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First ever show!

(20 Posts)
Mousesmummy Wed 18-May-11 00:39:53

Ok guys we are going to our first ever show on Sunday! How do you get a dirty grey pony clean enough? How early should I get up??? Just WHAT I'd going to happen on the day??? A million questions smile
The show is at a notoriously snooty 'Cheshire Set' place and have been told to expect a lot of comments on pony and dd!???
My sole aim is for all of us to have a nice day out, for dd to have a fun time and (if I'm totally honest) for her to achieve something , she would just be thrilled to get a rosette even for last place!!!
So for all of you showing pro's please share your wisdom and top tips for a relaxed happy day
(p.s. I will have 3 dc and a baby plus a dog and pony to look after with my husband!!!)

AlpinePony Wed 18-May-11 10:34:10

When I was a child we used to dunk the tails of "dirty greys" in a bucket with one of those old lady style blue-rinse tablets - thereby giving the tail a blue rinse rather than shit-stained yellow/orange. wink I'm sure the trick still works today although I wouldn't know where you could buy such an item!

If you're plaiting mane and tail, practice beforehand and don't wash the mane/tail 24 hours previous - it's like trying to put a chignon in freshly washed hair - just doesn't work!

Suncream! Not much fun going home with blistered shoulders.

Wet wipes for last minute cleaning of boots/tack/boogers/tears.

marialuisa Wed 18-May-11 10:42:36

Fairy liquid works better getting stains off on grey ponies than any amount of expensive pony shampoo (although we use "touch of silver" human conditioner to condition mane and tail!).. Bath the night before and use hood, cooler, tail bag and equichaps to minimise overnight stable dirt (if you have them). Have wetwipes on hand for the pony and wiping off boots etc.

There will be loads of hanging around, then 2 of the classes you are in (and have waited hours for) will clash.

If there are fun classes/clear round jumping let her do those to maximise chances of coming away with a rosette.

Make sure you take plenty of drinks and snacky things. Accept your DD will probably not want to eat a lovely, healthy picnic but will eat 4 icecreams (I think it's nerves/excitement).

You will have to queue for the skanky loo (wetwipes come in hand again!)which will be some distance from the ring

Butkin Wed 18-May-11 12:03:41

Just to give you an example of how we showed our grey and palomino ponies:

1. Day before washed pony and tail using quality horsey shampoo. We put whitening (blue) shampoo on tail be maybe not necessary. Put sheet on pony.

2. Night before cleaned all tack and put by front door ready to go so nothing forgotten. This includes passport. Also got DD's clothes already and laid out including hat (with dark blue cover if not a Charles Owen), jods, jodphur boots, jod clips, shirt, tie, jacket, elastic for number (although you can get tape from secretary on the day), lead rein if necessary, whip and/or show cane, body protector if jumping, jogging bottoms for DD to wear over jods to keep them clean.

3. Get down stables early and check horse's cleanliness and rewash tail if necessary.

4. We would have studied the schedule and worked out what time the class was likely to be. If they have a timetable that is ideal but many shows will just start at a certain time and run consecutively. You could call Secretary to see how many entries in each class before you but this would only be a guide. To be honest these days most people enter on the day if they are allowed to. We allow 30 mins per class but vary this depending on show, type of class etc. We would certainly plan to arrive an hour before we thought the class would begin to allow for ring running early, warming up pony, getting ready in a relaxed fashion (important!) etc.

5. On day when we arrive we leave ponies on box until we've gone to secretary and collected number and checked on our rings to see how they are doing. Are you planning to plait before you leave (we find this easiest).

6. Get pony off, tack up and warm it up straight away - doesn't matter what it looks like or what DD is wearing (hat and boots of course).

7. When warmed up get child ready and clean pony to best of your ability.

8. Keep checking on rings and listening to announcements and arrive at ring in good time. Don't let the pony go to sleep though and keep it going until time to enter the ring.

9. Don't let DD stay on pony between classes posing (they like doing this!). Best to get it back and take saddle off, offer drink etc between classes and get DD to put on joggers to keep jods clean for next class.

Have fun and let us know how you get on!!!

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Wed 18-May-11 20:59:12

My tip for white welsh A shining:
After Fairy Liquid, which has already been mentioned, I use sheath cleaner shampoo. Its great on filthy manes and tails. (just keep it away from eyes.)
I would do the following: 1/ Pre, pre show bath, bath. 2 or 3 days before. For deep level grease and grime removal, ingrained poo stains, manes and tails.
2/ Pre show bath. Day before, for last minute stain removal, use plenty of human conditioner in mane and tail. apply show shine for stain repellant, and mane tail conditioner after rinsing.
3/ apply hood, bandages, cooler or fleece rug, plait tail into 3 plaits, plait 3 together, put the leg from a pair of tights over the tail, (dont fold the tail, it will dry with a kink in it.) and a tail guard/wrap on top. (never leave tail bandage on overnight) Make sure bed is spotless and skip out last thing.
4/ Last minute titivation. clean bum, legs and any other bits which got shitty in the night! Re apply all of the above.
5/ If pony has a tendency to get the runs when excited, bandage legs for travelling, rather than boots, the hind boots will end up filled with shit and you will need to wash again!
Tips: Make sure that all horse clothing is spotlessly clean, including the headcollar, and make everything as pale a colour as possible. I have, in the past, uncovered Dpony on show morning, to discover her navy cooler has turned her sky blue!
Arrive at the yard ASAP, Dpony has a habit, only ever on show days of slipping her headcollar, pissing off across the neighbouring campsite and refusing to be caught... repeatedly. she is now lashed into her headcollar with extra straps! You also need to allow drying time for last minute washed bits.
Make a list of EVERYTHING that you could possibly need for pony, DD, you, the trailer and the rest of the family, for every eventuality. Sods Law rules at shows.
Remember to put stirrups, girth and bit back on tack after cleaning. remember water buckets/water/haynets and poo scoop.
Remember to pack joddy clips, gloves, raincoat and hairnet for DD.
If its hot, I freeze bottles of squash and keep in the water bucket for DCs.
Get to the show early enough to register for classes, unload and warm up pony. Do not get DD into her show clothes until the last minute, and have over layers for between classes.

On show day, not much will happen. You will spend ages standing round stressing, and trying not to breath on or touch the white pony, DD will do her stuff, then you will spend more time stressing, ad infinitum!

Dont take any notice of Posh Mum and her snide comments, she will just be trying to unnerve you. At the end of the day, your DD is a threat to little Clarissa's unbroken record! grin
Dont turn into freaky/pushy/competetive/obsessive mother, you will only upset your child. who? me? never! confused

And above all else, ENJOY YOURSELVES! grin

Mousesmummy Wed 18-May-11 23:01:50

Some great tips there thank you everyone! We don't have a hood so will have to just chance it? Do you leave the tights on the tail overnight then?
We tried to plait but to be honest it looked shocking so are going 'au naturel' smile
Good idea about the over clothes - hadn't thought of that at all!

My dd's instructor has been helping her, giving her tips about how to deal with stuff if folk comment on her/pony ( basically to ignore them!) so hopefully she will be fine -
I am so excited for her - just want it to go well for her!

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Thu 19-May-11 21:18:25

Yes, we leave tights on overnight. If you cut the leg off a pair, then split down the top a bit, so you have two tabs, you can run them up the plaited bit, poke one of the tabs through the top of the plait at the base of the bone and tie two tabs together. I then put a tail guard on top. You shouldnt bandage the tail overnight, the bandage could cut off circulation to the tail, causing serious damage!
What's wrong with DDs pony then? Does it have two heads or five legs?? grin
We get this, DDs pony is a traditional Shetland. All the posh kids are on swanky show pony types. When we took her to pony club, little kids kept pointing and saying "look Mum, whats that?? " one of the mums told me to sell it and buy her a 13.2 because at the last rally, the kids were jumping 2ft6 and dpony wasn't big enough! I smiled, nodded, and inwardly told her to fuck off!! ;-)) Dpony is funny, but has a cracking jump, and although she has been difficult, she and DD have taught each other loads! I'd rather DD have a hard pony and progress through her own hard work, than have a push button pony so she can go pot hunting! Don't let them intimidate you, do like in films and imagine them all naked!! wink

Mousesmummy Thu 19-May-11 22:52:51

Thanks Saggy! Dp is beautiful to us - cross breed, knock knee'd, odd sized hooves with large ears, flea bitten up front, dapple at rear -smile
When we got her dd's instructor told us she would never get to HOYS bt for dd was a cracking fun pony - and since I didn't know what HOYS even was (until I googled it at home later!) it mattered not a jot to us!

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Fri 20-May-11 01:15:46

We, mainly my friend and me by association and gullibility, have many wonky ponies. They are cheap, deserving and perfectly willing and useful for those of us that don't want to make it to HOYS! Someone has to own them, it's either that or the meat wagon! You treasure your pony, she is far more special than any swanky overbent show beast! smile

olderyetwider Sat 21-May-11 16:06:12

Good luck tomorrow, Mousemummy. Don't forget to tell us how it went!

Mousesmummy Sat 21-May-11 22:32:45

Arr that's kind thank you!!
Well we are as ready as we will ever be
Highlights so far - nearly burning my clutch out trying to get the effing trailer off the drive sad.
Pony is clean - mostly - she got a bit sick of it by the head so sort of left it hoping her sheer beauty will get her through smile
I have put the tight leg over her tail, and have put some bandages on lower legs. With myself and 4 little 'helpers' it took about 2 and a half hours!!!
Just given the tack a quick once over [none of it matches but it was what she came with?], have made the packed lunch, showered myself and all the children and now am off to BED! My god, don't think I could do this every weekend! Am knackered!!!
Will let you know - thanks again for your help ladies!!

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 21-May-11 22:38:46

good luck!

Pixel Sat 21-May-11 22:57:44

Good luck and have fun. smile

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Sat 21-May-11 23:05:01

Good luck. I'm quite jealous, we don't get to many shows. You are doing far better than me, I'm usually cleaning tack and tumble drying jodhpurs until at least 2am! grin

Mousesmummy Sun 22-May-11 21:09:21

Well . . . Boy am I glad that is over smile
DD and dp did ever so well, I was so proud of them especially as it was the first show for both of them (pony is just 5)
They came 4th / 8 for Handy Pony, 7th/ 8 for Best Childs pony & 8th/ 10 for First Ridden Equitation - 3 rosettes so Bridget was thrilled!!!

Impressions overall of whole showing experience? An awful lot of faffing for a bit of ribbon smile
There were a lot of those 'overbent show ponies' and ridiculously pushy parents/grandparents. There was one lady in particular who kept going into the ring to put the rug over pony whilst it was waiting in line - ?? It was cold but ??? surely not that cold? It seemed to be very much about the adults in the showing rings (not so the jumping classes) An awful lot of horses kicking repeatedly at box doors and a fair bit if shouting at them! Didn't actually see many people petting them? Maybe we are daft!!!

I think trade descriptions would have had a field day as a LOT of those kiddies were never First Ridden, and to be honest in some classes the ponies were of the sort I could have put my baby on their backs and they would have performed the same show iyswim?

DD does want to go again as she had a brilliant time, but if I'm honest I think I would like to hire the trailer and go to the forest or beach next time, I certainly think pony would enjoy it more than endlessly standing about?

Anyway, you live and learn eh? We had a great day and thank you for all your help ladies x

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Sun 22-May-11 21:49:14

I agree, shows are a real eye opener! We make what WE want out of them, we dont always come up to standard, arent always dressed exactly right, but Dpony is always immaculate, and DD really enjoys herself. You will find in most horsey pursuits, there are pushy parents like these, its just par for the course.
TBH, they usually make me feel better about DD and Dpony. They spend tonnes of money buying, turning out and producing these ponies, Dpony cost very little, DD has put hours of work into her, and has spent years slogging away on ponies that were not ideal, but were all she had. It makes my heart swell to see them in the ring. If your DD really enjoyed herself, take her again. Let her show off her lovely pony. smile

AlpinePony Mon 23-May-11 06:34:51

Just as I remember it from my childhood. sad

Very glad to hear she enjoyed it though and jolly well done to her!

marialuisa Mon 23-May-11 12:28:23

Well done, glad your DD had fun. Round here the first ridden ponies are generally worked in by an adult for an hour before the class so definitely not one to put your baby on (or indeed a small child!).

Butkin Mon 23-May-11 15:06:39

Agreed on FRs. My DD was 4th in the M&M FR at BSPS show in Leatherhead yesterday. It was a Royal International qualifier and therefore competitive.

The ponies are usually ridden in by adults and of course the rules of FR is just that the child has to be less than 12 on 1st Jan (10 on 1st Jan for show ponies). Doesn't matter how experience the kids are hence Poppy Carter et al do so well as they have been riding semi pro since they were 3 or 4.

Glad your daughter enjoyed her day Mousesmum. Mine did as well although having to drive 3 hours each way to ride in a class in pouring rain would have put most off!

seeker Mon 30-May-11 09:32:21

Round here we sometimes have lovely little shows run by charities liKE RDA to raise funds. They are much less pressure and much more fun. And there are far more likely to be loads of Heinz 57 type ponies about. Have yu looked for something like that in your area?

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