Experience of the Rider
- Have frequently competed at games for at least 3 years (at least 10 competitions per year).
- More than 12 years old.
- Must be able to satisfy the referee or other responsible person that their riding ability and balance are good and that the rider assists the pony wherever possible and does not act as a hindrance.
- Capable of competing to A or B Final standards. This does not mean that riders in lower finals cannot be considered "experienced". It means that, if they were in an A or B Final, they would not look out of place. *
* This requirement is very subjective. Riders should complement the pony when turning or carrying out games manoeuvres. Balance must be good and must not contribute to any awkwardness, e.g. no stumbling on turns, no pulling inadvertently on reins when riding or vaulting or leading.
All of the above must be fulfilled.
- Have frequently competed at games for at least 1 year.
- More than 10 years old.
- Must have reasonable balance and quite good riding ability but may make mistakes and sometimes contribute to awkwardness.
- Not look out of place in lower Finals.
Anything from zero games to 1 year .
Any person , however experienced, who frequently shows awkwardness or poor balance, e.g. a games rider who has been competing for a long time but who does not have good balance – such a rider will not be able to push the graphs to their upper limits.
General Build of the Pony
The terms used reflect a pony's build, condition and fitness.
There are different requirements for fitness for different levels of competition. If you choose to compete at lower levels and your pony is not ridden frequently, then the pony may not need to be as fit as one competing often.
All ponies should be in sufficiently good condition to do any games. Refer to this diagram and score your pony's condition rating. A score of 4.0 to 6.0 (possibly up to 7.0 depending on the time of year) is good condition for a games pony. Below or above that, the pony should not be competing.
Assuming your pony is reasonably fit and in acceptable condition, then :
A “weight-carrying” pony, or a fit muscular pony. Must not be too fat or thin.
“Weight-carrying” is a term used for ponies able to carry more than similar, average ponies.
This is very subjective, but good conformation is necessary, with a wide chest, reasonably short back, short cannons with good bone. Types include cobs, working ponies, Arabs, some Connemaras.
All of those described as "strong"but with less good conformation or perhaps less fit.
Also “normal” ponies, i.e less wide chest, not quite such good bone.
Particularly ponies where the chest is narrow and, looking from the front, the whole pony is narrow, e.g. some thoroughbred cross ponies.
BUT : a narrow horse with good muscle and conformation can still carry weight to the top edge of the graphs and possibly up into the medium zone.
HOWEVER, a narrow pony is not as good at coping with a tall rider because of the possibility of overbalancing and a relatively high centre of gravity of the combination.