There is so much to know about the show ring. Take a look at the long list of seventeen Top Tips which give a clue for every important conformation requirement for a well made horse to shine in a Ridden Horse Show.
Not only must your show horse be immaculately turned out, as must you, he should be impeccably schooled and ready for anyone to ride. Before venturing into the show ring make sure you understand what is required of you and of your horse.
Learn ring craft form the best , go on a course, attend clinics or even livery your horse at a showing yard. That way you can take the show season on knowing you have prepared everything as well as you possibly can.
Horse Scout has Justine Armstrong Small listed on its professional rider pages. She runs a yard training people and horses for the showroom and also hosts clinics specifically aimed at those who want to perfect their ringcraft.
- If you want to take part in riding Horse Classes not only is the ride itself important but, ultimately, it will come down to type and conformation. If you are buying a show horse you need to look for a horse which should be of Thoroughbred type, (really more of a National Hunt type) with
- plenty of good quality, flat bone,
- deep through the girth and
- with strong powerful second thighs and a
- well rounded backside, lots of muscle and strength,
- short across the loins and with the length of back concentrated on the quarters, so that you have a powerful engine.
- They need to be able to gallop.
- A very sloping shoulder is excellent, so there is plenty to sit behind and the horse is able to have a long stride,
- with a neck coming out of the top of the withers and a good length, narrowing elegantly behind the head so that the head and neck are not restricted by a fat thick structure.
- To make an impression in the ring the horse needs to be able
- to flex and bridle happily and comfortably, and
- be able to breathe easily while being ridden in collection.
- The body should be in proportion and foursquare,
- the legs, especially viewed from the front should not appear too close, or too wide.
- The horse should move straight, without dishing or plaiting and stand straight on all four legs on good well shaped feet.
- A good looking head is very desirable, but there is quite a lot of variation; from a dished slightly Araby head, to a longer straighter, more thoroughbred head, what is not wanted is a tiny pony head or anything with a common cobby aspect, roman nose or bumps between the eyes!
- Good big second thighs are essential and if the tail is lifted there should not be a wide space of nothing under it (split up behind) – there should be plenty of muscle. Mares do tend to be longer in the back than geldings because they have to carry foals