I refer to ‘dolls’ constantly throughout this post, when I say doll, I mean any model horse person, rider, groom, handler.
In the last photo show, I had so many great ideas that I didn’t put into action because I didn’t have the right doll, right clothes and the right scale were my two biggest issues.
And so I was wondering do you really need a doll to show performance?
Surprisingly the short answer is no, you don’t.
Braymere discusses the topic quite well here and here.
So I want to start out by saying I HATE Schleich dolls with a passion. ARG. (more on why later)
If you are showing Stable Mates or smaller (this translates to most people as totally insane, sounds like fun to me) There are not enough dolls that are good and in scale for it to be common
The posts on braymere are talking about articulated dolls, I’m not.
We are all (mostly) working on a smaller scale than the posts on braymere as well.
So the first reason to leave a doll off, You don’t have one. Whether you don’t have a rider full stop or they are the wrong size for your horse or just don’t look good sometimes it can put the lid on an idea.
Another reason not to use a doll is if they are not in the right position, it is quite tricky to get a Schleich rider to hold the reins and sit in the saddle nicely, if you can’t it is going to harm your entry more than help it.
Now a bit more on why to put a doll on.
First and foremost, in real life, no horse is going to compete on it’s own.
If your rider is just holding the reins in a set up you can get away with no doll but if there is anything else they should be holding you are not.
Here are some good photos of riderless setups.
So for the next photo show, (I'm running/judging the winter show or you would be seeing my tiny ponies out in rider less force) I won't mark down entries without riders as long as I can clearly see what is being displayed where the horse is going and what the rider would be doing to they were there.