Friday, June 25, 2010

Notes on Eventing, Part Four

Some Notes on Eventing

by Jamie Stine

Part Four, Turnout

Cross-country turnout is anything goes. People typically use this phase to take advantage of their “Matchy Matchy Disease,” so the turnout will be color-coordinated, typically in some combination of the rider’s stable colors. This means that boots, saddlepad, ear net (if they use one), rubber reins, helmet cover, body protector, shirt, gloves, and breeches of the rider will all coordinate in some way. TYPICALLY this is well done,
but sometimes it’s quite offensive to the eye, so when you do this on your model, don’t get too carried away. =)
Grooming of the horse is typically pretty simple. Manes are not braided, so that the rider can grab them if need be. Everything else is functional. Legs are clipped close, mane is pulled short (it’s braided for the other two phases, so it would be braiding length), and tail is grown out long.
Some horses have the top clipped down to the “breakover point” which is where the tail widens out, about the middle of the buttock or slightly higher. NOT as far down as you’d see a 3 gaited saddle horse’s tail shaved, and only on the sides.
Some tails are pulled, which is a neater look, but harder to maintain and much more time consuming to do. Tradition dictates that the end of the tail is banged level with the fetlocks, though some horses are much shorter, up near the hocks (this is especially true in Britain).
Natural tails are also allowed.
Basically as long as you’re safe, you can look like pigpen and move like an emu and nobody really cares.

A note from Jennifer--If you've enjoyed this series, please let Jamie know by leaving a comment. Likewise, if you have any questions, now is the time. Jamie is reading the comment section and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about eventing.

I'd also like to remind everyone that I always welcome good guest blogger pieces. If you know a lot about a particular event and would like to pass that information along, please get in touch. No pictures? No problem! I can help you with that just the same way I helped Jamie.

Thanks again to Jamie for all her work on the Notes on Eventing series!


  1. LOVED this series, both photos and informational text. Very good to know the types and styles. I might have missed it (if I did, just point me to which section of the series it's in), but is there a type of protective gear for the horse that's required? Or just recommended/common? Just so I know how to tack up properly more than just saddle/bridle.

  2. Nothing is REQUIRED as far as i know... It's rare to see nothing at all on a horse, but the only "rules" per se, govern things that could be dangerous, like standing martingales. In the model horse arena, cross country is a "let's see how much tack we can jam on this horse" event, so sometimes you'll see judges knock down horses that "aren't wearing enough" in their opinions... But again, anything goes as long as it's safe. =)

  3. I think that model horse people want there to be more "requirements" for performance events than there really are. The only pieces of tack that *every* horse wears are a saddle, girth, and saddle pad and a bridle. That's it. Most of the horses will also wear boots (on all four legs), a breastplate and a running martingale. However, at this particular event there were a significant number of horses without martingales, a few without breastplates, and one lone competitor who was bootless.

    As a model horse judge, I'd rather see a model eventer with boots than without, but it's not an absolute dealbreaker for me. Ditto for breastplates, martingales, etc.

  4. I enjoyed it! Jamie is one that I'll verify things with in person at a show when I'm having brain dump (or trying to do performance at the same time as all the other divisions). She knows her stuff!

  5. This was a terrific series! I'd love to see more series like this on the blog - maybe one on hunt seat or saddle seat? Maybe gaited? I don't know - something that a lot of people want to do, but can't because of lack of information.

    Wonderful series, wonderful author! Hope to hear more from her! ;)

  6. What? No photo of the horse in lime? Although, the neon orange/purple chick is horrible enough :)

    Jennifer - if I didn't tell you before, it was a BLAST going around with you and pointing out all the fun/odd/truly scary/hideous stuff :) Definately, a thing to do again! (Any horse event!)

  7. Thanks for the suggestions, Gabby. I have a lot of hunter and jumper knowledge, plus several file folders of pictures. I am planning a Hunter Under Saddle series probably for next month. I would need a guest blogger for anything saddleseat or gaited. Those are NOT my areas of expertise!

  8. Hey, Teresa! I think we just posted at the same time. I am unexpectedly childless for the weekend and am sorta kinda thinking of going to the races at Arapahoe Park tomorrow... Any interest?

  9. This has been a fun series to read! Thanks for posting it!

  10. Manes braided for the jumping phase? Is that required? I don't remember that it used to be... but it's been an awful long while.

  11. Wow, thanks everybody!

    Jen, I'd be happy to do some thoughts on dressage too... that's my passion. I know you've already had one guest post, but if you'd like, i could definitely toss something together...

    Allie, mane braiding for show jumping is not required, but it's traditionally done out of respect for the judge, same as the dressage phase. The eventers I groomed for braided for dressage, unbraided for x country, and rebraided for showjumping, even if we were at a 1 day horse trial. It was a lot of work, but i always felt like it was worth it. Keep in mind though, i am a turnout NAZI. Whether it be real horses or models, if it's incorrect or "not proper" for a given setup, I'm going to make note of it. And if it's a real horse, I'll likely walk up to the rider and ask why. I'm "that" person at shows. :) And it carries over to models because it's what i know, if that makes any sense.

    I'm glad you guys liked my posts! I've never guest blogged before!

  12. Great series Jamie! (And since I don't say it enough, love your blog Jennifer! :-D )

  13. I suffer from the matchy matchy disease... :)

  14. Reading old posts, but I loved this eventing series!