Ok, so let’s talk about equipment. This one’s been on the plate to discuss for awhile. The truth is that we’ve all started somewhere when it comes to showing and every organization has a different set of rules when it comes to legal equipment. Whether you’re new to ASHA or just need a refresher, let’s talk about what’s allowed in the show ring and what’s not.
So maybe you’ve made the mistake of walking into the show pen using some of the illegal equipment listed above. Maybe you forgot to remove a cavesson from the warm-up. Or maybe you’ve been roping most of your life and a tie-down is something you wouldn’t have thought not to ride in. Whatever the reason, it happens, but just keep in mind that the judge reserves the right to disqualify you if they see you are using illegal equipment. The judge and show management also reserves the right to require equipment checks either before you enter the ring or after. Showing in illegal equipment can lead to disqualification or if even being asked to leave the show grounds if it is deemed too inhumane.
Having equipment rules makes sure that our horses are treated humanely and that all riders are riding on an even playing field. If you have any questions about what equipment is legal or illegal, reach out to a friend, a CoWN officer, or a CoWN board member and they will be happy to answer your questions. Just make sure you’re familiar with the equipment rules because, after all, does that win really feel so good if you weren’t playing by the rules?
We have all been to a show and the warm-up pen is chaos. A very important part of the show is the warm-up so let’s talk about warm-up pen etiquette. Protocol may vary slightly by venue, discipline, or event but overall warm-up pen etiquette is simple – good manners. Keeping your head up and an eye on what is going on throughout the pen will help keep yourself safe but also your fellow riders.
Be courteous to the other riders when entering the arena. Please don’t mount or dismount your horse where others are moving. Travel in the same direction of other horses. If you are riding past another rider going the opposite direction pass like you are driving a car – left shoulder to left shoulder. Being polite in a warm-up pen can go a long ways.
We know that everyone needs to warm up so having some respect for other riders will allow for everyone to accomplish their goals. Please don’t lung your horse in the warm-up pen; head to a lunging area for this task. Also, don’t tailgate another horse. Give them at least 8 feet between you and the other horse. This gives yourself enough room to maneuver away from trouble if needed. On that note, please do not stop your horse in main traffic. The inside of the circle is for slower speeds while the outside is to go faster. If the majority of horses are walking and you need to lope then move to the outside. If riders start to line up on the short wall of the arena then its fencing time. Please stay out of the middle and proceed to the corners or long walls. If you are fencing yell “heads up” if someone is in your way as to not cause an accident. It’s important to get your horse warmed up but we want everyone to be safe while doing it.
All in all, we want everyone to have a great show. It’s important to have a sense of humor and be courteous towards all riders. This may be the first show for some riders and some may not understand proper warm-up pen etiquette. Please be courteous to other riders and no cell phone use in the arena. Please have respect for other riders and use common sense. If everyone follows these guidelines we will have a safe, productive warm-up pen and show.
Arena Etiquette: What is appropriate in the warm-up pen? Carroll Brown Arnold
Americas Horse Daily. Warm up to Etiquette: Part 1.
If you’ve ever shown in NRHA, NRCHA, NCHA, AQHA or other national organizations, you may have grown accustom to a different scoring system. The American Stock Horse Association follows their own scoring system, and for many it takes a bit to get used to. The ASHA has developed a scoring system that is relatively easy to follow and according to the handbook it is designed to be “positive and straight forward – always encouraging growth and improvement”. ASHA uses a positive score based system that gives horses credit for what they do accomplish, rather than disqualifications with zero scores.
The scoring system gives a score of 1 to 10 for each maneuver that is completed in all ASHA classes. If a maneuver is not attempted or a portion of a course is omitted, the judge can give the horse a score of 0. If a maneuver or portion of a class is even attempted, even with little success, the judge must give that horse at least a score of 1. For example, if you decide your horse isn’t ready for the bridge and completely avoid it in the trail course, you receive a 0 for the bridge but receive a score for every other obstacle and an overall score for the class. Another good example is if you go into your reining pattern, completely blank (don’t worry, we’ve all done it), and only spin 3 times left when the pattern called for 4 spins left, you still attempted your spins and will receive a score for the spins you completed. The basic breakdown of the scoring for each attempted maneuver is as follows:
1 to 4 – the maneuver included major faults
5 to 7 – the maneuver was of average quality
8 to 10 – the maneuver was of high quality
A horse can only be disqualified by the judge for illegal equipment, obvious lameness, or inhumane treatment or misconduct from the rider. If you aren’t sure what is considered legal or illegal equipment, refer to the ASHA handbook… or we might just cover that in another newsletter!
If you fall off or your horse falls in a run, your run is ended when you or the horse hits the ground. Hopefully this never happens to you but the good news if it does, is your horse still receives a score for all work completed up to the point of the fall. A horse is considered to have fallen when all four feet are facing the same direction (and not in the upright position!). In the event that your equipment fails or becomes unsafe during a run, your run is stopped but your horse still receives credit for all work completed up to that point.
The judging rule most often confused in the scoring system is the use of two hands with a curb bit, using more than one finger in between split reins with a curb, or using any fingers in between romel reins. Any of these result in a two point deduction in run content for each occurrence during a run. Continuous use of two hands on the reins with a curb bit is considered a major fault and the judge is required to reflect this in the maneuver score.
One last thing that’s important to note; if you ever notice that the scores on the printed class score tabulations don’t match the judge’s written scores, they must be reported to the show secretary immediately. It is very difficult to correct errors in class score tabulations after the show or once all classes are complete and the overall scores are calculated.
It's no lie when we say CoWN is growing! Our shows are getting bigger and because of that, there's a lot more entries to deal with. There are a few things you can do to make sure the entry process is as simple as possible and the show secretary's job isn't any harder than it already is.
Most of the entry forms are in PDF format which requires you to print and hand write them. When you submit entry forms, be sure to print clearly to ensure legibility. You could also try a handy PDF editing software like PDFescape. It's totally free!
Make sure that your entry forms are completely filled out. Names, organizations numbers, and contact information are pretty important. If you don't include contact information, we can't contact you if there's an issue with your entry or even if there's a show cancellation! If you need your organization numbers, check out the member resources on the CoWN website here.
Although we all have cell phones, taking a picture of your entry isn't an acceptable format to submit. If you don't have a scanner and have to use your phone, try using a photo to PDF converter like CamScanner. It's also totally free, available for iPhone, Android, iPad, and even Windows 8! It will take your poorly lighted photo and reshape and brighten it into a clearer and crisp PDF! Pretty handy.
One last thing... if you enter a show and don't show or cancel, you are still required to pay your cattle and office fees. If you don't pay these fees, you may be blocked from entering any future shows until your outstanding balance is resolved. If you have to cancel due to lameness, make sure you have a note from your veterinarian and work with the show secretary on entry fees.
For the majority of us, tracking points is relatively straight forward... that's assuming you actually understand how to track points which, we all know is a feat in itself. If you do know, you can usually figure out where you stand at a show, in CoWN standings, in the regional standings, and in the national standings. But for those of us showing in certain divisions, tracking points can be a bit more complicated.
Currently, our parent organization, ASHA, only recognizes the primary divisions of Open, Non-Pro, Limited Non-Pro, Novice, Green Horse, and Youth. As an affiliate of ASHA , CoWN must always offer these divisions. However, CoWN also reserves the right to break these divisions out further, even though ASHA won’t recognize the secondary division. For divisions recognized by CoWN but not by our national organization, ASHA, your standings with CoWN won't match your national standings.
The divisions that currently fall under these circumstances are the Green Horse and Youth divisions. CoWN has split the Green Horse and Youth divisions out further into rider classifications, to make it more equitable for the horse and riders. Green Horse is split into open and non-pro divisions, so that non-professionals don't have to compete directly against professionals. Youth is split between 13 year olds and under and 14 to 18 year olds, so that younger youth do not have to compete directly against the older youth.
Unfortunately for riders in these divisions, because ASHA does not yet recognize the split between rider classifications, all riders competing in these divisions are grouped into their primary division for point tracking purposes. That means that all riders competing in the Green Horse, both non-pro and open, are grouped together for point calculation under ASHA. All riders competing in the youth, both 13 and under and 14 to 18 are also grouped together for point calculation under ASHA.
Fortunately, what this does mean for riders in these divisions is that even if you aren’t sitting where you might want to be under ASHA due to being grouped with all other riders in the Green Horse or Youth division, you could be sitting pretty well with CoWN! So even if you’re not champion in the nation, you could still be champion with CoWN. And even if you’re neither… you’re still champion in our hearts!
If you’re still not quite sure why your national or regional standing differs from your CoWN standing, let us know, refer to your ASHA and CoWN handbooks, or discuss with one of your board members.