the other to back off usually works, or I WILL and HAVE LOUDLY said "back off pal". Any good judge will be pleased that you are making an effort to SHOW YOUR horse..and can "see" and "hear" the disruptions. ALWAYS watch the judge, especially during the lineups. Most judges always start at the same end to go down the line, and save yourself a lot of grief by "parking" at the end the judge starts at. If the "clown" beside you wants to get in YOUR cart, move out to another spot. Again any good judge will realize you are moving out for safety versus "horse won't stand". It has taken me 30 years to learn to drive in a ring with 25, and trust me, it is like driving on a 18 lane highway with Driver's Ed. My own hubby will get roared at by me on the rail..HEADS UP..THE HORSE IN FRONT OF YOU HAS JUST KICKED OVER THE SHAFTS AND IS TEARING HIS HARNESS OFF..SO CUT THE RING!!!!!!!!!!!. If you have a "ground"person helping you ringside, they can keep an eye out for jams. But the most important thing is: show your own horse to the best of the situation.

And take valium


Kim
 

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