Showmanship and Halter Classes
I've never done them before, and have no idea what I'm supposed to do. If I'm in my english attire, I'm supposed to have my horse wear a bridle, right? Is that for both the showmanship and halter classes, or just one of them?
What are we supposed to do? Do we just all go in the ring and lead our horss around, then line up? Will there be a pattern that we have to memorize and do? I'm worried because I don't know what I'm supposed to do in these classes!
It's a small, relaxed open show with no real requirements except long pants and close-toed shoes.
Also, what kind of obstacles does a typical trail class consist of?
Oh, I should also add that she already trots in hand, stops square, and backs up with no problem. We're working on pivoting, but she's moving her back feet around too much. How can I stop that? She'll make a half circle if I line her up with the fence and she won't move her back feet at all, but if I take her to the middle of the arena, she does more of a circle than a pivot.
If you are in English attire, I would show in an English bridle. That's what is considered appropriate.
For halter, it is the horse being judged. Depending on if this is an open (stock type) show or a H/J show will determine what you have to do. I'm assuming stock type as H/J shows don't have SMS. Anyways, you will walk to the judge (horse aimed straight at the judge) and the judge will step to the side and you will trot away. They will usually have a cone partway down the arena, and you will make a left 90 degree turn and trot towards the fence, then go and line up. If you are showing your horse English, the horse should be set up in an open position. That means the back feet should be a little uneven, and the front feet square. This ad on Dreamhorse has a horse set up in an open stance - it's not perfect, but will give you an idea. DreamHorse.com Horse ID: 1403176 - Piece of Art
For Showmanship, you will have a pattern that will be posted 1+ hours before the class. It will be a combination of walk, trot, stop, back, set-up, and pivot. You may have to do all, or only a couple of those things. Sometimes you will enter the arena as a group, sometimes one by one. The Ring Steward or paddock master will let you know.
Hope this helps some, and best of luck to you.
Thanks for the info, I guess I'll just have to wait until he day of the show to find out the details.
In Showmanship classes, the horse is basically a prop so that the judge can see how you have groomed, conditioned, and handle him. Halter classes judge the horse and his correctness of conformation and movement according to breed or type.
I show English Grooming and Showmanship. My horses have long manes due to their pasture dwelling day life, so I do a running french braid for their manes. I like to french braid their tails as well, unless the show is tiny. There is a book called Grooming to Win that has excellent braiding explanations and diagrams, that's how I taught myself to braid. If your horse's mane is pulled short, flat braids or button braids are in order. Sew them in if possible, judges notice rubber band shortcuts, and rubber pulls and breaks hairs. Use a commercial hoof polish, clear for white horn hooves, black for dark. If your horse has socks on some legs, but not all, experiment and find what looks best. Black against white hair can make hooves look bigger, and you should do all of the hooves the same color. Check your rulebook, if possible, but I would clip all the long hairs from your horse's face. This kills me, so I only do it for bigger shows around their eyes, but the muzzle is a must. Clip off the feathering on the lower legs and the billy-goat beard from the lower jaw. Pinch the ears shut and clip away what sticks out to clean up the ears. A little baby oil on the face right before the class adds a finishing shine.
Showmanship generally uses a crossover technique to follow the judge as he/she inspects the horse. You can find diagrams and better descriptions than I can give online.
Sorry that got so long, I hope it helped!
I really don't want to have to trim her whiskers; I'm still debating as to whether or not I'm going to. She's a Percheron, so I won't need to trim her feathers.
To do the braid, start with about the first inch or two of mane after the bridle path and start a braid. After the first "link," add another chunk of mane into every twist, working your way down the crest. When you get to the withers, or to the point where the mane is too short to braid in, just finish off the existing braid and either sew it in or band it. To add the ribbon, just put a strand with each braid section and pretend it is just more hair. I really recommend "Grooming to Win" for braiding instructions. I think the author's name is Harris. Does your percheron have a docked tail? I'm not sure how to braid those. If she has an intact tail, I would do a simple hunter style french braid, or, to reflect her draft horse breeding, a "mud stick". That starts similarly to the hunter tail, then continues to braid the entire length of the tail, and the "brush" is folded up inside the braiding along the tail itself. You could probably incorporate the ribbon there as well. I would minimize the ribbon in the class unless it is all draft horses. Hunt type English is pretty minimalist. I would really practice the braiding ahead of time, it takes a while to figure out the logistics if you dont have a third hand, lol.
It's actually going to be a mostly western class, but I was planning on using my english attire so I could have my horse in a bridle, and so she (hopefully) won't be compared to the western-type horses.
I'm not sure what you mean by "mud knot." I'm thinking of a very tight braid that catches all of the tail brush in a braid around the tail bone, with no flyaways. The silhouette should basically look like there is no long hair at all on the tail. I know that sometimes jumpers, etc. will use this braid to keep the tail under control in inclement weather. The mud knot brings more to mind the polo horse style tail, with a loose braid bound into a knot wrapped in vetwrap or tape against the tail bone. Yes, both can be used in a show class, to my knowledge. The mud stick is just a bit fancier. I've never personally attempted it, it looks time consuming. Here is a link with a tail braiding DIY for draft horses. If you are just wearing regular hunt seat attire and not competing in a specific draft horse division, I would leave out the bow, it's a little over the top for hunt seat style in hand. Just treat her braiding like you would a warmblood hunter. :wink: Braiding A Horse Tail - Draft Horse Tail Braiding- Big Black Horse
I would suggest that you research I realize everything is different but reading books and website information will give you ideas and knowledge
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