Would anyone be willing to show off pictures of

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Well-Known Member
Dec 1, 2003
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Orono, MN
I've got a "B" mini that is broke to ride and for leadline class and am considering having our youngest do leadline and I am shopping for tack and outfits and need ideas. I was going to watch the class last year at nationals and missed it. Most of our local shows either don't offer it or only have maybe one or two entries so I need a little help here to make sure I put together the right look/outfit.
Mary, if you go to my website and click on "My Favorite Things" I have quite a few of my boy's pictures there.I have quite a bit to say about leadline class but I'll keep it brief. Yea, sure.

As far as outfits, I really do not care to see a little girl completely in black. I know that so many kids out there wear black, but on little girls, especially in the heat, I'd rather see them wear something lighter and brighter, on the top anyhow, and a color that matches the horse or a color that enhances the horse. Any color nice jeans with long sleeve co-oridnated blouse or long sleeve slinky is always nice on a little girl. If you do need to wear a dark color, consider navy blue in lew of black.

On boys, I don't mind black accents such as chaps, or jeans. But a lighter contrasting color for the shirt would be good. Again, I hate to drag the little kids down wearing too much black.

It's out of style pretty much now, but my leadline team of boys and girls all wore tuxedo shirts at the big shows with metalic or sequence vests that we had made and ties that matched the vests. Hair was always out of the eyes and pinned back away from the face neatly, no hanging ends, braided in a french braid or a bun. No hanging hair pony tails, all hair up. Sometimes, a tiny tiny bit of blush or lipstick, but I mean tiny.

It is a real plus for the leader to match the leadliners outfit as much as possible. Duplicate outfits look great.

The proper way to outfit the horse is to bridle the horse first with his bridle, then halter on top of the bridle, bringing the reins up and through the halter to the rider's hands. Do not hook a leadrope to a bit.

The child should be well aquainted with his "steady" and seasoned mount before hand, and want to be in the ring to show in the first place. They should be well practiced before hand. The child should be well rested before his class; fed, had a drink and a last trip to the potty!

He should know how to ride his mount and not be just "seated" and bobbing along. That being properly seated, not slouching over, legs, heels, and his hand(s) should be properly held on the reins in appropriate position. He should know how to neck rein in both directions, he should know how to "crawl" up the reins with his fingers and back the horse up by himself, and he should know the cue to whoa the horse and actually do it!. When asked to do these things in the ring, he should go through the motions of doing so and not just be "pulled" around by his handler, just guided. His saddle should fit him and rider both. He may be spoken to by the judge and should be able to respond to him nicely, other than nodding his head. He should be able to speak to the judge. He should know the horse's name and age and his own number that is pinned on him. Pick an easy number for him that he can easily remember. Having a "mock" show at home is a great idea. Have some other friends over to lead other horses, have them go around in both directions, line up, call names out etc. There are always lots and lots of bloopers in the leadline class and it's important to just keep cheering those little kids on no matter what! They are all winners!
Lead Rein over here is big business, and very competitive, so I will not attempt to guide you on what to wear as it is all completely different. Two tips though from someone who has gone through, now let me see, three generations!! of this- how did I survive?? Tie knots in the reins at the right length for the child to hold them (get the thinnest reins you can). REMEMBER THE POTTY THING!!!!! Keep a small piece of WRAPPED candy in your pocket to produce just as the child asks for the fifteenth time "Where's Mum??" Get a GOOD helmet for the child- most Judges will be very glad to see it (Over here it is absolutely compulsory- no-one is allowed to ride or even sit on a horse without one!!)(I never wore one- explains a lot
If you have the opportunity to go to a big horse show and watch leadline - watched it at Paint World last year and was blown away by the outfits for both mom and child. All matching, all glitzy etc. The few I've seen at mini shows don't go nearly so far in dressing up, but it might be a good source for ideas. Marty's tips are great.

My kids in my 4-H group and their younger lead line kids always kept it simple..for IE... for my B/W gelding Buddy, I would put my grand daughter in black jeans, white crisp COTTON long sleeved shirt with say red vest and hat.Try to find a western hat that will fit OVER a helmet. Black boots so you can use for other outfits. (If you have brown horses change to brown pants and boots &perhaps with yellow vest and hat.)

That both matches and compliments the horse and lends a bit of color.

That combo would be easy to match to mom/dad..and is for either boy or girl. COtton is cooler and I think shiny,sparkely,hot slinky is absolutely foolish on a child on a hot day..JMO of course but think how you feel, nothing makes a little one more restless and ansy that to be uncomfportable!

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