Riding the perfect performance in the show-ring is an art.
Courtesy of Aloeride, the organic natural aloe vera feed supplement, we caught up with top show rider, producer and judge Loraine Homer to get some essential advice on how to show off your horse to full effect in the ring this season….
A lot about showing is to do with presentation so from the moment you step into the ring you have to present the best picture you possibly can to the judge.
Do not concern yourself with what other exhibitors are doing prior to the class or on t he ring. Focus on your own horse and the job you have to do.
Make sure you have plenty of space to show off your horse. Use the time round the back of the arena to make sure you are going the best you can in front of the judges. In-experienced riders can get themselves mixed up into a bunch. Watch the professionals and they are constantly aware of what is going on in the ring.
The judge will be looking for a good walk, so encourage your horse to stride out without kicking and looking busy. The judge is looking for a horse he or she would enjoy riding so try to make it look easy.
In the trot try to keep an even rhythm and always be ready for the steward to ask you to change into canter. It is not good to still be trotting amongst cantering horses. Ask for canter in a corner if you are not sure your horse will strike off on the correct lead if you are more confident you can ask in front of the judge should you be called to do so then.
You will generally be asked for a change of rein so when you come across the diagonal regain the rhythm and ask for plenty of step.
When it comes to the gallop make sure you build round the corner so you have your full extension in-front of the judge also practice to ensure that your horse comes back to you with ease and remains balanced.
The conformation section is vital. Make sure you have done your homework. When it comes to stripping the horse off and trotting up nothing looks worse than the rider having to drag the horse along and someone flapping behind it to get it to trot. It is vitally important to stand your horse correctly with pricked ears.
A lot of people take the opportunity to give the horse a quick groom before the judge takes a look. Make sure that you don’t cover your horse in coat shine. Fortunately I feed Aloeride that gives a fantastic natural bloom and shine to the coat, so my horses don’t need additional help!
Before even thinking about showing, make sure that your horse is used to different riders. You don’t want this to be the moment when you discover that your horse doesn’t take too kindly to being ridden by someone other than yourself. The show-ring is not for schooling, so make sure you do all your homework before you enter a class.
Finally, if you don’t win or end up in the final placings and you feel you did your best, take a look at the horse and rider combination that did win. What was it that gave them that winning edge? Could it be something that you could improve on? If so, make sure you practice before your next show and best of luck!!
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