Ask the Judge: bad transitions, crossing stirrups, dogs at horse shows and more 

A horse or pony (or the rider) jogs back into the ring and stumbles. The reins are dropped and the horse or pony gets loose. Are they eliminated? No. Simply catch the horse or pony and then have them re-jog and everything is good to go. In a handy hunter class a trot jump is called for, but while transitioning down from the canter, a horse walks. How serious is that ? Serious. They need to come down to the trot – no walk or halt. How do you feel about a rider spending a lot of time petting their horse before starting their course? Save it for a reward at the end. It usually means that the horse is edgy or nervous, and this will show up somewhere on course. In a rated division in an under-saddle class, would you pin an unbraided horse over a braided one? If the…

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