Compiled with help from members of the Facebook group:
British Model Horse Collectors
The question asked was ...
What advice would you offer to those attending live shows for the first time?
Nothing wrong with showing you're happy with a placing or a championship.... I cried once!
Remember to 'give the judge some room' ... when the class is closed don't hang around the rings and get in the way. Nothing wrong with watching but don't get under the judges feet.
Remember to LISTEN to the show holder or ring steward - only add models or remove models if you have been asked to do so.
Most important listen to the steward, they know what is going on and can tell you what classes are next
If you must take small children/pets/parents along make sure they know not to touch or get in the way etc.
As pointed out give judges plenty of room ....one thing I hate is starting to judge a class and people are floating around the table taking photos there's normally plenty of time to take them after.
When adding your models to the rings don't *plonk* it down in front of someone else's ... if the ring is full ask the show holder or steward to help you find a spot.
Don't make the tables rock. ..too many horses could break...!!!
Try not to be a sore loser - The judges word is final...I've not seen this happen though at the live shows I've been to :o)
Bring plenty of bubble wrap ...you will always go home with a newbie ....I know its not etiquette but it always happens.
From what I've learnt: Be polite, listen & acknowledge any help/tips that are given and not be afraid to talk to people!
Placings depend on 'what else is on the table' on THAT day - if your model doesn't win or place don't loose heart, your day will come
In Performance Classes remember the basics:
Feet in Stirrups
Reins held correctly (hard I know)
Girth done up tight
Bridle straps out of horses eyes
Bit in corners of mouth
In Show Jumping or X-country classes; Red flag on right - White on left
I judge a lot of performance classes, please please please make sure your English style rider does NOT have twisted stirrups (it is a pet hate of mine).
READ the show schedule and rules BEFORE the show - and if you have any questions try and ask the show holder in plenty of time.
Oh yeah.... no posh rugs for entries in the Arab costume class. It's a class not a scene.
When you're at the show remember to store all your packing boxes and other 'live show essentials' neatly under your table if you can - and keep all walkways free.
Check to make sure you have everything packed the day before and bring a little 'rescue/repair' box with things like extra tags and ties, touch up paints in nature tones.
Look up show etiquette as there are plenty of websites out there, it helps believe me most of all have fun
Don't be afraid to talk to the other entrants - they won't bite you
Wear appropriate clothing. There is lots of bending over at live shows and everyone takes photos - wear something that will avoid embarrassment.
Yes appropriate clothing! And comfortable shoes...I made that mistake at a show this year wore flat shoes and my feet felt like they were on fire! Other advice would be to listen to the judges if they offer advice on your horses/set ups or to ask for advice (particularly with performance) if you horse doesn't place, sometimes judges can spot things you missed!
And ALWAYS carry sticky wax! And a pen....and don't steal pens by accident. Pack well before and make a check list that you have everything! Common things I forget are my breed cards and sticky wax....Oh and don't forget your camera!
But don't panic too much if you have forgotten one of the little essentials as someone would always lend you a pen or bit or wax, or paper for a hastily written breed card.
Well it's not etiquette really but I would say remember to write down your placings on the results sheets provided for the sanity of the show holder!
Don't be frightened to ask for advice - from fellow showers or judges (providing they're not busy of course!). You can find out loads of things just by asking.
Don't take your horse out of the ring too fast - let others get a chance to see who won and it lets the photographers get those show photos
If you go to shows don't rush off straight after (or even before) the supreme championship. If you're not travelling too far, make a point of staying behind and helping to put tables away and sweep the floor - it really helps the organizer!
Get a table in the middle of people - You make more friends! And complement other peoples ponies as it always starts off a conversation
- Try to help pack up the hall afterwards - the show holder will be very grateful of any help.