Teen Showing Leadline??? (Odd Circumstances)

Greetings, mighty h/j-ers! I come to you from the far away land of Dressage with odd circumstances and questions. :grin:

I’m a fifteen year old who’s been riding for five years, and I have Cerebral Palsy, which (for me) means my balance is compromised, I have tight legs and hips (I use a wheelchair), and I have an exaggerated and easily triggered startle reflex. I’ve come close to showing a few times, but never quite made it for different reasons, one being anxiety.

I get anxious while riding (partly, if not mostly) because of my CP related issues. Knowing my balance isn’t great, etc, makes me anxious, and being anxious makes me tight. It’s a never ending circle really. :frowning:

I am on and off a lunge line at home because of my confidence issues (I’ll have months of amazing and then loose it), so my mum and trainer think that if I can be consistently riding off the lunge at home, I could go show leadline. It’s not dressage, but it’ll help me (and my horse, who hasn’t shown in probably three years) get the confidence and feel of shows.

My question is, would a teen be allowed to show leadline, even at a schooling show? Would show organizers be more lenient because of my circumstances (not on pinning me of course)? Can I sit the trot (I can sit very pretty being a dressage rider)? Will I place better if I sit well, vs someone else sitting badly or posting? Would black tack be a huge faux pas (Horse is skewbald paint)? :confused:

From the leadline shows I’ve seen, there aren’t really “placings”-all the kids get first, which is certainly understandable as it is usually their first step into showing. So I don’t think pinning and placing will be an issue or anything to worry about.

As far as if you can do the class, I think your best bet would be to call the show organizers and ask them. Explain to them your situation, and ask if you’d be able to show leadline to just get a feel for showing in your circumstances. If you cannot show leadline, you could always maybe try a short walk/trot class if you feel comfortable with it.

And as BBowen said, check around or have your trainer see if there are any para-equestrian programs in your area.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope you have fun with whatever you go with!
And massive kudos to you for being so determined in your riding and continuing through your challenges :slight_smile:

DoomPony, I am in awe of your determination. Keep up the good work. Riding is a challenge to all of us and especially so for someone with physical challenges. I am sure your riding helps your strength and balance. I do not know about a teen riding in a leadline class, but have your trainer check on para-equestrian programs. They are wonderful and have different levels based on the type of disabilty. Best of luck to you and I hope to hear about your succeses!!!

In my area, there are a few therapeutic riding barns that put on awesome horse shows. Everyone has tons of fun and you don’t have to worry about anyone thinking you’re too old. (Not that you should have to anyways- more power to you!)
But if that’s something that suites you, it might be a fun thing to look into.
As far as the leadline at the shows I’ve been to, it was a walking only class. Also if you are pretty set on doing a regular schooling show then more then often the judges and competitors are all there to have a positive, fun time. Your trainer can let the judge know before you compete what your situation is. If you go in there and something goes wrong the judge will always pause the class or will be very understanding if you have to walk or even exit the arena.

Like I said, (most) people all want horse showing and riding to be a great relaxed time so whatever you feel comfortable with- go for it! Good luck! :slight_smile:

Unfortunately at most shows lead line classes have an age restriction, but I’m sure that there are opportunities for paraequestrians. I would expect that dressage shows might be able to accommodate you if you contact the manager and ask.

I know that Geoffery Laurin at Half Steps Farm used to coach a lady who was on the para Olympic dressage team. He’s north of Sacramento, but he might have some ideas for you.

Another person you might look for on line is Stephanie Putnam. She is a paraplegic who does combined driving. She is the most awesome positive person you will ever meet and could probably offer you some ideas and support in achieving your goals. She lives in the Bay Area.

[QUOTE=Natalie A;7547032]I was following your other post on the dressage forum about Bay Area trainers, as I am also a dressage rider with a disability in the East Bay.

I did a few schooling shows with the Contra Costa Horseman’s Association where they had a division for riders with disabilities - I did not ride in it, but that might be an option (if it even still exists?).

I’m not sure if California has a system of shows for riders with disabilities the same way the East Coast does - and even then, those shows seem to be restricted based on participation in specific therapeutic riding programs.

I agree with asking around, I don’t show so I’m unfamiliar with the show climate here but I have found the horse community here to be really accepting and welcoming of differences.

Good luck! (and I think I might have seen you around the Briones area a few years ago, unless there are multiple riders in chairs around here!)[/QUOTE]

Where do you ride and where do you think you saw me?? I had no idea there were any other paras in my area until you got to Winters!

Were you at Double G watching your friend (who’s name I can’t remember, but had a Pinto) lesson a few years ago? Anyway, if not… ignore me. lol. :wink:

I forgot about the woman in Winters! She’s at Somerset Farm. I know they have a website.

Here’s a video of Stephanie. http://usdfd.org/interview-with-stefanie-putnam/

Natalie, that was Emily, yes! I was!

[QUOTE=fourmares;7547051]I forgot about the woman in Winters! She’s at Somerset Farm. I know they have a website.

Here’s a video of Stephanie. http://usdfd.org/interview-with-stefanie-putnam/[/QUOTE]

Love Susan lots. Great trainer and lovely lady. :slight_smile:

I bet most any dressage schooling show would be happy to accommodate you to do an intro test, or modified intro test, leadline.

I also think most h/j schooling shows would be open to you riding in a leadline class if they were offering it.

Call 'em up and ask.

[QUOTE=poltroon;7547083]I bet most any dressage schooling show would be happy to accommodate you to do an intro test, or modified intro test, leadline.

I also think most h/j schooling shows would be open to you riding in a leadline class if they were offering it.

Call 'em up and ask.[/QUOTE]

That’s what I was thinking. As I said, the lunge line is there on and off, but I am starting to get depressed seeing my horsey friends go off to shows and me not.

Bravo to you and your bravery!! Keep it up and keep working at it you’ll get there! As for the leadline, I agree that you should show in whater you are comfortable with and just call the show management in order to to ensure they are ok with you showing (as many have age limits) BUT I also agree that most management would probably be completely for you showing!

I don’t know what all you have done yet, but if you haven’t seriously pursued paraequestrian, you should. I am amazed over and over by those riders and what they are capable of doing. And I get the impression that there are some good para coaches out that way.

Otherwise, I agree with talking with both some dressage show organizers and some hunter show organizers about allowing you to ride with assistance. While I am sure the hunter show people would be generous and let you participate, they may ask you to go unjudged (maybe not!).

Good luck to you! You are very brave and your determination to work on your nerves will get you very far!

I do not know about the west coast, but on the east coast leadline classes are walk only. No trot, siting o pting.

On the east coat, most leadline classes have age limits. Again, don’t know about west coast.

Around here (again, may be different in the west), I think you are are more likely to find a schooling dressage show willing to let you do an Intro Test with a “walker” than a hunter show willing to let a teenager go in a leadline class .

I’m sure if you call the show management they would be more than happy to help you out. The therapeutic riding I volunteer with puts on two shows a year. It’s really a lot of fun everyone has a great time! Maybe look to see if you can find something like that around you. Keep up the good work OP!

[QUOTE=Janet;7547218]

Around here (again, may be different in the west), I think you are are more likely to find a schooling dressage show willing to let you do an Intro Test with a “walker” than a hunter show willing to let a teenager go in a leadline class .[/QUOTE]

i agree. Think that is a much better option then leadline. Never saw them trot in leadline-hard on the person doing the leading- and a test with a “walker” would allow you to do a bit more the walk around in a line if you felt able or make a much more discreet exit while others continue if you don’t.

Not to be indelicate here but the little kids in a typical leadline class may not understand and I don’t know that you’d want to share specifics with all of them and their parents.

The test with walker would let you do lots more then walk in a line and is a better choice IMO. You can do more then that even if you can’t do it all, go for it.

Maybe you could speak to some h/j show organizers and see if you could go in a walk/trot class with someone with you on the ground. I think you’d have a good chance of them allowing it, if you agree to go unjudged.

[QUOTE=Janet;7547218]I do not know about the west coast, but on the east coast leadline classes are walk only. No trot, siting o pting.

On the east coat, most leadline classes have age limits. Again, don’t know about west coast.

Around here (again, may be different in the west), I think you are are more likely to find a schooling dressage show willing to let you do an Intro Test with a “walker” than a hunter show willing to let a teenager go in a leadline class .[/QUOTE]

Funny how leadline varies from region to region. I am East Coast in SE PA. Our leadline classes pin the leadlines, not everyone gets a ribbon. There is normally a walk class, a walk/trot class and sometimes an off lead where the pony is not on a lead but the handler is by the pony’s head.
One of our “big” local shows had the leadliners trot the whole length of the ring. The one trainer got to the end and doubled over gsping “I need oxygen” he was mostly kidding. Subsequent years they only had to trot a short section in front of the judges.
OP I think that checking with a dressage show might be your best bet. I would think that they would be open to allowing you to do an intro test with a walker or lead line. Plus it sounds like dressage is what you normally do anyway.

At the open shows (the kind that have English and western classes) around here the lead line classes are usually judged, and some do trot. Some do not have age restrictions, so you would be allowed in, but I agree with asking about a special permission for a helper at a schooling dressage show. I would think you could still be judged, just not receive a ribbon/placing.