I’m going to a horse show this weekend…

AND SHOWING IN HAND!!!! hahahahaha!

One of my friends has a very cute black and white pinto warmblood who see needs to get out and about more. Me being the helpful person that I am, told her all about the fun show that Phoenix and I went to back in May and how it would be perfect for her. She is totally the kind of person who loves a fun show so it was not a hard sell. I offered to give her a ride to the show on one condition. She had to let me borrow her horse and do the in hand classes 🙂 This all took place right as I was ending things with Phoenix so I thought I would never show again so In Hand was exciting. Now, only a few days from showing I am starting to wonder…what was I thinking!?!?!

I have never in my life done an in hand class. I don’t even know what they are looking for. Or what to wear. The good thing is that this show is so low key that it is the perfect place to learn. To do at least a little prep for this show I looked up some videos from youtube and this one is the best I found. Any one out there have any other tips for me? And for the record, no, the horse has never been trained to do an in hand class either. Hahaha…I am so crazy, but I am also going to have a lot of fun!!

11 thoughts on “I’m going to a horse show this weekend…

  1. ALl my “in hand” experience is with my daughter’s horse as an English hunter. Western “in hand” may be a little different. BUT:
    “In hand” is all about showing off the horse- it must be impeccibly clean. You should be neat & tidy so as not to distract the judge’s eye. As you lead the horse, try to position yourself so as not to block the judge’s view. There is also a trick to gathering up the loose end of the lead rope neatly. ALso, try to note on the video where the leader’s body is in relation to the horse’s head/shoulder. You don’t want to appear to be dragging the horse about, or have him appear to be dragging you. YOu have to teach the horse to square up his legs- no slouching, or one hind leg resting!!!!! Also teach the horse to pick up the trot IMMEDIATELY when you ask. Ifg I think of anything else, I’ll get back to you!

  2. Oh- and while not blocking the judge’s view, don’t make it difficult for him/her to read your number on your back. I have heard “stories ” that so-and-so lost because she never turned in such a way so that the judge could see he rnumber.

  3. Turn the horse away from you when turning, keep an eye on the judge at all times, know your quadrants as Rachel said, never block the judge’s view of your horse, stand him up square, stand quietly in the lineup but don’t let the horse snooze, don’t be afraid to move him off at the trot as you want to show off the gaits. Hmmm……horse and you should be immaculate. I usually show in-hand in my hunt seat attire including helmet with a snaffle bridle. You could probably get away with khaki pants and a subtle colored polo shirt tucked in, like the Friesian guys wear.

  4. I love showing in hand! I agree with what everyone else has said but remember that the horse has to stand still! That’s really hard for some if they don’t practice it. Learning to stand square is important too. For a one time thing I wouldn’t worry about it too much if he can do the patterns perfectly. Just practice standing when other horses are moving around you. Good luck!

  5. Quandrants! that, and setting him up square is what I remember from my 4-H showmanship days. If you aren’t familiar with quandrants, here are the basics ….

    Pretend like there’s a big cross under your horse separating him into 4 sections. One runs from nose to tail and one runs perpendicular under his belly. so, you have two on the off side and two on the near side, two at his butt and two by his head. The idea is that you always stand in the quandrant adjacent to where the judge is.

    So, if the judge is on the off side by his head, you should be on the near side by his head. If she walks towards his rear off-side, you switch to the off-side as well. As she walks around behind him is in the the rear near quad, you switch to the near as well. As and she walks into the near head quandrant, you switch to the off side. that way you are never blocking the judges view. I hope that makes sense. It’s a lot easier to show it than to write it down.

    It’s OK to take time to set your horse up. And if you get a chance to school, make sure he will trot with you and pivot a little bit.

    Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  6. It depends on what type of “in hand” class you are doing. The video is for a western showmanship, which is MUCH different than a sport horse in hand class.

    I’ve shown a lot in western showmanship and western halter, so give me a call if you want some tips. (I’ve also shown beef cows – totally different).

    Most important tip – the quadrant thing – always be in eye sight with the judge but not blocking his/her view. If the judge is on his left flank, you’re on the left by his head. If the judge is at his left head, you are at the right head but so you can see the judge. The judge should be able to look up at any moment and be able to see your smiling face. You must also always face your horse – usually at an angle.

    Keep you hands up like you are vanna white before she turns a letter. You are presenting your horse. You should not have to pull on the lead line to keep him still and his head up or to trot off.

    The horse should stand square and not move, which is very hard when you move from one side to the other. Teaching a horse to square by your shoulders and body language will take more time than you have. It’s an art – they move their outside hind leg by your inside shoulder and their front legs when you face them.

    If you have a pattern that involves a turn on the haunches be careful. Western horses use the inside hind leg as a pivot. If this horse is to be a dressage horse DO NOT TEACH HIM THAT. It’s very hard to unteach when he has to learn walk piroettes.

    Good luck and have fun!

  7. I have shown 4-H and I have presented a DWB at a Kuering. They are shown differently. If this is a dressage show, it will most likely be the European type of showing on the Triangle. Find out.
    Fun Fun!

  8. I have looked a bit….references to dressage horses shown in hand are on the triangle. All that 4H stuff does not apply. Here is a site for the USDFscore sheet for in hand competitions and a show premium site that has a diagram of the triangle. Your USDF handbook should have it also. Just remember that to show off the gaits, run fast! Wear sneaks. No floppy clothes or hats and sunglasses that could fall off.

    Click to access DSHBProspectsIndividual.pdf

    Click to access Fs2009-Nf09PLAAPages023029BreedShow.pdf

  9. I wish we had more time to tell you what to do but….do what everyone said above and hope for the best. My daughter showed a friend’s horse a few weeks back and he would NOT trot on the lead. It was hysterical to watch but she was mad as could be. Good luck and have fun!

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