Showing Tips

Read these 81 Showing Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Horse tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What Are Hunters?

English Hunters

Hunter classes require a horse be even, steady, flowing, cooperative. A picture study of form over fences. Usually only natural obstacle type of fences.

   
What is the most attractive of all Parade Horses?

The Most Attractive Parade Horses

The most attractive of all is the Animated Parade Horse, such as the American Saddlebred. I think that Michelle McFarland of Scripps Miramar Ranch in Rancho Santa Fe is the most renowned of all for her famous Pinto American Saddlebreds in their yearly presentation in the infamous Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California. The animated Parade Horse performs what is called the Parade or Park Walk along the Parade route. This is a modified trot, in which the horse is barely moving forward but the impulsion is causing the horse to move in a very vertical motion of the legs. The front and back legs are quite high and very animated as the horse literally STRUTS along the Parade route. Head held high, and legs bouncing the horse along in a brisk motion, yet slow and very showy gait. This is the reason many fall in love with the American Saddlebred, this tremendous ability to show off in the midst of crowds and clamour!

   
How Do I Recognize A Jumper Course?

English Show Jumpers Courses

Jumpers usually are required to cover more and higher fences, in a set time frame. The fences are bright, colorful, intricate, difficult, frightening as compared to the Hunter courses.

   
Overall Trail Class Tips For Success Are?

Trail Class Tips - Overall Presence

Maintain a collected frame.
If you are uncertain of your horse in a maneuver, then slow down, relax, collect, continue SLOWLY, BUT DO NOT STOP~!
Believe in you & your horse~!
Practise confidence in both your abilities.
Keep your attention on details.
Remember your practise of preparations.
Remember, winning the Blue Ribbon, is the result of a GOOD GO!

   
How can i win in competition?

Competing to win vs. training

The prize in competition is not the reward but the bonus!!! The training and preparation of months and years create the "means" to the successful result- THE JOB WELL DONE: whether the prize is self-satisfaction that never sees the competition arena or a grand trophy.
In barrel racing, show jumping, dressage, driving, reining, equitation or any discipline, it is important to keep in our sights that the actual competition itself is a TEST of the SUM of the TOTAL skills developed thru the consistant progression of your (and your horse's) training.
An accomplished Olympic showjumper does not practice jumping course after course between competitions but conserves and protects these capabilities so they will be available for the challenge of competition. Instead he works on each of the individual skills needed to complete the whole successfully. Always, he could be more attentive and intuitive to his rider, more calm in his nerve, his turns could be more balanced, his ability to adjust length of stride refined, his aerobic fitness more developed.
A world class barrel horse does not run barrels over and over between competitions but works on collection and balance and fitness, and may never see a barrel for days or weeks at a time.
You as the rider must train physically and mentally to accept challenges, especially if your goal is to compete. You carry the full responsibility for your "team". The homework you do in ALL subjects allows you to excel on the final test, which can begin at the ingate, or the start of the trail.

   
How do I perform an individual pattern in a drill team?

Drill Teams - Individual Performance or Pattern

When crossing lines in the group pattern, each Rider must watch for flow of the pattern, and learn to make personal adjustments in order to facilitate the crossing smoothly and effortlessly causing no interferences to other Riders and horses that are before or after. Make all adjustments to pace/speed before making any individual presentation or display, keeping in mind the start point, crossing point, and finish point of the individual pattern.

   
how do I ride the final line up?

The Line Up

Always line up under the spot lights and either half a horse infront of, or behind the horses on each side. Make yourself seen and noticed. Stay smiling, poised, calm and relaxed. You have either won or not, but do at every moment as though you have won the championship and are honored for such; and want the best for your competitors, knowing that they have their chances next week or next year!

   
how can I learn to show an Arabian or Morgan or ASB In Hand/Halter?

Showing Arabians, Morgans or ASB In Hand or In Halter

An excellent video that is available for showing Arabians, Morgans and American Saddlebreds In Hand is by Jim Atkinson called "Training the Weanling/Yearling and In Hand Horse For Presentation". This video is available through the Bookstore at the American Saddlebred Museum site located at: www.american-saddlebred.com

   
How can i win in competition?

Competing to win vs. training

The prize in competition is not the reward but the bonus!!! The training and preparation of months and years create the "means" to the successful result- THE JOB WELL DONE: whether the prize is self-satisfaction that never sees the competition arena or a grand trophy.
In barrel racing, show jumping, dressage, driving, reining, equitation or any discipline, it is important to keep in our sights that the actual competition itself is a TEST of the SUM of the TOTAL skills developed thru the consistant progression of your (and your horse's) training.
An accomplished Olympic showjumper does not practice jumping course after course between competitions but conserves and protects these capabilities so they will be available for the challenge of competition. Instead he works on each of the individual skills needed to complete the whole successfully. Always, he could be more attentive and intuitive to his rider, more calm in his nerve, his turns could be more balanced, his ability to adjust length of stride refined, his aerobic fitness more developed.
A world class barrel horse does not run barrels over and over between competitions but works on collection and balance and fitness, and may never see a barrel for days or weeks at a time.
You as the rider must train physically and mentally to accept challenges, especially if your goal is to compete. You carry the full responsibility for your "team". The homework you do in ALL subjects allows you to excel on the final test, which can begin at the ingate, or the start of the trail.

   
How Do I Make Plain Tack Fancy For A Parade?

Adding Sparkle To Parade Tack

You may not have the necessary $$$ for the silver trim, but you can make that metal trim appear silver, as it catches the light and then twinkles and sparkles. Applying a layer of either "gold fleck" or "silver fleck" nail polish to the metal pieces showing on your saddle and bridle (not the bit however....with the exception of the shanks on a curb bit). Apply enough to be seen and reflect light, but not so much that it appears like "runny silver or runny gold" metallica! When you apply the "fleck" strategically on the metal, it gives a great highlight and finish to otherwise "plain" western tack. Apply very carefully, remember to apply a little at a time. You can always add more if necessary, but it is harder to have to completely remove all, and start all over again! When it comes time to remove, use Q-tips and small cotton balls with nail polish remover and carefully remove so to not stain the leather. DO NOT APPLY either color to the mouthpiece of a bit, EVER!

   
What Are Pleasure Classes?

Pleasure, English & Western

Pleasure classes are the Judging of the Pleasure performance of the horse in a calm, relaxed, willing, pleasure to ride manner or style.

   
Can I wear a short sleeved blouse/slinky at Trophy/Medal Shows?

Trophy/Medal Shows-Shirts

Always in English Classes, wear a long sleeved blouse that the cuff shows at the end of the Jacket sleeve. This is considered to be a finishing point and is necessary for consideration in all Trophy or Medal Shows.

   
What should I do in a after class line up?

Being Aware of the Judge

When in the line up, after you have displayed your horse to the judge, while the judge is looking at another horse, do NOT fiddle with your horse (making sure its square or on the bit, etc.); this will only cause your horse to become nervous and fidgety. ALways be aware that you are being watched 24/7 by the judge when you are in the arena, even if the judge's attention is on someone else, they could easily turn around and see you fidgeting with your horse. This fidgeting will get you nowhere. It will only get you frustrated and your horse annoyed! Just be calm, natural and confident!

   
How Do I Carry Water For My Horse At A Show or Parade or Event?

Carrying Water For Parade Horses

Remember to have someone along the route (if it is long) carry water for your horse. It is a good idea to have a "groundsman" along to provide water in the waiting to depart line up, and to have water available at the end of the Parade route for the horse.

   
What is Green or Walk/Trot Classes?

Walk Trot or Green Classes

Walk/Trot or Green Classes are for a Green Horse or Rider that is in their 1st or 2nd year of showing, and has not won more than 6, 1st place ribbons in the Discipline in which they are currently competing.

Usually no cross entering and not points assigned to this class.

   
What Do I Look For In A Jumper?

Type Of Horse For Jumpers

Jumpers are very athletic, bold, and fast. Horse & Rider must be experienced. Horses must have alot of heart.

   
how can I make my Trophy/Medal class great?

Smile.....It Works!

Smile, have your horse at his best....whether that be at a walk, trot, animated Trot or whatever is your entrance gait, make sure that you have done your homework to give this your BEST SHOT!

   
Does it matter how the presenter stands when showing In Hand?

In Hand Presenter's Posture

When showing In Hand....present your horse as best as you can. Do not slouch! Keep your chin high and your shoulders back. Keep your legs together and feet straight. Keep your hands and arms relaxed in a normal posture for the Discipline in which you represent while holding your horse for the Judges inspections.

   
What are the requirements of Parade Costumes?

Costumes For Parades

The Rider and Horse are adorned in the most decadent of all in Costume and Tack. Tips on highlighting your tack in a most reasonable way, are in this week's newsletter. This is the area of Riding in which the horse and Rider can be as ornate as is desired and not be the least bit overdressed. Any style of Discipline can be presented in a Parade, such as everything goes in English or Western Riding or Discipline, and the Costumes do not have to be authentic. to the Discipline or Style of Riding. Sidesaddle is loads of fun in Parades, providing the horse is calm and responsive to the Rider's slightest command.

   
Proper way to perform Bridges, Ramps, etc. in Trail Class?

Trail Class Tips - Bridges, Ramps, Obstacles

Approach bridges/ramps/obstacles in a collected, forward, steady yet slow manner, but DO NOT STOP.

Practise confidence in your & your horse's ability & attention to details in preparation in order to bring home the Blue Ribbons!

   
does my initial ring entrance have much merit or value?

Ring Entrance

Number One, your Ring Entrance does make for great points thereafter! Take your time, make your place! Wait until there is a lag, and then enter the ring, making sure that before you enter, that you can see in advance when the Judge is looking at the entrance when you decide to come through (even if this means having someone there to signal to you when to enter)!!!!

   
What considerations are there before I enter the ring at a Ch. show?

Preparation For Trophy/Medal Shows

Okay, now we are at the Show. You basically want to give the Judge(s) NO REASON TO ELIMINATE YOU FROM BEING CHOSEN FIRST. Tack, Clothing, Horse in full repair, clean, neat and looking polished and perfect in presentation! This does not cost $$$ but does cost "elbow grease, preparation and time"!

   
What Is Eventing?

English 3 Day Eventing

Performed in a weekend time frame. First day is Dressage, 2nd is Cross Country, 3rd is Show Jumping. Can be combined as a 2 Phase, with Dressage & Cross Country on the same day. Dressage in Morning, Cross Country in the Afternoon.

   
is there a checklist for my horse in showmanship?

Finishing Points For The Horse

If English or Western Pleasure....it helps to have a nice quality bridle.
All buckles attached evenly and at the same place on the bridle on both sides.
Bit polished and shiny.
Bridle clean, neat and not repaired.
Horse brushed to a shine, with no traces of any stain in white or colored areas, or tangles in mane or tail or forelock.
Banged tail.
Braids even and uniform.
Tail Braid thin and neat and half way down the dock(if applicable for Discipline Shown in).
All Bands are even and uniform and the same color.
Hooves freshly & lightly sanded, then hoof polished.
Neatly trimmed and recently shod.
Whiskers on the muzzle trimmed off.
Outside edges of the ears trimmed to smooth and even.
Inside of the ear thinned or clipped for a neat and clean look.
Face oil lightly applied around the eye and nostrils and lips.
A show sheen helps as a final spray on the body coat.
All white areas, BRIGHT WHITE!

   
final point on winning championship/trophy/medal shows

I AM WORTHY!

You have done your homework on your clothing and tack presentations; you have practised over and over and over your showring presentations; and you have the mental attitude that says, I have worked long and hard for this and I have reached the place where I am worthy and deserving of this championship!

   
how many show outfits should I have if possible?

Show Clothing For Trophy Shows

It helps alot if you can afford it, to have at least one qualifier outfit; and to have at least one championship clothing outfit.

For emergencies, when you have a very bad performance in the ring, and you know that you will be returning (again before the Championship class), it really helps to have an alternative qualifier outfit that is completely different in color and design from the other one. Two distinctly different outfits in color, design and recognition!

   
What Is The Requirements Of Trail Classes?

Showing In Western Trail

Trail is the test of a Horse's ability to trust the Rider & obey when faced with new, strange or frightening obstacles or situations.

   
How do I pack an emergency kit of Rider´s Things for Horse Shows?

Clothing Tote Necessities For Shows

Keep a small clothing "tack" kit in your show tote. Have needles and threads that match your clothing, extra buttons, extra boot laces, boot polish, polish rags, makeup, hair nets (at least two or three), bobby pins, extra gloves, tie pins, small stud type earrings, clothing brush, hair brush, tooth brush & tooth paste.

   
What Are Hunter Under Saddle Classes?

Hunter Under Saddle

Hunter Under Saddle Classes are shown at a walk, trot, canter, hand gallop both ways of the ring. Light contact with the horse's mouth is heavily considered.

Judged on both horse & rider performance.

   
What Is Hunter Seat Equitation, Over Fences?

Hunter Seat Equitation (Over Fences)

To be judged over a Hunter Course of 8 (no less than 6 fences) at no less than 2'6" high.

Riders position, correct use of aids and ability to control horse at an even & steady pace over fences is the Judges considerations.

   
What Is The Benefit of Dressage?

Dressage

Dressage develops the harmony, suppleness & balance of Horse & Rider with precision. Dressage horses should be balanced, supple, calm, keen, alert, quick, and very trainable.

   
How do I pick the line up for a Drill Team?

Drill Teams - Setting Up Pairs/Arrangements

Try to pair up a calm horse with a hot horse, and always place Green Riders or Horses in between seasoned Riders and horses. If you were to place two hot horses together, they can be just enough to excite one another into a frenzy and place the entire Ride out of control or in jeopardy.

   
What Is A Show Hack?

English Show Hack

English Show Hacks are flashy, brilliant, animated. Show Hacks are very quick to respond to the Rider's commands. Collection & extension are called for in all 3 gaits. Usually being beautiful helps.

   
What Does The Handler Do?

Showmanship

When following the Judge's instructions, the Handler should never interfere with the Judge's view of the horse. Attitude should be confident, friendly, professional and cooperative.

   
What Are Road Hack Classes?

Road Hack Classes

Road Hacks have a flatfooted walk, on a loose rein, trot, strong trot, easy canter, and hand gallop.

Judged upon performance, conformation, substance, manners. Should not be flashy or animated.

   
What Is The Purpose Of Eventing?

Judging Eventing

To determine the low score/high point in Eventing (which is the winner) the Dressage is the first phase. This demonstrates a fresh horse's willingness to remain obedient & responsive. The 2nd Phase is the Cross Country, demonstrating the speed & endurance of the horse. The 3rd Phase is Stadium/Show Jumping, which shows a tired horse's athletic & fit condition to clear the obstacles.

   
What Does A Cutting Horse Do?

Western Cutting Horses

Cutting Horses must have a natual "cow" sense. These horses must "know" exactly which cow you want from the herd; and then "read" the cow, in order to separate it from the herd.

   
What Is Judged In Showmanship?

Showmanship

Presentation of the horse is considered to be the grooming, the tack/horse/handler's cleanliness/neatness and the overall condition of the horse.

   
What is the proper way to back through poles in Trail Class?

Trail Class Tips - Backing Through Poles

Line up horse for "back through" poles, halt, take a moment B/4 proceeding, back straight, halt.
Sit up tall & straight, looking forward always (this will keep your horse upright, straight & forward).

   
What Is An English Park or Western Parade Horse?

English Park or Western Parade Horses

Park & Parade Horses are extremely animated, brilliant, beautiful, and often arrogant. This class demonstrates the extreme collection in all 3 gaits.

   
How do I prepare the Rider for Trophy/Medal Shows?

Clothing For Medal Shows

Clothing---You want to have a spare shirt, (or Slinky, Blouse and Vest), pants, underware, socks and if at all possible jacket for preparation for any unexpected mishaps. Keep these items pressed and in a garment bag or if using the large sized garbage bags, use packing tape to seal the bottom from dust and accidental drops on the ground!

   
Do I have to memorize patterns?

Drill Teams

All Riders, but especially the Start - Finish - Riders at a Break in Formation absolutely MUST have the pattern memorized. If the pattern is not memorized, the synchronization will be off; and/or the coordination of sides or pairs will be lacking; the ability to adjust pace/speed in order to have the pattern flow smoothly and harmoniously will not exist; the ability to compensate for natural disturbances will not exist; therefore, MEMORIZE the pattern!

   
What Do We Need For A Horse Show or Schooling Show?

Schooling Show Check List Of Necessities

You will need:
Jacket, over jacket in cool weather, hat, boots, paddock boots, breeches/pants/chaps, shirt, stock/tie, stockpin/rosette, hairnet, bobbypins, make up, earings. Track suit, or sweats, shorts & jeans for afterwards.

Saddle, saddlepad, girth, bridle w/bit, 2nd bit, crop, spurs, wraps or jumping boots, bell boots, cooler.

Halter, leadrope, lungeline, draw or side reins?

Curry or grooma, dandy brush, body brush, face brush, hoofpick, hoof balsam or hoof black, baby oil, fly spray, fly mask, bucket (one for cleaning & one for drinking), sponge, towels, hay, haynet, treats (carrots or apples or horse cookies), water in container that ice cubes can be added.

Show flyer, class list, entry forms, check or cash.

   
What kind of horse makes a good Parade Horse?

Temperments For Parade Horses

First of all when you are riding in Parades, you should have a very controllable horse! You will have crowds pressing in on you, and it is imperitive that your horse be safe and steady; to prevent anyone from jumping on the wagon to sue you for possibly endangering their children with your hot and unmanageable horse! You want a mount that can handle the stress of uncontrolled and multiple activity and distractions at a very close range. A horse that doesn't mind little people waving pinwheels at him/her or running across the street to "Dad" in front of your horse, or another one screaming because they want to pet the horse or yet another that is terrified and wants to go! All of these things are very real in a Parade.

Then you have the added bonus of the floats that precede and follow you. They may be marching bands, animated and ornate floats that are wired for deafening sound, or Parade vehicles that proceed along the route at the slowest rate of speed imaginable. All of these the Parade Horse MUST deal with, and in a calm and controlled manner. The horse must be tolerant of the unexpected and the startling occurances.

   
Is it correct to smile at the Judge in a class?

Smiling In The Class

Never forget to smile at the judge throughout your class. That could make a difference when the judge has to make a descision between you another rider for a ribbon.

   
What Is Equitation?

Equitation

Equitation is the Riders ability to control & to influence his/her horse in an effortless & easy manner that conforms to the Judges requests.

The Judges evaluation is solely on the Riders ability to follow commands, and to maintain quick, easy control and influence of his/her horse.

   
In showing, how do I look for temperment qualities important?

Top Show Temperments

Top Show Temperments must include the following:
willingness, cooperative, agreeable, sensible, reliable, consistant, enjoyment of the work being done.

Equal balance between confidence, relaxation & stress is the basic foundation of showing success.

   
What Are Show Hack Classes?

Show Hack

Show Hack Classes are shown at a walk, trot, canter, hand gallop, collected & extended gaits, stand quietly. Brillance is not to be penalized.

Judging is on the performance, conformation, quality of horse, manners, neat & tidyness and appropriateness of rider.

   
Reversing into a winning mentality?

Winning Mentality

When you reverse, don't think, "ah it is half over, think rather I have just begun! (the second half!)

   
How Do I Keep A Horse Calm Along A Parade Route?

Calming An Excited Horse In A Parade

If your horse is becoming unsettled along the route from the crowds or the closeness or the activity, try softly whistling or singing very quietly to the horse. I had one mare that if I waved and greeted the crowds, she was a lathered mess; when I quietly sang and waved to the crowds, she pranced along in a beautiful calm and strutty fashion! So have a GREAT GOOD GO! and get all glitzy, and enjoy the glory!

   
Can my horse test positive, when it hasn´t had any drugs?

Testing Positive, No Drugs!

A study conducted by researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Science reported that flunixin (Banamine) given intravenously or orally (granulate in oats) could contaminate stalls and cause later occupants to test positive for the medication because of environmental contamination. This means that a horse not treated with flunixin which occupies a stall immediately after a treated horse can have a positive drug test for Banamine.

   
What Are Hunter Over Fences Classes?

Hunter Over Fences

Hunter Over Fences Classes are judged over a figure eight course of 8 (no less than 6) fences (usually 2'6").

Judged on the horses' style, way of going, and conformation.

   
What Is Equitation?

Equitation, English & Western

Equitation is the Judging of the Rider's performance in the demonstration of control over the horse with natural aids.

   
what is a winning attitude?

The Attitude of A Professional

Now you need to carry that attitude throughout the class! If you or your horses makes a mistake, welcome to the world of horse shows! We all make mistakes, even the World Championship competitors and the Olympic Level Riders and Horses, that is one of the joys and sorrows of being in partnership with a horse! The difference between a Professional that deserves to win and an inexperienced horseman trying to win, is that a Professional never lets the mistake register with themselves or with the horse. The Professional uses every error as a point of greater refinement in the ring and afterwards. The Professional moves on immediately making sure that the ride continues to improve in the execution and presentation! For every mishap, you have to make sure that you demonstrate two more great moves or smooth transitions or whatever your discipline requires, even if it is so late that all that is left is the back up/rein back.

   
What Is Hunter Hack Classes?

Hunter Hack

Hunter Hack may be asked to jump two small fences that do not exceed 3'6"...usually a cross pole & a vertical.

Judged upon the Riders correct position, use of aids, and steady control of the horse's pace, and movement.

   
Where Can We See The Annual Medal Finals?

Medal Finals

Held at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA, USA in Oct/Nov.

   
How Do I Keep A Horse From Slipping On Asphalt or Concrete?

Berium or Rubber Screw In Posts

Another area necessary for the peace and confidence of horse and rider in Parades is to have Barium Inserts applied to the horse's shoes. . .front and back. Either your farrier can install, or you can purchase screw in posts of Barium or Rubber Stoppers that will prevent your horse from slipping on the Concrete or Asphalt should the horse become spooked by something. These Barium or Rubber screw in's will provide the horse the confidence necessary to proceed along the Parade route with security and assurance.

   
How do I budget for clothing/tack for a Drill Team without uniforms?

Drill Teams - Coordinating Clothing/Tack

In clothing and tack, if you do not have the $$$ to purchase uniforms, keeping pants, hats, polos and saddle pads uniform in color is striking, allowing Riders to have individual selection of their tops.

   
What is Basic Seat Equitation?

Basic Seat Equitation

Basic Seat Equitation is walk, trot and canter both ways of the ring. The Judge is evaluating the Rider's performance in Basic Seat Equitation.

   
how do I prepare for Tack Necessities for Trophy/Medal Shows?

Extra Tack Necessities for Trophy Shows

Tack---you must have an extra, clean saddle pad. Keep this in a sealed garbage bag with your clothing items. Include spare reins, bit, easy boot (in case of loosing a shoe you can ask the Judge if this is an acceptable replacement). Tack cleaners, conditioners, and a dust cloth. It doesn't hurt to have an additional saddle if at all possible.

   
What Is Showmanship Classes?

Showmanship

Showmanship Classes are judged on the Handlers Presentation of his/her horse to the Judge for their inspection, and the Handlers ability to conform to the Judge's requests.

The Handler is to dress in the apparel appropriate for the Discipline relative to competition.

The Horse is Bridled only, and in the Tack that is appropriate for the Discipline relative to competition.

   
What Is A Show Jumper?

English Jumpers

Show Jumping horses have the ability to cover a jumping course in a clean & fast time. Form & steadiness is not a consideration. Penalties are accrued by knock downs, refusals, or time faults.

   
What Is A Road Hack?

English Road Hack Performance

Road Hack Performance requires the horse to be basic. No excessive brillance, or animation. No frills, no flash. Demonstrating ready obedience to commands. Basic collection and extension is usually called for.

   
When & Where Is The American Royal Horse Show?

American Royal Horse Show

American Royal Horse Show is held indoors at the Kemper Arena, Kansas City, MO, USA in November.

   
is there a checklist for handler clothing in Showmanship?

Checklist for Handler In Showmanship

All clothes clean and without stains or visible repairs.
All clothing appropriate for the Discipline that you are representing. Not over dressed or under dressed.
Always a Hat, Gloves and appropriate boots.
All clothing that fits correctly. Not too small and tight or too loose and long.
All clothing freshly ironed or pressed. Pants with a crease up the front.
Makeup light and non offensive. Light eyeliner, mascara, a natural lipstick for women.
Collars fully done up.
Jackets fully done up.
Boots cleaned and polished to a shine.
Spurs should not be worn.

   
how do I ride or show a trophy or medal class?

Trophy/Medal Shows Class Tips

Take each way of the ring, and each gait individually. Do NOT anticipate in Championship, Trophy or Medal shows. Have a mental blueprint of what should follow, but be prepared at all moments for the unexpected, and take each moment for itself. Try to find your points on the rail to show your horse at his best at that gait. If he is not particularly good at a gait, then try to hide in the crowd at that gait, finding an empty spot on the rail during his best moments.

   
what is the most important things to have for trophy/medal shows?

The Most Important Extra For Trophy Shows

The next, perhaps are the most important accessories at Trophy Shows: A properly dressed, and educated Assistant who is at ringside with a well stocked lab coat full of anything that you might need in a pinch! A saddle stand (if the classes will require the tack to be removed for the examination of the horse's conformation), and with that stand a dust cloth for the horse, and a dust cloth for the tack and the rider's boots.

   
When & Where Are The Reining Horse Nationals?

National Reining Horse Association Derby

National Reining Horse Nationals held in June in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.

   
What Is Western Reining?

Western Reining

Considered to be the Western equivalent of English Dressage. Combines the wide open gallop, brought down into quick, fast stops, starts, and turns.

   
Proper way to open/close gates in Trail Class?

Trail Class Tips - Gates

Side pass to open/close gates.
Always open wider than necessary, to ensure that you don't bump your horse in any way.

   
What is the rule of thumb for Parade Clothing & Saddle Pads?

Parades Choosing Saddle Pad & Costume

In choosing clothing, anything goes, and the more glitz, sparkly and flashy the better. In regards to your tack, Western Saddle pads with one or two colors that match your outfit provides a classy finish to the whole picture of Horse and Rider.

   
What Are Performance Classes?

Performance, English & Western

Performance Classes are usually broken down into types of performance....as is indicated by the Class. These are judging the Horse's performance, and the Rider's performance as an enhancement to the Horse.

   
what if everyone sees me/my horse make a mistake?

Judging On Attitude

Every Judge across the country just wants to see that YOU the Rider aren't adversely affected by the mishap.....that is what will kill your chances for a Medal or the Championship class greater than all else...that you as the Rider carries the mishap throughout the remainder of your ride in either your attitude towards your horse, yourself, other riders or persons on the rail. Immediately get yourself together and continue on. Your horse more so at this point than at any other point will look to you for direction, and if you are in a fit or angry, it will cause unnecessary tension for your horse, and your horse will begin to focus on your negative attitude rather than the class in which you are both participating! So Ride Sally Ride in a Great Manner and Attitude!

   
how can I learn how to properly present my Arabian/Morgan/ASB In Hand?

Arabians-Morgans-American Saddlebreds

An excellent video that is available for showing Arabians, Morgans and American Saddlebreds In Hand is by Jim Atkinson (sp?) called "Training the Weanling/Yearling and In Hand Horse For Presentation". This video is available through the Bookstore at the American Saddlebred Museum site at www.american-saddlebred.com.

   
How can I learn proper presentation of Showing Western In Hand/Halter?

Richard Shrake Video

Richard Shrake has an excellent video called "Winning Ways" that demonstrates proper execution of showing paints and quarter horses In Hand and in Showmanship. This video is only available through his homesite at: www.richardshrake.com. All of his books are available through Amazon.

   
Can I have a final checklist for a Drill Team?

Drill Teams - Check List

Final Review Checklist:

Memorize Pattern!

Check Tack - Coordinate Colors;

Line up shoulder to shoulder to shoulder;

Place smaller horses to the outside on both ends;

Place larger horses in the center (having equal amounts of height to lead off on each side);

Try to adjust colors so that pairs in formation will match as well;

Place seasoned on each side of green;

Place calm horse alongside of hot horses.

   
How Do I Prepare A Colt To Show In Hand?

Preparation For Showing Colts In Hand

To show a colt in hand, if he is a breed that the natural lofty motion is desired....spend 15 minutes with him 3X daily simply letting him "park trot" in an arena. Just stand in the center of the arena, and attach a white plastic grocery bag to the end of a lunge whip. Don't crack the whip, or make any sudden or sharp movements, as this will encourage the colt to run or gallop and what you want is simply to "air him up" so that he performs a lofty, airey, park trot up and down the arena. Most often, simply slowly lifting the whip in the air from the ground, and back down again is sufficient to "air him up". Remember, the purpose of the whip/bag is to startle the colt enough that he naturally "flags" himself, and strengthens these muscles, not the muscles that are used by galloping or running.

If you are showing in halter in quarter horse classes, then you want to work the colt at a slow, steady trot on a lunge line, long and low for about the same time frame every day, but AFTER he has had time to free exercise on his own, and get the "yahoo's" out of his system!

   
What Are English/Western Pleasure Classes?

English or Western Pleasure

English or Western Pleasure Classes request the Horse to walk, trot, canter both ways of the ring.

The Judge evaluates only the Horses' ability to demonstrate that they are a pleasurable mount on which to ride.

   
What Is Showmanship?

English & Western Showmanship

Showmanship is where the horse is not ridden in the ring. The Judge is assessing the handler's presentation of the horse, and the condition of the horse.

   
What Is A Gaited Horse?

English Gaited Horses

Gaited Horses have man made gaits as well as the 3 natural gaits (walk-trot-canter). Icelandic's, Fjords, Tennessee Walkers, Fox Trotters, and many, many other breeds have an additional man made gait, for 4 gaits. Usually referred to as the Running Walk.

The American Saddlebred, has 5 gaits, 2 man made (Slow Gait & the Rack) and the 3 natural gaits.

   
How Should The Handler Dress/Look?

Showmanship

Handler should be neat, tidy, clean, and clothing & style should be basic for the Discipline demonstrated (Hunter, Saddleseat, Western), never flamboyant or distractive.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Patricia Walters-Fischer