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EquestrianHollywood 04-10-2010 12:03 AM

Shomanship Beginner Questions. . .
Hi All :)

I'm doing my first showmanship class this season with my Thoroughbred. I have a few questions that I was wondering if you guys had some answers to. I'm slightly confused on some things so heres my questions...

I am wearing my english uniform for this ( I know I can, I've watched the class before lol) do I show in a halter or my bridle? Same or different bit?

What is the most common degrees for a pivot? Which degrees should I get him used to?

How quick should my set up be? I have it to 10 seconds (yes I timed myself, I get bored lol) should it be quicker?

I know I have to work on the pivot and backing up, what else do I have to have him taught?

Thank You in advance and cookies to all for reading this, any advice is accepted here!

Rowzy 04-10-2010 12:45 AM

This is off of my experiance in schooling shows and 4-H but... here I go...

English always showed in a bridle, with just your regular snaffle bit. Makes sure your bridle is clean, including your bit rings, and everything is straight before you walk into the ring (I was marked down once because my browband went crooked before going into the ring).

I am not sure about the pivots.

I think 10 seconds should be fine, but judges don't have stopwatch. Most just want them set up in a timely manner. It depends on what level of showing you are doing and the horses you are up against as well.

You should make sure everything is straight. Should trot easily. Almost all showmanship I did including trotting a circle and backing a few steps. Some asked for sidestepping, various pivots (front and rear, going either direction). Make sure your horse is ok with having a stranger walk around him. If you have somebody that can, make them pretend to be a judge and practice the quartering system.

Most importantly, relax. The more nervous you are the more nervous the horse is in my experiance. Also remember that showmanship is also on you and the horse's turn out, so make sure you are ready for that aspect too.

Im sure more people have more advice then I do, but its a start

PBritton2U 04-10-2010 12:54 AM

Hmm...I would say bridle if you're wearing your english duds. I see 360 degree pivots about as often as 180. And I followed a link to an article that said set up in ten seconds. Not on the QH circuit. It's no more than three.

Make sure you're backing up is straight. I'd work on backing a 90 degree turn. Also practice shouldn't dribble to a stop. Practice trotting to the right, meaning you'll be stepping toward him. Make sure your lines to the judge are straight...don't drift left or right.

Just took a look at my collection of patterns. Wish I could PDF them so I could go over them with you and show you where a judge is trying to trip you up. I LOVE showmanship. There's a lot more to it than people think.

Above all, have fun!!!

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EquestrianHollywood 04-10-2010 03:59 PM

Thank you both so much! PBritton2U, could you explain trotting to the right a little bit more? I am a wee bit confused on it

gizpeptig 04-10-2010 10:38 PM


Originally Posted by PBritton2U (Post 600755)
I LOVE showmanship. There's a lot more to it than people think.

I know right! I'm still a beginner, but I kind of enjoy it! Almost everyone one I know hates it..

Okay to you EquestrianHollywood (this is from my experience in small shows):

-You can use a halter or a bridle, whichever you're most comfortable with. Your regular bridle should work, just make sure its clean(: if you use a halter it should look like this: DOUBLE LEATHER HALTER AVG SIZE -

-Pivots are usually like 90, 180, 270 or sometimes even 360. I would practice 360s so you whatever the pattern will ask you to do, you will be ready(:

-10 seconds is pretty good for setting up, but work on getting it faster. Judges usually prefer for you to set up in as little time as possible.

-What else to work on? Trotting and walking in a straight line like PBritton2U said. Make sure when you're walking to the judge your horse is in front up him or her. When you are walking or trotting away make sure your horse is still lined up with the judge. Look back at the judge 3-4 times. Sounds silly, but the judges like that.

My best advice: SMILE:D!!! It may feel like torture out there, but the more you smile, the more the judge will like you which means: THE BETTER YOU SCORE!

Good Luck! Have fun(:

RadHenry09 04-11-2010 12:49 AM

I agree with setting up as fast as possible. My daughter is doing showmanship this summer for 4H too. Her trainer said setting up in 5 seconds is best, if you cant get all fours at least the front two. My daughter is a rank beginner when it comes to this. She showed last year in the class after not having much preparation. The class had at least 20-25 entries in it. She didnt place but she really gave it her best shot. This year we are really trying to work on it! Best of luck!

EquestrianHollywood 04-11-2010 05:30 PM

Thank you again! I have to show in an Intermediate showmanship class because of my age group and I show in a show team non related to 4-H. I'm really not expecting much because my first show is May 21 and I really haven't had time to prepare! I just love my halter classes that I have done in the past and thought I would try showmanship. Everyone at my barn hates it because it takes so long, but I love to watch it! I have gotton him to do a 90 degree pivot flawlessly within seconds, but any more than that he moves that leg. Any advice on this? Thank you all again for your input :)

horseluver2435 04-11-2010 07:17 PM

I don't have anything Meg- just saying good luck, and we can't wait to see you and Honor go! :D

jxclass19 04-12-2010 11:59 AM

If you are doing huntseat showmanship you can use your bridle or a plain leather halter. Also at the begining and end of your pattern you should nod at the judge and if they talk to you, you can talk back. Then right before you exit the ring or get to the line up depending on how the class is set up you should look back at the judge.

PBritton2U 04-12-2010 01:30 PM


Originally Posted by EquestrianHollywood (Post 601992)
I have gotton him to do a 90 degree pivot flawlessly within seconds, but any more than that he moves that leg. Any advice on this? Thank you all again for your input :)

You've gotten some great advice here!

As far as your pivoting issues, that's a pretty common problem with new-to-showmanship horse & rider teams. It's usually caused by pilot error. :wink: You need to think of you and your horse as a compass, you know, that little mechanical device that allows you to draw a perfect circle. Your horse's pivot foot is the little pointy thing that digs into the ground. You need to walk a perfect, invisible circle around him. If you walk an oval, you'll push him off his pivot foot. Look at his back leg as you do your circle. If his cannon bone starts to tilt in front of--or behind--a 90 degree angle, he's gonna take a step.

Now, all that said, most horses will pivot in a sort of "squatting" position, so you're not looking for a perfect 90 degree angle, just close.

Hope that helps!!


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