Questions regarding showmanship....

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Questions regarding showmanship....

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    04-27-2011, 03:54 PM
Green Broke
Questions regarding showmanship....

I have a 5 year old haflinger mare, just turned five today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY NOKA!!!!!!!) who I am entering in showmanship again. Bits N Spurs is coming up in June and I need to get to practicing! One thing about this show: they don't have ribbons for each horse. I know it's not all for ribbons but coming out of the arena with one makes me feel like I at least did something right and am not a failure. So, here are my questions:
This is my 2nd year in showmanship but my pony has been doing this since 3 months old, what can I do to practice?

Whats the difference between showmanship and halter?

If your about to run the judge over and don't have the room to turn away from you, is there any other choice than to turn into yourself?

Does it matter if your horse isn't squared up while waiting for your turn?

What if your horse moves around while waiting for your turn as your in the arena?

Whats a reasonable spacing between two horses?

Anything crucial to remember (besides the course)?

Thanks for anything! I'll take any advice
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    04-27-2011, 04:42 PM
I wish you lived closer so I could help you a bit. Tanoka knows showmanship very well but she does need to be reminded tht she has to do it.

This is my 2nd year in showmanship but my pony has been doing this since 3 months old, what can I do to practice? Do patterns and a LOT of them. Try and remember some patterns you have done and do them at home. If you can't remember some look some up online to do. Thhe MAIN thing with showmanship is how you present. It dosnt matter if your horses is rearing kicking or not doing anything right. Just smile and be proud look the judge straight in the eye like... hey don't you remember that was on the pattern and my horse is perfect. The snobbier the better in showmanship.

Whats the difference between showmanship and halter? Halter is judging the horses conformation the showmanship is jusdging the training and how you present. Halter you can touch the horse showmanship you can't.

If your about to run the judge over and don't have the room to turn away from you, is there any other choice than to turn into yourself? The main thing don't run the judge over seconded by don't throw the horses butt at the judge. Try an avoid those two things.

Does it matter if your horse isn't squared up while waiting for your turn? Yes it does set her up all the time. When in showmanship you are ALWAYS presenting.

What if your horse moves around while waiting for your turn as your in the arena? Tanoka knows better then this shank her hard and tell her to whoa. When she moves tell her to whoa and set her up again, then present. Just keep setting her up.

Whats a reasonable spacing between two horses? Try and imagine a horse fitting between you two.

Anything crucial to remember (besides the course)?
Don't touch SMILE, walk tall and proud and straight, chin up. When walking to the judge you bring the HORSE to them not you. When presenting point your toes to the far front hoove. Don't run over cones.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something.....
    04-27-2011, 05:07 PM
This is my 2nd year in showmanship but my pony has been doing this since 3 months old, what can I do to practice?

The best way to practice, once the horse understands the cues for each component maneuver (walk, trot, halt, back up, pivot, and stand square; pull turn later) is to make those movements part of daily interaction. Every time you're taking your mare from the stall to the pasture, lead her like you're being judged, square her up at each halt, make turns into crisp pivots. That's the best way to really get the ideas ingrained, for her and for you. It's a lot easier to go in the ring and let habit take over than to worry about what the horse will remember or understand in a strange environment.

Whats the difference between showmanship and halter?

Very simply, showmanship judges the human, and halter judges the horse. The difference is similar to that between pleasure (halter) and equitation (showmanship). In showmanship, the horse doesn't need perfect conformation or gaits to be successful, as long as she's well conditioned, perfectly clean and wearing well fitting and appropriate tack, sound, and shown to her best advantage. Manners are important, because it's hard to show a misbehaving animal to the best advantage. The horse is essentially a prop to demonstrate your ability to condition, groom, and handle a horse correctly.

Conversely, halter judges the horse according to his/her breed standard (or, in the case of open/grade halter divisions, general rules of correct conformation and gait). Type-iness matters, and it is the job of the exhibitor to present the horse as an ideal representative of the breed or type. Halter allows a lot more touching of the horse by the exhibitor, even to the point of hand-squaring feet in some cases. The horse is judged on conformation, way of going in the walk and trot, etc. Having "ring presence" is always a plus. Usually halter doesn't utilize such an intricate pattern as showmanship - halter entries usually enter at a walk, pass the judge at a trot, and join the lineup.

If your about to run the judge over and don't have the room to turn away from you, is there any other choice than to turn into yourself?

Rule #1 of showing: do not run over the judge, whatever it takes.

Rule #2 of showing: set yourself up so that you don't have to do something drastic to avoid a collision.

As I'm envisioning the scenario you gave, pulling the horse to you would swing her hindquarters toward the judge - not safe at all. Your best bet is to practice approaching the judge at the walk and trot. If you don't have a willing friend to "play judge" for you, stick a broom in a bucket full of sand/dirt to be a "stunt judge." Practice walking and trotting straight lines to the judge, stopping about 3 feet away from her. Don't start asking to stop 3 feet away - know your horse and how long it will take her to react to your cue. Your horse should be lined up with the judge, not you ~ so, when you stop, your mare's nose will be ~3 feet from touching the judge in the center of her chest, and you will be slightly off to the side, prepared to set up for inspection. Practice makes perfect. 3 feet gives you enough room; you can maneuver the horse without crowding, there's room to cross over, and you won't scare the judge too badly.

Does it matter if your horse isn't squared up while waiting for your turn?

If the horse's feet aren't moving, they need to be square while in the ring. She should be standing square, and you should be at attention, crossing over as the judge moves around the ring, even if you aren't being directly inspected. The one caveat that I personally have is if its a jillion degrees, beating sun, there are 20 horses in the ring with me, and we've been standing there for an hour and a half. I'll allow the horse to rest a hind leg in the lineup then, as long as he's basically square. Otherwise, until the announcer says some variation of "you may relax," stay at attention and squared up.

What if your horse moves around while waiting for your turn as your in the arena?

Again, practice at home can help, but a lot of horses do get fidgety, especially in the lineup of a big class. Best thing is to calm them as best as you can without touching them (softly talking is ok in the lineup, just be unobtrusive). If she fidgets to the point that she becomes too crooked to straighten, pull her forward, pivot her, and realign her, asking her again to stand. There isn't much you can do to discipline it in the ring - if she's antsy, just do your best to keep fixing her and keep smiling.

Whats a reasonable spacing between two horses?

There will probably be a ring steward there to direct you where to stand in the lineup. Most head-tail lineups, though, I use the trail riding rule of thumb: at least 1 horse length between entries.

Anything crucial to remember (besides the course)?

Some showmanship judges will ask a question; I've had questions as simple as "what's your pony's name" or as in-depth as "what size shoe does your pony wear" or "is an English horse required to stand squarely in showmanship." You'll be judged on your answer. The question won't be anything that you won't already know if you're familiar with the rules of the class and the care that your horse receives.

One more thing is to acknowledge the judge. Before you start your pattern, the judge will nod to you when she's ready for you to start. Nod back as you begin. The judge will probably nod and say thank you when you are dismissed back to the lineup - nod back and smile a little bigger. As you return to the lineup after inspection, glance back over your shoulder at the judge. There's some disagreement on exact protocol here: some people say one glance is enough, others say three looks is appropriate. Also, use those glances as an opportunity to check the straightness of your line.

Other than that, keep smiling, and enjoy yourself and your horse! Something that might help you is to set a goal for yourself: not to get a certain placing, but something like standing quietly in the lineup, or exhibiting those smooth transitions you've worked on at home. That will help you feel like a winner, no matter what ribbon you get.

Sorry for the novel - I know it's a lot of info...
    04-27-2011, 05:09 PM
Green Broke
Haha Thanks Samantha, I'll remember that

I could probably talk my dad into getting us together sometime, on a casual trip off island we could run on over maybe, I dunno
    04-27-2011, 08:46 PM
Anytime.. we got a nice covered arena to play in.
    04-27-2011, 08:56 PM
Green Broke
I noticed when we came over...Big and Covered...for all those rainy days in the northwest
    04-27-2011, 09:11 PM
You've gotten lots of good advice. Thought I'd add a few things from a judge's perspective :)

Biggest tip I ever received as a showman, know the color of your judge's hat & boots. You will be able to be ahead of the game seeing the judge even with a tall horse or tall ones next to you that block your view.

When moving away, ALWAYS look back over your shoulder. I like to see a glance every 10-15 steps. 3 to 4 times in a standard pattern. That one is up for dispute, this one is all personal preference of the judge. Be sure to do it at least once EVERY time you move away from the judge.

Master the 3 step switch. Hard to explain in words, but I'll give it a shot. When you are facing your *adorable, cheeky, should come live at my house Noka* your inside toe should face her outside toe. Let's say you are on the right side, when you cross over start with your outside (rt) foot, then left and a quick right again and you should have your feet back in perfect position inside to to her outside without any effort. It looks crisp and can be executed at speed when you hit your switches. Work at least 2 horses on either side of you. I like to see a showman move with the judge in perspective to their horse regardless of where I am in the line. It shows that you are paying attention and are in it to win it.

Try to "sell" your pony without saying a word. Exude confidence and make that judge want to take her home. During an inspection, don't take your eyes off the judge.

Grooming!!!! Be sure you are both spotless and tack as well. A good clip & grooming job is very important. Clean her udder & her backside.

If the judge speaks to you, asking questions, etc it never hurts to throw in a "yes ma'am" or "yes sir"

Hope that helps! I'm sure you two will do fabulous and I have a sneaking suspicion that Noka is going to help sell herself in the ring ;)
    04-27-2011, 09:28 PM
Green Broke
Thanks a lot!
    04-27-2011, 09:35 PM
You're welcome! Good luck & hope you have a great show season!
    04-27-2011, 09:45 PM
In the showmanship practices we do at 4-H the things that I found most important to remember are: keep you arms at 90 degree angles AT ALL TIMES, keep your head up and eyes forward AT ALL TIMES, SMILE AT ALL TIMES, try to move your feet in motion with your horse or pony's, and keep your horse or pony's throatlatch at approximately your shoulder so it doesn't look like it's dragging you or you're dragging it, and during line-up inspection start showing your horse when the judge is two horses away. That's all I can thing of for now. (I'm showing a haflinger this year too!) And happy birthday to Noka.
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