A First-Ridden Show Pony or Show Hunter Pony is one which is suitable as the first pony for a child once he or she is able to ride without a lead rein. It must therefore still be a calm and very well mannered pony with enough good paces to encourage the rider. The height limit is 12.2hh and the riders must be 5 years & under 12 years old.

Views differ a little as to what type of pony is best suited to this class. Some people feel that the emphasis should be on the very quiet ‘schoolmaster’ type, without it being stuffy or sluggish or constantly needing to be kicked on, whilst moving along well so that the child rider will gain sufficient experience to be able to move into the open ridden classes while others feel that that First Ridden should be a very bright mover. What is important is that the pony must be, and look, a safe, confidence giving conveyance, as befits a pony that will give a child the first taste of riding alone. The pony must do willingly, everything the rider asks of it and nothing more. The child must be seen to be in control and to have to ask the pony to do things.

Ponies must be shown in a snaffle bridle and, on the circle should only be shown at walk and trot. First Ridden Ponies are not to be cantered on the circle. The rider may carry a whip or cane of length not exceeding 75cms. No spurs are allowed in his class.

Cantering is permitted in the workout but it is not expected that a First Ridden would canter a figure of eight. The pony must go forward willingly and be able to strike off into canter on the correct lead.

The ideal First Ridden Show Pony should have the elegance and refinement expected of a show pony and the ideal First Ridden Show Hunter Pony should exhibit the substance and temperament expected of a good Show Hunter Pony. As in all Riding Pony classes, conformation, paces and straightness of action are important.

Ponies competing in First Ridden are eligible to compete in Show Pony Ridden/Show Hunter Pony Ridden and Riding Pony Ridden by a Child classes.

Photo: Rushworth Photos

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