*sigh* I love tips. Be prepared for a book. LOL.
Showmanship. Ahh, my favorite class. LOVE. IT. Okay, for the start cone, line up your horse's front legs with the cone. Pretend there's a line drawn under your horses nose. That's where you stand. keep your feet at a 45 degree angle to the horse. and always always ALWAYS look at the judge! smile. Even if the judge is like, staring you down, SMIIIILE. even if you're having the worst day of your life, pretend you WANT to be there. If you have to do a hindquarter pivot, and you are on the right side of the cones, line your horse's back feet up with the cone. If you are on the left side of the cones, stop with your horse's front feet a little bit behind the cone. So that you and your horse have room to manuver past the cone. I'm going to copy and paste something I wrote earlier on showmanship, sorry if some of it is a little irrelevant.
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.
...A judge once told me to aim my body at her shoulder... that way the horse is aimed right at her chest... Sorry, random tips pop into my head. Ha, I'm tired, but I'll prolly post more tomorrow for you. Good luck!
Trail -- The biggest thing to remember about trail is that every manuver (sp?) is judged seperately. So it doesn't matter if you screw up the gate completely, it's over, it's all about the next obstacle. And judges LOOOOVE to see a pretty defined pause between obstacles. In trail, don't look at the judge. Unless you can't get your horse past an obstacle and you are looking at him asking... "can i just go on?" don't ask it, but if you look at them questioningly, they will sometimes just wave you on to the next. For the gate, it's an H shape. Walk or sidepass up to the gate. Back or walk through, depending on how it's set up. Then back the horse or walk the horse up right to the hook. You should never have to lean. I'll link you to a good article about trail. HorseChannel.com is very informative about many aspects of western showing, if you'd want to check that out.
here... just click on the see more articles button and then you can look at whatever you want. I can spend hours on there. O.o Horse Showing