12 hours ago
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Waltzing In The Ring For Halter
In halter classes, I find the dance rather annoying. If you exhibit a horse in a halter class, your job as the handler is to make sure the horse is presented in it's best position.....and then stay out of the way so as not to obstruct a judges' view of the horse. The judge needs to see a complete picture and by casually using the half method (staying on the same side as the judge), that is quite enough of the dance without being a distraction. When you are animating your steps, holding the lead like you're serving tea, faking a smile from ear to ear, changing sides every few steps, you're just a distraction and I may even have to hunt down your exhibitor number because you've been dancing too fast for me to catch it.
So my preference for halter, is that you focus more attention on setting up your horse and doing what you need for that horse to look it's best. Stretching the neck up, down, whatever is best for your horse; getting the ears pricked up; keeping them from falling asleep, etc are things you can do while keeping the judge in your peripheral vision. Stay on the same side as the judge but not obstructing the view of your horse. You need to exhibit your horse safely, yes but doing the showmanship dance in halter is not necessary.
On an extra note when presenting a horse in halter.... general stock horse rules, including 4-H, do require you to walk/jog/trot directly to the judge. The judge will move out of the way or instruct something else if they want a different view. This means, walk/jog/trot the HORSE directly to & away from the judge. NOT YOURSELF. I don't care if you paddle out or have a weak ankle. I want to see how your HORSE tracks & moves. Although you cannot see if your horse is directly at and away from the judge but if you offset yourself left of the judge when presenting, it's a good chance I'll see your horses' movement as opposed to yours.