I like judging showmanship classes. It’s like a choreographed dance between handler and horse –
well-planned and well-practiced.
And I’ll hedge a bet that those exhibitors who rise to the top of the judge’s score sheet go home and practice some more!
Because in “showmanship, each movement and detail must be polished to perfection for you and your horse to top the judges’ score cards.” This, from AQHA’s interview with showmanship horse show champions.
Here are 2 tips I picked out from an amateur World Champ:
WORK WITH OTHER HORSES. Include time schooling horses other than your showmanship partner. Not only does this sharpen the exhibitor’s skills, it can also reveal shortcomings your horse might be hiding.
“I think it’s great to practice on other horses, because sometimes you realize things you thought were difficult aren’t that hard with another horse,” Tony says. “You might realize your horse needs some work on a certain aspect.”
HAVE A GAME PLAN Once you set aside a specific time to focus on showmanship, planning your practice helps maximize improvement at home and prepare you for success in the arena.
“I think it’s important to have a clear plan of what you want to accomplish in your sessions,” Tony says. “That way, you aren’t just going through the motions without making it count.”