There is a 4H-run "fun show" coming up soon that I am taking Sav to. She has never shown before, and I haven't shown since '08, so it will be a good learning experience for both of us. I'd like to do some in-hand classes, and there are a couple halter classes I'm interested in. There's also showmanship. They're categorized as hunter and western. My questions ... what can I expect? I haven't done showmanship since my 4H days (2006) and I've NEVER done halter. I'm also doing some western classes under saddle. Mostly on-the-rail stuff, but I would like to try some Horsemanship and Trail classes as well. Also - there is a class called Country Pleasure (omits gaited horses). Any idea what that might be?
Thanks in advance! Also, some recent photos of Sav. Are at the bottom. Do you think she'd be alright conformation-wise in a halter class? I know that halter is mostly based on conformation, and showmanship is the presentation of the horse. Is that right? What can I do to get noticed? It's just a "fun" show but it's judged and there will be good competition. I'll be showing another mare in english and I am going to wear breeches, half-chaps and a polo. Will I look silly if I wear that and ride western?
She'll be getting a nice bath before the show so she'll be slick and shiny.
Hello :) Halter classes are very easy if you have a good looking horse. You're absolutely right about them being all about conformation. Your horse doesn't look much like a halter horse (don't get me wrong, she is adorable
) but getting her out in front of an audience will be good for her. While showmanship usually entails backing up, pivoting, jogging and lots of smiles (generally looking bubbly and showing off how equally lively your horse can be), halter (from my past experience) just involves walking in, jogging past the judges to your spot and squaring up nicely until they come around to get a good look. The "presenter" (ie you) is hardly judged at all. Your only job is to make sure your horse looks her best.
Trail classes are great fun. They usually include little obstacles such as stepping over a series of poles, bridges, etc. In some exercises they will ask you to back through an "L" shaped series of poles without nicking them, open a mail box and open and close a gate without letting go of it (by using foot work to side-pass your horse near enough to it and then sort of pivoting around it to the other side and backing up to close it.
From my former experience, the way to get noticed in showmanship is to always have a smile on your face, always look calm and confident and most importantly, always have your horse under control.
As for the western classes, standard attire is a solid colored pant, boot and hat, with a flashier more eye catching shirt (possibly with a vest worn over the top and a buckle if you have one.) You may get docked points for not having proper attire, but there are open classes where people can wear whatever they like. Where I used to show, these were the classes that trainers put their horses into to get them used to the show environment and girls would ride their inexperienced horses in them making it a kind of "anything goes" class. Sorry to say that I've never heard of "country pleasure"...
It's been a while, but hopefully something I've said will be useful
Edit: she is very pretty. She may do alright in a halter class if she can stand nice. I would just clean her up real nice and make sure her mane and tail are all brushed through. Lunge her a few laps (but don't let her sweat) just to get her muscles and figure to really pop. Paint her hooves with some clear gloss and we always used a teeny bit of baby oil to get the black on our bay to just dazzle in the ring :) works like a charm, just don't make her look greasy lol. If she'll let you I'd trim up that fuzz on her fetlocks as well