Showmanship was/is one of my favorite classes to compete in. For those that have never done showmanship, I can see why it might seem like a strange favorite. For those that don’t know what a showmanship class is, I will define it briefly:
Showmanship at Halter
This class is performed unmounted and requires a pattern that is picked by the judge. The exhibitor is judged on the grooming of the horse, and the presentation of the horse. The more precise the pattern and confident the exhibitor, the more successful they will be.
Reasons why I love showmanship:
1. The more your practice with your horse, the more in tune with them you will be. Yes, you do have a chain or shank under the horses chin, but as your partnership grows, you will need it less and less. Here is an actual shankless showmanship class
2. Showmanship is confidence building. I teach my clients to walk tall and smile big when practicing for showmanship. Confident body language is important for the presentation of the horse and I believe that it helps convince you that you really should be proud of yourself and your horse.
3. You ALWAYS have something that can be improved. More precise, more purposeful, hitting marks, clear transitions, sharper skills. Doesn’t matter who you are or what horse you have, I think that you can always make yourself more competitive.