First Western Show :) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-10-2009, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,358
• Horses: 1
Talking First Western Show :)

I've got my first western show this weekend.
I'm doing halter (with my Paint gelding), showmanship at halter, a few western pleasure classes and 2 trail classes.
I'm not new to western riding, I've just never been to a show before. My instructor encouraged me to do showing. I can ride, I do own my own horses, so I'm not a complete beginner.
I've done a few english shows before.
So could anyone give me some tips?
I really do need some help with showmanship, I have no idea where to stand in relation to my horse and the markers.
Also, some trail tips would be good. Any tips for anything will be greatly appreciated :)
Gidji is offline  
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-11-2009, 12:11 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Lima, Montana.
Posts: 479
• Horses: 8
*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. 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

Have fun!

To rein a horse is not only to guide him,
but also to control his every movement.
Nita is offline  
post #3 of 4 Old 08-12-2009, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,358
• Horses: 1
WOW. That was a book and a half. Ok so if I line my horse's front feet up with the cone thats right? Am I allowed to stand in front of the cone though? I guess I'd have to because I'm standing at 45 degrees to my horse.
Thank you soooo much.
Wish me luck :)
Gidji is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 08-13-2009, 07:11 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Lima, Montana.
Posts: 479
• Horses: 8
lol sorry, I know. haha. yeah, it depends on every judge, if you get the chance to ask that particular judge, ask where she prefer you to set up at the first cone. But you probably won't get the chance, so yeah front fee is generally a safe bet. =) Good luck!

To rein a horse is not only to guide him,
but also to control his every movement.
Nita is offline  

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