Showmanship Help - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-28-2008, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ohio
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Showmanship Help

I am teaching my 2 year old gelding showmanship. Because of the ground work and control, among several other things that my trainers and I are working on of course. I have been working with two trainers. Both are fabulous horsewomen and so knowledgable and helpful. Trainer 1 has told me to extend my right arm foward and make a fist and have the lead on my arm close to the bend of my elbow. Also to hold the rest of the lead held around to my side tight. (If that made any sense). I was working on it that way but Vegas never would lead into a trot. After I asked him and then begged him to go into a trot I finally decided to hold the lead line like normal and let the other end of the lead rope down and smacked my leg with it. I was able to get him into a trot and be more relaxed, which trainer 2 told me to do. Which is better? Trainer 1 says that gives Vegas a focual point, but trainer 2 says its a way to get him started so that I would have to retrain him holding the lead normally anyway. Both trainers I trust so much, but I am confused, Not only are they helping me train my horse, they are training me also. I am a barrel racer, poles and trails kind of gal, so this slow ground stuff is confusing me I just want it done correctly. My boy is only 2, I want to train him for barrels when he is like 5 or 6. I want to learn everything and help train him myself.
Any advice?
cjessy is offline  
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-29-2008, 01:21 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Washington State
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the correct way to hold the lead is the way that Trainer 1 has shown you. when i have a lazy horse, i carry a buggy whip in my left hand and use it to drive my horse into a trot. this seems to help me. i hope this helps you. i would also work on round penning your horse. and not just in circles. stand my the gate with your horse on the other side of the roujd pen. drive your horse left by by stepping to the right and using the whip to guide him. your goal is to be able to move your horse in any direction from across the roundpen. you want your horse to stay on his side of the round pen. then ask him to go right by stepping to the left and driving him forward with the whip. at first this looks really crazy but, i used on my barrel racing mare vecause she wasnt paying any attention to me in the round pen. she was accually running around like maniac and ended yp slipping and getting her legs under the gate. very scary. i started doing this bacuse i was cautious about her goijg near the gate but soon relized how more her attention was on me. i now use it with all the horses i train.
i hope i wasnt too confusing. if you dont quite get it, i can try and get you a video or a couple pictures. just PM me.

*Khlassi:1985 Arab Gelding*
*Emma:1998 Appendix QH Mare*
dimmers_double is offline  
post #3 of 4 Old 08-29-2008, 03:17 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: New York
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agree with dimmers....
also make sure you are NOT looking at your horse, look in the direction that you want him to go.
To some horses, having the person look at them is a sign to stop and to disengage their hindquarters.
SonnyWimps is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 08-31-2008, 01:09 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Canton, GA
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Okay, I agree with Trainer 2. You need start him off correctly, or the same way you are going to always ask him. You don't want to confuse him, or teach him one way and then have to re-teach the other way, for it will be more difficult for him.

When I am teaching one showmanship, I start them all off the same. Hold your lead in your right hand ( that is your controller, think of it as your joystick, from games years ago...ha ha.) But that is how you cue for all movements. To start with you will over exaggerate your upper body along with your hand, and then the goal is to eliminate the body and only use your hand for your cues. So, for example, when I am teaching one for the first time I start with walk to stop, over and over and over again. I extend my right arm forward, lean forward with my shoulder, but my feet do not move until the horse moves, you want the horse to take the first step forward and then you follow. You are teaching your horse to follow your hand! So, arm is forward, shoulders are forward (over exaggerate) and then cluck until the horse takes a step forward, then you follow.

Biggest key is to keep your arm forward the entire time you want the horse to go forward, no moving the elbow until you want your horse to stop. I close my elbow, straighten or over exaggerate back and say whoa. Continue until the horse follows your hand every time. Then when you ask for your trot, I start from the walk with a young one, I do the same thing as for the walk, but over do your shoulders and upper body forward, and think "follow the hand" forward into the trot. Again, do not start running and get in front of the horse, for you want them to follow your hand, I use a kiss for my trot and cluck for my walk with a baby. You have to make the cues different so they understand, but very easy for them to understand. If he won't trot, ask a couple times, and then very gently, do not do it hard, swing the left hand with excess rope and gently swing to his side, behind his shoulder while you continue to ask for forward, do not change your right hand or shoulders forward of he will not understand what the added "forward" is for.

If you need any more help, please feel free to send me a message, for it is such a long post as how to really start one for showmanship.

Hope that helps! and by the way....showmanship is my favorite class!!! so work hard and you will have a blast when you get there!
Rubonsky is offline  

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