Ridden Show Pony
1. These are judged in height classes which are normally in three categories:
i) Not exceeding 12.2hh
These are often split into 2 inch classes with the category (e.g. .13hh n.e. 13.2hh) and categories may be combined for championships (e.g. champion 12.2hh - 14.2hh).
2. The pony may be ridden by a child or an adult, although the overall impression is important so the pony should not appear to be either over mounted or under mounted. Both the rider and the pony should be well and professionally turned out, with the pony’s mane plaited and with the tail plaited or pulled.
3. These classes are the true realm of the Riding Pony so the pony itself must be one of real quality and refinement, although the type should vary somewhat between the different categories.
4. A show pony must be elegant, full of quality, free-moving with correct conformation, good manners and always exhibit true pony character.
5. Riders should know not to bunch when they go around the ring and to be aware of when the judge is taking a look at them, so that they can display the pony’s best paces. Riders should not deliberately ride in front of other competitors or attempt to get right under a judge’s nose, but should give the pony every chance to be viewed from a reasonable distance in a situation where it is relaxed and concentrating on the job at hand.
Workouts in show pony classes should demonstrate the pony’s ability at all paces. For the individual workout the pony should demonstrate that it is balanced, responsive and obedient, clearly giving the impression of a comfortable but spirited ride. If an extended trot is asked for it should be spectacular, with real extension, a slight snap of the knee and curl of the fetlock in front and active hock action behind.
An extended canter is usually included in the workout and this should demonstrate the ability to lengthen stride and really stretch out without any resistance or disobedience, especially when asked to come back to a normal canter. Ponies should be able to halt square and stand still on the spot. If a free workout is given, movements should be restricted to those which the pony and the rider can do well.
Tack should be suitable to the size of the pony and plaited browbands and rosettes are acceptable on the bridle, which should be elegant and well-fitted. A plain show saddle that is the right size for both the pony and the rider will help to give a balanced overall picture.