Show Halter or Rope Halter?
I made it to state fair (4-h) and one class was trail in hand.I have always used a show halter to show in and that's what I used at the qualifying show.I was practicing backing an "L" I found out I could send her through it without me actually guiding her through it.I was told that'll help me earn some points but she only will do it with a rope halter.Would it be proper for me to use a rope halter?
Thanks in advance!
I would not use a rope halter in a show. If she will do it with a rope halter, she can lean to do it with a flat halter as well.
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During in-hand trail, you should still stay with the horse when going through the maneuvers. Use the show halter.
It would be most appropriate to use a rope halter and line for the In-Hand Trail class.
Back in 2003 the project book 177 Horse Training, authored by Dr. Robert C Kline, was introduced and the In-Hand Trail and Patterns classes were added to the Rule Book by the OSU 4-H Extension office. Dr. Kline came to the County Fair to give a clinic that year, only two 4-H'ers showed up for it, and I was the ONLY bystander. He brought the horse that is on the cover of the project book.
The In-Hand Trail class was added to the show roster for fair, the course was set up as outlined in the rule book. Just before the class the ringmaster and assistant attempted to demonstrate how to complete the course. It was a disaster, they led the horse over the bridge and across the poles rather than sending him, and it was obvious they did not understand what to do themselves - falling back to Showmanship methods and positions.
I was very uplifted and looking forward to the new project and classes and even joined the Horse Advisory Committee to attempt to promote NH as I perceived it. My daughter was in 4-H at the time, she was NOT accepting of my style of working with horses and neither were the rest of the 4-H members, clubs, and parents that I came in contact with.
The second year they did not even change the course set-up from the regular Trail class. Two 4-H'ers used NH equip and methods, and although they were the only ones to try the course as the rule book outlined they did not place. The class became what I called Showmanship-Over-Obstacles, the Patterns classes were not added to the showbill at all.
Also that second year the committee decided not to allow any on-line work during arena practice times. I offered to bring a portable round pen to the fairgrounds and find a few more, they declined. Eventually my daughter aged out of 4-H, and I left the committee. I have not been to fair for a few years now, but will be going this year as a spectator with a friend and her 10-yr old son. It will be interesting to see what has become of these classes.
I've never seen anyone use a rope halter for anything but schooling. I'd use a show halter, or at the very minimum a plain leather halter.
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4-H Rule Book on Trail Class in Hand
number 3. Tack will be a halter (flat leather or nylon, or a rope halter) and lead. (A chain lead is allowed over or under the nose with a flat halter but not allowed with a rope halter.) A lead may be of any material and must be at least 12-ft. long but not more than 25 ft. The lead is to be held in a safe manner and never with small coils wrapped around the hand. A whip is optional.
Even if the rules technically say you can use a rope halter, I would still only show in a flat halter because it looks more crisp and clean.
You don't have to go out and buy a fancy silver halter, a simple nylon one will do. But make sure it is a color that compliments your horse well, and make sure it is clean and brand-new looking. And make sure you have adjusted it properly.
By the way, in our 4H classes here I saw several horses shown in in hand trail and groundwork classes in good rope halters, well fitted and clean. You were NOT though, as I'm reading those rules state, allowed to use a whip or crop- which would have been most helpful with a certain mare who I know and love who decided to be unruly.
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While rope halters are allowed (and are my halter of choice), for a show I would use a show (flat) halter. Just looks "nicer" and more professional IMO. The only time I've used a rope halter in a show is in the conformation class of a Ranch Horse Versatility show. Even then, I kind of cringe since I think the flat halter just presents a nicer overall picture than a rope halter in a show. But rope halters are certainly acceptable.
Since the question was:
Would it be proper for me to use a rope halter?
and the rules clearly say you can. The answer to your question is, Yes. It would be proper for you to use a rope halter.
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