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Thread: Equestrian and Horse Show

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    Banned Pratters's Avatar
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    Equestrian and Horse Show

    National Equestrian Championships and 58th Calcutta Horse Show will be held in our city over this week. I am looking forward to going on Saturday as I love going for different sports events being a sports freak.

    What do I look forward to in an Equesterian championship? Is it a good watch? Any tips on offer?

    Also, what do you look for in a horse show?

    Thanks.

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    Hall of Fame Member Smudge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pratters View Post
    Also, what do you look for in a horse show?
    Horses.

    Happy to help.

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    Banned Pratters's Avatar
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    Hehe.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Simon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pratters View Post
    National Equestrian Championships and 58th Calcutta Horse Show will be held in our city over this week. I am looking forward to going on Saturday as I love going for different sports events being a sports freak.

    What do I look forward to in an Equesterian championship? Is it a good watch? Any tips on offer?

    Also, what do you look for in a horse show?

    Thanks.
    Sorry to hear it, my fiance does has a couple of horses and is into equestrian etc.. It is unbelievably boring for those who arent passionate about it.


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    Hall of Fame Member Smudge's Avatar
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    Couldn't help myself. Anyway, I expect it's similar to the shows we have here - which may well be dressage, cross-country and showjumping (although unsure if there would be cross-country at the Indian show). Flem274* is a flouncy equestrian rider from way back, so is your best man to ask. I should know something about dressage, considering my dad and his wife built a dressage arena in their back paddock for her, but - sadly, I don't.

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    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    Sorry to hear it, my fiance does has a couple of horses and is into equestrian etc.. It is unbelievably boring for those who arent passionate about it.
    Yeah, more or less this. Dressage is actually quite impressive, and very clever, but to watch I find it generally very boring. As I do with most horse related things to be honest. But at least with something like show jumping there can be a bit of tension towards the end of a run if a few hurdles get knocked down etc... Should at least be a reasonable day out mind you.

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    It's awesome at the Olympics, can get so tense but never watched it outside that and tbh usually have no idea what's going on.
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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Flem274*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pratters View Post
    National Equestrian Championships and 58th Calcutta Horse Show will be held in our city over this week. I am looking forward to going on Saturday as I love going for different sports events being a sports freak.

    What do I look forward to in an Equesterian championship? Is it a good watch? Any tips on offer?

    Also, what do you look for in a horse show?

    Thanks.
    Will reply to this properly in a bit. Do you know whats being shown? Eventing? Showjumping? Dressage? All have their own aspects so get back to me.
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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Flem274*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pratters View Post
    National Equestrian Championships and 58th Calcutta Horse Show will be held in our city over this week. I am looking forward to going on Saturday as I love going for different sports events being a sports freak.

    What do I look forward to in an Equesterian championship? Is it a good watch? Any tips on offer?

    Also, what do you look for in a horse show?

    Thanks.
    Right here I go, I'll try.

    What do you look forward to in an Equestrian Championship? Well the depends on what you're watching. I'm guessing that it will be dressage and/or showjumping, can't see eventing being a good idea in the heat of India. It's a shame as the cross country phase is the most accessible for casual fans to get into and the easiest for them to appreciate and see the challenges.

    I'll do a brief explanation of the three formats:

    Dressage: Pretty straightforward to understand. You go in a ring and perform a test. This is generally the hardest format for casual fans to get into. It's not exactly an exhilarating adrenaline fest for the fans, but as I rider I personally find I'm under the most pressure in this ring because of the demand for getting it right 100% of the time and you don't have the adrenaline burst of jumping to take away your nerves. Horses can pick up very quickly when the rider is nervous and they get nervous and generally go worse, so it's a vicious circle.

    I don't think you'll like dressage much. Without wanting to sound a snob, those that haven't ridden will miss the subtle commands completely so its only really a sport to watch for those that know whats going on. If you can tolerate dressage then just chill and watch the horses really, look for the nice, relaxed (ha! but I wont bring up modern vs classic dressage debates here ), obedient horses. You might find you're confused by the winner as you thought someone else was better. Welcome to dressage. I'd be willing to bet at the level you'll be watching the judges will have biases towards certain techniques/horses/riders just like they do here (unless you're watching three or four star dressage, where the judges get fired if they're douches, though India not being a powerhouse in Equestrian, maybe the pricks will follow.)

    Have I turned you off modern dressage yet?

    Onto showjumping we go.

    Showjumping involves, unsurprisingly, jumping. If you knock poles you incur time faults and falling off earns elimination. Being a national competition the highest level should at least be three star, four if its an international competition. 3 Star Horse Grand Prix is generally around 1.40-1.50m with four star being 1.60m. Oxers (The jumps which involve two uprights set close together to make a wide jump) are allowed to be as wide as they are high, and triple bars are even bigger. This varies between countries though but if India complies with the rest of the world then you'll be looking at some very tall jumps.

    I'll try and briefly explain (probably badly) a little bit of riding technique so when stuff goes wrong you can see why (in technical ways, not just the horse shying, which they shouldnt anyway at this level). The horse needs to go quickly of course to have the momentum to get over the obstacle, but as a horse gets faster it elongates and it becomes harder for the horse to get its legs underneath it to jump. This is reffered to as being "flat". Being flat can vary in degrees of course and result in anything from a knocked rail to plowing into it. The goal is to have both forward and upward momentum. The horses that seem to be in a more compact position will generally jump better than those stretched out like a worm.

    Riders use an upright body position to keep the horse balanced, their seat will vary whether they're riding a warmblood or thoroughbred. Thoroughbred riders will be slightly out of the saddle whilst warmblood riders will be seated because warmbloods require more pushing with the legs. Oh yeah, leg is more than kicking. Riders will only kick to change the speed of the pace (the paces are walk, trot, canter, gallop) or if they're grumpy its all about varying degrees of leg pressure. Not enough and the horse will arrive at the fence at a dribble and likely stop, too much and they'll arrive there flat. how much leg to use is related to body position and the other bit I haven't mentioned which is hands. Hands control the head, NOT steering. If the head is pointing out like a spike the horse is more likely to be flat but if its pulled to far in then its a barrier to forward momentum. Having the horse "on the bit." Engages all that power in balance.

    Okay I've just realised that all of what I've said above, along with poorly explained, is kinda needless and excessive basically pair yourself up with someone who knows stuff when you're there and you'll understand whats happening more. I'd avoid dressage though some of the moves are pretty impressive, depends on the test. Freestyle Dressage to music is pretty cool. Eventing, just briefly, has dressage, cross country, showjumping. You'll like cross country. In Inida I'd back the thoroughbreds to dominate because of the ridiculous heat out on the cross country course. Even if the warmbloods are winning after dressage I'd back a few to throw a tantrum out on course once it gets tough. Cross country is a slightly different form of jumping again which I wont torture you with an explanation for.

    Don't be fooled into thinking the biggest, prettiest, most expensive horse will win either (well, excpet in dressage ) Its just as much heart as it is talent, and the riders ability and their relationship with the horse. Riding is a very mental battle. They have to be calm and not ride emotionally. Anyway I'll shut up. Just enjoy yourself and i hope the competition is close and that you have a good time.

    Oh one last tip, just be aware that in semi-pro sport armchair critics (there's one at every show) get offered a horse and an entry. are you staying the night there? Over here even pro riders are pretty approachable, and I'm talking Olympians *name drop gloat mode* like Mathew Grayling and Heelan Tompkins, whom I've even gone out for dinner with once (Taranaki jumperz 4 lyf). Might be different in India though, I know in England sometimes it can be a bit snobby. Because it's semi-pro sport drinking and socialising is heavily encouraged after a big day out so if you make some friends during the day then you might find yourself in for a big night.

  10. #10
    Hall of Fame Member Smudge's Avatar
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    Good analysis. Shame about the use of 10 smilies...

    Have you heard of a former showjumper (rider that is) with the last name Wild, Flem?

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    Banned Pratters's Avatar
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    I went to the race course in the morning. Today is the final day of events. There will be showjumping and six some thing. What is six some thing. Then there will be prize distributions.

    I'll try and mix with the fans and riders and have a good night out with them. That's an excellent idea. I met a man in suit who explained me a bit about today's events. Sprinting was at 6.30 AM, so I missed that. I will be going for show jumping and the other six event thing in the after noon and really look forward to it.

    It is quite cool in the winters in Kolkata, so perfect for sport.

    Thanks a lot for your input, Flem.
    Last edited by Pratters; 05-02-2010 at 08:48 PM.

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    So what do you test in show jumping? How high a horse can jump?

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    I went yesterday with my best friend from school. Really enjoyed the whole thing. The six some thing whatever it was was a sprint oif four horses taking a piece of paper via a pole from the ground. That was interesting. Show jumping was awesome. I went where the photographers were standing and took some nice photos, mixed with a few jockeys and had a nice time out. The Kolkata Race Course grounds are really very awesome.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Flem274*'s Avatar
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    Glad you enjoyed it. Especially the showjumping. Generally it can come off as quite sterile considering its over very, very quickly.

    Was going to guess the six thing was a six bar competition, which are usually done on ponies and very spectacular to watch. (Pretty simple: a line of six jumps that each combo goes down. Knock a pole and you're out, after each round the height is raised.) but it sounds like Equestrian Games type stuff to me from your description, and I know nothing about Games except that on my old horse barrel racing was a danger to my knees.

    Showjumpings test is technique in a relatively small area. Riders and horses have to be very quick in their movements and their decisions, and one mistake can screw you over for the rest of the course. One of the big tricks is to make damn sure you establish the rythym you want before going through the start flags and keep it over the first three fences or you'll be fiddling for it when you're supposed to be playing whats in front of you. A bit like a batsman worrying about his foot movement or something in the middle of a test innings.

    Anyway, glad you enjoyed it.

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    Banned Pratters's Avatar
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    I loved the rhythm of the jumps in show jumping. I saw from very close from where a couple of photographers were present which gave me a great view. Thanks again mate.
    Last edited by Pratters; 10-02-2010 at 04:00 PM.



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