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Lovelyepona
LOL How I do???
Teaching him this.
Thank you for the help.
Cheryl L
Dawn,
You get an A for reading the whole thing.
Cheryl
Lovelyepona
ROFLMAO
Cheryl reading is my hobby, okay the other hobby. I can ignore my kids and hubby when their being pains tongue.gif
Lovelyepona
Oh yeah do I get a cookie with that A? tongue.gif
Cheryl L
How about a big shiny star? Gold or silver?
In a couple of months, I do expect pictures though. As I keep saying, one of these days..................I will get a scanner.
Cheryl
Lovelyepona
SIlver please. and yes I'll send pictures. I see this guy every day and am amazed at the difference. He really gets prettier every time I look at him. He's sooooo docile and sweet too.
Better than Knight, I swear his head grows faster, too bad he didn't get The boz's head!

When will he realize he is a boy?
Cheryl L
Probably the first day you take him to a show. My stallion was turned out with the geldings until he was 4, then he started to pick on some of them. It just was like he decided that; today I will pick on everyone. So that is when he started getting his own personal turnout time. Now he has an area for himself. Did you ever read the thread "Addicted to Horses"? If not, it sure is fun and it sounds like you will fit right in. That is another one that you have to start at the beginning and no cheating.
Cheryl
Guest
Cheryl or others,

I am having a problem with a young stallion of mine. (3 yrs old) He was trained by me as a yearling and showed well. Lots of wins. Went to a couple of shows as a 2 yr old and started crowding and disrespecting me at the show. Now he is crowding whenever he sees something "new", or even something in a different place. He takes a look and then leaps almost on top of me, and tries to get behind me. It is annoying, and can be dangerous. He has stepped on me a couple of times, and banged into me. What could be causing this? He was NOT like this when he was younger, and it seems to be getting worse as he gets older. I have tried being patient - doesn't help. I have tried being stern - makes it worse. This has all happened since he has started to feel his "hormones". He also sometimes nips, and there is NO warning in his eyes. It's like he thinks it's fun and he wants me to play with him. He waits that nannosecond for me to slap him them jumps back from it, and then lunges forward and tries again. It has become a game for him, and it is getting me upset. When I yell at him he looks sad for a few seconds and then starts all over again. I really like this guy and think that he is lovely. I enjoyed showing him as a yearling, but now - I don't know what to do with him, and am considering gelding him, even though he is stallion material conformationally and his pedigree is great. I just don't know how to deal with these problems, and am losing patience with him. Some days he is WONDERFUL, doesn't put a foot wrong, and other days he is a JERK.

Suggestions please!
Aimbri
Sorry Cheryl,

The above post was mine. Not logged in!

This young stallion was PERFECT when I had him out to work with him 2 days ago. I was so proud. Today, he was crowding me again. He also sometimes does this in his stall. Crowds me. When I push him to get over, sometimes it just takes a light touch and over he goes, or even just the word "Over", but sometimes he just squeezes right up to me, and I can push and poke all I like and he just squeezes more, like he's afraid of something and just can't get close enough to me! What's THAT all about? I've handled a lot of horses, and have never had a trained horse that did that before. He's never mean, it's like he's afraid or something.

Suggestions?

Jeannette
Cheryl L
Jeanette,
He is going through a difficult stage right now. He is feeling the big boy hormones and he needs to learn how to deal with him. Shamal went through the same thing at the same age. Walk with a whip or long riding crop betweeen you and him. When he starts to crowd give him a light snap on the front near you. We would snap the leg. Carrie used to complain that Shamal would "ride" her in the ring at this stage. He was very insecure, as is your horse. He is going through a type of fear/spooky stage. They DO grow out of this. If you don't kill them first. Just kidding of course.

Here is what I would do.
First lunge him, a real good workout. You can free lunge and then put on a line and lunge him some more. When you are done, put your lead on and put the chain under the chin, do not capture it. Put the whip between you and the horse and walk. When he starts to crowd you or nip, give him a good snap on the leg, snap the lead and yell STOP or HEY. Yes this is a mild form of shanking, but it has a purpose. Right now you have zero respect. He needs to learn that running you over is more scary than that leaf or whatever he decides to spook at. This is going to bring the focus back on you. The instant you have his attention, tell him good boy. Do this a couple of times and then groom him and put him away. When you get to a point that walking is no longer an issue, start doing this at a trot. Giving him a light flick towards the shoulder will encourage him to move away from you. We either used a ditch or fenceline. This will teach him about space. On the day of the show or the night before, I would lunge Shamal very long and hard. He would be in a lather. Then I would bathe him. This would take the "edge" off of him in the ring. 3-5 years of age are their pain in the butt age. Carries gelding just went through this last year at age 4, this year he is soooo laid back. Shamal still has pain in the butt stages, but, he no longer feels the need to crowd you.

These are 2 separate issues, crowding and running behind you.

Running or darting behind you:
Walk with the whip in your left hand and when they start to lag behind you or dart behind you,. Turn to your left and step back at the same time and give him a tap on the hind end. This does take coordination, but, if I can do it any one can.

I went throught the same thing and it can be very frustrating. Remember he WILL grow out of it.

Stall crowding. Take a piece of wood like an old shovel handel, make sure it is wider that you a couple of inches. Sharpen one end of it. You know like a sharpened pencil. Then I would blunt the tip a tad. Take this in the stall with you. When he goes to crowd he will get a prick. He also cannot crush against the wall you if the length is correct.. I used this trick on a very nasty mare ( at a trainers, that I worked for 2 days. ) When you would go into her stall she would slam you into the wall, to hurt you. So I took a shovel handle and sharpened the end and walked into her stall. She tried to slam me and got a good poke in the side. She never did that to me again. After I left that place, I gave the other grooms the stick.

If you have any more questions just ask. I will do my best to answer.
This may also take a while.
Cheryl
Aimbri
Hi Cheryl,

Thanks for the info. I have tried some of it before. He can be good for days on end, and then seems to have a day where he is crowding and "spooky", but I can't seem to figure out why. I sometimes wonder if he is bored. The word I use when he does anything I disapprove of is "Quit". When he gets into his "Mood" he seems to think that "Quit" means "Let's Play". I see some of the geldings nipping and playing with each other and wonder if I should put him out in the paddock with one of the geldings and show him that it is OK to play with one of them, but not with me. The geldings always nip and play with each other, but never with me. All my other young stallions were raised with other young stallions, but this guy was the only stallion that I had in 2003, and I have had nothing but fillies since (NOT that I'm complaining), but I thought he might just need some Male Companionship. What do you think?

Jeannette
Cheryl L
That is a good idea. Shamal was out with geldings until he was 4. You just have to watch who you put him out with. Sometimes they will pick on your lower ranking horses a bit to much.
On the days that he is a brat, take him out and free lunge him. Put a 'baggie' on the end of your whip and make a game of it. When he trots praise him. When you are done raise your hand and say "OK good boy come on" then have an apple and set it on the ground in front of you. He may take a few minutes, but, when he comes to get the apple pet him and tell him what a good boy he was. The reason for the apple on the ground, is that at his nippy time, I don't hand feed treats. We play this game with all the horses and it makes for an easy horse to catch when you show in Liberty class.
It really is a stage he is going through, the "bad" days are when his brain is soaked in testerone. He just has not learned how to deal with it yet.
Cheryl
Cheryl L
This is for Sheila.
Bay Area Arabians
I prefer NEVER to clip a coloured horse and always clip a grey.

We keep our horses with layers and take off as the weather warms and put on as it gets colder. Our show horses go on lights for about an extra four hours at night when the light time shortens. We invariably always have the nicest turned out horses in the ring. I think that keeping them blanketed also adds to their condition as they do not have to store up a layer of fat to keep warm.

Mayo works, but I have had a few experience allergic reactions to it in the form of hives. I prefer a hot oil treatment from Shapely's or ultra. It seems to work just fine! Of course some horses break out with these products as well, but I have had few experiences with these than mayo. Also, there are some good shamposs that add colour in for an instant cvolor, but you need to leave these in for 5-10 minutes.

Definitely Vetrolin is good ... as is Show Sheen... sorry.... but I just love that stuff. I also use Infusium Leave in in their tail and only bag mine, not wrap as it seems to reduce hair loss. I also use a heavy bodied conditioner 1x per month and a daily conditioner every time I wash on mane and tail. We keep all manes braided... about 30 in each mane to avoid over brushing from the daily grooming of the grooms. All manes get taken out and rebraided every 3-4 weeks or as needed.

MGT is good, I just hate the smell! smile.gif lol
if they are rubbing their docks we use Listerine Mint flavor smile.gif and make sure we rinse the tails and between their legs after every workout well. We only wash with warm water.... never cold.

We deworm on a rotating basis every two months and disinfect each brush after every use ina bucket.

We use baby shampoo on their face for no tears and always condition the forelock with a light conditioner or a leave-in treatment like Infusium.

Preparing for a show... properly prearing... is not a 4 week event ... it is a lifestyle. No turnout when pouring rain... 4 blankets and lights when cold. Clean cooler or two after every workout and bath... etc, etc. Regular exercise (5-6 times per week) and a proper diet so you don't over or under feed... not too much hay so they get a belly... a lot of work!

smile.gif It is a lot of work, but well worth the results...

Emily
Bay Area Arabians
Cherly, I don't like the Vasaline... it makes me break out! smile.gif I shave his face about 2 days before a show... if it is cold or 1-2 if it isn't and then blend... I think it is all in the blending... i also do a few other things for highlights, but I can't give away all the secrets i've learned over the years!

smile.gif lol

Emily
Bay Area Arabians
My horses all stop when I raise my hand. My horse is the easiest horse to catch as I don't have to. I simply raise my hand. i think a lot of people do this, I do it will all of our babies. Sometimes they get stupid as babies do, but you raise your hand and they halt- no matter what. this is an INVALUABLE lesson!

smile.gif
Emily
Cheryl L
Here you go Jeanette.
Cheryl
2mntn
What's required to make a "show horse"? Uhh, four toothpicks and a sausage? laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

Sorry - couldn't let that one go..my bad, cool.gif
Ray
LPA
QUOTE (Meryl @ Dec 4 2005, 12:39 AM)
Yes I DO believe such a horse should win - a BREEDING class.  Now if we were judging the best conditioned horse, then they should have their own class.  But if we want to select the best Arabian horse who has the best conformation, the best type, then this is a breeding class.  The winner is the one who should have the best traits to pass down to future generations.  Now if conditioning is passed on to their foals, then how well a horse is brushed should be the winner.
*


Hi Meryl,
I totally agree with you here. I actually did this with my stallion a few years ago. He was straight out of the paddock, I washed him, clipped his bridle path, sanded his hooves and glossed them in clear coat, loaded him up, and he won Champion Stallion in a class of about 11 or 12. It was only an A grade show, but a couple of bigger names use it as a step up as it's the first show of the year. They definitely do need to be weighted properly, as people tend to look at it as a sign of neglect only, and don't realise that sometimes stallions pace the yards when mares are in season and can drop 50 to 100 kg over night. Unfortunately people are too quick to judge, and forget that there usually are other circumstances going on.
As for the breeding class, yes, it's a shame the world has been swept up in the competition side of everything, and some really good horses get the gate. But I know of a few cases where the bigger name horses who got the gate had their very unhappy owners/handlers challenge the judge in broad view, and not long afterwards had some nasty rumours spread about themselves (the judges) or their horses, which they are still fighting with today. Thus the ambition to be a judge is a little bit daunting due to big name bullying.
Lisa.
Cheryl L
While I do appreciate everyone's opinions, I really don't want this to be a controversial thread. biggrin.gif
I want to give people information they need to help them in the ring. Like properly setting up your horse and having it trained. Without fear and intimidation.
Cheryl
LPA
My apologies. rolleyes.gif
To condition our horses for show we use a premixed feed called Weightlifter Calm. It's an Australian owned and made feed, that I swear by. It not only puts the condition on them perfectly, but it is nutritionally balanced according to their weight, and nothing else needs to be added. It's fed with hay alone, and is fantastic and safe for young ones too.
To add extra shine to their coats, we may feed sunflower seeds, canola or olive oil with a touch of molasses.
For fitness, all the paddocks are on fairly steep hills, so they're already at an advantage there. Otherwise we do a little bit of circle work under saddle or lunged to avoid boredom, but generally trail, followed by a swim in the dam.
Training them in halter, we establish "whoa" first. Everything else stems from that. When you stop, they stop. When you walk they walk. Carrots, apples, and any other form of "chocolate' is offered to give incentive to try things, but we find they generally just want to please you anyway. The reward just makes it that much better for them.
Patience is the biggest key to success though. Some take longer than others to gain the condition, or to train, and even to pull it all together in the showring.
Hope this helps.
Lisa.
Cheryl L
Thanks Lisa,
It is nice to get information on feeds that work in other countries, since I only have what is good here in the U.S..
Don't you just love the steep terrain to raise your horses on? Makes for very agile foals with great hindquarters. I have friends that their foal pasture has a nice hill going down to the river. Nothing more fun than to sit on the hill and watch babies run up and down. Also makes for great free lunging.

I like to use ground flaxseed. I buy it by the 50lb bag and grind it myself. If you pre-grind it, it must be refrigerated or frozen. I top dress their grain/feed with 1 cup a day.
Last year, thanks to Darcy (Brentwood Arab), I also added Nutrena's Empower. It is a balanced fat supplement, with flax and rice bran and a balanced phosporous/calcium level. Safe to feed all ages. Really good for getting that extra weight on. I still use the ground flax.
If you have a horse with a thin neck, add black oil sunflower seed, 1 cup a day. That tends to put fat on the neck region. Why? I have no idea, it works.
Cheryl
Liberman
This is a very good, informational thread. I would like to add from my personal experience that appropriate training for the age and development of the horse is a grand idea. The first filly that I showed as a yearling at the EE ( maybe the last baby I show at the EE) was placed in training in December. I have no idea at the time what was appropriate for that baby and had placed trust in my trainer. I also did not think that it was necessary that I understand how she was being trained, again, as I trusted them. She looked great, showed well and scored well. It was on down the road that I learned that she was placed on a treadmill when she was 5 months old. Had I know this, I would have left her at home. It is/was not worth it to me. I now deal with long term health issues that this filly has due to overzealous training, I feel partially responsible as I own her, I am a health professional and I should have asked. My responsiblity now is to care for her.
Marilee
Thank you for your very honest post. Perhaps others will learn from your frankness.
Aimbri
Thank you, Cheryl, for bringing this thread forward for me. I will reread it tomorrow, as a Christmas present from you. (LOL)

Jeannette
Cheryl L
Jeanette,
If only you lived a tad bit closer. I would help you train and condition. That is one of the things that I do well, is to train a happy halter horse.
Cheryl
Liberman
ph34r.gif
Liberman
rolleyes.gif
Liberman
tongue.gif
Liberman
I am very happy to report that I do have a very happy halter horse. ( or two ). I have been very lucky to find a skilled young trainer. see www.centerstagearabians.com
My horses are happy, healthy, well conditioned and well trained. I have found that a young, motivated, committed trainer has worked for me.. see for yourself at the 2008 Eguptian Event and Region 12 shows... We also enjoy all of our time at the farm together and have a great time.... to me that is what it is all about

This is Mona in an Amateur class.. Alana is a young girl who works in our barn.. to encourage youth to get involved I let her show my filly. The young people are the future of this breed too !
Liberman
I am very happy to report that I do have a very happy halter horse. ( or two ). I have been very lucky to find a skilled young trainer. see www.centerstagearabians.com
My horses are happy, healthy, well conditioned and well trained. I have found that a young, motivated, committed trainer has worked for me.. see for yourself at the 2008 Eguptian Event and Region 12 shows... We also enjoy all of our time at the farm together and have a great time.... to me that is what it is all about

This is Mona in an Amateur class.. Alana is a young girl who works in our barn.. to encourage youth to get involved I let her show my filly. The young people are the future of this breed too !
Liberman
Sorry for the repeats.. trying to upload image.. for some reason no pic and multiple posts... I have asked that they be delted. SORRY
Cheryl L
Not a problem, the multiple posts......it happens to all of us. laugh.gif .
I am glad that you have found a good trainer. That is a task in of itself.
This is the reason, that I have posted step by step instructions, on training the horse yourself. There are many amateur owners out there and yes, you can do it.
Cheryl
Suellen Taylor
ohmy.gif
PGD
QUOTE (Liberman @ Dec 25 2007, 08:39 PM)
I am very happy to report that I do have a very happy halter horse. ( or two ). I have been very lucky to find a skilled young trainer.  see www.centerstagearabians.com
My horses are happy, healthy, well conditioned and well trained. I have found that a young, motivated, committed trainer has worked for me.. see for yourself at the 2008 Eguptian Event and Region 12 shows...  We also enjoy all of our time at the farm together and have a great time.... to me that is what it is all about

This is Mona in an Amateur class.. Alana is a young girl who works in our barn.. to encourage youth to get involved I let her show my filly.  The young people are the future of this breed too !
*


Liberman,

I think you must be talking about Tara Carpio - what a delightful and talented young trainer she is! And just a very kind and knowledgeable young horsewoman, as well. You're lucky to live so near her. I always enjoy visiting with Tara and 'Cilla (owner of Center Stage) at the major shows across the country. They are just the nicest gals!

Cheryl is right, too. It is possible to train and condition a young horse yourself by just consistently following a few steps. It's just very time consuming! smile.gif

Good luck to all of you getting your own horses ready to show!

Nancy
Allyndah Arabians
I second that Hartz, its a very true comment.. money & promotion will get you pretty much 95% to the top.... even if you have an average horse..

When time allows us to afford to show we send our horse to the trainer 3 months prior to the show date to be conditioned.. then cross the fingers..lol..

Lynda :-)

QUOTE (HartzArabians @ Dec 6 2005, 11:47 PM)
To be honest my first thought in response to your question was... money!!

Sadly in most cases today the horses winning do not IMO have the type or conformation to win in breeding classes but they do because they are always conditioned amazingly and unfortunately alot of us dont have the money to either send out our horses to be conditioned or the time to do it ourselves.
*
Cheryl L
I work 10 hour days and have a painful Central Nervous System disorder and still conditioned and worked with my horse. With no indoor arena, it was under a vapor light and in the driveway, in the dark and cold.
I will have to admit, the best time, was when I sent my horse to the trainers for Country English Pleasure training. He was beautifully conditioned for halter then. Made my life easy.
Cheryl
Liz Salmon
That's the great thing about Sport Horse in Hand classes, they don't have to be nearly so tightly conditioned or even body clipped. Owners can condition and train the horses themselves if they want to do so.

It is really important to research trainers before sending your horse out to one.
carolmaginn
Liz,

Ironically Reilly and I were trying to think of a trainer we could hire to condition and train our horses for traditional halter and under saddle. So the question was - now that we have this great training facility, who could we find that could do the job, was reliable and who we could trust with our horses to train them the right way - not just the "fast" way.

Also I don't know what the going salary is for a good horse trainer and even how to go about finding one. Of course our apartment isn't ready yet so we are not ready - but it sure is a dilemma finding the right trainer.

Its hard to train all your horses when you also work - I understand where Cheryl is coming from. So it would be nice to have a farm trainer, but boy - finding one (the right one) will be quite a challenge I'll bet.

Carol
Liz Salmon
Carol, I think your best bet is to find a good Mexican. I have come across some outstanding ones, but finding a reliable one is somewhat difficult !
Liberman
Liz used the correct word that I learned much too late... RESEARCH .. your trainers... Thank God the issues with my filly can be dealt with but I have heard horror stories.
You are right.. it is Tara Carpio.. she is young and I am glad to get with her as she develops her training business.. already Centerstage is running out of training stalls since people have seen the way she works with horses.

Liz.. I do have a filly that Tara is going to work with me to show in the Sport Horse Division. I showed halter as an Amateur in mainring and it was more stress than fun for me. It is hard to learn when you show against "professional amateurs".
I am going to seriously learn this and try to have fun with my filly that seems more appropriate for this division.

I give young trainers alot of credit it is also hard to start a business competing against seasoined, experienced trainers but I see honesty, committment and REAL hard work paying off for her.
Aimbri
Hi Cheryl,

Well, I just spent the last 2 hours re-reading this thread. I see that I had asked you some questions last year about my young stallion. He is now coming 5, and has FINALLY learned to understand his hormones, and is once again a pleasure to work with.

I will be sending you a series of e-mails to let you know of my progress with my filly. I have shown halter before - many times - but just need a refresher, and some new ideas, some inspiration and a LOT of incentive to get back at it again.

Thank You,

Jeannette
Liz Salmon
Here is also another word of warning—treadmills !! While they can build up muscles in the rearend, they also develop muscling on the forehand, which can seriously restrict shoulder movement, so a good moving horse can lose out on movement scores. Ask a trainer if he/she uses a treadmill. I have seen good moving horses ruined that way for performance as well.
Liberman
I think that this a good point.. after all of this happened , I moved my mares to an Arabian performance horse training center. A well respected trainer (Vickie Humphry) sent a trainer to look at some horses to train as performance horses. One of the first questions she asked was if any of these horses were halter trained and if yes had they been on a treadmill. She told me that sometimes their performance career is affected by the treadmill.
I know that some trainers use them.. great for them.. I also know that the farm that trained my fillly used the last farm hand hired if necessary to work thos horses. Training board comes in handy to pay big bills so the more the merrier. I had no idea that unskilled trainers had my little filly up on a treadill.. I guess now you could call me a trainers nightmare for an owner.. Oh well.. I guess that is what I pay the big bucks for !!!!
Aimbri
I don't know if this is the norm or not, but I have been to several "Big Barns" with "Big Name Trainers". At these facilities, what I noticed is that "Big Name Trainer" rarely was working with the horses. As Liberman says, it was often an untrained flunky that was doing the majority of the work. And there were a lot of people paying top dollar thinking that their horses were being trained by "Big Name Trainer". Some of these barns have 20, 30, 40 or 50 or more horses in for training. There is NO WAY that a trainer can work with that many by him/herself. Even with flunkies that clean stalls and groom and warm up and cool down, there is STILL not enough time to train that many. 8 or 10 is a more reasonable number. But 8 or 10 don't pay the bills, do they? And if they work alone, with just maybe stall cleaning help. 3 or 4 would be a more reasonable number. But NO ONE could live on that.

Jeannette
Liberman
I would ask a trainer how it works !! I have seen some work so hard it is unbelievable and some that hardly work and that is unbelievable too.. especially when you are paying the bills. Assistant trainers, young people who love horses and are learning, great hired hands and horrible hired hands have all handled my horses. I used to make jokes about the place where I bought my horses hiring people out of the local probation office as they were released from jail until I found out how close to the truth that was.
I have seen farm owners stress over hiring good people and do the work themselves until they find a good match.. that is the case where I am now. I can sleep at night and don't worry about my horses for the first time in a long while.
I think that the horse business is very hard and as an owner I try to remember to appreciate the people who care for my horses as if they were theres.
We had this discussion the other day at lunch re how few clients remember the staff at Christmas etc.. we can afford these expensive horses, why can't we show how much we appreciate the handlers at this time of year. Also the manner in which we deal with them .. with respect. The girl that works with my horses had been treated "less than" by a prospective buyer.. in an unnecessary way... This may well be another thread but I ranted sorry
Cheryl L
Hi everyone,
I am bringing this forward again, for Donna (Century Oak).
Please let's not discuss the controversy or such, about showing halter.I want to keep this a friendly Question and Answer session. biggrin.gif
Cheryl
CenturyOak
Thanks Cheryl smile.gif I've enjoyed reading.. but there always must be some controversy smile.gif

There's been alot of talk on other boards about amateurs showing their own horses, and I've read those threads with great interest. That information, combined with a clinic or two on halter training, then working with my own horse and finding what works for HIM .. which has proven very important... and then throwing out what I cant use from various sources have all helped. We have our first Class A this spring and though I've shown halter before with my filly.. this will be the first for Jasoor.. yes I'm nervous ph34r.gif Not because I'm nervous going out there with him, but nervous about how people will perceive him and how he'll behave when faced with those distractions.

I'll let you know if he misbehaves if they allow the laptop in the Emergency Room laugh.gif otherwise I'll post how we did (or didn't) place. At the end of the day, go in with the best horse at the show and win or lose, leave with the best horse at the show. Smile.. enjoy your horse and enjoy your time in the spotlight... I guarantee you won't forget it soon biggrin.gif
Ladypurr
Hi Members!

I think when JMO first asked this question, suggestions were encouraged to help a person (amateur, especially) prepare a horse for the showring.

Alot depends on what particular classes you intend to show your horse in, but regardless, good overall physical condition is a must and to get a horse in top condition involves proper feed and exercise.

I read over the many comments again and there were some posts regarding treadmills. Just the thought of using a treadmill to condition a horse makes me ill.
I've never used one but do know of a couple really fabulous trotting horses who lost their natural, brilliant movement because of excessive treadmill training.

Years ago I read an article quoting Ron Palelek and how he conditioned the Polish stallion Meczet for park horse training. He'd ride him up hills and through newly-plowed fields where the dirt was soft and deep to condition his muscles. I know trainers who show in all disciplines that swear by ponying and trail-riding horses to keep them fresh and alert and in good condition overall.

As for what's entailed in the actual pre-show prep, lots of grooming and attention to detail. You've got to get your horse's coat is such beautiful condition that he'll look like he's been spit and polished. Brushing, hand rubbing and not a whole lot of exposure to the sun at peak times--the sun will bleach and dry out a horse's coat. Now, I am opposed to keeping horses cooped up in stalls just to keep a beautiful coat and if you have the facilities, allow them to be turned out early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Don't OVERBATHE horses--it dries out their skin!!!

I use a human hair brush (very soft bristle) on their manes and tails and NEVER use a metal or stiff comb. If your horse has knots and tangles, use either Mane and Tail, or good ole' vegetable oil to gently remove the tangles.

Clipping is a matter of taste. I actuallly prefer to see horses WITHOUT bridle paths. In the US, it is nearly impossible to show and be competitve in the halter arena unless you shave the muzzle, eyes and ears. Your horse would stand out like a proverbial sore thumb if you didn't trim the face and have his legs spit and polish, too but I'm actually noticing more horses with full manes and no bridle paths. The only reason bridle paths exist is to allow a place for the halter or bridle. It's done now in extreme to make the horse's neck look thinner and longer. sad.gif

I miss showing. I loved the work involved in preparing my horses and was very proud of how wonderful they looked in the ring.

Don't forget that YOU need to look the part, too. Whatever disclipline you show in, make sure you have the proper attire and it's clean, crisp and well-fitted. You can buy really nice used show clothing for a fraction of what you'd pay new and still look great. And I can't emphasize enough how important it is that your saddle, bridle, bit, etc are spanking clean. Use a tooth brush and the best saddle soap and a soft, clean cloth to polish the leather to a fine patina. Make sure the buckles are free of mold and rust and that your equipment fits your horse. A judge that is worth his salt will notice all the small things and it will be the small things that often become the deciding factor.

Good luck in whatever you decide to show in. Local open shows are such fun and a great opportunity to get experience and show off how wonderful Arabian horses really are. Adopt the attitude that you "expect" to win and like everything else, you frequently get what you expect!

--Susan smile.gif
Cheryl L
Excellent post, Susan!

You must walk tall and proud, KNOWING, you have the best horse there. When you approach the judge, smile and say good morning. Smiling will help you to relax a little, even if it is frozen on your face.
Remember if your horse does silly things and misbehaves...........don't be embarrased, just think about he/she must really be looking good.
Cheryl

We use Weaver Wipes to touch up leather at the shows.
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