I need help with showmanship class

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Well-Known Member
Dec 1, 2003
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Orono, MN
This just started this year and I am not sure how to explain it but I need help from those that are more experienced in the class.

In the line up with my horse while we are waiting our turn to do our pattern, he stands still for a bit at my side like he is supposed too and then he starts creeping around sideways to FACE ME and gets into his halter class stance. It is clear to me that HE thinks I am an idiot and am confused about what I am supposed to be doing and he is trying to fix things for us. I've ended up circling him to get him squared up and back in position and then he stands for a moment and does it again. Any suggestions on how I can fix this? He does wear a different (western style) halter for showmanship and as hard as I try I can't get him to stay squared next to me. Everything else is coming along fine and we've got the rest down, but this has me stumped.
We have a halter horse that also does showmanship. All I can say is practice doing the line up and do it as long as it takes in a showmanship so he understands, when he moves back him up and start over. I know my daughter practices her two horses every night without fail. Have fun, I hate doing showmanship but I love to watch it!
Mary, he needs to learn the command "whoa". Whoa means plant all 4 feet and keep them there, no matter where you stand or move to. Put him in his stock halter with a chain on, stand in front and say "whoa". Move to his side. At any time if he moves a foot say "whoa", quick jerk to get compliance, then repeat. With practice you should be able to say "whoa" and move from side to side or even around to his back. This is the same way I teach ground tying, btw.
[SIZE=14pt]Dr Pam is exactly right. Im doing that now with my yearling Indy. After we practice halter we practice standing for showmanship. I leave the lounge line on her so I can walk a whole circle around her. If she moves a quick jerk and Whoa reminds her that standing is the plan.[/SIZE]

Also, you can put him up against a fence and work on the stand still from there. Whichever side he likes to move his but towards, put the fence on that side. Then, gradually work away from the fence. It works as an aid when schooling. Don't get to dependent on it though, make sure you start to work away from it so that he gets the idea.
I agree with both Lyn and Dr. Pam.

However, make sure that you practice standing for at LEAST 10 minutes 3 times a week or so. I had always stood for only 3 minutes or so, they I got to a show with my horses, and they both started pawing because they weren't used to standing that long.

Make sure you train them to stop when you stop. With my horses, they rely off of my body language. I turn to the judge, and that is their cue for ok, I am ready to walk. I take the first step and then my horse follows. Then I get up to the judge and they know to stop when I do, plus to set their feet where they should. Then they stand there while I do my pattern and wait until I square my hips with their head to do their pivots. Its a lot of work, but there is nothing better then walking out of the class with the blue ribbon knowing you trained the winning horse!

Check out the training tips of my website for pictures and such on how to do showmanship.
LOL i had to just laugh cause if this is mr Phantom they yes I can agree with you that in his mind he has to help the silly owner who doesnt know how to stand and do halter

I hate showmanship and raven is working very hard at it hard though since I dont do it kinda like the blind leading the blind...

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