Pet Peeves

  I know I can’t be the only one with “pet peeves” about what they see in the show ring.  Most of mine are within the rules but just don’t seem right to me.  I wonder if others agree or have any thoughts.  In no particular order, but all I have seen recently in the A rated Morgan show ring.

  •  Gag snaffles on Classic Pleasure horses
  • Spurs on walk trotters
  • Braided reins in Equitation
  • Formal Saddle Seat attire during the day
  • Mule bits on Classic Pleasure driving horses
  • Formal shirts with regular Hunt Jackets

32 Responses to Pet Peeves

  1. StacyGRS says:

    What is the problem with braided snaffle rein in equitation? I don’t necessarily have an issue with spurs on walk trot riders, although I have never done it. Often their legs can’t get past the saddle and they can’t kick hard enough to have it felt thru the saddle.

  2. empressive says:

    I can actually understand spurs for walk trotters. Some of those horses are so sleepy eyed sometimes and while they listen to the little ones, really can give them a hard time.

    Formal shirts with Hunt is funny looking.

    Conservitivism. I like sparkles. But that will never happen.

    I think the only thing that seriously bothers me is when there is a class, not saying a very large class and aa rider insists on staying over 15 feet away from the rail and they are not moving very fast or have no reason to be so far off the rail.

    That bugs me a bit.

  3. alpmorgans says:

    I cannot STAND formal hunt shirts with coats. The formal shirts are for dressage. And the spurs on walk trotters I can see. Some dont have the leg strength, and a lot of horses are trained with spurs. I have to have a braided rein or else I get them mixed up. Haha. and i dont think I have ever seen a gag snaffle bit….. and some horses need the mule bit. not the sharpness, just the breakage.

  4. StacyGRS says:

    I’ve never seen a formal shirt with a hunt coat. Like a tux shirt? With a regular hunt day coat or shadbelly? Doesn’t the neck tie cover the ruffles? hmmm…I’ll have to watch:)

  5. alpmorgans says:

    a stock tie shirt with a hunt coat. I dont want to post a picture, because i dont want to call anyone out, but for some reason it is VERY popular on the east coast/NE region.

  6. StacyGRS says:

    oh…hmmm…never even thought of that.

  7. leslie says:

    Mule bits on any horse (if you need two joints, get a French link.)

    Are people really going into daytime classes with formal suits? Can’t you be DQed for improper appointments?

  8. Janie says:

    When you say “formal shirts with regular hunts jackets” do you mean the shirts worn with shadbellies? I can’t imagine that!!

  9. eseybold21 says:

    I actually like the shirt and tie look. The stock tie and regular jacket can be attractive, just something different without going to far as ‘color’ jods or bright jackets. However formal attire before 5 and not a championship… Not ok

  10. leslie says:

    This got me curious, so I checked the rule book. It says a stock choker or “four-in-hand tie” is correct with informal attire. Is a four-in-hand tie just a regular men’s tie?

    Oddly, the attire for hunter pleasure is written as “recommended attire.” I thought the rule book was pretty strict about this stuff, but apparently not. So I guess you can legally wear a shadbelly whenever you feel like it. I don’t know why you would, but maybe if you popped the buttons on your hunt coat right before your class, it’d be good to know you had options.

    For saddle seat eq, though, they are strict. “Formal attire must not be worn before 6pm” and “judges must eliminate those contestants that do not conform.” The other saddle seat divisions say, “Formal attire is worn only after 6:00 p.m.” So this popular pet peeve is actually against the rules. And people who ignore the rulebook are my pet peeve, so add my name to that list.

  11. Chris Nerland says:

    You can find diagrams for tying 4-in-hand, full windsor, half-windsor over on Wikipedia. I have always preferred a 4 in hand as my neck is a bit short, but I doubt a judge would even spot a full windsor if you used one. :-)

  12. snerland says:

    My pet peeve? Those colored hunt coats.

  13. empressive says:

    WHAT!!?? Snerland, we could use a little bit of color!

    LOL JK

    So how many colors have you seen? I like the green and browns, nice on the eye.

    I saw a western saddle that was fire engine red. I cannot imagine something like that in the showring….

  14. snerland says:

    Well, I have been away from the show ring since 2001, BUT, COME ON…peach, pink, purple, emerald etc??? You know what’s really funny? I went to a large saddlebred show last year and they were riding conservatively and I mean hunter greens and browns. So where is this all coming from?

  15. Jennifer says:

    Having been a small child kicking the saddle flaps I can understand the spurs on walk-trotters.

    I’m going to chime in on the hunt coats and breeches. I don’t like the light colored coats or dark breeches, yuck!!!

  16. lnmarsh says:

    Can someone please describe and/or post a link to the “gag bit” and “mule bit?” Ive heard a lot of different bits called these names so I just want to see what is being referred to in this thread.

    I understand spurs on walk trotters – I was one of those kids who had to have fenders cut on western saddles to make the stirrups short enough and whos legs barely passed the flap of a hunt saddle LOL! So I get it. Especially because most of the true, safe walk-trot horses out there are lazy!

    A braided snaffle rein is frowned upon in a hunt eq class? Ive never heard of that one. And I dont see it in the rulebook (but then again Im not looking really hard). Is it just one of those unwritten rules? I always had a braided snaffle rein and a plain curb rein when I rode hunt eq. :-/ Hmm…

    Ok, seeing formal saddle seat attire before 6pm BUGS ME!!! Riding saddleseat eq I never would have dared to enter the ring in formal attire before 6pm. Championship or not. Even today I wouldnt dare (not that I have a saddleseat horse anymore) entering say a Ladies class or Am class before 6pm with a tophat on my head. No way. Heck, I still tape my gloves LOL! Eq had a lasting impression on me :-P

    Is the formal shirt with regular hunt coats a newer thing? Ive never noticed it. I think its just another way to “spice up” the dreary old hunt ring. I know a lot of people are against the light coats/dark jods thing, but as long as the colors dont clash with the horse, I think it can look nice. I dont own any dark jods, but I own a light colored coat. I get A LOT of compliments on it; its on of my favorites.

    Two of my pet peeves with hunt: Funky colored jods (purple, etc) and black saddle pads. I hope Im not offending anyone who uses/used a black pad, but I think they look terrible. Id rather see a hunt horse with no saddle pad than a black saddle pad. Bleh.

  17. StacyGRS says:

    they are both bits that can be very useful and can be used in a very non-harsh way, IMO. A gag bit, or a false gag, is connected thru the ring of the bradoon so that when the rein is pulled the bit slides up the cheekpiece of the bridle, theoretically making the pressure come from above and thus making the horse raise up. Some do, some tend to lay on it. I have found that if you have a sensitive horse, or a bouncy horse and a rider without the ability to not let the reins “catch” the horse at all, the gag can soften that. When you bump a regular rein it hits a “dead end” in the bit…a gag has some slide and therefore it’s a less sharp bump. For a horse that gets afraid if they bounce into the bridle, it can be softer and make them more comfortable by giving them cushion. For a horse that likes to “bounce” out of the bridle or be “highschooled”, it’s not effective because the cues are too dulled.
    A mule bit has a side that has sharper edges that can be sharp when used in a back and forth motion, but, when turned backwards, a mule bit has 5-6 breaks across the bit and lays very nicely in a horses’ mouth if they like breaks. We use a backwards mule bit alot and, unless you look closely, you’d not necessarily know which way it was turned, but the dull side is very blunt…considerably more so that a twisted wire…and very movable. I don’t know how many people use it this way, but I know I learned it from a trainer, so we aren’t the only ones.
    We have a braided or lace snaffle on every bridle here…hunt and saddle seat, and a flat rein as the curb. I think they look nice, feel nice, and I just haven’t ridden in a bridle with 2 flat reins in so long I don’t even think about it when I order them. Is the objection that one should be able to tell the difference with 2 flat reins?

  18. Jennifer says:

    I think they are looking at the braided/laced reins as sign that the rider is using the rein to hang on to the horse.

  19. leslie says:

    Mule bit:

    A while ago someone mentioned a hunt rider wearing a bright orange hunt coat at some show out west. I dug up the photo and it really looked like the rider was going to hop off her pony and go work road construction. I’m all for self-expression, but, y’know, get some funky socks or something.

    There was another hunt rider a year or two ago who had ads in the Connection that showed her wearing a white hunt coat. White. I think it had satiny stripes. Pretty sure she wore black breeches. It looked like some kind of runway fashion corruption of equestrian attire. George Morris rolled over in his grave, and he’s still alive.

    Oh, the Morgan hunter division…so much fun.

  20. Daniellec106 says:

    Having braided reins has nothing to do with the rider using them to hang onto the horse…

    I’m not sure what the original peeve was about this because it wasn’t detailed, just said “Braided reins in Equitation,” but I really don’t see anything wrong with braided reins in any division. As many have already said it is a great way to associate which rein belongs to your snaffle and which one is attached to your curb. I showed Eq as a walk trotter up through the senior eq division and always had one braided rein and one flat rein. I even found it to be beneficial when it came to rein slippage. I had to shorten my braided rein less because it didn’t just slip right through my glove like a flat rein does.

    And I don’t see why an equitation judge should have or even would have a problem with it. To me it doesn’t downgrade the rider’s ability to equitate or even handle her horse…

  21. alpmorgans says:

    please, we dont need to spice up out hunt ring anymore!!!!! compared to other breeds, we look like idiots.

  22. Flmorgan says:

    Don’t like the light colored Hunt coats either. Hunter is supposed to be conservative.
    Saddle pads not used in hunt seat classes. just does’t look correct to me.
    I would rather see spurs on a walk trotter than the child overmounted which is all too common.

    We use a thin braided rein on our Equitation Horses.

    Hunter horses that set their heads beautifully in a snaffe but looked down upon in a class because they are not shown in the full bridle. Why use a full bridle if the horse is light in the snaffle or pelham?

  23. Sue says:

    The light coats, dark breeches and over the top Hunt attire in Hunt Pleasure has been driving me nuts for years. When it was time to dress me daughter for hunt I had everything approved by a person very experienced in the PHA shows. She may not be the flashiest but she’s correct for any hunter ring. But as people will always let their opinion be known, I was told, quitfe loudly, at a show that she shouldn’t wear plain black hunt boots, and should have field boots. I was always taught that field boots are limited, plain black hunt boots always correct, so I went back to my expert. Plain black hunt boots always correct, BUT field boots with Shadbelly’s-absolute No No. That’s my pet peeve-informal boots with formal coats.
    Spurs on walk trotters-okay by me-some of thoswe walk trot horses are about as lazy as they come, and that’s a good thing-don’tneed the little ones hurt-but the saddle flaps are too long for the little legs to kick enough without losing their seats.
    I don’t think a braided rein is a problem, pebble reins offer as much assistance, but it’s not noticable.
    Any rein, bit, as long as it’s legal is okay with me. My classic horse goes in a false gag snaffle. Put it on him years ago when he was not real cooperative, and have left it on-he likes it and gets fussy if I take if off. If it works I leave it alone.

  24. lnmarsh says:

    I never felt like a braided rein signified a rider trying to “hang on.” If anything, they’re useful in the sense that 1.) at a glance, its easy to tell apart from a flat curb rein and 2.) they don’t slip through your glove like a flat rein does. Both of these points were previously mentioned by others :-) Also, I think it ads a little bit to the overall look.

    Regarding alpmorgans’s comment about not spicing up the hunt ring and looking like “idiots” compared to other breeds: The Morgan is a really special breed. We’ve usually done things a little differently than everyone else. For the most part, our hunt horses are pretty flashy anymore (Im not trying to turn this into a “English Pleasure horses in hunt” or “trotting above level in hunt,” etc. discussion, Im just stating a fact – good bad or ugly, it’s a fact). You can only “spice up” a hunt outfit so much, but I honestly think the colored coats are a breath of fresh air compared to the navy blue and hunter green that flooded the rings a few years back. This also addresses Flmorgan’s comment of “Hunter is supposed to be conservative.” It seems to me that unless you are riding saddleseat, the stigma is that you’re supposed to be conservative. The Morgan has, IMO, usually been considered as a “conservative” breed; the QH dominated the silver and flashy western stuff, the saddlebred dominated the hot and firey saddleseat horses with rider’s attire to match the hot and fireyness. The Morgan was always somewhere in-between, never quite taking it to the max or pushing the limits. I think its nice to see a hunt horse with a little bit of hock and a western horse move on a little. I think its nice to see eye-grabbing outfits, as long as they are tasteful. Ill agree that fire-breathing hunt horses with riders in bright orange jackets with crazy colored/striped shirts is just too much. But a little bit of “spice” dosnt hurt, IMO. Plus look at it this way – if you don’t like whats in the ring now, wait a season or two – it will all change LOL!

    And I agree with leslie – a white hunt coat? BLEH. I don’t find that to be tasteful at all.

    Thanks Stacy for the description of the bits and leslie for the link to the mule bit. I knew exactly what you were talking about when you said “false gag;” I usually hear people call them the Myler Dressage gag, but then again most horse people in my area are Dressage people. I have never thought about flipping the mule bit over so the “spikes” weren’t felt, but the breakage was still useful. That’s a great idea!

    Anyway… that’s just my $.02. I was not trying to call anyone out in this post – I was just giving my opinion to other’s comments. Im sure a lot of people disagree so Ill stop typing now lol.

  25. smskelly says:

    Coming from a background in hunters (open), dark breeches are schooling breeches. No (open) hunter person that I know of would be caught dead in the show ring wearing dark colored breeches. Anything resembling a shade of a red (including orange) for a hunt coat is a huge no-no.

    Question – by braided reins, does everyone really mean braided, or are we talking laced? I personally haven’t seen many braided reins in the Morgan world, but plenty of laced.

  26. snerland says:

    I have always used laced reins to prevent slippage’ however, I have also seen them held tighter than the regular show rein. In the old days (here I go again), when one used a braided rein, the judge assumed that the horse was difficult to control. In some ways this may still be true. A good eq rider can tell the difference in the reins by feel; to prove this point, where is the “dressing of the reins” in eq classes?

    Another pet peeve is the use of both spurs and whips. PLEASE just choose one. You do not need both.

  27. somedaysue says:

    A pet peeve of mine – gum chewing riders in the show ring!!! In fact, chewing while riding at any time is probably asking to have a choking incident.

  28. alpmorgans says:

    hahaha actually, its a prove fact that gum chewing helps with nerves anxiety. Since horses perform better when their riders are relaxed, and lot of people ride with gum. Chewing it constantly like a cow is obnixious though. I have a friend who always chews gum when she runs her barrel horse, and he runs best when she chews gum. :) Maybe its just a placebo, but hey, it works :)

  29. jns767 says:

    I don’t like the hooting and hollaring and high pitched (ridicluous) cat calls – pooow POOOW woooot WOOOOOT while people are riding. I know that it’s just a horse show thing, but still, really? I think it’s great when everyone is lined up in the middle, but during the actual action part of the class, not so much.

    I have a few more, but I think I’ll keep them to myself ;).

  30. cnovoto says:

    I will not give up my dark colored breeches! Why do the SS and western riders get to slim their legs with dark fabrics, but we are stuck in awful tan/beige/skin colored pants? The dark colors save me from the embarrassing looks I get when people are staring at my cellulite :/

  31. mikado12 says:

    I’ve always had a peeve about formal attire before evening classes (since I love clothing in general, I’m kind of a “Miss Manners” here). But this breach of etiquette has been going on since as long as I can remember (and I can remember quite a bit). People were wearing formal attire in the afternoon championship classes at Gold Cup in the early 70s–I was just a kid then, but that annoyed me! Oh well. Still, who doesn’t want to wear that really hot tux or shadbelly whenever ya get the chance? :-)

  32. mikado12 says:

    I don’t like nose, lip, eyebrow piercings in the show ring. I don’t care how tasteful you try to make it. I saw a girl in a hunt pleasure class a couple years ago with a very nice black nose piercing, and I don’t need to tell you what that looked like as she trotted around the arena. Take em out, for cryin’ out loud. :-)

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