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How to perform a winning show


Home preparation

  • Practice your show piece at home.

  • Practice parts of it so that the horse/pony does not learn to anticipate

  • Practice your transitions

  • Novice’s often need more time to settle so try a show where you trot for longer before asking for canter

  • Finish your show with 5/6 strides of walk before halting & saluting. Your final halt should be sideways on from the judge

At the Show

Go to the ring before your class starts, look at the size, where the judge is lining up the horses. Imagine you are in the line up and ride your show in your head and how your horse might react to the ring for example the size, unlevel ground.

Check if the judge:

  1. Is allowing you to go behind the line or do a show in front of the line.

  2. Use all of the space available, do not make your show small. If you halt by the edge of the ring it will help keep your horse straight.

  3. Consider what mood your horse is in, have a couple of shows prepared to suit him that day.

  4. Remember to breath, smile & enjoy it!

What the Judge looks for

Use of all the space, a good consistent rhythm, smooth transitions, forward going paces, with the horses head on the vertical not behind (i.e over bent). The horse should be looking forward not at the ground.

In Hand

Home preparation

  • Practice walking and trotting

  • Stand at their shoulder

At the show

Go to the ring before your class starts, look at the size, what the judge is asking others to do. Check if the judge:

  1. Wants you to run at/through them.

  2. Wants you to pick up their hooves.

  3. Wants you to salute before you go back to the line up.

What the Judge looks for

Standing square, Running at their shoulder, listening to instructions, smooth transitions.

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