Soon my horse and I will go to our first show.
Can someone please explain to me what to expect...?
For example patterns, or "rules" from the time you enter the ring, to the time you leave and everything in between. For example lining up and going back into line after you preform your individual pattern.
Anything else...? How does everything usually work?
Maybe some practice patterns...(not sure if theres a thread with patterns somewhere on here...)
Here's a website with oodles of practice patterns: Showmanship Practice Patterns
Most look kind of tricky (as I skim and see lots of loops and serpentines), but there are a few fairly simple ones. Do practice at home, but working the pattern and memorizing it.
As far as ring advice, firstly don't be the first one in the ring if you can help it. Really small shows sometimes let entrants sort themselves into the order they want, but most do call number by number. Being first (or last) to go helps you stick in the judge's mind, but if you're unconfident or unsure watching a couple of people run the pattern can help.
Usually the pattern starts with a cone. When the horse in front of you leaves the starter cone to do the pattern, you can take your place there and square your horse up for his run. The caveat to this is if the pattern will bring the horse before you back to the starter cone for some reason... then wait until he's done with the cone to take your place.
Even at this point, remember your quarter method. You always lead from the left, but if you're standing still for any length of time, be quartering according to the judge's position just like at inspection. This holds for the post-pattern lineup as well.
When the judge is ready for you to begin your pattern, he/she will acknowledge you with a nod, perhaps waving you forward. It's generally good etiquette to nod back, then crossover to the left side if you need to, and start your pattern. The judge is looking for a solid entry -- straight lines, smooth transitions, responsive back-ups, pivots, and square-ups, and a horse that neither charges past or lags behind the handler, on a tidy but relaxed lead. Smile, and be confident! If you aren't, fake it until you make it! Above all, have fun! :D
After the inspection portion of the pattern, finish out or return to the lineup as the pattern requires. I usually look back over my shoulder at the judge 2-3 times at this point, but I was taught old-school. Ideally, the looking back shows respect for the judge, and according to some helps straighten your line (my lines get crooked when I look back... so not fair :-P). When you get back to the lineup, tack yourself onto the end a safe distance from the next horse. There will probably be a ring steward of some description to guide you as to where to stand. In the post-pattern lineup, set your horse square and continue to follow the quarter system. You are still being judged, and your performance in the lineup can be a big bonus at some shows.
That got really long (sorry, I ramble when it comes to G&S/Halter :oops:), hope it answered some of your questions about what to expect in the class. Best of luck, have fun, and enjoy the show! :D
Thank you Scoutrider. That was very helpful.
Great advice from Scoutrider. Be prepared for anything. Some shows will have you line up, others will not. Know your pattern.....don't learn it from the people who go before you as they don't always do it correctly. I always take everything verbatum from what is printed on the pattern sheet. Look closely at what side of the cone you and your horse should be on. Look closely at where your "points" are (stop, back, set up for judge, begin trot, etc.). Practice the pattern without your horse and make sure you are confident in exactly what you need to do. Once the horse in front of you leaves the starting cone, get set to go, have your horse ready, and watch for the judge's nod to begin your pattern. Things don't always go exactly like you want, but look and move with confidence throughout the entire pattern. A part of Showmanship is about you presenting your horse. If you look and move confidently, that covers up for some of the little mistakes.
What classes are you planning to enter, and what kind of show are you going to? Those two details would help me give advice. =)
At appaloosa shows, they usually run the halter classes first, and then showmanship. It is good etiquette to be at the gate and ready to show while they are placing the class ahead of yours. The advice scoutrider and ridehorses99 gave is EXCELLENT! I would add that eye contact with the judge is a biggie. You should ALWAYS know where the judge is. (If there are multiple judges, the one doing inspection is the one you keep your eyes on.) I would also add that if you are backing your horse toward the judge, keep your eyes on him, not the horse. This helps you back straight.
Oh, and when you do a pattern, make sure you leave enough room so you don't knock the cones over.
@Scoutrider, when I leave the judge, I turn my head but don't look all the way back. That way, the judge knows I'm keeping my attention on him, but my lines don't get crooked =)
i have a question. when lining up with a judge do u want the horses head facing the judge or do u want the judge to be able to see his whole body length wise? thanks!
I think theres someone in there that directs it, but maybe its posted ahead of time...?
Good question. I hope someone can answer it.
Also I have another 2 questions: How do you go back into line?
Do you back up, go all the way around behind the other horses and go back to your spot, or do you just go to the end of the line?
How do you know what to do?
And the last one... If you place, do you just stand there and wait until 1st 2nd and 3rd place are said, go in front of the judge, or behind the judge? Or something else?
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