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 SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES

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just joan
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PostSubject: SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES   Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:18 pm













Show Ring 101: Polished Horsemanship Part I
by Mark Sheridan
www.marksheridanqh.com
Posted: Wednesday, August 17, 2011
How do I give my horsemanship patterns a polished look that can win? What are the first things that catch your eye as a judge?

That is a great question and I could go on and on for hours about what it takes to win. This is the first of a few articles where I talk about the basics of horsemanship. As a judge, I always find myself wanting to get up and help everyone in the class and give my opinions on how they could improve their scores. That is the trainer and coach in me and I realize that is not my place as a judge unless I am asked after the class or during a down-time at the show.

The very first thing I notice is your hat. I don't personally care about how much silver you have on your saddle, or how much bling you have on your outfit. If your hat looks like it has been in a rain storm or you slept with it on, my first impression is going to be very low. First impressions are the most important, and as humans we all make first impressions especially being a judge. We are paid to do a good job and evaluations from the start are where it all begins.

You do not need to have a thousand dollar hat, but you do need to have it shaped correctly by a knowledgeable person that can clean and block your hat. I have a 100x myself that cost that much and have had it for over 10 years. You can buy a 25x or 50x and if taken care of, will look just fine and last a lifetime. But when it comes to hats, you get what you pay for. It will need maintenance from time to time to keep it looking good.

I live in Arizona, and I purchase most of my hats and clients hats from companies in Georgia, Texas, and California. I only allow about three people touch my hat when it comes to reshaping and cleaning. It must be kept out of the rain, it must be kept out of the horse trailer on hot days. When you are done at the end of each day, lightly brush it off and store it in your hat can making sure that the crown holder is adjusted properly where the brim does not sit on the bottom of the can. Do not set it down on the brim, always upside down on the crown, and never, ever set it on a bed. That is "bad luck".

This is my first installment on the topic of Horsemanship competition and how to get to the level of competitiveness that you desire. Stay tuned for more great tips on how to constantly improve!

----------------

Mark Sheridan has spent a lifetime producing winning show horses and judging at the championship level. He conducts clinics, has written numerous articles and produced a DVD series on Perfect Lead Changes. Learn more at www.marksheridanqh.com

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PostSubject: Re: SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES   Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:26 am

so those of us that wear helmets to protect their brain/education/etc are basically screwed?

i dont understand western pleasure/showing...

grumble grumble.
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PostSubject: Re: SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES   Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:38 am

withaTwist wrote:
so those of us that wear helmets to protect their brain/education/etc are basically screwed?

i dont understand western pleasure/showing...

grumble grumble.

I've always kind of thought that too, I agree that a nice western hat is beautiful and show-proper, I guess if I were showing in some big-league shows I'd have my hat nicely turned out, but even for local shows it's hard to be the one who wears a helmet.
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PostSubject: Re: SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES   Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:46 am

and there in lies the Dilema..........

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PostSubject: Re: SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES   Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:03 pm

I certainly don't think you should be penalized for wearing a helmet.

Don't want to turn this into helmet VS no helmet debate, but I'm thinking helmets will be mandatory for all mounted sports in the next few years, or at least I hope they will be. ACTRA made helmets mandatory for ALL riders this season. No helmet, no ride - pretty simple. Age doesn't matter. Nowadays insurance is so costly and difficult to get, all members of the association felt it was the best move. Its just a matter of time before a western rider has a serious brain injury from not wearing a helmet and it will affect all of us, discipline doesn't matter.
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PostSubject: Re: SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES   Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:38 pm

dont get me wrong, i think hats look great. personally, im too accident prone, and my mounts arent usually "bomb-proof", so i refuse to ride without a helmet. its just not worth it.

i have a hat, and i consider it, but im always glad i end up reaching for the helmet instead.

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PostSubject: Re: SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES   Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:40 pm

I love a good debate... :cowboyhound.gi

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PostSubject: Re: SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES   Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:49 pm

i still seriously doubt that the western world will adapt.
they have tried to make western styled helmets, or even the hilarious "yosemite sam" style hats OVER helmets.

i was reading in this month's horse illustrated about the various styles over the years, and it seems that western styles have changed the most, but always followed a strick style adherance.

I also dont think that there are riders who will be as influential as Courtney King Dye was in the helmet world for the western world. Stacey Westfall maybe? I dont see guys like Bob Avila or Shaun Flarida (sorry, sticking to reiners, only names i know, lol) joining up with the "Strap one on" campaign.

i have also talked to a "rodeo" guy who moved up here with his gf, and was recently recovering from a kick to the face. He was discussing with another "old style" cowboy that they dont get injured riding (because they "dont have a problem staying on", they get injured from ground work and a helmet wont prevent that.


I do, however, appreciate that some of these guys insist their children (typically little girls...) wear a helmet. maybe time/outgrowing this tradition is what needs to happen.


Although, im pretty sure that little girl trick rider on "rodeo:life on the circuit" was doing the hippodrome or what ever its called without a helmet. some people's parents.... lol


sorry, i guess im in a debating mood!
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PostSubject: Re: SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES   Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:54 pm

thats why this is called a Forum...........its here to get us all to discuss different points of views on a myriad of subjects.........We here at M.E. respect that each of us have opinions and that we are all Entitled to voice them without repurcussions or Slamming from other members. Its what makes US US. :cowboyhound.gi

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PostSubject: Re: SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES   Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:59 pm

i love that about ME, people can actually debate, and discuss, not just tell someone they are wrong or stupid.

as i said, if i had a quiet horse, or better luck, i'd likely wear a *cowboy hat* too. but i dont think it should influence a judge's decision. yes for things like showmanship, where you are judged on appearance, but according to my 70s western riding book (my current bible, lol) horsemanship should judge the riders ability, pleasure should judge the horse's ability/whether the horse appears to be a pleasure to ride, trail is a matter of finese through obstacles, games are speed, and reining is based on scores of maneuvres


none say "the most expensive hat/saddle/shirt/buckle awards the most points"
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PostSubject: Re: SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES   Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:24 pm

well, I have seen a Tie go to the horse with the cleanest trimmed ears or least amount of muck on the exhibitors boots.........

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PostSubject: Re: SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES   Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:36 pm

oh i totally agree with a tie situation, to look at the overall appearance of both horse and rider pairs.
i learned this weekend in the draft world that if it is a close competition in the hitches, something as small as a mistake in alternating braiding rolls, decoration, etc. will choose the winner.
but it shouldnt be a choice made due to personal safety. bling yes, helmet no, if a rider chooses a helmet instead of a hat, (and i mean a nicely matched, clean helmet), they shouldnt be penalized.
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PostSubject: Re: SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES   Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:42 pm

dont get so het up there woman......it was only one Judges opinion.......not all think the same way.....hahahaha..

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PostSubject: Re: SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES   Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:44 pm

haha, i know, but i've had many a helmet debate, and i get a little fired up!
plus im sure you have now seen my not-so subtle opinion of some judging... lol
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PostSubject: Re: SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES   Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:49 pm

I was always a NON helmet person but am now A Helmet Advocate.......like a reformed drinker........definately for kids for sure no matter what........but after that.........they are on their own...........if Superman (the late mr. Reeves) couldnt convince folks to PUT IT ON.....its a lot like Gun Laws.......there will always be someone lobbying to make an exception.....but then......I never discuss, politics, religion or sex either........hahahah

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PostSubject: Re: SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES   Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:58 pm

im with you on that one entirely.

for children (under 18) it should be mandatory - and it was at the trail ride stable i used to work at.
after that, i like to think its like sexual orientation - personal preference, none of anyone elses business, and not something you should enforce on anyone else against their will! :P

sorry... running on little to no sleep again, i get a touch ridiculous.
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PostSubject: Re: SHOWING TIPS FROM THE JUDGES   Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:14 pm

withaTwist wrote:
...none say "the most expensive hat/saddle/shirt/buckle awards the most points"
...that has always been a burr under my saddle pad too. If the horse and rider are neat, clean and together, what the heck does it matter if they are covered in bling? I don't see the difference if you're riding in a well fitted, clean saddle with no silver, or a 'Roy Rodger's' special! I could never afford a 'show saddle' for myself or my kid. The cost of one was more than the horse! Clothes for the rider were the same way. But as Joan said 'With some judges...' Seems you hit one of my buttons with this topic...lol...Anyhow, the day I actually agree with (alot) of judges I've seen over the years, is the day I should be put in a padded room...
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