Schooling Your Horse
We’ve had some questions about what is and is not allowed when schooling, so we’re hoping to address that here.
Let us know if we missed anything by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
1. Keep It On Pattern
In the fence work and herd work, turning tail counts as breaking pattern and may result in being whistled out.
Why? Going off pattern can add a lot of time to the runs and we do our best to run fast, efficient shows. Adding additional maneuvers to your run means the judge, gate help, cattle help, and the other members showing after you are waiting.
2. Keep It Legal
Why? It’s in our rulebook that illegal equipment is not permitted in the show pen. See the rule here.
3. Keep It Age-Appropriate
Why? We’ve got big classes and late nights already, so not allowing entries into classes where horses are ineligible helps keep this in control.
4. Keep It Under Control
Why? This doesn’t really need explaining, but abusive behavior is counter to our Conduct policy in our rulebook and is not good for our sport in general!
5. Keep It Timely
Why? Again, our shows tend to be very large and keeping your run within the general parameters of your class helps our show continue to run smoothly and efficiently.
Thank you for being a part of Gem State!
What is ``schooling``?
Horses are smart. The more they’re showed, the more they begin to recognize that being in the show pen is a little stressful or a little scary, or even begin to notice that they’re not being reprimanded for acting up like they would be at home.
Because of Gem State’s affordable entry fees, many trainers use our shows as an opportunity to get their horses ready for larger shows. Using a run to train the horse instead of trying to win is called schooling.
This may mean that the rider may use an illegal bit (note: this is not actually allowed!) in order to train on their horse a little more, or they may countercanter a horse that worries about changing leads, or they may turn around more than the pattern calls for in order to stop only when the horse is feeling correct, or they may work on getting their horse to stop straight instead of making a fence turn.
There are as many ways to school a horse in the show pen as there are trainers.
Schooling is an essential tool in keeping show horses tuned up. Talk to your trainer about it!