UKC Forum Member
Registered: Dec 2012
Location: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Poodle clip question
I've just read all of the threads that showed up in my search for "English saddle clip" (going back for years) just to make sure I wasn't starting a discussion that had been done to death.
I'm new to poodles and new to conformation, but I'm game to give it a go. In fact, I had the baby out to a whole weekend of shows in September but was disappointed to find he was the only standard poodle--indeed, the only poodle of any description--on the whole showgrounds. So we got 100 points but with NO competition, which actually felt pretty disappointing. On the other hand, I found exhibitors to be very friendly and generous with advice, and one handler pulled me off the sideline to run one of her "lesser" dogs in best of breed. I had a blast and learned a lot.
So the poodle baby will be a year old in February and I recently went to the woman who has his sire, an AKC champion, to set my boy's show clip. (I'm going to blame David Arthur, who has never met me, for talking me out of going straight to a sporting clip. In a forum posting, he wrote about "honoring their heritage." Well, that, and the person who asked me how I like my Labradoodle--I thought I'd make it perfectly clear this was a POODLE.)
I wanted an English saddle clip, mostly because I don't like the look of the shaved back end. The groomer said most people look at an English saddle and immediately assume you're hiding a bad back end. And the way she set it, it does hide too much, I think. I asked about the length of hair in the middle section of the leg and she said the shorter look went out in the 1920s, even though you can find it in poodle books still in print. However, I LIKE that look.
So I'm not 100% happy with the English saddle as he's currently wearing it, either. I think the hair on the back end is, well, too pouffy. I'd be inclined to take it down to 1/4 inch on the pack AND the leg above the hock. Sort of give him a pair of Speedos versus the formal trousers he's wearing now. After all, his legs have nothing to hide, at least in my opinion.
So, if I do that, what kind of trouble am I setting myself up for? Laughing and finger-pointing? Or will no one notice, since the clip doesn't seem to be all that common? Or will he be appreciated for setting a bold, retro look?
In any event, he's a happy boy, asleep at my feet as I type this, and truly, my biggest worry in the conformation ring is to keep him from mugging the judge in his exuberance to meet his new best friend.
UKC Rally Judge (Provisional) #7117
URX3 UROG UCD Devlin, 2011 & 2012 Rally All Star, Level 2 and Level 3 (rescued Rat Terrier)
URO1 Bridget (rescued Rat Terrier)
Standard Poodle CH URO1 Piccolo's Niall Delaney, work in progress
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