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Brooke S.

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Hi everyone,

I am new to showing miniatures, well, actually any animal, so I was wondering if you guys could fill me in a little on what it is like so I know what to expect. And if you have any tips on grooming or the actual showing please share!! I really don't know anything at all, except I know that you shave your minis and dress them up (hoof polish exc.) and then make them stand for a judge to look at them. Is that all there is to it?

I thought that it would be cool if this page would be mostly for sharing showing tips and ideas with everyone.

Also how do you train a miniature to stand in the 'show pose'?

Thanks!!
 

Al B

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Where are you in Texas? And no, Halter showing is just the tip of the iceberg.
 

Maple Hollow Farm

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I highly recommend looking up the class schedules for both AMHA and AMHR (if you are looking at breed showing) and find a show close to you to attend. There really is a lot more to showing than just halter.

I teach my halter horses to whoa and set their back feet and then I shift their weight in their shoulders to get them to place the front feet and once again tell them to whoa. Then you have to find a way to keep their attention on you to keep ears up and get them to bring their neck to you. Keep in mind not to overstretch the neck. It should arch nicely, not come straight out at you. I am by no means a trainer so dont have any neat little tricks, I do something different with every horse it seems!

Then there is hunter and jumper! Both you need to start with ground poles and low jumps and gradually build up from there. Jumper for A is simply jumping the highest sets of clean rounds, in R it is fastest clean rounds. Hunter in both A and R is on consistency, well polished appearance, and clean jumping, if you take the course at a walk, you must stay at the walk, if you want to lope it, take the whole thing loping, I personally prefer trotting through it. The horse should stay centered over the jump and have nice form. Hunter braiding of the mane and tail is permitted. Show in a western type or nice nylon halter, not an arabian style halter.

Liberty is one of my personal favorites, great way for my horses and I to unwind and have fun at a show. You pick music that fits your horses movement, you must release and NOT touch your horse when you release and then you have to catch at the end of the time before the catch time runs out. Based on choice of music, use of arena, use of different gaits, and ease of catching. Can have a helper but only the exhibitor may touch the horse.

Driving is also a ton of fun, there are Pleasure, Country Pleasure, Western, and Roadster. You can look up the different divisions in the rulebooks for descriptions.

Versatility is a great class of Halter, Hunter, and Driving that is great for the all around horses.

Obstacle in hand is just as it implies, lots of obstacles in a pattern, sidepassing, groundtie (sometimes with feed nearby), bridges, groundpoles, pivoting, and other things may be found in this class. There is also driving obstacle with some pretty intense patterns that I have seen!

Showmanship is based on the handler and grooming. Proper fit of the halter, clean grooming, clean clothing, neat overall appearance, and a smooth performance of the pattern, pivot, and 'quarters' are what the judging is based on.

If I missed anything hopefully someone else will mention it. :D Keep in mind practice makes perfect and you will learn something new every time you go to a show!
 

amysue

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Showing is a lot of fun, but also a big commitment. Maple hollow gave a wondetful synopsis of the many diciplines within showing so your best bet would be to see what your horse is best at and what you enjoy most. If you can attend a few shows as a spectator first that would help you get the general idea of what to do. As already mentioned practice makes perfect. Your best bet would be to meet up with a coach or trainer or join a club so you can get some guidance on training and handling tips and have a coach on hand to teach you all of the rules and to help with things like preparing, trucking and setting up at the show, dress/tack requiremnts and entering classes. There are also a lot of really helpful and knowledgeable people on the forum who can help you too. Most important is to have fun. Good luck on your upcoming season.
 

Al B

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Also in the center of several trainers and multiple mini farms. We are just down the road in Cypress if you ever want toi visit. Check out our web page.
 

Brooke S.

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So how does everyone else train their minis to stand in the 'show pose'?
 

Performancemini

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Also check out mini tack sites for DVD's on showing, grooming, training. I have found that Patty Cloke's are very easy to understand and her videos of the demonstrations are exellent. Money well spent. Definitely try to find a good solid club in your area to join too.
 

zyndyna

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So glad you started this thread. I have a question about showing also. When just starting in showing is it a good idea to start with a horse that has shown before? That way one of you has an idea as to what is going on? Also what if there is no trainers in your area? For example I am in Western NC and the closest club is on the coast. I am interested in showing but don't know where to start.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I have limited showing experience, but what I've observed is that people who are new to showing must "pay their dues". One can have beginner's luck and do well at a first show, but don't be discouraged if the ribbons don't come the first time. It's about learning.

Don't know if it is still available, but the Oklahoma Miniature Horse Club had a video from one of its clinics. There was information about choosing show halters, and an exhibition on Showmanship.

Perhaps a club near you offers a clinic.
 

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