AIRC Festival - Riding Club Horse

Everyone I know seems to be getting themselves all ready for the AIRC Festival in Co. Laois. If I'm honest I'm a little bit jealous ... I'm still on the lookout for a new horse so I won't be able to compete at it this year unfortunately :( Although I might still pop down for a look and take a few photos so keep an eye out for me :)

One class that seems to cause the most confusion and questions is the Riding Club Horse class. It runs along the lines of Le Trec and they seem to look for rideability, smoothness, accuracy and obedience rather then looks and confirmation. It's a great class for those who arn't confident to jump or don't feel up to doing a dressage test. It's a small class with about 10 elements (based on Le Trec) and its just a bit of fun really!

Rider dress and turnout isn't of major importance, and horses can be plaited, pulled or even left natural. I wore my tweed jacket and stock as I was coming from a previous showing class and Jack had his mane and tail pulled ... but it is common to see horses with the odd stable stain or wild and bushy tail :)

The class itself reminds me a big of a ''Handy Pony'' class and each element is marked out of 10. These have in the past consisted of: 

  • Showing trot and canter 
  • Walking over a mat on the ground
  • Walking through bending poles,
  • 2 / 3 tiny jumps in a row (not a double ... more like a related distance)
  • Immobility (I had to dismount and put Jack in a circle, then I had to stand outside the circle and count to ten. He wasn't allowed move or follow me)
  • Mounting and Dismounting (although I heard the mounting part isn't common anymore due to some people needing mounting blocks etc to hop on)
  • Walking through an L shape made from poles on the ground

If your thinking of entering I would totally recommend it! It's a nice way to spend an afternoon and it is just a bit of fun! And sure if you're still not convinced check this video out .... it is AMAZING! 

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