Showing In Hand
Most of you will know that I don’t ride due to an old injury, so when I discovered showing in hand I knew it was perfect for me and my pony Paddy who is a 14:2hh gyspy cob, he is stunning with a long flowing mane and tail and white feathers which are a nightmare to clean in winter I must admit!
Now it’s coming in to nicer weather its show season (hooray!) Although I don’t show in hand as much as I use to due to work commitments I still enjoy popping to the odd local show and I use to be part of the CHAPS society which is the official coloured horse and pony society a great network for all of you who have coloured horses and want to start showing/ competing.
So what is showing in hand?
Showing in hand is basically what it sounds like you get to show off your horse/pony to the judge, you have to dress really smart and your pony has to look really smart and clean to. You have to have the right tack which was usually a leather head collar of bridle and a white or leather lead when showing in hand. It use to take me hours to get Paddy clean he just loved mud and you can guarantee he was always covered head to toe in it. The day before the show I would always bath paddy and shampoo his mane and tail it use to take me around 6-8 hours to get him clean then another 3-4 hours to comb all his mane and tail out and get all his white bits white, but this was the fun part it’s a great way to bond with your horse or pony and Paddy loved it.
What requirements do you and your pony need to show in hand?
Firstly if you wish to be a part of the CHAPS society you need to have a coloured horse or pony! But if you don’t, then don’t worry there is lots of shows out there for you to be involved in!
There aren’t many requirements and I suppose it’s up to you if you’re in it to win it or just to have fun! If you’re in it to win it then your horse has to look the part, they have to be the right weight, not lame and physically able to trot around the ring, they have to have good manners, when Paddy first started showing in hand he was very young and use to nudge me all the time which wasn’t acceptable, your horse/ pony has to be calm and collected.
Me & paddy register to be a part of the CHAPS society a few years ago and attended some shows under the CHAPS rules, which was all great fun and really enjoyable and a huge learning curve! It was all very official and Paddy had to be measured professionally so we entered the right class.
We did a big show in Harrogate one year and Paddy came 3rd in ‘best in hand’ I was so proud of him and all the hard work I had put in over the years really paid off! I was super happy and the rosette is still hung up on my wall proudly.
Showing in hand or in general is an amazing experience and you learn lots along the way!
If you are showing in hand this summer than have fun & good luck! X