Originally Posted by bgood400
everything she said is really important in showmanship. You also need to make sure your horse is well trained. It is important to have everything be sharp. Your horse should not move his pivot foot(right rear), nor should he move that foot in the set up. It is also important to keep your elbows close to your sides and your arms up, as if you were holding a lunch tray. When your trotting it is really distracting if your elbows are going all over the place, they should stay glued to your sides.
Very good advice here. I have won world titles in showmansip with the APHA and my biggist tip that I can share is to PRACTICE..... you wouldnt take an untrained horse into a trail clss so why do so many take a horse into a showmanship class that has no clue what he is doing. Every day when you are taking your horse out to ride, start with 10 mins showmanship training BEFORE you saddle him up - when you are walking some place EVERY time you stop your horse make him stand square - this will get him in the habbit of setting up even when you havent asked him to. In the class you should never spen more then 3 seconds setting him up as it distracts from the overall "prettiness" of the run, even if he is not perfectly set, prestent him anyway.
Next - make sure you know the pattern! A common mistake in showmanship is people not being on the correct side of the marker or missing a pivot. It is vital that you know what you are going to do BEFORE you enter the arena and don't let someone elses mistakes scare you into thinking that you are the one that must be wrong - go in with a plan and stick to it!
When you are walking from point a to b a lot of people tend to walk to slow - you need to be going some where so teach your horse at home how to walk at a smooth FLOWING pace, snail crawl is simply not good enough. I am not saying that you need to rush so don't get confused here- you should walk with a long stride and your horse should follow your pace.
You most importantly need to be enjoying the class - if it is not a class that you enjoy doing then you should probably give it a miss because if you hate it you will never be great at it.
hope this is a bit helpful.