New and clue less to the showmanship and halter world!

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New and clue less to the showmanship and halter world!

This is a discussion on New and clue less to the showmanship and halter world! within the Horse Showmanship forums, part of the Showing Horses category
  • How to improve my showmanship
  • Improving showmanship horse

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    03-15-2010, 09:11 PM
New and clue less to the showmanship and halter world!

This year I will be competing in showmanship and halter. I have NO clue what to do. I have a leather halter and lead and an outfit. I went to a halter clinic but it has escaped me. So what are the rules? How are showmanship and halter different? Any other tips! Thank you!
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    03-15-2010, 09:18 PM
I don't know much either.. But is there medal peices on your leather halter because usually western halter class has that and this is what I mmean
    03-15-2010, 10:25 PM
The best way that I've found to help people understand the difference between G&S and Halter is that its very similar to the difference between Equitation and pleasure. G&S is like EQ - the horse is basically a prop to demonstrate the exhibitor's ability to condition, groom, and show the horse. Halter is like pleasure - the emphasis is on the horse, his conformation, way of going, etc.

In my experience, showmanship has more technical and challenging patterns since, of course, they're testing the handler.

Here are a couple of sites that you may find interesting:
Horse showmanship - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Showmanship at Halter
Halter vs. Showmanship: What's the Difference
Multi-Maneuver Showmanship Pattern
    03-16-2010, 01:51 AM
Halter class is showing off your horse. Showmanship is showing off yourself and your horse. The photo above is halter, the outfit of the handler does not say " showmanship" to me. But, it depends on the person and the show.
    03-16-2010, 02:19 AM
I will be doing showmanship! Can I touch my horse during the class? What does an average pattern look like? Do you have any tips on how to square up my horse?
    03-16-2010, 09:10 AM
In showmanship you may not touch the horse, with one exception: Sometimes the judge will touch the horse's mane, even push it over onto the other side of the horse's neck. THEN you can fix the mane the next time you are in that quarter (I'll post a thread on the quarter method -- it's not difficult to do, just to explain, so I'll start a new thread for that ).

A normal pattern will involve walk and jog/trot, halt, backing up (usually 5 steps), pivoting, and setting up for inspection. Inspection is usually at or near the end of the pattern. Here's one of the wackier patterns out there:Improving Communication Between Horse and Rider: Showmanship Pattern 1

Here's my response to another thread, on squaring or setting up:
After I halt, I turn and face the horse without changing my grip on the lead, toes pointing to the horses feet on a 45 degree angle. I visualize the lead rope hanging in the center of an imaginary square, with each corner of that square corresponding to each foot. I choose 1 foot that I like the placement of, and I leave that alone unless the horse moves it I usually pick a hind foot, and if neither hind foot is perfect I pick the one that is too far back since a weight shift back just tends to work better faster to get correct alignment.

To move the other three feet, I push the lead from the "center" of the square to the corner that matches the foot I want to move. I also use a verbal cue to back it up in the beginning, I use a cluck followed by the word "set" (so, cluck set, cluck set...). It takes a lot of practice for the horse, and a lot of "know when to quit" from the handler. Look for improvement on the last attempt, not perfection. In the beginning, square her up, praise her (treats or petting) while she's standing still, and then walk her out of the pose.

Having a good controlled back helps a lot the way I teach this, because I ask for a backward rebalancing. Another tip is to combine the exercise with daily handling. One of the best ways to really ingrain the square-up is to just do it every time you stop when leading her. Stop to open a gate? Square her up before you go through. Stop to take her halter off? Square her up first. In a surprisingly short amount of time, they square quicker and quicker, eventually even halting square, which is a big bonus in the ring where a square taking over 3 seconds can be penalized.

Sorry about the novel, I get windy when I start talking G&S.
    03-16-2010, 11:55 PM
Out of curosity which is easier, Halter or Showmanship?
    03-17-2010, 08:44 AM
Originally Posted by Tasia    
Out of curosity which is easier, Halter or Showmanship?
Once you're at the show grounds, I think halter is easier to show. You won't be out of the ribbons if you miss a crossover, and the patterns are usually much simpler (i.e. Just a broad curve past the judge, start out walking, pick up a trot as you pass the judge, get in line with the other entries). Both classes are up-close, and little details matter, but it's more on you to remember the details in G&S. Halter I think is harder to prepare well for. A horse is either a halter horse or he isn't, and horses tend to score pretty consistently from show to show. For example, my first horse loved in-hand classes, and did pretty well. Our G&S ribbons over the 5 years I showed him run the gamut of placings, firsts through fifths, and there were days that we didn't place at all. His halter class ribbons in those same years are almost all thirds and fourths. About any sound horse can be shown G&S and do well if the exhibitor prepares the horse does their job well.
    03-18-2010, 03:22 PM
Halter is "easier" to show because you are being judged on the horses confirmation, grooming and conditioning. There isn't a pattern to memorize, you can touch the horse, and your primary job is to set your horse square and stay out of the judges sight of your horse. However, if you have a horse with some confirmation flaws, you can never get any better or improve how you do in Halter. Showmanship is about you presenting your horse and the precision of the pattern - almost like a dance with your horse. You can practice and improve your performance. Showmanship is about the "show" that your and your horse present to the judge.

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