Horse Showmanship

Procedure: Walk, trot, turn, stop, back, and pose your horse as directed by the judge or ring steward. Lead from the left side of your horse with your right hand on the lead shank or bridle reins.  When showing your horse at a walk, walk by his side – never directly in front of him. His head should be about even with your shoulder. When moving, keep your horse’s neck, head, and body in a straight line and maintain precise control. Move him directly toward or away from the judge, unless the judge indicates that he wishes to see him from the side. Show the horse with a shank short enough to assure maximum control and responsiveness from the horse. The basic position of the exhibitor should allow constant observation of the horse’s feet and also permit observation of the judge and ring officials. Never obstruct the view of the judge and do not stand directly in front of the horse. 

The following suggested guidelines of movement are meant to serve as an illustration of proper movement around the horse while showing in Showmanship, and are for exhibitor information. Imaginary lines divide the horse into four equal parts as seen in the figure below.

horse_showmanshipOne line runs across the horse just behind the withers. The other imaginary line runs from head to tail. When the judge is in I, the exhibitor should be in IV. As the judge moves to II, the exhibitor should move to I. When the judge moves to III, the exhibitor moves to IV. As the judges move up to IV, the exhibitor returns once more to I. This method is based on safety, as you can keep the horse’s hindquarters from swinging toward the judge.  MORE….