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ZippoNDixon 07-20-2009 06:08 PM

Showing questions!
I've just got a few questions about showing before the 4-H show this Saturday (I'm in Intermediate). I'm showing in Showmanship, English Pleasure and Equitation, Western Pleasure, Trail. All on the same horse :)
I have done two progress shows, but this is my first time doing 'Light Horse Showmanship'. I was wondering, is it okay to wear my English stuff (breeches, white shirt, nice coat, boots, chaps, helmet) for showmanship? I have English Pleasure and Equitation right after.
Also, if I do wear my English stuff, how should I do his mane? Just in like pony tails, and then take them out for the western events?
Also, any tips on how to do better in Showmanship would be appreciated! Thanks! >:D

Mira 07-23-2009 10:34 PM

For showmanship, yes you can wear all of your huntseat clothes, just remember to wear your helmet too. Use a plain leather halter or you can use your english bridle.
If your horse is a Quarter Horse/Paint/Appy you can band his mane (little pony tails) and you do not need to take them out for your western classes. My horse's mane goes banded all day long for showmanship, huntseat, and western. :)
For Showmanship, remember to be very showy! Stand up tall, keep your chin up, and really act like you're trying to show off how awesome your horse is. Sell it lol Practice getting your horse to trot off quickly, practice stopping smoothly, backing straight, pivoting, and setting up easily. If you don't know them already or are a little rusty, have someone that knows about showmanship teach you about switching sides as the judge goes around your horse.

Nita 07-24-2009 09:28 PM

Wow, you sound like me! I do all my events except for one on the same horse. lol.

Yes, it's fine to use your english clothes to show in. Mira's pretty much spot on about everything. Showmanship isn't about the horse's comfo. it's all about you showing the judge you know how to show the horse. So yeah, SELL IT! haha, make everything really pointed and showy. Also, when the judge is walking past for his final "look", make your horse keep his ears forward and look perky and attentive. don't make him keep his ears forward the whole class though, he'll get irritated and angsty. showmanship judges have this HUUUUUGE thing going about straight lines. even if your pivots suck or something, go through the parts that you aren't good at like it's not a big deal, and say he's awesome at setting up: really show that off. but whatever you do, keep EVERYTHING really straight. it helps me to picture a bright pink line drawn from the first cone or from the start to the judge, and stay on it the whole way. if you mess up and you know it, don't make a big deal out of it. umm... don't take too long to set up your horse, only about 4-5 seconds. I know, it sounds fast but it's really quite a while. ummm... what else.... OH! keep your eyes up the WHOLE time. NEVER EVER EVER look at the ground. I know, it's really hard to keep eye contact with the judge the whole time, cause it feels like they're staring you down or something, but they really notice that. It's like you're saying, here look at me, I'm confident! also, from the moment you enter the class, the judge has already picked out or is choosing her placings. So make a big deal out of attracting her eye to you. That's how showmanship judges judge is by picking out the winners and then looking for ways to fault them. But the fact remains that she's already found you out of all the others.

lol, might as well write a book, huh? sorry for it being so long, it's just... lol I Freaking LOVE showmanship and there's so much to it!

Siestasgirl16 07-28-2009 12:45 PM

I love 4H shows they are ment for learning to help kids. Yes they are competitive but around where I live the judge will tell you why you didnt place etc. As an adult leader in 4H I think that 4H shows are a great learning tool and stepping stone to work up to bigger shows!

ZippoNDixon 07-30-2009 08:50 PM


Mira and Nita-
I ended up just wearing jeans and a white blouse, but it's nice to know I have a choice, or if I'm running low on time I can just wear my English stuff! I got a blue, because I really need to work on pivoting! My gelding can pivot great if I cue him from the shoulder, but up by his neck and head doesn't work so well ;P
That's interesting that the judge kind of picks the placings when you enter the class! Just shows that first impressions are important.
This was my first time doing showmanship, (my gelding had been to a million 4-H shows and done it before), but I'm still glad I got a blue. I know what to work on now!
So...... I ended up getting a blue in showmanship, blue in English Eq. and Pleasure, a purple in Western Pleasure, and Reserve in Trail! It was realllly fun and I want to go to another show! >:D
Oh! One more question - Is it okay to say like 'Good Morning' or 'Good Afternoon' to the judge or like 'Thank you'? Kinda a silly question...

Nita 08-02-2009 07:37 PM

lol yeah it's fine to say that, in fact I always do, sorry, i forgot to mention that. :oops: haha. yeah my horse used to be really bad at pivoting unless i tapped her shoulder, which of course you can't do in the ring. so then someone showed me a training method for fixing that and it worked great! first, line up your belt buckle with your horses muzzle. then, You just take your left hand and take hold of the halter, the noseband sort of, and lift on that just a tiny bit while you're pushing like you would if you were pivoting. take your right hand and push on your horses neck, at the base of it, where the neck and the shoulder come together and there's that little groove. kiss or do whatever cue you would use in the show ring, and push on him. release all the pressure when he crosses his front feet. don't worry about the back foot staying planted until he will cross his front feet 360 degrees around the circle. then you can start working on his back feet. he will most likely keep his pivot foot planted until he has to lift his other foot again to push off. ((sorry, i really hope this is making sense... :wink:)) if this is happening, establish a cue to tell him when to pick up that foot and replace it without moving the pivot foot. I usually just bump up a little on my mare's halter, works like a charm. Of course, if he's already pivoting well when you're on his shoulder, he might just need the training on the halter and then he'll be good.

Oh, and that's SO AWESOME! I love our little 4-H shows, at least the local fair ones. They're so fun and you meet so many great people. state's a whole new story, but it's still really fun.

Great job! :D

ZippoNDixon 08-06-2009 08:39 PM

It totally made sense ;)
Yep, my gelding pivots great from the shoulder, and I'm working on him pivoting just as well when I stand at his head - he's doing quite well!
So far I've been to 2 progress shows and a county fair, and in August is a free open show sponsored by one of the local Western/tack stores. Will it be really different from a 4-H show? I know they'll probably only go up to 1st, 2nd, and maybe 3rd place. And tougher competition, right?

Nita 08-06-2009 09:11 PM

yeah, should be a little tougher, but I bet a lot of the kids you compete against in the 4H shows will be there too. I can't really say because I don't know your area/town, but it should only really be a little bigger. =)

Good luck!

ZippoNDixon 08-08-2009 01:54 PM


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