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Frizzle's Gal

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Feb 16, 2005
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I have a show coming up and one of the classes is showmanship. I am thing about intering it only I've never done showmansip before. What do you have to do?? How do you dress?? This show isnt really big just at the fair. The show is this Thursday. Will I have to time to teach my horse anything new that he needs to know in order to show in showmanship????? If you could please tell me what you know thanks!!


Well-Known Member
Dec 1, 2002
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Nova Scotia, Canada
Your horse has to have a good ground covering walk, trot-out well, and beside you, pivot on the hind, and stand square, unassisted.

You, must keep the leadline neatly in your hand, and not allow it to get untidy, or fall to the ground. You must also learn the "showmanship dance",
If there are any Quarterhorse or Appaloosa people in your area; or perhaps a 4H Club, I would contact them and ask for a quick lesson or two. Most important thing to remember...NEVER stand between the horse and the Judge...#1 no-no.


showmanship is in my opinion one of the hardest classes to learn. There is SO MUCH to remember. You have to memorize the pattern etc etc.

remember the horse IS NOT being judge only YOU are. But if you have a horse that isnt trained theres no way you can do well. You cannot touch the horse at any time or you are disqualified. Everything has to be done from pressure on the lead.

I will say that a big number of horses cannot pivot correctly so those that do pivot usually win.

Grooming is a big deal in showmanship as is the handlers attire. In amhr you must wear a shirt, jacket, black gloves, hat and boots.

Also remember to stand straight -- feet together. You must pivot to the opposite side of where the judge is.

Have fun!

Lisa-Ruff N Tuff Minis

I think if you are ok with not winning that you should enter it and go for it. The worst that can happen is you use the class for schooling and seeing what others do.

For me anyway seeing someone else doing it is ok but I am one that learns best by actually doing which means i do plenty of classes i dont win at or even place but I learn by being in the ring right there next to those that are and watching and imitating you know that fake it till you make it saying.


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Nov 30, 2002
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[SIZE=14pt]also remember that you may NOT touch your horse at all. Hold the lead in your right hand just under the chain and roll the rest of it up and hold in your left hand with the end tucked in. Hold your left hand with the rolled up lead in front of your belt buckle and dont move it. Always turn into your horse so you walk around him not him around you. Stand off the shoulder to start with your toes pointed towards the horse looking at the judge over your shoulder. Your toes should always point to the horse. He is the hub of the wheel and your feet are the spokes. there are patters of where to stand in both your amha and amhr rule book. In an open show like the fair they will likely show in quarters like amha, amhr has 3 patterns and shows in halves.[/SIZE]

In quarters, you set your horse up square in front of the judge. He usually but not always moves clockwise around your horse. When he crosses the middle of the horse on the left side you move to the left side or same side. When he crosses the middle of the tail you move to the right side to meet him until he crosses the middle of the horse again when you move to the opposite side of the horse. In minis because they are small and some judges take large steps the "showmanship dance" can go very fast. halves is smoother and easier. as the judge moves around the horse clockwise, when he passes the middle of the horse on the side you take one step to the left but stay on the opposite side. When he crosses the tail you take a larger step left crossing to the other side opposite the judge. as he crosses the middle again you take one small step left again and then as he rounds the front of the horse you move back to the right side where you started. Keep your eyes on the judge at all times, keep smiling at all times. After he has judged you from setting up and excuses you back into the line, as you trot away every 3 steps or so look back over your inside shoulder, the one next to the horse to look at the judge and make sure you are in a straight line with him. Go slightly past the line up. Stop, look at the judge, pivot your horse 180 degrees and walk back up into the line up.

Another tid bit as you walk into the ring as the judge looks at you nod your head to acknowledge him and every 3 or 4 steps look at him.

Your show should post the pattern that you need to follow before hand. Memorize that and keep smiling. Be first, third or last as these are the ones the judge usually looks up to see as he writes down the entries coming in.

MAke sure your hat and boots are dust free and your clothes fit well. If the judge touches your horse and moves forelock or mane to the other side fix it right away. That is the only time you are allowed to touch your horse in the class. They do that sometimes when they cant decide who is first. If you dont fix it you will be second!

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