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It saddens me to read those who are put off to exibit in todays show ring and I just wonder if some of this could be due to lack of knowledge on how and what is today required to present at the highest levels. Back in my day we could pull a horse from the paddock, quick wash and tidy up and show the animal one self. Now I know there are many amongst us here on this forum who have first hand knowledge to achieve this level of showing so perhaps you would like to share your knowledge. After all it's not much fun having a win when there is hardly any numbers competing against you. I will start the ball rolling with asking how long does it take to get ( in weeks ) a horse from the paddock to the show ring and what diet would you recommend to start on ?
Cheryl L
Our first show is at the end of May. Eight weeks before the first show we will start feeding a 50/50 mixture of Purina Strategy and Oats,all the hay they want, feed accordingly to your horses individual weight, you will need some extra fat built up for the muscle conditioning. The Strategy and oats will add a nice shine and weight without making them "hot". About 4 weeks before, we start longeing, enough to produce a light sweat, and start building them up to a good sweat, I rinse them off with water, then sponge on Vetrolin mixed in warm water. We live in Michigan and do not have an indoor arena, so every thing is done outside. For greys we body clip 1 week before the show, colors 2 weeks and use mayo for a conditioner. For those who have never body clipped a horse.....they wash and dry super fast, gives a cleaner, sleeker look while showing off those muscles and with a grey horse, the stains come out quicker. This is for the mature horse, with youngsters we free longe. Example we chase them around and hopefully they run more than we do, then they are told okay good with a hand raised in the air. They know that the special treat will be there and they come in to get it. They learn this from the older horses. This is an especially nice thing to learn if you ever want to show liberty. If you have a horse that has an itchy mane and tail, we like MTG by Shapleys. It stops the itch while conditioning the skin, has a light campfire wood smell. Manes and tails are kept braided. Each horse is treated as an individual and food and excersize are adjusted accordingly. In the summer, they are stalled during the day and turned out at night, this way they don't have to be continually swatting at irritating bugs with the tail you are trying to grow. We start vaccinations 6 weeks before with boosters if needed 2 weeks before. I hope that this info will help, it has worked for us. If any of this is confusing, just ask, sometimes I have trouble putting thoughts into words. My friends complain that I tend to take verbal shortcuts. Cheryl
Eagleridge Arabian Farm
How often do you hear people say, well the best horse/horses did not win as someone said on the National Show thread. I wish I had a dollar for everytime I have heard this said. How often have you heard a judge say, on the day this was the best horse, the result may be completely different with the same judge the same horses competing at another place & time.

I used to say to myself, well the best horse is the best horse, how can this change, the horses conformation is the still the same the type is still the same and so forth, how can the results be different with the same horses and judges etc on another day, if we are judging the best examples of Arabian horses?

So really the truth is showing has become a competition between conditioners, trainers and handlers, rather than the selection of the best example of an Arabian Horse. If you apply Tom's theory 25% preparation 25% presenation 25% trainer and 25% horse, and you have the first three perfected you only need a half way good horse to be the winner, partiuclarly if the rest of the competitiors are not up to scratch on the first 3, which is so often the case here in Australia.

I do not believe that politics and cheating takes place to the degree suggested by some, although I do not deny that the perception is there, perhaps we all just need to lift our game, other than that I dont know what the answer is...... unsure.gif
Cheryl L
During the winter, is the time to start training your horses for halter. Tie them and brush them good. Put a regular halter on and use a captive chain, wrap in guaze or vet wrap for the babies if you so choose. You are NOT going to "shank" your horse. Just walk around and every time you stop lift your lead hand up high quickly and tell them whoa. This should slightly startle them and they should stop. Pat them and tell them good. Cluck and walk, tell them good, keep sessions short ,end on a good note and always brush them afterwards. Do this untill they automatically stop every time that you lift your hand. Don't forget to praise and cluck for them to walk again. Now extend the time that they have to whoa. If you have to correct them for moving, just lift your hand and say whoa. This is a very important step and should not be taken lightly, you cannot judge a horse that will not stand still. You also should be used to carrying a halter whip in your left hand. Whether you chose to show with a whip or not your horse needs to be used to one, they will be all around you in the ring. Your next lesson will be to walk your horse and the handler will turn in front of the horse, walk backwards and raise your hand to whoa. This will start to teach your horse to stand in front of you. Don't forget hand raised ,whoa, and Praise. When they learn to stand while you are in front of them, you are going to cluck and walk backwards, everytime you raise your hand they should stop. Praise. Next. You will walk backwards watch their backfeet. when the hind leg on your left side starts to lift tell them whoa. This should stagger that foot forward. Praise. Remember don't start the next step untill the last lesson is solid. Now when you walk backwards lift your hand and your horse should stop with that back leg on your left staggered forward. Now you are going to teach your horse to bring his front legs forward. You will do this with pulling on the lead rope to the right and cluck, if they move a back leg tell them Whoa, start again, eventually they will move the front left leg forward. This will take patience and a lot of resetting the back legs. Lots of Praise. Then you will teach them to move the other leg by pulling to the right. When this happens everytime you have now taught your horse to stand for show. Remember when you want movement, cluck. Now when you have your horse "set up", you will have a treat in your left hand with the whip. You need to find a cue that works for you. We use the SSSSSSS noise. Hold the whip with the treat bring it to your horses nose and let him eat it. Use very small bites, and use your cue. Praise. Each time move your hand a little farther away. Keep your hand up in the air. Remember movement of the feet is not allowed so you will need to correct them, set them back up and start over.. When this is solid, start backing off of the treats and make them give their necks more times before a treat. They should focus on the whip and your cue. It's almost midnight here and I have to be up a 5:30 a.m.. So more will come....don't forget ask me anything if you are confused..Cheryl
Jenni maybe that horse that won on one day had a better horse beat him the second time around
Also different people have different opinions one only has to read how people here differ to realise that.
Do you honestly think a horse pulled from the paddock in poor to fair condition deserves to win.
We have so many judges from over seas judge us now and seeing as each country seems to have their own type
different results will emerge at different shows.
You know every one thinks his horse at times deserves to win but it often takes an outsider looking on to realise this maybe not so.
When was the last time you heard anyone say I did not deserve to win that !!
I believe that is where the term " Rose coloured glasses " came about you need to take them off to see things as others do.
Thnks Cheryl....
great tips wink.gif
forgot to ask when you apply the mayo how long do you leave it in for before you wash it out ?
& when halter training how long does it take to fully train for this, does this take longer than the conditioning ?
Eagleridge Arabian Farm
Dear Guest

Many a time I agree with the judging, I was talking in general, and no I do not believe that a horse in poor condition deserves to win, really this is splitting hairs.

In fact I openly agreed with the stallion Champion at the National, and also selected the champion yearling colt prior to the class, you can check with Jane F she will confirm, and I had horses in both classes. It is my belief that if one's horse/horses consistantly comes in the top 5 positions then you know you have good horses. Contrary to you I actually have heard several people say that they did not derserve to win.

This only proves what I am saying that many factors go into the results of the show it is not the quality of the horse alone that will win, perhaps we are saying the same thing.

I'm not into spliting hair with any one
the point of this thread was to learn what it takes to condition a show horse.
Seeing as you are showing would you be so kind to add some thoughts.
When do you choose a show horse for your team and do you set them for one or two shows or the whole season ?
great thread plz keep it up smile.gif

Charaway Arabians
JMO - I gather from other threads that you are in australia - not sure which state but if you are interested the Qld Division are holding a training / showing clinic in february (in Queensland obviously). Let me know if you would like more details and I will pass on.

I live in QLD so would love to know when and where this will be held and what it costs etc.Good topic I have learnt already lots
not sure if my mum would be happy if she knew where her mayo went .Thanks Lisa

I like Tom's theory, it actually makes a lot of sence when you think about it. Thankyou for explaining it, it has given me some insight into the halter show scene. My main focus is saddle, but due to a back injury would love to start competing in halter.

It makes a whole lot of sence as to why the proffessional farms and handlers do most of the winning, you are correct we just have to lift our game. It is not really any different in the saddle world you know.

So as a newcomer and amateur coming in, how do you suggest I raise my game? Preferably without spending big bucks for a pro to take my horse in. We just plan to show amateur this coming year. Hopefully our horses will do a better job than ourselves!!! tongue.gif
Robert 1
Hello to all,

This topic will have many view that is for sure. biggrin.gif
The old saying of , you can't be a one man band, seems to apply here in my expierence with showing and breeding horses.
The conditioning is important as is all the other aspects of getting to the final moment of walking into the ring with your horse.
It is very difficult to be the person hauling the horse to the show, feeding, cleaning the stall, cleaning the horse, clipping, applying the facial, setting the horse up into pose before show ring time, leading the horse to the ring, tending to him with twenty other stallions around before going inot the ring, the point being this.
No matter how good you are and how much you love your horse, you need a team to tend to the show horse of today if you expect to have a chance at wining.
If one watches the trainner that repeatedly comes out with the winner, go to there stall and you will see a well organized team, each having a specific jaob to tend to on that certain horse.
I personally think that the owner has some advantages over the trainer, in showing a horse, the owner knows the horse better, the horse will perform better and respond better to the owner with more willingness and this carries through in the ring seen bt the judges.
The trainer is better at hiding the faults of the horse and perhaps knowing the judges a bit more and what they expect from a horse being showed but, if the owner studies these points of advantage that the traineer has the owner can quickly even the odds.
We need more owners showing there own horses and we need to take the show ring back, even in the amauter and owner classes only, the horse coming into the ring was professionally trained and the trainer is hanging on the rail giving instructions to the owner trying to show his horse.
Some say small shows don't mean anything, it certainly is a place for the owner and his crew with there show horse to obtain confidence to go to the big shows and compete on an equal field.
Sometimes we lesson our chances in winning by what we as owners do, and I know not all of us are able to show our horses ourselves but, perhaps we can use one of our crew who has worked so hard in the backround trainning our horse for us to begin with. wink.gif
See you in the show ring. biggrin.gif
Mayo - as in the stuff you eat with lettuce?? blink.gif
Yes.. Hoogie the stuff you eat with lettuce.. lol..
l must admit that's a new thing I' ve learnt to do with mayo I would like to know why tho , is it due to cost or results and how do the horses take to being clipped all over ? Robert you make a great point in that perhaps we need to go to the smaller shows more to learn the ropes and wonder if some have lost their confidence by being " up staged " at a larger show while not being totally aware or prepared for what is involved at that level. Miranda training / showing clinics are a great fun way to learn without all the pressure and although I have a part time job on weekends if you let me know when this is on I 'll try and get the time off and come. Why is such a high grain diet required for a show horse today ? When I think of high grain diet I think of a race horse and the energy that is required by them to perform so what amounts of exersise do we need for the show horse and is this all done on the longe ?
sorry the above post was from me rolleyes.gif
Charaway Arabians
Lisa & JMO - the training seminar being put on by the AHAQ is being held at Burpengary Indoor centre on saturday 11th February. It is free and a canteen will be in operation. Quoted notice as below -

Ever wondered what separates the winners from the also rans? ever dreamed of showing your own horse but not sure how to start and go about it? Ever just simply wanted to pick up some presentation tips from those who are in the winners circle for both ridden and halter classes.

Then look no further. The Arabian Horse Association (Qld) Inc have the clinic for you!

Saturday 11 February.

Burpengary Indoor Arena, Burpengary.

Presenters include -

Halter : Richard Sharman, Wayne Beasley, Wayne Backhouse

Ridden: Veronica Mortimer, Greg Smith

Presentation: Miranda Kraatz

(and maybe some more depending on your demands).

Our aim - to demystify showing your own horse and to help all amatuers and beginners learn how to present their horses better so that you too can show your own horse to the best of class (and have a fun day learning how). More details will be coming soon.

For further details - please contact

Lisa Lyttle - 07 3804 5157,
Cheryl L
Hi everyone, I'll start off by answering a few questions that were brought up. We use mayonaise and put it on for at least 2-4 hours, if you can blanket them, that's a bonus, but not necessary. This brings back most of the color on chestnuts and bays and adds one heck of a shine. They will be lighter in color, though. As far as halter training and length of time. I cannot answer this, this all depends on the owner and horse. Some people are more consistent and some horses learn faster or slower than others. I am an amateur that turns out a professional looking trained horse. I have finished training on an 12 year old within 3 weeks. My 8 month old colt, I started Jan 2 and by his first show in April he was good to go. I don't rush the horses. It is important for me that they like to "play halter", I make it fun for them and me. My goal is a horse that understands each step before continuing on to the next step. There are some good halter training and conditioning tapes at Seehorse Video. As far as a high grain diet......Strategy is a complete feed, you don't even need to feed hay with it, we do. The oats add fat and a nice shine. I do a lot of long lining or longeing, with the majority of it trotting. Riding works too, just do a lot of trotting. This produces a nice top line and rock hard muscles. To gain confidence and experience for yourself and your horse, go to some of the small local all breed shows that the 4H puts on. Go to the Class A shows and watch how people come in and what they do. You can learn a lot from this!. In Michigan we have got 2 really nice non-rated groups of shows. On the west side you have the West Michigan Arabian Horse Assoc. they have a good series of non-rated Arabian and Half-Arabian shows. Check out there website. On the east side we have EMAA-Eastern Michigan Arabian Assoc. Another good series of non-rated shows. We go to EMAA. The people are friendly and it's a laid back atmosphere,but, the competition can and will be tough. You will see alot of these people at the big shows. These are great shows to get your feet wet. Now there are only 2 of us and we do everything ourselves, we have shown up to 4 horses each all for halter. This takes planning and timing but it can be done. All the face and ear clipping and bathing is done the night before. We do hooves in the a.m. before we leave, remember only clear hoof polish is allowed on the halter horses. Now I have shown EMAA, Class A and the coveted EE ( I was not as prepared as I should have been, due to a death). We were Regionals qualified with my stallion in 2 regions. We have shown against the pros and have won and lost. Remember it is the judges opinion. Keep notes as to which judges you like. This year we have my gelding Shamal and his son Jamaal. Shamal will be shown halter only, to give his suspensory ligament time to heal. Jamaal will show halter and Green horse. We show both open and amateur. This year we will be doing EMAA and Class A. Whether you win or lose, there are always people on the sidelines that will see your horse. The biggest thing is to have fun. I hope this helps you out and hope to see more people at the shows competing. If you beat me because of some of the tips, wonderful. I'll be the first one to congratulate you. The more of us amateur owners out there, the more competition we will give the pros. The stuff that I have learned has been hanging around at the shows and asking questions and WATCHING! Watch them being groomed, if you have to take a notebook and take notes. Find a training clinic or maybe sponser one if you have a knowledgeable individual that is willing to help owners and amateurs. Please feel free to ask any more questions, cause lord knows I could have forgotten something. Cheryl
You are helping more than you know!!!!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!! biggrin.gif
Alright, so we've covered the training basics. We all know training at home is a fairly low key quiet environment, atleast most of the time (but in general, a different environment from a show). Your horse is ready to go, they know the get to the show and they are unprepared for the ammount of things going on around them, lets say they give you trouble, can't keep their attention, wont place their feet, keep dancing around etc.

How can you prepare them for being IN the show and not just preparing them for the steps they need to learn? All the different noises, several people can't get experience with several other horses in the ring and have to practice alone, unless they go to several smaller, not really important shows to gain confidence (which is also a good idea to do anyways).

This would morseo be my concern. It's been years since I have shown, but always with horses that already knew what to expect....I'd love to get back into the ring again.

Also, for those that know how to hide faults, care to share your knowledge? I've only seen people trying to hide front legs....but never had any fault hiding explained to me.
Cheryl L
Terri, you have brought up some very good points. When Shamal was a yearling, he had a very high opinion of himself, cocky little colt, that he was. That is where your 4H shows come in. They are very inexpensive and local. He would dance around, not stand, creep up on you, and focus on everything else.........He lost to a very pink skinned appaloosa filly (she turned out to be a state champ for her breed). This is very frustrating, everything was perfect at home. We stayed there the whole day. We hung out at ring side and let him watch and watch and watch. When we went to our next show at EMAA, we arrived very early and I led him into the ring and walked around. he danced and snorted. I just let him,too. The most important thing was to let him enjoy his experience without cranking on him. They will soon figure it out. Some judges are very forgiving if a horse misbehaves, some are real sticklers for behavior, you'll figure that one out real fast! But who cares? They still look great when they act up. They will figure it out, with some guidance from you. No matter how much they misbehave ALWAYS have a smile on your face, because this is the most important horse in the ring. No matter what he does. Also taking a young horse to your local fair is the BEST thing on earth. They will see balloons and strollers and all sorts of things and by the end of the week they have a ho hum attitude. On hiding leg faults, front legs are very hard to hide, you either have your horse trained to not stand well or you constantly get in the judges way. Hind legs are easier. If they stand toeing out home when you go to set the front legs, when they are bringing the front legs forward, you can slightly turn them to the side, so that they pivot on the rear legs and this will straighten them out. You have to figure out which way to turn the individual horse. Judges can actually be forgiving on some faults, when the animal is superior in other ways. It is no different than any of us looking at a horse, there are things that we can live with and then there are those faults that we could not forgive. We are paying an individual for THEIR opinion and it may not be exactly what we want to hear. When you get on a show circuit like EMAA, you will be showing against pretty much the same horses at each show under different judges. It can be a very good indicator of how good your horse is when you place very consistently. Remember young horses change constantly. they will go through a growth spurt every other month. I have won a lot, I have lost too! I still enjoy going out there and meeting with friends and having a good time. It becomes an extended family and that's what it should be about. Cheryl
QUOTE (Guest @ Dec 2 2005, 06:19 AM)
Do you honestly think a horse pulled from the paddock in poor to fair condition deserves to win.

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.
QUOTE (Meryl @ Dec 4 2005, 12:39 AM)
QUOTE (Guest @ Dec 2 2005, 06:19 AM)
Do you honestly think a horse pulled from the paddock in poor to fair condition deserves to win.

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

In essence I agree with you, but it is only a matter or respect to the judge to ensure the horse is well fed & clean, not in poor condition.

I agree with Jenni, judging has become a contest between the people that condition train & show the horse, not on what is the best horse........................ there is no answer. So for me, as many others have done if you cant beat them then you have to join them. sad.gif
And it is indeed a sad state of affairs when you have to join them if you want to win. Especially so when you consider that people think a win in a show class shows what horse has the best conformation and best Arabian type and it ain't necessarily so.

We should be able to take a horse right out of the pasture, mane uneven from pulling burrs out, dust the horse off a little and enter them in a show - with a chance of winning based on conformation and type. A horse kept inside will always have a much better coat, well I don't want to keep my horse shut up. My horses always were free to come and go. They had a warm place to get out of bad weather, and they could enjoy the sun outside when they wanted. Why should I make my horses give up this life just because condition means more than how good of an Arabian horse they are. The answer? I can't show.

Years ago, there used to be a class for Arabs called a Model class. The coat had to be absolutely unblemished. Today I wish shows would have at least one class for horses brought right out of the pasture. That might bring more people to show their Arabians.
Robert 1
Hello to all,

I don't think one needs to change the life style of the horse just to show but, one wouldn't go out for dinner with their partner just having come in from doing the stables. Getting cleaned up and perhaps some new clothes would be appropriate, showing respect for the partner and all who may see you. not to mention one self. wink.gif
I would think the same applies to your horse, some horses of good quality don't take much to get in condition, they rather keep them selves fit by exercising themselves, If they are kept clean and possibly braid their mane and tail for a short time before the show, the final touches of a clipping and blanket at night heck, there is always a blacksmith at the show grounds looking to do a fancy and fine job on your horses hoofes. wink.gif
So the only thing left is getting in the show ring and enjoying yourself and allowing that well built horse with type to show off and kick butt. biggrin.gif biggrin.gif
Go for it wink.gif
Cheryl L
Meryl, Our horses are stalled only in the daytime, usually between 9- 5. This allows them to get extra food if they need it or less, without the rest of the horses getting overly fat. This does help during fly season, Jamaal if left outside, will bang on the barn door untill someone lets him in. Yes they do play with each other and do have some scrapes and missing hair on occasion, which has not hurt them in the show ring. I love the horses and I want them to look their best in the ring because of my pride. They are beautiful and they love to show. That is why it takes me so long to train a horse for halter. My intention is to have a happy horse mentally, that loves what they do. This was my intention when I gave my basic layout to training a halter horse. Every one has an ideal conformation that they look for and lord knows we don't always agree. There are some Arabians out there that people consider their ideal, that I wouldn't want to own. That is why we have such versatile breed. There is a type or strain for everyone. Cheryl
Cheryl L
Also, When a friends horse was injured, we pulled a mare out of pasture, she had done nothing for 2 years. She went into the ring and took 2nd out of a very tough class. Then went into lead line class and took 2nd, so if you have a quality horse it can be done. Cheryl
QUOTE (cmlshamal @ Dec 4 2005, 06:03 PM)
Also, When a friends horse was injured, we pulled a mare out of pasture, she had done nothing for 2 years.  She went into the ring and took 2nd out of a very tough class.  Then went into lead line class and took 2nd, so if you have a quality horse it can be done.  Cheryl

Hi Cheryl

It can be done, but it is rare that a horse straight from the paddock will win at the highest levels such as the World Championships, US Nationals, Scottsdale and say the East Coast Championships here in Australia.

I have taken a well fed and clean horse straight from the paddock and it has placed high in the competition even winning reserve Champion at a major show, but when I conditioned that same horses and prepared it as the other professional farms do, it then went onto be an Australian and East Coast Champion. I agree a good horse is a good horse, and skeletal structure never changes, however good conditioning can hide a myriad of faults by toning and shaping muscles, also the stand up will hide faults. The problem is that if you do not condition and prepare the horse you are behind the eight ball to start with.

How often do you see when a horse is shown by it's owner or a person with little experience at showing it does not do well in the class, yet when you hand the rein over to the professional it does far better. In my opinion this is not because the handler is scoring points politically but rather he is doing a better job of showing the horse to the judge in it's best light, or is managing to hide faults, so I ask is this what showing is supposed to be about, particularly in a breed class. blink.gif unsure.gif
QUOTE (Meryl @ Dec 4 2005, 12:39 AM)
QUOTE (Guest @ Dec 2 2005, 06:19 AM)
Do you honestly think a horse pulled from the paddock in poor to fair condition deserves to win.

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.

We had this happen at a recent show - almost all of the horses there were presented beautifully by both amateur and professional alike... apart from two which looked as though they had been dragged out of the paddock the day before. Both of the horses had nice type, fairly good conformation and movement, but they simply looked "yuck" compared with the other horses. It was an outdoors show in lovely sunshine yet the horse's coats didn't shine. I am not saying they needed to be clipped and done up to the nines, but some consistant brushing a few weeks before the show, and some hard feed, and a drench, would have made them appear more healthy.
Remember, a judge only has a few seconds to look at each horse - and like it or not, first impressions last.
In theory I agree with you - conditioning and training shouldn't win a class, but the fact is, it does! That's why we have have to take show wins with a grain of salt, and not use them as a measure of a suitable breeding prospect. If I want to choose a breeding animal , I would prefer to see it and it's family members at home in it's natural environment.
Cheryl L
How true! At our first show in 2005, Shamal was pretty much taken out of the pasture and received 2nd place and that was all the further he went. He was beaten by a horse that should not have beaten him ever. His son went on to take champion. Shamal had been getting turned out in a small paddock (recovering from a suspensory ligament injury, an old one received at the quarantine facility in Canada). That's why when this thread was started, I thought I would put my 2 cents worth in and try to get people out there to show and give them some tools to start with. It is not hard, it just takes some time and consistency. I did it all on my own......... and if I can do it, anyone can do it. I have laid out an easy program to follow. If you are against the whole "training and conditioning concept" just tell your self that you are just spending some time with your horse in a structured way. I like to call it playing halter, makes it seem like less of a chore. Also just to let people know, I work 9-10 hours a day and when I started training Shamal it was in the winter, outside in the dark, under a mercury light. He was 8 months old and I had just gotten him, it was a great bonding experience. My goal is Nationals, down the road. This year is back to Class A (2006) and Regionals next year (2007). Cheryl
Thank you for all the points of view being discussed here. Like Robert said one would not go out to dinner with out trying to look ones best . Hoogie you raise a vaid point in how first impressions count . I think with that in mind we do at times blame too much on the poor judge. Just think about it for a moment, when we are seated at ring side we get to have a hard long look at every horse when it passes by. Now I don't know about you but the stand out winner is very easy to pick when he first steps into the ring and I will admit that presentation and conditiong plays a big part . Now with this in mind I can understand why to present a horse to it's best can make the job appear easy but it is when you present to the judge and they have as best a look as they can with the time expected of them, can their dissision change from one horse to another ,and if you were to present your horse in the best possible way you know how, then I guess you would some what level the playing field. @ Cheryl I with others thank you for your imput ,it appears other exibitors wish to keep their secrets. Do you have a solution to a horse who will not drink away from home hence " tucks up '' and throws all your hard work out of the window.
Cheryl L
I will give you a Tom McNair tip....Take as much kosher salt in your hand as possible and just rub it into your horse lips and teeth and mouth, trying to get as much in as possible, your horse will drink within an hour. This worked very well with a friends horse who could be picky about the water. Cheryl
Thank you for that. What about teaching a young horse to trot on the lead for the first time ? What tips do you have to keep him in a straight line and at your side instead of dragging him along ?
Cheryl L
Good question! I forgot to cover that. Simply carry your halter whip in your left hand,reach behind you, tap the hind end and cluck at the same time. You will get a startled response the first time, but they will move forward and praise them. It doesn't take long before they get the idea, cluck and trot. When you get the cluck and trot down, you can work on straightness. That is just a lot of trotting in hand. You can also use a fence or ditch on the horses right side. I know that I repeat this alot but don't forget to praise them. Our Arabs are so smart, and they want to please you. They know when they get cheated out of a good boy/girl. The reason that I don't like to treat in the ring.......some horses really expect that treat and will start to creep forward or worse yet, they twist their heads sideways and do weird(they think it's cute) things with their lips. Feel free to ask as many questions as you like. I am more than happy to share what I know. When I get a scanner I will print pictures of my horse, his son and me. Take Care, Cheryl
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.
Robert 1
Hi to all,

I understand it cost a lot to have a horse at the trainers and then to have the trainer show the horse for you.
We thought that was the way to go and so we used some top trainers in the past, but we quickly stopped doing that for several reasons. wink.gif
Please let me try to tell some of the reasons we stopped using a professional trainer.
The main reason was we lost all the enjoyment of being in the show ring with a horse that we bred and raised.
Afterall we spent a lot of time making the foal happen to begin with as we are breeders and thus we develope and bred all of our horses that we take to the shows. wink.gif
We never felt comfortable having our horse at someone elses training center and not being looked in by us and seeing that there needs were met and just plain enjoying them, can't seem to enjoy a horse when they aren't there. wink.gif
So basically without going on and on, my point is why do all the work and then when it comes time for the enjoyment, give it to someone else and pay a lot of money on top of this. huh.gif
I know a lot of people will say I can't take and show any horse because, of what ever good reason and I understand that but, when you have some ability, why not go for it, and this is happening because each time I go to the Egyptian Event we see more and more new people in the ring showing there own horses and I commend them with much praise. biggrin.gif
Cheryl L
This is being bumped up for Dave.
They are easy steps and anybody can do it. Good luck and if you have any questions just ask.
St. Clair's Mena Mareeka, never showen, pulled out
of the pasture, brushed up a little, and took 3rd at
the EE in a big class. I think she was 8 to ten years
old, one of thoughs mares that is hard to forget smile.gif
I don't think the spelling is right she was a Bint Deena
Cheryl L
I remember that Kat!
Also Imtaarif was pulled out of the pasture and no bridle path and won Supreme Champion at the EE. They just "knocked the dirt off of him" so to speak.
Liz Allen
Excellent thread, love it and learnt a lot already!

I have a colt foal who is a real little mover, nice bloodlines, good conformation. When he is loose in the field he is strutting his stuff, delighting in his own movement and has his tail vertical. I have only done a little lead work with him so far, and only in walk.

What is the best way to chanel and direct this liberty trot into an in-hand trot with the same puff and snort as I see in the field? When we walk out he is very calm and takes much interest in looking around him but none of the fire I see when in the paddock...

Also, he is starting to nip. I push his head away and say 'no!' but he likes this game. If I push his whole body, he whips round and threatens to kick me! Any ideas? Off topic, but could do with a few pointers on this as well if possible.
QUOTE (Guest @ Oct 4 2006, 09:45 AM)
Excellent thread, love it and learnt a lot already!

I have a colt foal who is a real little mover, nice bloodlines, good conformation.  When he is loose in the field he is strutting his stuff, delighting in his own movement and has his tail vertical.  I have only done a little lead work with him so far, and only in walk.

What is the best way to chanel and direct this liberty trot into an in-hand trot with the same puff and snort as I see in the field?  When we walk out he is very calm and takes much interest in looking around him but none of the fire I see when in the paddock...

Also, he is starting to nip.  I push his head away and say 'no!' but he likes this game.  If I push his whole body, he whips round and threatens to kick me!  Any ideas?  Off topic, but could do with a few pointers on this as well if possible.

mine does that too sometimes, but he's starting to learn that nipping isn't ok. When he nips, I take a little piece of skin between my fingers and twist it around, kinda has the same effect as when any of the adult horses would give him a bite when he does anything to annoy them...
Cheryl L
To trot in hand: Just take your horse jogging. Go at least 50 feet in a straight line. If you do not have a fence line, use the driveway or the side of the road with a ditch. Don't worry about blow and snort. Right now you need control. The first time you hit the ring, you will have all the snort and blow that you want. When the horse is playing in the pasture, Tell him good boy and pretty. When I play with the horses in the pasture, I use a plastic grocery bag on the end of the lunge whip. I tell them how pretty and good they look. When I am done, I raise my hand and say Ok good boys come on. I have and apple or carrots to share. They are not afraid of the whip and come in to get their treat. When you have got your horse trotting steadily with you, you can put a bag on your halter whip. The biggest thing is praise.
Nipping horses, colts. I will smack them and yell very loudly. I have never had a head shy horse. You need to watch the eyes they will get a hard look to them, that will precipitate nipping. Another horse would kick them for nipping and you cannot ever hit a horse that hard. If they are truly persistent, I put the halter whip between me and the horse and give them a little corrective sting. Note I said sting, NOT beating. I do not condone abuse.
And with all this jogging next to our horses we should all be in excellent shape! laugh.gif

(What's required to make a show horse)
You have to hit a few show barns, the shows, any
siminars, then watch and learn. I video taped the
Canada & US nationals and the EE halter classes.
In live in Minnesota, lots of big barns and tips. If a
small back yard handler is going to win in this state you
have to stand out. Here we have the David's, Bobby's,
Mike's, Tony's, Jerry's, Jeff's and the Ted's just to name few blink.gif
I like to start with a wealing taking them for walks over the river
and through the woods ( my property has a river with a bridge and
lots of woods) to get them used to strange places. I teach them
whow, walk shoulder to shoulder, back up, no crowding, and trot.
I like to keep this lession short and fun with lots of praise.
Yearlings are body clipped in March and training begains with free
lounging for 15 min with good music, good music is a must.
10 min before and after lounging I keep the neck sweat on to keep
the neck heated up. I don't like the pencil neck look just a nice clean
neck so neck sweats are used just for the work out.
Bathing is a rinse down and a mist spray bottel with a mixture
of good stuff.
Grooming, grooming, grooming, and more grooming the old way,
robber curry comb, and soft brush over every part of the body.
Training is short and sweet somedays two times a day for 10 min.
other days 20 min. all is up to the horse. I have the same routine
back up, come forward, split, and whow. If this goes well then we
trot out and play, if not they are put away. When I feel they are ready
to learn more, the next step they learn to step over with front feet then
rock back. I over praise them and make them feel good and somedays
they forget every thing you taught them and before I get mad I put them
up and tell them i am unhappy with them sad.gif They are like dogs and want
to please us so when they are put up without going through the routine
they sulk. I work with thier neck last, we do exercises up and down
with the neck, the follow my hand excercise, and praise praise.
Like us they need time off and just be a horse so one to two days per
week they have a day off just to relax and get dirty. The last month
before the show I up the lounging time to 30 min. everyother day.
Halter is easy for them now and they know what I ask of them so we
work on our enterance in the arena. I hoot, clap and get them excited
and hopefuly get the tail laugh.gif
I forgot the feeding, 14%, suupplements, and clean high qulity hay.
If you have done your home work at home the little breeder has a
good chance at a win and a win for me is a top ten in deep competition cool.gif
Cheryl L
Just read this from the beginning. It will give you step by step instructions, that are easy to follow, to teach your horse to stand up for halter.
The jogging in hand with your horse teaches you both spacial bounderies and for the 2 of you to be able to move together with ease. I am a short and large (fat) woman with health issues and I can still do this. Just not as often as I would like to be able to.

Earlier in the thread, I stated that we use Purina Strategy mixed with equal parts of oats, plus 1 cup ground flax. The flax is new and I started this in the spring as per Darcy (Brentwood) suggestion. It works great at overall condition and keeps the hair coat sleek.

Now for the hair coat. I use Healthy Hair Care moisturizer. It is concentrated and has an orange color. Mix according to the instructions and spray the horses coat with it and curry it in. You do this on a daily basis. You will have a very sleek and shiny coat. I also use this on the day of the show, it does not make the coat look greasy, just shiny. I use Proclaim leave in conditioner for African-Americans, the white jar, for the manes and tails on show days. Experiment at home to get the result that works for your horse. I use this in place of Final Touch Finishing spray. As I braid up mane and tail at the shows and this way I don't have to wash it out.
I do shave muzzles and faces and yes eyes. This is your personal preference. If you like the smooth muzzle look, put Vaseline all over the areas that you want smooth and then lunge or free lunge your horse. Wipe it off afterwards. Stop using the Vaseline 2 weeks before a show. On these areas I put baby oil, then a coating of Ultrasheen by Johnsons (African-American product at a beauty store) This is the equivilant of Alto light highlighter, which is no longer on the market. For hooves, make sure they are clean and rub on some Kiwi shoe polish cream, neutral color, wipe off excess and put on CLEAR hoof polish. Do NOT use any other color that clear, as it is against the rules.

There that should cover a few things for you guys tonight. Remember you can always ask questions.
Hello all, loved reading all the posts.

Cheryl, I've got to "hand" it to you... I have rarely heard someone say they teach the stop by raising your hand.. That's what I have always done, I might have a chain on my horse, but I have never had to use it. I play games with my horses too, just taking walks out the road.. They learn to count my steps too, very fun to do a simon says type fun with my horses. Gets them to pay attention to me when we are in a ring, as they know the games are always watching me to see what I'm going to do or ask. Forward 2 steps, stop, back 4 steps etc. whatever you can think of. Before you know it they learn to dance with you in tune and are very light in the halter. I also teach my horses to whoa on a lunge line by dropping the line (or relaxing the line) not ever pulling on anything to slow a horse down. This comes in handy now that I'm older and can't run as I once did, I have taught my horses to slow their speed by my raising my opposite hand and depending on how long or how many times I raise it they bring it down a another notch, each time I ask. Cluck for more speed. I will play with them where I take two steps raise my hand with the lead
so it goes limp for my stop.. my hand just goes up, whoa or maybe a back up if they don't stop right away.. eventually they will be stopping when they feel my hand go up without any prompting or a whoa. 2 steps, hand up, stop, 4 steps, hand up stop, 6 steps hand up stop, 2 steps hand up stop, backup 2 steps, you all get the picture.. by this time they are stepping what I'm stepping and they stop when I do. No pulling or jerking ever. And like you Cheryl.... praise, praise, praise even for little efforts, you have to let them know they are on the right track.

If a horse won't stand still for me, I don't bug, correct or try and make them stand still.. or worry about it, I ignore it. When they move,.. I make them move, lunge a circle, back up, move their hips over, turn and lunge a circle the other direction.. then try the stand again, if they want to move then we go back to work doing something.. after awhile they think wow, if I just stand here she leaves me alone and I don't have to work so hard. unsure.gif tongue.gif
Big thing, as Cheryl said, always have a smile no matter what. IF you keep a smile you never over react to anything your horse does. If you are getting frustrated quit and rethink what you are asking, you can be sure your horse is frustrated to. "Think" this should be fun fun fun. The only time I would ever turn on my horses, is if they turn on me.. usually nips any aggression in the bud, and who the boss person is.

Take care and have fun.


edited to add, you won't believe how teaching your halter horse to stop by lifting your lead hand when you go to riding your horse.. they feel the rein raise, you guessed it, you get your slow down or stop.
Cheryl L
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