Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Washington State
All I know is the 4H "rules" for my county, so take this with a grain of salt. ;)
If you're showing in a regular button up and jeans/slacks - Shirt ALWAYS in, wear shorts underneath and pin the shirt to it if need be. Wear a belt that compliments both the colors of the shirt/pants and the handler's frame (i.e., a petite person shouldn't go around wearing a giant belt, they'll be swamped in it. Go with colors that are harmonious - only wear a black belt if you're wearing black pants etc.)
If you have one of the longer "Showmanship Jackets" DO NOT tuck it in, it is meant to be worn out. Belts are TECHNICALLY optional, but when in doubt - wear one.
Around here it's up to the individual as to whether they wear gloves or not, but you almost NEVER see gloves with a button up. Most of the time, gloves are used to hide nail polish, hoof polish or to make a quieter line by lessening the contrast between jacket and skin. If your kids have painted nails, or they got hoof polish on their hands while prepping their horse, I'd go with gloves.
Looking at the horse:
DON'T DO IT (except as you're setting the horse up)! Keep eye contact with the judge while quartering and look where you're going during your pattern. Ask the judge before hand if they prefer exhibitors to look back at them as they exit the pattern (this is pattern-dependent). If the judge says yes, the handler should look back IN THE DIRECTION of the horse (over the right shoulder if leading from the correct side, left shoulder if leading from the off-side) every few strides, but still, look at the judge - not the horse. If the handler cannot maintain straight lines at the walk AND trot while looking back - don't do it.