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Pony Finals??? ...What to expect? ...Recommendations and input? Greens AND Regulars

Hello All!

This will be our first and likely last year for Pony Finals - my daughter is going in the regulars… Sadly, she is quickly outgrowing the ponies :no:!

Our trainer, while accomplished at the A and AA level, is admittedly not specifically a pony trainer, much less Pony Finals experienced and will be elsewhere with others from her program.

Another mom from our barn is considering sending her daughter in the greens (our girls are bffs and very supportive of each other). Sidebar - The other mom and I are working on our best trainer options…

That aside, it seems that even if we use the same trainer, the girls and their ponies will not be there at the same time :cry:. Infact, it appears that their ponies can’t even be at the KHP at the same time. The greens go at the beginning of the week and then must leave as the regular/ division come in for the latter part of the week. The girls will certainly be in town to support one another. …Perhaps we moms and respective ponies will have to pass in the night and swap kids & ponies? How have other people/ trainers/ barns handled this? …Thoughts?


[B]What should we expect from the week?

What should we make sure to do or not do?

Recommendations / best practices - re: preparation, schooling, activities… anything else???

…We want this to be the best possible experience that it can be since it will likely be their only Pony Finals opportunity…


They only show on different days, but the ponies can stay all week no matter when they show. In fact, I go two weeks ahead and show at the 2 Kentucky Summer Shows and then stay through Pony Finals and the week after.

So no fear, the girls can hang all week and enjoy Finals together. It’s a very fun show.

Make sure to have fun, win or lose. That’s the most important thing.

The show management is usually very good about organizing lots of activities for all the pony kids, so they can have lots of fun, whether or not they are competitive.

Kids will be kids, so they can surprise you in a good way or a bad way in the ring. Same goes for the ponies. If you go primarily to have fun, everything else that happens in the show ring is icing on the cake.

Good luck! :slight_smile:

They definitely can stay all week like llsc said. There are lots of activities to do at the park. Be sure to go to the museum which is at KHP and tour the barns. Pick up a schedule as the breed shows run about three times a day-really worth watching.

I also recommend the Thoroughbred farm bus tour that leaves from KHP. It runs for about three hours but provides an awesome tour of three different farms.

I would recommend renting a golf cart as the park is huge!! There is even a golf cart decorating contest at the end of the week.

Your girls can take the Emerson Burr horsemanship test at the USHJA office. They can also preview the auction ponies one afternoon.

Keep the list of rules and schedule with you. I know green ponies need to be registered by noon on the Monday. Get in line at the show office as soon as you can with all your paperwork. You can also give an open check for warm up trips in one of the beautiful rings.

Good luck to them. It is definitely something pony kids should do if they have the opportunity. :slight_smile:

Pony Finals can get to a lot of otherwise non spooky ponies. They pick up on the atmosphere, the kids are nervous, the ring is big and people are sitting above them. Be sure not to miss the allotted time allowed to hack in the main ring and approach anything spooky…the scoreboard, the stands, etc, from all sort of angles. You may have to jump into the crowd down a diagonal line or face the flags/scoreboard/banners head on so don’t let the kids just ride the rail the whole time.

Do a little more with the pony in the morning on the days you show than normal, even on hack and model day. You see a lot of fresh ponies that are antsy in the model and too fresh in the hack.

There are usually bending lines so practice those at home and make sure kids understand the concept of floating out or going more direct to make adjustments in the line rather than just pulling/kicking.

Make sure the ponies can go cold into a spooky ring with spooky jumps without a warmup class or schooling in the ring. A lot of green ponies get insecure in that big ring with all the decorations.

Only the exhibitor can ride the pony during the week so if your trainer has been tuning up the pony or prepping it in the morning, it would be good to practice having the kids do everything at the shows leading up to the PF.

Or not. Best make sure it’s not at the USEF office like it was last year. They are both on the property but not exactly next to each other.

Strongly urge you to settle the trainer issue ASAP, PF is not conducted like other shows and the more you can be prepared ahead of time, the better. The whole “sudden death” concept with just a single jumping round, a model and a hack takes a little adjusting to. So do the ticketed warm ups in the Stoneleigh and Claiburne rings, no jump schooling in the Walnut ring and the whole process of being assigned a letter group, A thru H or J or even K for the model and hack splits. Then there is the alien to the Hunter world concept of posted order of go and time schedual. It requires more organization and planning then your typical shows.

Suggest you find a trainer with PF experience to smooth the bumps ASAP. And reserve the golf cart NOW-they run out and it’s a long way from barns to the Walnut ring- and that steep hill gets old in a hurry.

That Walnut ring is huge and irregularly shaped, no fence to follow around. And the lines are long, like 7 or 8 and sometimes unrelated, always a track option down one side and always ridden off a forward step. Get the kids out of the ring and be sure they can gallop and keep the leg on. Lots of bright flowers and filler translates to lots of peeking, some sucking back and a few stops.

If possible, go to the regular show the week before, many do that to get Pony and kid used to the place and get a handle on the venue.

Suggestions for first time pony final kids and parents. Pony trainers suggestions…to get feedback.

Pony trainer suggestions?[/QUOTE]

Ask your trainer! You trainer will be able to suggest someone safe and possibly familiar to you who will be taking ponies to pony finals. If you aren’t comfortable asking your trainer it can be easier going to a show (especially a big show like PF) with someone you are even slightly familiar with because then at least you’ve seen their training style in advance. Obviously there are some big power house pony trainers across the country but it can be uncomfortable to end up at a show with someone you don’t know at all.

Get your trainer to get on the phone and find you an appropriate trainer. They will know who is closest to their program, and if they have an established relationship both trainers will be more comfortable with the situation.

Call your trainer…NOW. Get her to help you here, that is part of her job. Actually, since she got 2 clients qualified? A little surprised she did not give you a couple of recommendations when she told you she was not going to go with you. Not that I blame her for staying with the majority of clients doing something else, that’s fine.

But a professional in any business who cannot provide specialized service to an existing client? Recommends somebody else who can when they decline to provide said service. That includes horse trainers.

Get on that while you still have time to make arrangements, ideally you will be given more then one name. If you hit a wall there or you don’t hear back by this weekend? Come back on here for recommendations. Soon.

This is one time when it is really a good idea to stable with somebody who knows the ropes too-its worth the day charges.

I am starting a PF avoidable faux pas thread, should be up in 30 min or so. Take a look when you can. Might save some grief.