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NdAppy 04-18-2011 01:14 AM

Need tips (Son doing showmanship in 4h)
 
Supposed to be getting advice and actually shown somethings (if this snow and mud ever disappears) by the 4H leader for my son to do showmanship. He is still a clover bud so he can only do showmanship with his horse this year (next year he can do more! :D )

What I am looking for is some tips on what I should be doing to teach him above and beyond the normal horsemanship things.


Also, what is normally looked for (clipping, grooming, etc) of the horse for 4H showmanship. I am planning on discussing this with his leader and her daughters (who are going to work with my son), but I would love to get some idea before hand.

Thanks a bunch!

raywonk 04-23-2011 09:49 PM

showmenship is just that showing off. You want to be turned out clean and krisp. horse and handler. confadence and body posture gose a long way and a horse that knows his job. make your sone cary a tray and a book on his head when weather is bad.

Scoutrider 04-25-2011 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NdAppy (Post 1001746)
Supposed to be getting advice and actually shown somethings (if this snow and mud ever disappears) by the 4H leader for my son to do showmanship. He is still a clover bud so he can only do showmanship with his horse this year (next year he can do more! :D )

What I am looking for is some tips on what I should be doing to teach him above and beyond the normal horsemanship things.


Also, what is normally looked for (clipping, grooming, etc) of the horse for 4H showmanship. I am planning on discussing this with his leader and her daughters (who are going to work with my son), but I would love to get some idea before hand.

Thanks a bunch!

The biggest showmanship-specific trick that your son will need to learn is how to cross over around the horse during inspection - when the judge is circling the horse looking at things up close. Your 4-H leader should be able to show you and your son how to do this; it's easy enough in practice, but difficult to describe clearly in text. Also, have your son practice leading the horse as he will have to in the ring, so that it becomes second-nature - leading from the left side, right hand near the halter but not touching the snap or chain, left hand holding the lead neatly coiled. This hand position should stay the same the entire time. The biggest thing for the horse to learn will probably be to set up square - if the horse doesn't know this, your leader should be able to get you started on teaching it. There are also a few threads here on training the horse to stand square. All turns should be made into the horse, not pulling the horse toward him. He shouldn't need to touch the horse at all to move him; touching a shoulder to back up or turn will lose points in the ring.

In terms of clipping and grooming, 4-H in my area likes a pretty generic clip. The exception would be if the horse is an extremely type-y non-stock or non-hunter breed (i.e. Arab, Morgan, draft, gaited). Assuming that your son will be showing western, you'll need the horse to be spotlessly clean. I find that bathing strips the oil from the coat, and prefer to bathe a couple of days in advance of the show, but that's just my preference. Stock-type western horses should ideally have their manes pulled and banded (I've seen natural manes in the ring, but pulled is the ideal), and a bridle path clipped the length of the ear laid flat against the neck. The long whiskers on the muzzle and face should be clipped, and the ears folded closed and the protruding hairs clipped away. The long feathering on the fetlocks should also be clipped, unless the horse's breed standard allows them to be kept, such as a draft breed.

In showmanship, remember that the horse is a prop that your son is using to demonstrate his ability to condition, care for, groom, and handle a project horse. There shouldn't be much focus on the horse beyond that. As a clover-bud, I would expect a very simple pattern in the class.

The best thing is to absorb everything your leader and her family can show you - the preferences of 4-H judges in terms of clip style can vary pretty widely with geographical area. Your County Extension Office can provide you with a rulebook for your state that outlines the expectations for each class. The rulebooks get updated every year or two, and your leader can probably get one for you if she hasn't already.

Good luck, and remember that the most important thing is to have fun!! :wink:

NdAppy 04-25-2011 12:17 PM

Thank you so much scoutrider!

Now that teh mud is finally starting to dry up around here, we are working more on his handling. He has the basic basics anyways. It's more refining how he handles he horses. He still has to decide which horse he wants to use, whether it be the POA mare, the APHA mare or the pony.

If we have to pull manes I hope he picks the POA. :rofl: Callie (paint mare) has a long beautiful mane and Pistol (pony) has a double mane.

On the clipping thing, is that something that he is going to have to do or I can I do that? The POA is the only one that has ever been clipped and I really wouldn't want to chance him getting seriously hurt by one of the others if they freaked for some reason.

Scoutrider 04-25-2011 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NdAppy (Post 1011045)
On the clipping thing, is that something that he is going to have to do or I can I do that? The POA is the only one that has ever been clipped and I really wouldn't want to chance him getting seriously hurt by one of the others if they freaked for some reason.

Totally understandable. Ideally, he should be doing as much as he can, since it is "his" project, but with issues of safety it is perfectly fine to step in and help. My advice would be, so he still learns about clipping and show prep, to talk him through what you're doing if you end up using one of the less clipper-broke horses.

My county doesn't do a lot with the Clover-bud program, so I'm not sure if there is more allowance for parents to be more obviously involved than with the older kids. In my county and state, 4-H runs ages 8-18, and my understanding of Clover-buds is that they are under 8 years? If your son needs help at a 4-H sanctioned show or event, your leader may prefer to have an older, more experienced member help him with hands-on stuff rather than you, but, as I said above, you should be perfectly fine to help in matters of safety.

The main reason for the fussiness about that is that there are some families in which the parents do all of the prep work, and all the child does is show the horse. That pretty much defeats the learning experience idea behind the program, and a few 'bad apples' have made a lot of leaders nervous about seeing parents doing the work at events and shows. It sounds to me like you're definitely letting your son do what he can, though; I wouldn't worry a bit about clipping a potentially nervous horse for him. :wink:

NdAppy 04-26-2011 04:26 PM

Oh I planned on having him right there if I did it, so he could see and I could explain. In no way, shape or form do I want a child that is not helping care for their horse. If they don't help they don't get it.

equiniphile 04-26-2011 04:47 PM

To add on to this, I have a few questions I hope you don't mine me hijacking this thread for!

If I'm going to be doing showmansip English, is it done with a bridle or a halter?
Is there a video that shows the quarters rule? I'm not quite sure I understand when to turn for my show this sunday.
Are voice commands/clicking your tongue allowed?

ETA: I found this great video that demonstrates the quarters rule!

Scoutrider 04-26-2011 05:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by equiniphile (Post 1012953)
To add on to this, I have a few questions I hope you don't mine me hijacking this thread for!

If I'm going to be doing showmansip English, is it done with a bridle or a halter?
Is there a video that shows the quarters rule? I'm not quite sure I understand when to turn for my show this sunday.
Are voice commands/clicking your tongue allowed?

IME, English G&S can be done successfully in either a bridle or a leather halter and matching lead with a chain shank, as long as whatever you're using is clean, well-fitting, and made of leather. I have heard stories about people being DQ'd for showing in Hunt Seat attire with a halter rather than a bridle, but I don't know what circuit or level they were showing. Some judges have preferences, too. My gut says whatever headgear best flatters your horse, but if you want to be sure, the best thing to do is to check with the show management or the association/club putting on the event.

Voice commands/clicking are allowed, at least at the local/4-H shows I frequent, but should be absolutely minimal. The more you can do silently, off of body language and positioning alone, the better. Halter is a little different, since people do make noises to get the horse's attention and keep him looking perky.

That video is an excellent guideline, well worth watching and following. There are some nit-picky differences for some breeds in terms of setting up, but the video provides a great baseline for starting out. I should have my 4-H kids watch that before we practice with horses. :lol:

equiniphile 04-26-2011 07:02 PM

It's a great video, there's two more like it as well that are informative. Molly's done a lot of Parelli with me (the stick2me game and all that) so her sense of space is very good. I haven't worked with her in a while, so she's somewhat rusty on pivoting. We'll have to work on that tomorrow! Thanks!

raywonk 04-26-2011 09:08 PM

Every show I have been to that offers Showmanship English want a bridle on the horse.


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