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BarrelRacer3 04-07-2012 11:27 AM

Showmanship Questions!
So I have a buckskin Quarter Horse Mare (very pretty) and i have a horse show coming up and there is a showmanship and halter class. I have a show halter and everything but I need to know what the judges are looking for and how should my horse look and any tips anyone has?

MHFoundation Quarters 04-07-2012 12:17 PM

Is this your first time doing Showmanship?

Showmanship is by far my favorite class to show in and judge. It's all about precision and polish. The judge will be looking for turnout (you & your horse! Both should be spotless and well groomed, halter (or bridle if going english) cleaned & polished, all ends tucked into keepers) Quality of your pattern, precise & crisp. Nailing your switches and doing them efficiently, I like a 3 step switch myself - start with your outside leg first, outside cross, inside cross, outside to bring your feet together - very fluid and efficient once you get the feel. Be sure your horse is set up perfectly square and stands still. NEVER touch your horse in a Showmanship class and NEVER touch the chain on your lead shank. Elbows close to your sides, especially when trotting with your horse, if they aren't close and flop around it looks like chicken wings :wink:

Little things can make the difference between 1 & 2. Things like looking back over your shoulder when trotting away from the judge. Being prepared & set up before being called to do your pattern - nothing is more frustrating as a judge than watching someone fidget with their horse to get them set when you've been acknowledging them to start their pattern and they aren't paying attention. Get your horse ready and be ready before it's your turn to work. A quick nod when acknowledged to work your pattern as a courtesy is nice. If you get a judge that asks questions, if you don't know the answer be honest "I'm sorry I don't know the answer to that m'aam (or sir) but I will find out for future knowledge." If you do know the answer be as technical and detailed as possible, ie "Where is the poll" - "on top of it's head" isn't as impressive as "It is located on the top of the head, between the ears and is also known as the atlas/axis." Doesn't have to be a speech by any means but clear & concise with clear knowledge of the answer is good.

Practice patterns at home. Your age/division will determine how tough your pattern will be. At the youngest age, I expect walk, trot, back, a 90 degree turn & inspection. After that, it's almost a guarantee you will get a 270 or 360, multiple direction/speed changes (won't be just a straight a to b to c pattern in a line), back & inspection. The youngest I will line up side to side, older I always line up head to tail, for some reason it is a bit harder to get all of your changes right when head to tail. Work your horse and at least 2 on either side (or front/back) of you. I like to see a competitor work the entire class, regardless of where I am but don't ding for not doing so farther than 2 horses out. When you go in check out the color of the judge's boots & hat (this will help you see where the judge is when not right next to you)

Best advice to any showman "Sell your horse to that judge without saying a word." but the most important thing is to have fun! Hope that helps!

BarrelRacer3 04-07-2012 03:17 PM

Yes, im use to the fast evetnts like barrel racing

oh vair oh 04-07-2012 06:14 PM

BarrelRacer3 04-07-2012 07:47 PM

Thanks for advice!!! It is really going to help me out!!!

Duren 04-07-2012 08:24 PM

Showmanship is one of my favorites as well. Theres a lot more to it than it looks. If you're serious about starting to complete in that class I suggest a coach until you get the hang of it. Or a weekend clinic if they have one in your area.

MHFoundation Quarters 04-07-2012 10:12 PM

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
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GoAppendix 04-08-2012 10:01 AM

Some of the advice you are getting is outdated. (Looking back at the judge while trotting away, being asked questions, etc.) I wouldn't do or expect either.

AQHA put out a good resource for someone new to the class. You can go here to download it:

Showmanship Basics – America’s Horse Daily

The practice pattern is more complicated than what you will see, but the report gives a nice overview of the class and explains how you and your horse should be presented.

MHFoundation Quarters 04-08-2012 11:11 AM


Originally Posted by GoAppendix (Post 1443505)
Some of the advice you are getting is outdated. (Looking back at the judge while trotting away, being asked questions, etc.) I wouldn't do or expect either.

I have to respectfully disagree. It depends greatly on what level/area you are showing in. AQHA/breed shows, no you won't be asked questions. 4-H/local level/shows hosted by 4-H clubs, almost a guarantee you will be asked questions. This was a topic of discussion at the last judge's seminar I attended just a few months ago. I included that for the OP to be prepared as she is a youth and didn't specify where she would be showing.

Glancing back when trotting away as completion of pattern is still seen on all levels. Of course, it's not the glance back every 10 steps of 25 years ago when I went to my first world show.

Example from youth world. Exhibitor does look back when trotting back to the line.

GoAppendix 04-08-2012 11:16 AM

Finding random youtube videos proves nothing. That girl didn't win, now did she?

Regardless, she was showing to a steward, not a judge. The judges were almost certainly marking their cards and wouldn't have seen that.

It absolutely not required, and just silly.

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