Showing Ethics and Practices

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Maxi'sMinis

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much like showing dogs? I showed dogs for 20 yrs. It was very cut throut. I actually had professional handlers try to mess up my dog while in the ring. Luckily I only fell for it once. After that I watched other handlers closely and where they were in proximity to me and my dog. Plus they sure weren't very firendly. Some people were nice but it was rare.

My impression from this board is that there are some really nice people out there showing horses. I haven't shown yet but soon will. I was just wondering what I might encounter. I will definetly show in amateur classes.

What is your take on this newbie to seasoned handlers would like to know your thoughts?
 

RockRiverTiff

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Well my thoughts are that there are unethical people everywhere, and ANY form of competition will bring out the worst in them. That said, I have not seen anywhere near the politics or animosity while showing minis that I have seen while showing their full-sized counterparts. Try starting your show career at a club show; I find the "tone" at those is always much chummier, as the people have something other than their horses in common.
 

Leeana

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I never have shown dogs, but i have shown miniatures/shetlands for just 4 years. I started out my first year local unrated shows then and now do AMHR / ASPC shows and congress and going to Nationals this year with Sheryl and Ernie.

I hear so much about politics BUT normally those big trainers do have the best horse, so i personally do not even pay attention to that.

I have found most everyone i show with to be very nice people, its always fun to share your passion with others. They are always happy to show off their ponies. The trainers are very nice, but they are getting paid to show their clients horse and they want to make their clients happy, i would too.

Get a mentor and someone to get you started and offer advice for a while. Im really excited to go to Nationals with Sheryl / Ernie this year and learn from them
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kaykay

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I can only speak to aspc/amhr shows and most of the people are super nice and go out of their way to help a new person. I cant tell you how many times I have had to borrow a lead or even a halter and people gladly jump in. My mentor that got me started was the Grabow family. Without them I probably would have kept watching shows and never jumped in. I cant thank them enough for what they did.
 

Minimor

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well, I've been showing horses since 1976--some in breed shows, a lot in open shows and fairs, in halter, pleasure, driving, dressage...I haven't showed dogs and have never even watched a dog show so cannot say how showing horses compares to showing dogs.

I have had people try to cut me off in pleasure classes. In some cases I wasn't sure if it was a deliberate attempt to sabotage my ride, or if it was just stupidity on the part of the other rider. I have watched classes where someone got cut off, and it was quite obviously a deliberate group effort to ruin the ride of a specific person. I can think of one instance where a particular rider was being a royal pain to other riders--she wasn't deliberately trying to get in her way but in her arrogance she was doing her own thing with no consideration for the others in the class and, well, lets just say that some of the others got even!

I have been ring steward at a breed show where an exhibitor was being very pushy to the others. I'm convinced that he wasn't deliberately trying to ruin anyone else's showing, but he was so determined to get across to the judge "me, me, look at ME!" that he totally didn't care that he was being pushy to others. Before it got to the point where he was actually ruining the position of other horses and the other exhibitors started rolling their eyes and sending ferocious glares his way I was telling him to move up here, and please move NOW, and gave him my own best glare to make the point that I meant business
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Definitely you have to look out for yourself. If you're in a performance class, always be aware of where the other horses are and do your best to keep yourself in a good position. Don't let yourself get boxed in. If you're driving on the rail and catching up to a slower horse, and you're aware that there's another horse coming up behind you, pull out to go around the slower horse a little sooner, rather than leaving it a little later. If you wait a little too long the other horse may come up beside you and then if he should slow down--for any reason, whether it is deliberate, or just for some reason he does slow down--you can find yourself stuck on the rail with no option except to break down to a walk to avoid running up on another horse. If the rail is clear ahead of you and someone is passing, just be aware of that, and "ready" so that if the other horse suddenly cuts in front of you, you are ready to deal with that.

Halter classes--again, just watch out for other horses. One might be unruly, or the handler might be careless and lead their horse too close--I can't say that I've ever seen any halter handlers try to mess up the showing for other competitors, but I have seen careless moves cause problems for another competitor. You should always be aware of where the other exhibitors are around you, but when it comes to halter classes I have to say that I think it's extremely unlikely that anyone is going to try and 'mess you up'

In horse showing you will meet some very friendly people, and yes, you will also meet up with some unfriendly ones. There are some real sourpusses out there! I was at a show on Saturday and nearly everyone was really nice & friendly & pleasant, but there were two that would surely have felt pain if they had smiled or acted pleasant toward anyone! I ignore that kind and enjoy the rest!!
 

JourneysEnd

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I showed dogs too.

Pretty much the same. I don't show halter with the horses, but I watch some of the stuff that goes on.

Performance classes are fine. Every now and then somebody will cut you off in driving but you learn who to watch out for in the ring.
 

[email protected]

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I also show my friends mastiff, not in junior handling, in regular classes, and there have been times when I know I have the best dog and they get placed above me. Its not right and everybody tells me so. But, at horse shows I find this completely different. I went into an open class even though I am a youth and I won from both judges. Then got grand champ both judges, even a supreme! I find horse shows to judge more on the animal and not who is handling the animal, like placing a pro over a youth
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Maxi'sMinis

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So it sounds good and bad. I found when showing dogs that if you were the competion it was tougher. This was mostly against professional dog handlers, I usually showed in open class which was were the majority of the winners usually came from.Once in a while at specialty shows I would show in bred by exibiter. The handlers if there was no order to enter the ring, would get next to the dog they thought would give them a run for their money.

In the big shows like the Nationals it sounds like it would be to your advantage to get a handler?

Do you think that professional trainer/handlers really give you your moneys worth in handling your horse? I mean in dogs sometimes they would use dogs as fillers and so forth to get the points on a dog or to raise the points for a class. How do you find a trustworth trainer/handler? One that you can be sure will treat you animal well.
 

kaykay

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I will say that the national show is much more hmm what the word?? More cut throat I guess. I have only shown at amhr nationals once and one woman was determined to take my place in the halter line up. I got tired of messing with her and just let her as to me it was just too petty to argue over.

And yes at nationals it is well worth the money to have a pro take your horse in. Not saying an average joe cant place but remember most classes are about 50-70 horses. There is a reason talented trainers get results because they are so good at what they do. To me to spend all that money to get to nationals its worth paying a pro for open classes

As with anything really check out a trainer before you send a horse. Visit IN PERSON the facility. Do NOT go by pictures. Pictures can be very misleading. Also watch the trainers at shows and you will see who handles horses the way you like and who does not

I have to say though at Congress I have always shown my own horses and always placed fairly. I never felt like I had to have a pro trainer at Congress to place. Congress is a much different atmosphere then AMHR Nationals.
 

muffntuf

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I have seen it both ways at shows. Someone deliberately brushes by someone else in a 'rush' to enter the ring, upsetting the other's horse. Also I have seen even the pros bend over backwards to make sure the experience was everything it could be.

As far as which do I see more, I see more people being nice and going out of their way. Only the insecure do I see being silly in the ring.

As for the pros, I think we have a good bunch of pros in this breed, very willing to help, answer questions. Much better than some other breeds.
 

Cedar Ridge Farm

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I agree that at some shows there is always going to be that someone that just won't smile, won't talk, etc. However, for the most part part, at the "R" shows, the more you talk to folks, the more they talk to you. I have actually seen a well known trainer late in the class because they were helping "clean up" a mare that have flipped over just before entering the same class. This trainer helped brush and wipe off the red dirt on a mostly white horse. (You know who you are and thanks again!) I have also had a couple of people help me right before an obtacle class teach my horse to do a particular obstacle. (Thanks Vickie and Shirley!)

I go to have a good time, be with other horse folks and show my horse to the best of my ability. I think you will have a great time.
 

Field-of-Dreams

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I show pretty much only R. Most of the people are super friendly, but you do get some idiots out there. I have been driven into the wall by a trainer and last year at the Area V show as I was coming around the corner while the last class was being pinned (I was not in the open class, just the stake and they had called us in) the person at the end looked me dead in the eyes and then pulled out RIGHT in front of me. I KNOW it was deliberate. Fortunately Sunny doesn't get rattled about stuff like that.

Lucy
 

bingo

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I have to say though at Congress I have always shown my own horses and always placed fairly. I never felt like I had to have a pro trainer at Congress to place. Congress is a much different atmosphere then AMHR Nationals.
This is IMO largely in part to the sheer difference in numbers. Nationals has well over 2 times the horses in fact close to 3 times the horses which will always change the atmosphere of a show
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MyBarakah

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Hi! Well.... I've been showing the miniatures now for 3 years and LOVE it! I always had the big horses and use to do the quarter shows and then the dressage. I really like the minature horse shows & people! I've been to Nationals the past 2 years.... I love meeting new mini horse people. When starting out people seem to be SO helpful and nice, especially when you're a nobody and just learning.

I have noticed now being in it longer and feel my horses get better each year and do better in the show ring, which is the goal..... but I do notice... with getting better in the show ring....... some of the people that use to be nice and friendly are no more nice & friendly....... Which is bothersome..... but I act like it doesn't bother me....... I would NEVER do that to any one I know who places over me and wins and goes out there and does a good job! I think it's great if thier horses win.

But I guess that is going to happen like it or not..... some people don't like being beat.....

But I still have FUN and enjoy it NO matter what!
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Indian*R*A*I*N*Dance

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I just starting showing minis this year and EVERYONE has been sooo nice. I've had people who have helped me out and given me advice and I know that if i have a question I can ask them w/ no problem. Everyone helpes eachother out wether you need a hoof pick or a broom, haha. So far i haven't met anyone who is rude.

Edit: just a reply to MyBarakah, i just think that people who you use to be friendly with arn't anymore because your in the show ring often is because they find you as competition, they want to win, they don't see it as having fun anymore. I just think thats rude, everyone is there too win but having fun is definatly MORE important then winning.
 
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Boinky

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I haven't shown dogs much but what little I have i've found it to be a snobby, cut throat bunch of people. Horse show's tend to be a little better atmosphere. As with any group you are going to find people that dont' play as nice with others or who are snobby ect. I will tell you we show mostly AMHR now and for the most part most people are extremely nice and outgoing. We had big name trainers saying "hello" to use ect in passing. They didn't know us.. but they were pleasant and outgoing as well as the other "little" people. (course they could have been stabbing us in the back off by themselves...lol). it's always been a pleasant atmosphere when showing AMHR. We even have shown at nationals and although we dont' go with big expectations to win we've been pleasantly surprised with some placings we've received ect. people always seem to be friendly ect.
 

Keri

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I've only shown at sanctioned AMHA and AMHR shows throughout Utah and nearby states. I've never had people deliberately do anything to me. They are actually quite helpful and a very fun environment. People win and everyone is congradulated. I consider these people my "horsey" family. I have learned most of my stuff from big name trainers that actually took time and showed me what I should "properly" be doing with my horse. If you keep a fun attitude and help people too, it'll come back to you in the end.

I've never been to the big national show. So I can't speak for people there.
 

kaykay

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yes numbers has to do with it but Congress is still a different attitude and feel. Have you shown at Congress Bingo? I did notice last year though there were way more mini trainers at congress then ever before. But thats a good thing as the ponies are growing in popularity again
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Field-of-Dreams

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I haven't shown dogs much but what little I have i've found it to be a snobby, cut throat bunch of people.

Oh, yes. The dog show people are out for blood-literally. When I was about 14 I worked for an Old English Sheepdog kennel. I groomed the dogs and watched them when they went on vacation.

One week before a big specialty (he was expected to win), someone threw poisoned meat over the kennel fence into their champion dog's pen. He DIED.

Now, I can't really see Mini people doing this, but.....
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Lucy
 

strass

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You’re always going to get a little bad with the good. There are some politics involved in most anything that is “Judged”.

Without a doubt, the most debated subjects in terms of whether or not politics is involved in the small equine world, are Height Measurements and Showing on Type (in Shetlands). Then, of course, every judge varies in what they like and whom they like. Sometimes it’s really tough to tell what they are picking and why. Sometimes it’s obvious one way or another. The thing that I think adds to this the most is that many of your best trainers are also judges. (Scratch my back this week or I’ll stab yours the next.)

One problem that I see becoming more of a pain is the “Professional Amateurs”: People who don’t belong in amateur, yet refuse to move on. Some of these people are large breeders with a big name or even have other people give them partial ownership in a horse in exchange for training & showing it. Occasionally, they will have as much political pull with certain judges as the trainer/judges do. Somehow, these things keep getting overlooked and the “Pro-Ams” keep picking on us true Amateurs.

For the most part, the people that you show against are always nice and polite. Some just talk more than others. Naturally, people rub each other the wrong way from time to time. One thing that always impresses me is that you can almost always find someone at a show that will help you out. I’ve witnessed people do better grooming jobs on horses that they are about to compete against than they do on their own. Just a couple of weeks ago, my wife showed a horse that someone else owns against one of ours. To my dismay, she did very well. That same show, I saw several other people (trainers included) volunteering to show horses for other people, even if it hurt their own horses’ chances. The best part is that they were honestly putting their best efforts into it.

I can’t tell you how many times I have shown against (or at least had my horses shown against) someone at a National level show and we’ll end up having a drink or a fine smoke together afterwards. Last year at Nationals, when Bay Beauty won the Over Mare Grand (my mare, Addy, got Reserve), I rushed to give Beauty’s owner (BKB) a hug and congratulate her. She actually got tears in her eyes as she told me how sorry she was that her victory came at my expense. That’s just one example of the kind of caring person that keeps me involved.
 

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