USEF Pony Classes

USEF Pony classes have got to be the most confusing division. It seems like the information is scattered and conflicting. So I went right to the source and asked.

This is for USEF/USDF Rated dressage shows.

First, even if you are riding a pony, you can show in any class you want and any division (AA, JR/YG, or Open). You aren’t relegated to only pony class. This is the statement I was given when asked if a pony can enter regular classes, “The only time you need a pony measurement card is if you enter a class specifically limited to ponies. A pony without a measurement card can always enter any class open to horses.”

If you do enter the Pony Division, then a USEF Dressage Pony Measurement Card is required.

The rider can be any age (I have this on fact). I believe they can be either amateur or professional. I couldn’t find any conditions on status of the rider, other than they have to be members of USEF.

Membership Requirements:

The owner must be a USEF member and the horse must be recorded with the USEF (either annual or lifetime) in order to compete in a pony class.

Pony Measurement Card:

You can get the cards from most rated shows. You have to let the show know that you need your pony measured so that they can coordinate the times and location. The show has to get a veterinarian to assist with the measurement (they won’t measure a lame horse).

The fee for measurement will not exceed $100. The $100 fee is split between the ponies getting measured. Meaning, if there’s only one pony being measured then that pony pays the $100 fee, two ponies, 50/50 split, etc. The fee is to pay for the veterinarian.

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If anyone see’s any inaccuracies or has additional information they’d like to add, please leave a comment below.

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Where did all the people come from?!

All winter it was just me and one other girl (and her mother) at the barn. The barn was quiet, solitary… a haven after a long day at work.

Not so much anymore… What was once a sleepy little boarding facility, is now a noisy, clausterphobic cluster of squirming bodies. Suddenly everyone has come out of the woodwork to ride and play with their horse.

I love the die hards. There’s a new girl that seems very serious about her riding. She’s friendly, but stays on task and moves with a purpose. She’s always quick with a smile, and those rare moments she’s just standing there she can anticipate where you’re going and clear a path.

The casual riders frustrate me. I try not to feel that way, but I only have a short period of time to spend with my horse each day and having someone get hurt feelings because I’m not willing to stand in one spot and talk for 2 hours is frustrating to me. And I get frustrated that they seem to have a billion excuses about why their precious horse can’t behave. To top it off, they have no sense of the flow of things. They stand directly in the path of your horse, seemingly unaware you’re heading straight at them. There’s always a zone about 20 feet around them where you will get stuck in their choas.

We’ve got one lady at the barn whom I utterly adore. She talks, a lot, but she’s completely self-sufficient in her conversations. I can be as introverted as I want, yet get the entertainment of her stories. And it never phases her if I suddenly walk off to go get something. Everyone at the barn loves her. She’s so sunny and positive, but with a splash of dark humor that catches you off guard when it shows up (in a good way).

In addition, the barn owners are attempting to transform themselves into a full service “Lesson Barn”. This means every couple of weeks a new “lesson” horse arrives, which they plucked out of a field for free, or extremely low cost. Most of these horses have some behavioral or physical issue that make them unsuitable as lesson horses. The owners persevere. Their optimism is baffling, yet almost contagious.

With the new lesson program comes non-horse people. Those are the worst. They block the whole aisle, their children run unsupervised, their cars take up the only spot to turn a trailer around at. They think horses are motorcycles that happen to eat carrots, and blindly stumble up to my horse as she pins her ears and snakes her head at them. I am on guard constantly to both protect my horse and the ignorant people.

I miss the quiet of winter. Where the few die hards come out to ride and share battle stories, then retreat to warmer places. I had to remind myself the other day that as soon as the weather gets a little harsh these people will run home. Then us die hards will have our barn to ourselves again.

I registered for a Rated Show

I am officially entered in a rated show! Woo Hoo! I have three weeks to become a dressage super star.

Ha! I just freaked myself out.

I signed up for Second Level Test 2 and Test 3. I debated for several agonizing hours over which level to do, and which tests. The safe bet would’ve been First 3 and Second 1. But… I really have a blast in the last two Second level tests. Those two tests are fast paced and challenging, and when Ava is “on” she can make the movements seem effortless and floaty. Of course, when we’re not “on”, we can really make a mess of it. Anyway, I settled on ‘fun’ rather than safe. I may regret that later. 😉

I should probably clip Ava this week. And I need a real stock tie for this event. I lost my show glooves somewhere… I’m hoping they’re just misplaced. I need to memorize the tests to a T before the show. I have so much work to do!!

I’m so excited!

Article on fitting english saddles

I have no affiliation to horse.com… just putting that out there up front.

I was sent a link to an article on fitting english saddles. When I purchased my new-to-me saddle over the winter I read up (a lot) on how to fit the saddle to the horse.  What I like about this article is that it also talks about how to fit the saddle to the rider. I wish I had known that earlier.  So, for those of you looking at saddles this summer, check out the guide for a quick overview.

Guide to English Saddles:
http://www.horse.com/horse-articles/guide-to-english-saddles/9745/

I was also surprised to learn that horse.com actually has numerous articles covering lots of different topics. They don’t seem to have a clear navigation to the articles, so I’ll post the link to the full list and you can browse around if you want.

List of all articles on horse.com:
http://www.horse.com/horse-articles/