I have showed horse two years now, this is my third year in 4-h.
I will give you advice even if you have teachers, because my first year in 4-h our horse leader didn't even teach anything she just made us ride around and do nothin. didn't even practice showing.
Stand tall, you are showing your horse, you are proud to be showing your horse.
When you walk around the arena, look forward not down. Every five steps look at the judge for to or three steps and always be smiling.
Keep good eye contact with the judge when you are and aren't being judged.
Know your quarters and always do them in line and being judged. But don't race the judge, wait until he crosses the 'lines.'
Once you are in the arena, try not to adjust your hands with the lead.
Don't touch your horse. If you are being judged and your horse moves around, ask the judge poilitely if you can turn your horse around and re-set him.
When you set your horse up, try not to make too much time doing it. I usually say do at least the front feet in a line and if it is tkaing too long then just stop there. When you set your horse up, you want your horses hooves to form a rectangle, or for the back legs and front legs to be the same.
One thing that helped me is when I looked at videos on how to do your quarters and setting up your horse.
When leading your horse you should always be on the left side. You right hand should be holding the lead below the chain, and your left hand should be neatly holding the lead in a figure eight. Most people say to just loosely coil it arund your hand - but if your horse spooks unexpectdly and takes off, that lead will close around your hand and then wherever your horse goes, you go.
Last year there was five horses showing. The judge was walking up and down the line when a car alarm went off. Three horses spooked and took off towards the other end of the arena - thnakfully no one got hurt. The fourth horse just jumped and moved to the side. But I taught my horse to not be afraid of any sudden sounds or movements and he has also been almost everywhere - parades with fire truck alarms and screaming little kids - but he was the only horse that stood there, asleep! Didn't even flinch! So it really pays off to have your horse get used to everything. Plastic bags, tarps, screaming, cows, everything.
Make sure you work in the arena that you will be showing in.
I'm not sure if you are riding english or western or if there is a dress code difference, but for western it is : white long sleeve tucked in to black pants, a nice belt, cowboy hat or helmet, hair pulled back, and all clothing and person is neat and clean. And of course your horse should be clean as well!
I suggest that when you are preparing for a show - horsemanship or showmanship, you get ready at least an our early. It may sound like a lot of time - but it goes by fast when you are nervous.
Make sure you are dressed, your number is neatly pinned to just above th middle of you back, your horse is in his show attire and you groundwork him. Do lots of groundwork - circling, pivoting, backing, practicing trotting and walking with him on ground, etc.
One thing, is I also suggest that you bath your horse the night BEFORE the show. If he rolls in the stalls then blanket him. but most horses don't - depending on the size of course. But if you do it day of then everyone will be at the wash racks, and depending on how many there is (there is only two here) then people may be standing in line for a while.
I can't really think of any other tips right now, but if I think of more I will be back!!
And you never know what might happen your first year - My first year and my second year (last year) I won reserve champ both years and with different horses. I first used golley, but then my friend joined and she didn't have a horse - so I started using Brisco and I still am!
But still don't get your hopes up. Always shoot for getting a blue or red ribbon and if you also get higher than that - hey, it's a bonus!!
🔫 Don't Tread On Me 🐍