Where to start? Halter/Showmanship
 
 

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Where to start? Halter/Showmanship

This is a discussion on Where to start? Halter/Showmanship within the Horse Showmanship forums, part of the Showing Horses category
  • Showmanship how to hold leadshank

 
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    03-04-2014, 09:55 AM
  #1
Foal
Where to start? Halter/Showmanship

I rescued my palomino as a 2 year old, and had to put YEARS of training in to get him to be the solid 7-year-old he is today. He's really dedicated and forgiving and tries his best, but has never been to any show grounds or arenas, and he tends to get really excited around other horses. He still listens to me well and such, but I've decided to do halter and showmanship classes until he gets used to the show scene.. We don't need any accidents under saddle or whatnot...

I've never shown halter or showmanship, let alone trained for it. I have a regional 4-H champ willing to help, but I'd still like some tips from anyone willing to give them. I just have no clue where to start with him. Around the farm, we just free hand lead... No leadrope at all, just a halter and he walks just fine that way... But I can't show like that I know.
Haha sorry this is so long!
     
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    03-04-2014, 10:46 AM
  #2
Green Broke
First I'd start by just taking him to shows and letting him hang out and get used to the environment without any pressure. Then I'd start reading the rule book and watching patterns on YouTube.

Some things you will need to practice are leading properly, backing up quietly and straight, trotting off promptly, your position. Those are the easy things. Squaring up and pivoting are a bit harder. For squaring I just kept moving my mares feet back and fourth until she stood square. It took about a week for her to get it with minimal prompting. Pivoting is going to be a bit harder. I was lucky my mare is an ex Reiner and knows how to pivot. We just had to transfer it onto the ground.
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    03-04-2014, 11:45 AM
  #3
Showing
Don't even think about how he might react or he will. He picks up on the energy emanating from you so treat him as tho it's old hat. Any time his focus leaves you, make him move his hindquarters, backwards or sideways, however room permits. Be consistent with this and he'll figure out it's easier on him to stand quietly and pay mind. When you make him move, don't be gentle but make him hustle and let him think you'll kill him if he doesn't.
     
    03-04-2014, 12:11 PM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlideStop    
First I'd start by just taking him to shows and letting him hang out and get used to the environment without any pressure. Then I'd start reading the rule book and watching patterns on YouTube.

Some things you will need to practice are leading properly, backing up quietly and straight, trotting off promptly, your position. Those are the easy things. Squaring up and pivoting are a bit harder. For squaring I just kept moving my mares feet back and fourth until she stood square. It took about a week for her to get it with minimal prompting. Pivoting is going to be a bit harder. I was lucky my mare is an ex Reiner and knows how to pivot. We just had to transfer it onto the ground.
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We have 'open arena night' with two different arenas, and drill team at the college, so I think he'll get used to it all before our local show season starts.

He has a sort of long, thin 'Reiner mane' that goes about 3/4 of the way down his neck now and is GORGEOUS. Will I have to pull/cut his mane, or can I leave it like that? He's not going to just be a halter horse, but his mane and tail grow so slow that I want to avoid cutting them at all costs.. Will I still band like normal?

Also how do I clip the leadrope? The chain on the one I have is really short, but my practice one is long. I'm thinking about replacing the short one, but I'm trying to figure it out just in case I can't. Can it just go through under the chin, or does it HAVE to go down from the top? I don't think it'll reach..

I've been looking at some videos on YouTube and such and am sort of getting a feel for it. I still am not sure how and when to walk but Callie can probably explain that better in person. am I allowed to cluck and say woah and such when showing, or no?

Sorry for all the questions, but I want to make sure I know it all.
     
    03-04-2014, 12:21 PM
  #5
Green Broke
My mares mane is long too. I just left it brushed nicely. For local shows I don't see a problem. If your going to show regionally or nationally then you'd have to consider.

Do you have a show halter? I got mine off eBay pretty cheap. It was $50 with the lead and everything. I'm not sure if there are any rules as to how you actually do the lead shank. I'd read the rules on that one.

Lastly, when in doubt I fall back on the old say "when in Rome do as the Romans". If everyone else's lead shank is wrapped a certain way yours should be too. When I was showing over the summer I noticed everyone's arms were down instead of carried. I quickly switched and just did what the others were doing.
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    03-04-2014, 12:22 PM
  #6
Green Broke
As for voice commands I'd say no. If you have to make it very quietly.
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    03-05-2014, 04:27 AM
  #7
Yearling
You'll have to learn your quarters down pat, and learn how to do them quickly and neatly. No clucking or talking to your horse at all, only time you should consider it is if you're at the opposite end of a big class from the judge and your horse gets a bit fidgety and needs some calm whisper words- but even then you must be concentrating on where the judge is because your quarters still apply.

Turn your horse out nicely and know the components of the pattern.. But really focus on your own presence for the judge (in showmanship). I always keep in mind that it is ten percent judged on how your horse performs and ninety percent on how you do (the true split is probably very different) but basically if your horse won't trot off right away with you, it's not the end of the world. Stand tall, wear a huge, genuine smile, make lots of eye contact and make it obvious to judge that you are trying hard for them.

Mostly just have fun with it. And take pictures for everyone here to see!
     
    03-05-2014, 10:04 AM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninamebo    
Mostly just have fun with it. And take pictures for everyone here to see!
I definitely will! thanks for the help!
     
    03-13-2014, 07:18 PM
  #9
Yearling
I would start with just halter first.....it's a simple class; it's based on the conformation of the horse and that's it. Showmanship involves intense training...with basics that are done in halter, but is based on the handler and his.her ability to show a horse in a prescribed pattern.

So do your halter classes first.....teach you horse to walk and trot out QUIETLY next to you on a chained lead, to stop and stand quietly and to set up with all 4 feet squared.
     
    04-04-2014, 11:20 AM
  #10
Weanling
There is an interesting technique you can practice once your horse starts to "get it". Take the lead line off and practice without it. This will teach your horse to really pay attention to your body language and move with you at all times. Keep working on correcting their position and let them know where they are supposed to be in relation to your body. Once a horse can start doing this, it looks effortless.
Sometimes when you first start it helps to carry peppermints that are wrapped in crinkly plastic in your pocket. You'll have their undivided attention!
     

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