July 11, 2003, Newsletter Issue #133: English Pleasure Riding Tips

Tip of the Week

In English Pleasure Rider, Show Hack, Dressage, or Suitable For Dressage classes at Horse Shows, your presentation is as important as your ride in the class. In Championship or Stake Classes or Hi-Point, your horse may be requested to "strip" tack, and be judged as well by his or her conformation.

In all of these classes, you will want a Black English Bridle--with or without a flash attachment--and NO web reins--leather or rubber only, Black Dressage Saddle with black leathers and black or white stirrup pads, white Dressage pad (which are the square ones), NO breast attachments, NO martingales, NO draw reins, NO boots or leg wraps on the horse, and you SHOULD braid the mane and tail of your horse, as would be suitable for a Dressage Show. Rider should wear white or canary colored breeches, black jacket, black fitted hard hat, black gloves, black tall boots, with or without spurs (depending upon your horse). You should not carry a whip unless regulations accept such, and unless your horse is a real slug~!~!

You will want an even and steady pace throughout each gait, both ways of the ring. You want a Horse that demonstrates that they are a Pleasure to Ride. No fuss, no spooks, no resistance or rebellion. Simple, easy, happy and manageable. In these classes you will want to improve the ride, as it progresses. In other words, the longer you are in the class, the better your horse responds, and the more accurate is the response to each aid immediately when asked.

You want to stay on the bit at all times, and in all gaits, which is called being in a frame. AND, you will want to have distinct gaits at the collected, medium and extended paces, while maintaining a frame. You will ride at a medium stride, unless specifically requested to perform a particular gait at a collected or an extension of that gait; AND BE DISTINCT in the difference~! You may be requested to do simple patterns, usually shoulders and haunches in/out, and leg yielding on either the quarter or three quarter line, and you are usually requested to hand gallop the ring.

Depending if this is a Breed or an Open Show, will determine if you are to try to stay seated during a hand gallop or if you may rise into a 2 Pt. Position. Some Breed Clubs are not familiar with 2 Pt. Position, and therefore, it is wise to try to stay seated; unless you have a horse that is very thrusty and powerful in the rear quarters, then simply go into 2 Pt. and hope for the best~!

Show Hack has a bit more leeway for hotter horses. The Show Hack is expected to be more brilliant, flashy and dramatic, yet still Pleasurable and manageable for the Rider. Even in Show Hack, the ride is expected to improve from beginning to the end. Again, these classes the horse must be braided, and riders must wear Jackets and Gloves, unless the Club Official states otherwise.

Hooves are to be cleaned with soap and water, and a bit of sand paper to get all dirt off. Use of clear hoof polish is recommended, over Black or Colors. Bridle paths should be clipped, as well as the hair inside the ears, and the whiskers off of the face. Manes and tails should be braided, neatly and correctly.

REMEMBER: Remember to have fun, and to wear a SMILE~!~!

In August, it will be Saddleseat Riding Tips.

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