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What do the judges want?
We just purchased a new appaloosa mare last winter, and we have never had a appy before her. I am working her in ground work to give her better manners (since she had none when we bought her...)I have to show in showmanship/halter for fair. I was wondering what the judges want in a appaloosa horse in the classes. Thank you for your time, and thank you for posting.
In showmanship, the judge is looking for a horse in good condition well groomed, and with appropriate and well-fitting tack. Where the work comes in is the training that goes into putting the picture together and making a good exhibition. The little nitty-gritty details can make or break your performance; things like hand position on the lead, your position relative to your horse (and vice versa), etc. There are some excellent threads in this forum on some of the more specific questions.
In halter, like pleasure classes, the focus is on the horse. If you're showing in an appy halter class, the judge will be looking for how closely your horse conforms to the breed standards for conformation, movement, etc. It's a good idea to do the same kind of polishing for halter as you would for showmanship, because it's harder to show your horse to the best advantage without the control that showmanship training gives. The art of it really comes when you can put everything together and be a "presence" in the ring.
Halter classes are all about good grooming. You and your horse should be SPOTLESS.! I show apps and usally before we go into the arena i clean them the and go over there manes a few times. I start as soon as i get them off the trailer till we go to walk into the arena. In halter they are looking for good manners, good groming, and good conformation. Muscle tone. Also if there neck is thick or not. It should also have a well fitted halter. Not one that hangs.
OK here goes:
Halter and Showmanship are two totally different classes judged on two totally different things:
Halter-judged STRICTLY on your horse's conformation and movement on the trot. THAT is it. The judge is looking for the most correctly conformed horse. It is not based on how well groomed your horse is; that has nothing to do with it.
Showmanship: judged on the exhibitor's ability to show their horse in a prescribed pattern with accuracy and flow. Your horse and you need to be impeccably turned out, your horse needs to be trained to trot quietly next you, back, pivot....whatever is in the pattern. Conformation is not judged in this class; ONLY your performance.
The only big no-no I know about Appys is you aren't allowed to paint their hooves for the halter/showmanship classes. They want to see the striping, so you can't go covering it up with black polish
^ yea, I use hoof oil in SMS and Halter, unless its a big regional show. I don't use hoof polish at regular AQHA show; it dries the feet out big time.
The judge will look for a horse that travels straight, not arced toward the handler. When doing a trot departure that it's done smoothly without tension on the lead. Same for stops. You are being judged as the handler but you can't bee seen at your best if your horse isn't at his best.
Know your quarters and keep your on the judge, but pay attention to what horse is doing. The new hoof polish isn't drying anymore, not the absorbine clear anyways.
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