Prepping for Halter..
Halter is definitely a class about presentation and confirmation. Idealy, its supposed to be based on the correct confirmational charactoristics of the horse. Body porportion, stature, weight, shapes and so on.. Now, in the Halter class shows, you are competing against others who have confirmationaly correct horses. It then comes down to presentation when all else is equal. Judges will notice preperation time put into each of the competitors when all else is equal.
Things to keep in mind when wanting to go that extra step in gaining an advantage:
Halters: Yes, a leather halter is going to be required, now one with silver.. I would absolutely. We all know its about the confirmation of the horse, but the idea behind silver, chrome, gold laced halters, is to "bring forward" the head charactoristics of the horse. You want to present an already exsisting wonderful head. Correct jaw structure, nose path, eye set, and mouth correctiveness. If your horses head is not that typical baby doll look, you may want to change the color of the halter, or use less chrome on the face. Is there validity behind this? For all those QH people out there, read up on the famous horse Impressive. He has set foundations for the perfect halter horse. Did you know he lost many halter competitions in his first few years? What changed and made him a winner? It was the halter he was shown in. Impressive was already a wonderfully confirmationally correct horse, but for some reason, judges looked on when he stepped up. The owner switched to an Arabian halter with a darker leather, and Impressive started winning.
Bathing/Prepping: No, you do not have to go out and buy expensive and mindless shampoos and dress formulas. There are some good products for a reasonably low price out there. There are also neat little tips and tricks you can pick up on that you may already have to help bring luster to that coat, polish the whites and make a sharper body image of your halter horse! You will however, want to consider items such as hoof polishes and body shine sprays. You do want that horse to really have a nice appearance!
Mane/Tail: I am not sure what term it was you used, but in many, and I do say many, halter classes, you will end up cutting the mane and "banding" it. The idea behind it is to display the horses neck. Banding is when you have a series of small rubber bands and the mane is collected and rubber banded together in small quarter inch segments, then laid over to one side and cut. In most classes I have participated in, the mane is about 2" long after you cut it. This is the one area to showing I hate. Some of my Wild Haired monsters have some freakish hair long after the show.. little mohawks! LOL!
Fitting: This is something many new halter showmen/women are not aware of. Fitting a halter horse is key to helping enhance your horses appearance and in exhibitting their features in an intensified mannor. Now, be careful with fitting as you will find that if you start climbing the Halter show ladder, that some will use muscle enhancers. I personally stay away from them, and go as natural as possible. But there are exercises and feeds that can make a huge difference!
Show Clothes: In Halter, there is some chrome you may want to wear. Use balance. Remember, dress professional for winning, but don't go overboard where the judges eyes are on you and not your horse. I happen to raise a lot of blue eyed babies, so my attire will have blue laced through out it. This draws attention to my horses blue eyes. Theres a little trick! LOL!
Enjoy Halter showing, learn as much as you can from others!
Dixon's Red Hot Ember