holding a whip to your side like a tail and if your horse does not trot next to you fling the whip back and hit him. If he stos a head of you fling it forword. This works realy well for ypunger horses or horses who do not do well in showman ship.
When I first read this thread, I thought I missed something, lol!
When I teach my horses for Halter/Showmanship, I teach them to lead off of my body. As soon as they see me tip my shoulder and I put a slight bounce in my step, they pick up the trot. I'll have to get a video of it. I never used a whip =)
Miakoda is having issues with keeping with me, and what I do for her is lightly pull the lead, asking her to join me. If she doesn't I "kiss-kiss" and lightly pull again. If I don't get it that time either, I use the excess leadrope I have folded in my left hand, and lightly wisk it behind me where it grazes her side. In most cases, i've found this to be a good routine. Ask once, then demand =) A folded leadrope is a pretty good tool, plus, its less to carry. Sometimes I don't always have a whip on hand, but I ALWAYS have a lead rope =)
Once they figure it out, I can train them to just cue off the kiss, then the tug, then the shoulder. It just takes time, consistency, and patience!
I usually have my horses responsive to pressure on their sides before I train them to trot in hand though ^^
Its really good for showmanship to get your horse backing fluidly when he sees you walking at him. My horse will back quickly and fluidly without even touching him, simply walking towards him. You don't want forced, sluggish backs in showmanship!
As I was discussing with someone in my Horse Video thread about Dreamer.. in Showmanship, the level of communication between horse and handler is very much noticed by the judge. It isn't a conformation class like Halter =) Its about the handler, the ability to showcase/present the animal in hand. The horse is just a prop in Showmanship. In Halter, the handler is the prop ^^
As bgood said, you don't want it to be forced, and you don't want the horse to react because he knows he'll get the whip if he doesn't. Judges notice those simple little ear flicks on the horse, and they can tell if the horse in hand was taught to lead through steady communication, or through lounging and whips =) I LOVE Showmanship judges =) Im also the nut that shows in the Horsemanship Classes at horse shows (I won a class by counter cantering a 10 meter circle. TOUGH STUFF!!!)
There are some things you can get away with in Halter than you can't in Showmanship =)
Im sorry that the communication excersize I mentioned didn't work for ya. It's always worked for me on every single horse I handled. Some horses took longer than others to get it though =)
Also, I just read the bit about the horse stopping infront of you and you advised flinging the whip forward (i didnt notice this in my first post) I personally wouldn't do that. I'd just repeatedly walk and stop the horse until the horse learned to stay at my shoulder with me (like Dreamer did). Flinging the whip or leadrope forward would most definitely result in the horse throwing its head.. big no no in Showmanship =). If a horse over paces me (even after I gently apply pressure to the halter letting them know to stop) I will back them up until they are where they at my shoulder. Then I try again.
I rarely have the problem of the horse stopping with me, I usually have to work to get the horse to trot in hand, but never stop with me =)
I like how skippy mentioned the horse being your prop. The exhibitor has to go in the show ring and look confident. Without confidence and good presence you may be over looked. The way that you present yourself is just as important as the pattern that you are completing. Its not that much different from a horsemanship class. You wouldnt go and do your pattern with your body sloppy, even if you nailed your pattern you are likely to loose to someone that looks better on the horse. One of my pet peeves is when peoples elbows are far away from there body, in both showmanship and horsemanship. I practice with paper underneath of my elbows for both and when I show you can't see any air between my elbows and my sides.