Show Report: ASAC, Clemson, SC

My first big saddleseat show. My first big-time show since longer than I wish to contemplate. In my three classes, I took first, second, and fourth. What can I say, I was feeling patriotic.

Driving home.
Driving home.

Academy Equitation Adult WT
In our first class, Lola had the wiggles. Her head would go one way, her feet another. At home, we have reached an agreement on going straight, but I was having trouble remember the correct passwords at the show. Despite feeling that my riding was the most mechanical of the day, this was the class we won.

Academy Showmanship Adult WT
In an intervening class with another student, Lola took exception to ringside signage. As we headed back in, I clamped my legs on her side to rule out a repeat. Fortunately, she took my driving aids as tribute to her awesome fabulousness and we marched around the ring in our own one-horse parade. The judge liked another rider better, but I thought this was our best round.

Academy WT 14 & Over Championship
Despite the title, the class was more in the nature of a final. All riders from earlier classes were qualified. The three adult competitors and the one entry from the 14-17 classes rode together.

While I was neither huffing nor puffing, I was tired enough that my concentration was slipping. I’d lose track of a heel here, a shoulder there. I had all the pieces, but not always at the same time.

I am terrifically proud of one point. The announcer called for a walk just as we rounded the corner of the ring. Hunt seat training says stop immediately. Saddleseat riding says you continue to the next corner before downshifting, I had gotten this wrong at my first saddleseat show. So, despite the rest of the class walking, the entire arena watching me trot, and my own deep misgivings, we trucked the entire length of the arena before walking. I remembered my lesson. I finished my pass.

In the end, the kid smoked the adults. The rest of the adults smoked me. However, it is a lot easier to absorb a loss with blue in your back pocket.

I was happy. The coach was happy. This will do until I am jumping again.

Spotted in the stands.
Spotted in the stands.

Sandra Hall Photography
2013 ASAC Spring Classic > Saturday Academy > classes 73, 77, & 80A

I hate how I look in photos, particularly in riding photos [Lights], but I like photos of friends and assume they enjoy mine. I am in yellow vest, brown pants, & helmet on a chestnut. I plan to order ASAC13-073-16. Not because of the ribbon, but because it’s a good picture of Lola & I look not unbearable. Lola declined to stand around for the standard presentation shot.

Look at, admire, but please do not download without payment to &/or permission from the photographer. A distressingly large number of folks feel that since there is no physical object involved, there is no harm in treating professional pictures as if they were Facebook shares. Unfortunately this does not pay the bills of the person standing in the middle of the ring all day taking the pictures. I have heard from several equine photographers who have stopped covering shows due to image misuse. I, for one, want to have these ladies and gentlemen around to take pics of me. Please respect the photographer’s copyright.

Spotted in the stands.
Spotted at the VIP table.


20 thoughts on “Show Report: ASAC, Clemson, SC

  1. Congrats! I hope you understand me when I say the riding style just looks completely wrong to me though. After looking at dressage for the last eight years, it is sooooooo different.
    People STEALING photographs is a pet peeve of mine too. The LSH did horse show photography for a couple of years and I still see his images being stolen for Facebook pages and “For Sale” adverts, despite Copyright notices & a watermarks.
    I could do a rant on that subject…

  2. “I hate how I look in photos, particularly in riding photos”

    Nonsense! It’s great to see you actually riding again … though I must agree with Magreenlee, that the style looks completely wrong. But that’s my own ignorance talking! Congrats and thanks for sharing the pics …. the photographer did a lovely (and mostly thankless) job!

  3. Actually, if you check out the structural dynamics, the style is identical to a proper dressage seat – bar the stirrup length. The saddle is positioning a bit differently, but the concept is the same. I thought the same but after watching 14 hours of kids, adults, horses and ponies going round and round, I did come to the realization that the general seat is the same for dressage, stock seat and hunters as well as saddle seat. Odd, no?

  4. good pix! you look good! i wrote to the photographer to ask if it would be ok to download a couple to my ‘friends’ folder, which is exclusively pix of friends, here and gone, just for me to look at. i would never use a photo from a professional without permission in a book or article.
    Since one of the primary aspects of riding is to stay in balance with your horse, some positions are going to carry over from one style to another, no matter how funny it may look.
    Katherine, again, you look good and you did a fantastic job. Congrats!! I look forward to seeing you ride over jumps again.

  5. Congrats! Love the photo, would have chosen the same one. Doesn’t hurt that there’s some blue satin waving in there, too!

    1. Something I learned about saddleseat: the photogs really know how to play up a win! They position the ribbon properly so that you can rack on down the victory lane and your lovely blue ribbon streams in the breeze.

  6. Agree and disagree with Kathie. YOUR position could easily translate to a dressage saddle. Your legs are underneath you. But some of your peers on the class (at least the class I looked at): eek! Never have been a fan of the sit-on-the-kidneys playing catch-up with your feet thing. But yes, I know it’s a novice class.

    Two other things I notice that were a mild surprise to me (not that I frequent Saddleseat shows): helmet acceptance seems to be somewhat better than I had feared (yay!), and I had no idea anyone showed with the double reins attached to a snaffle rig. Thought that was strictly for schooling and that you always showed in a double. But again, whadduIknow. Snaffles in the hands of novice riders = good….

    1. Then again, same could be said about seats in many of the dressage classes I’ve scribed for … And on the subject of helmets – I was rather shocked that they didn’t enforce helmets at least for the juniors. (Helmets were encouraged but not required). I agree – I definitely like the idea of a snaffle only with a novice rider – and those academy horses were really, really nice school horses.

      1. My understanding was that helmet compliance was just about zero in the saddleseat universe, Kathie, so any level of use is better than none. It’s a start. Way to be a role model, KTW!

        1. Right you are – any helmet is better than no helmet. I was just shocked that the juniors weren’t required to wear ’em. I shudder to think of liability issues.

        2. Helmet acceptance is becoming more wide spread in the saddle seat arena. I personally have gone kicking and screaming with that acceptance, but I don’t allow any students now to get on a horse without a helmet and of course, a waiver! Helmets are encouraged, but not required because in the performance classes we wear a derby or a top hat depending on the class and also, because we aren’t jumping (at least, not on purpose!)

          1. The quietest horse in the world can be stung by a bee,or have a spaz attack, and you’re flying solo. Helmets are needed in any discipline.

          2. You should be very proud of Katherine. She really was consistent, and it is great to see her back in the ring. I’m hoping to drop in (with pastries) when you’re in Conyers. Keep me posted. And congratulations to you on a really solid job with your students! Well done.

          3. Great to hear — I’m an eventer and thus a bit of a helmet Nazi at the best of times. And of course I have to point out that Courtney King-Dye wasn’t jumping, either, when she suffered her brain injury. In the space of a couple of years, that injury (fortunately or unfortunately) changed the opinion of helmets across the whole discipline of dressage … and it’s amazing how quickly we all got used to the new look in the competition arena.

          4. As a matter of fact, I’ve been scribing for one particular “O” judge (who will remain anonymous) who awards an extra “rider” point for FEI riders who wear helmets. Wish this were the rule, not the exception.

  7. Katherine really did a great job in her first show. What was most impressive to me was that she was very consistent in all 3 classes. She just did the job before her and handled her business!

  8. Everyone is too kind.

    It was awesome to be back at a horse show, any horse show. Of course, I’d rather be showing my own horse over jumps. But, perhaps, it is a good idea to get my show ya-yas worked out beforehand. Then, when I take Rodney to his first event, I have a better chance of being the calm & sensible half of the partnership.

    Helmets: Academy is a division for riding students. Schooling tack & some helmets are worn. In the suit classes, double bridles & derbies/top hats prevail. I saw one kid in a color-coordinated helmet in a performance class. Back in the dim dark, I used to show hunters in a hunt cap and sidesaddle in a top hat. I always wore a helmet with harness for jumpers and cross-country. I began all-helmet, all the time the first day I climbed aboard a cranky, athletic OTTB. Since then, I’ve had & heard of too many misses and near misses to go back.

    1. Many, many moons ago i was riding with a friend and we went on a trail that went through the woods. Along the path was a large, but shallow, puddle. My mare hating getting her feet wet, and as the puddle came closer she grabbed the bit in her teeth and went running through the woods. I lay pressed against her neck to avoid getting pulled off by a branch, but a low one caught me and I went flying. Hit a tree head first. Dented my helmet but I just got a headache. I should have gone to the ER, one should for any head injury, but i felt ok so we continued back to the barn – after my mare followed my friends horse through the puddle. It was about as deep as her fetlocks. If I even thought about riding without a helmet, I just remember that incident and the thought goes away. (My mare stopped after I fell off, as I knew she would)

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