Showmanship Help

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Showmanship Help

This is a discussion on Showmanship Help within the Horse Shows forums, part of the Showing Horses category
  • how to lunge a horse for showmanship

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    10-12-2009, 10:40 PM
Showmanship Help

So, I did my first showmanship class this weekend since I was fifteen (just for fun) with a horse who has never done it, and we did surprisingly well. But, of course, we need help!

1.PIVOTS!!!!!! He almost did a full one at the show, but now that we're home, all he wants to do is either turn in itty bitty circles or move his rear end around like an idiot. (He's basically pivoting on his front end.) I've tried everything I can to get him to put his weight on his hind end but he won't do it.

2. Hand trot. He did it PERFECTLY at the show. At home? He refuses.

Oiy. This horse.
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    10-13-2009, 07:01 AM
A trainer/judge gave me this tip on pivots years ago and it really works if you are consisitent. Put the horses face next to a solid wall. Then pivot. This way he has to use his back end as he cannot go forward. Another tip is do not do it slowly. A nice pivot is supposed to be fairly quick and clean. So many do it painfully slow and this will also mess the horse up. You can also use a trailer to practice as this also gives them less room to mess up.

Most horses always trot at a show as they get the adrenlin going a bit more then they do at home. But I would practice voice commands on a lunge line so he gets what trot means

He just sounds a little confused to me :)

    10-13-2009, 08:52 AM
A horse will turn on his front end or do those itty bitty circles when there is not enough forward motion in the turn. Increase the size of your circle as you walk around to do the pivot. This will help stretch the horses body out and give him room to pivot correctly.

Get a crop or dressage whip & tap him in the belly when you want him to trot. Keep your body in the correct position and use the whip behind you to reach the side of the horse.
    11-04-2009, 12:37 PM
I agree with gottaride. When a horse is pivoting correctly on the haunches, his body and neck should remain straight and his front feet should be crossing in front of each other. In the beginning, stand in the correct position and help the horse move his shoulder by applying some pressure at the base of his neck (where it ties into the shoulder) when he's stepping across with that front foot. Be sure to release pressure when the horse takes each step. Forward motion is key, if the horse takes a step back you need to walk out of it and try again. The goal is that your horse will eventually move properly on his own when you step towards him for the pivot.

I disagree with weefoal. When you're training a horse to pivot you need to take it very slow. DON'T add speed until the horse knows the maneuver. Also, we don't use voice commands in showmanship, they're considered a fault. Showmanship is all about body language - kinda like a dance between the horse and handler. Clucking and kissing are okay to use at first, until your horse is fully trained to respond from the handler's body language alone.

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