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countrylove 12-06-2012 11:12 PM

showmanship training
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Any advice or tips on starting showmanship? I'm 24. I've never shown in showmanship or halter. My mare will never be a halter horse but I though showmanship would be fun. Any tips to train her or me is greatly appreciated. Thanks :) Btw I want to start showing this spring, maybe go to a few shows this winter for fun and experience.
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Coffeejunkie 12-07-2012 10:39 AM

Is there a trainer close by that you could take a couple lessons from to help you start out and continue with occasionally through the process? If not, there's lots of good videos on YouTube you can check out, both on teaching and watching others patterns.

look up at where you're going. Don't do the waddle run. Hands closed/thumbs up on the lead. Make sure your hair is in a neat bun. You dont need a 2k jacket but you do need to wear something well tailored and clean. Also there's a few different ways to cross over for your quarters, find the one that's most graceful for you personally.

You want the horse to work off your body, not the chain. But the horse also needs to respect and give to the pressure. If horse doesn't already, spend some time just working with give to the chain. Of course working off your body isn't 100% possible at first as they learn but remember that as you're fine tuning. Especially when stopping, this will cause the horse to throw its hip out and your straight line is toast.

If you're trying to do anything straight it can help to pick a point on the wall/fence/etc to focus on going straight towards.

The pivot is a FORWARD motion. To get plant on the correct (r hind) you need to be forward. Start slow. Reward the horse crossing over in the front. Then reward a couple steps etc etc. Your setup should also be a forward motion if you need to adjust.

Backing is important too. If you can back your horse through maneuvers, you can back straight. As with other maneuvers, start with a step or two and reward the give/correct motion. Also don't stand in front of your horse when you back. It's occasionally done across all levels but that doesnt make it correct. It looks bad, and is very dangerous.

Grooming/turnout is important too. I don't recommend hoof black unless at a very large show as it dries the hooves out pretty bad. A bit of baby oil as face highlighter, corn starch on white legs. Well clipped, no stains. Make sure the halter is well fitted and correctly placed, not loose and hanging off the nose.

countrylove 12-08-2012 12:47 PM

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Thanks :) I have a good friend/trainer but it never occurred to ask her for a lesson lol I will now though. I have watched some videos and seen hundreds of live shows just never entered one myself. I think I will be fine but still want to know as much as I can. Thanks again!
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countrylove 12-10-2012 12:21 AM

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Anyone else?
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spurstop 12-12-2012 08:37 PM

Showmanship is probably one of the most difficult classes. If you have someone who can help you in person, you would be better off than trying to learn through the written word. Subtle things from the way you walk to the way you position yourself with your horse's body makes a big difference. The best way to learn is to get someone to teach you in person, who can see your horse and knows what needs to be fixed or what you need to do to create the best runs and makes you a consistent showman.

GotaDunQH 12-13-2012 07:08 AM

^what she said. There is an art to showmanship and it is not easy, although people may think it looks easy. I would suggest having someone who does well in showmanship, help you out. These classes and patterns are so precise, that even one small mistake like taking a little longer to set up can keep you off the judges card. I show Showmanship on the AQHA circuit and it's one of my fav classes. I've finished twice in the Top Ten at our Regional Champ shows and it was usually one teeny mistake that kept me out of the Top Five.

With Showmanship it's REALLY important to stay at your horse's head...your shoulder even with the top buckle on the halter, and to let your horse finish each movement before starting the next. For instance, a trot, to a halt to a back up. I've seen many people slam on the brakes, IMMEDIATELY turn to their horse and start a back up....when their horse has not stopped the forward motion at the trot yet. It's all about timing and flow.

howrsegirl123 01-01-2013 09:30 AM

OP, I'm wanting to do this too...not big time, just local stuff.
I'm having trouble with the pivot, wondering if anyone on here can give some advice on horse crosses his front legs behind instead of over.

spurstop 01-01-2013 11:24 AM

Howrsegirl, you are most likely pushing him back and he is "backing" the pivot. The pivot is a forward motion, so you need to pull him forward slightly. What foot is he sticking?

howrsegirl123 01-01-2013 11:33 AM


Originally Posted by spurstop (Post 1823430)
Howrsegirl, you are most likely pushing him back and he is "backing" the pivot. The pivot is a forward motion, so you need to pull him forward slightly. What foot is he sticking?

I just started with this and really don't know what I'm doing yet...someone else on here gave me some advice and I tried to follow that but I'm not sure if I'm doing it right...I really need to know how to start it (the pivot)
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amberly 01-01-2013 11:57 AM

Quarters. You should work on your quarters. Every time I step around the front of my horse he tries to turn. If he/she does turn, then just raise your hand when he turns his head, and drop it as soon as it goes back.
When you're standing in the line, (it happened A LOT with me) and other horses around you start to move, and it bugs your horse - then just making a soothing sound to calm him down. (I wish there was a video) When I was showing, All the other horses were moving and the leaders had to keep turning them to pay attention, I made a soft SHH sound and my horse stood still, as if he was home and sleeping. He didn't even turn his head. It bugged the crap out of the girl next to me, but hey! It worked - and the only reason I didn't get reserve champ is because I forgot my quarters when we were lined up.
Good luck!

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