My favorite class. Show man ship is a class that shows how a well-trained horse should behave on the ground. Every horse should be easy to handle, work effortlessly off his handler’s cues, allow others to approach and move around him without concern, and stand still when asked. Having a horse that willingly moves his feet and walks and jogs in-hand makes visits from the farrier and veterinarian a breeze. Now a days things are a little different. It is more about being connected wwiht your horse and being a really good team.
In my opinion, showmanship is fun! It’s an opportunity for non-riders, and those who aren’t quite ready to show in a saddle, to compete with their horse. It’s also useful for earning points toward overall and versatility awards. To add on to that, it is a chance to get really connected with your horse. A lot of people think the all around events are useless. You cant earn any money, you don’t get anything out of it, so why do it? A lot of people don’t understand why we show horses. The main reason, for me, is the life lessons I have learned because of showing. But, whatever reason you’ve decided to give showmanship a try, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s an easy class. Like any other class, it takes preparation, practice and skill.
The best way to be successful at showmanship is to understand how it’s judged. In contrast to a halter class, in which a horse’s conformation is evaluated, the handler’s skills as a showman are being scrutinized. For me the best way to learn what the judges were looking for is going to different clinics and talking to judges. However, the horse’s appearance and training are significant to the overall score as well. If your horse isn’t cleaned up meticulously you are not going to do well. The most important thing you can do to improve in show man ship is practice. Setting up over and over again is the best way to practice.