Sir Winsalot adds , “ What should be a simple task , that of trotting a horse in hand in a halter class can have very different outcomes . Many times , even though I have instructed each and every exhibitor to trot straight away to the rail , what I see is anything BUT straight to the rail . The issue isn ’ t so much whether or not you can trot a horse in a straight line . The issue is whether the judges can see the correctness of the movement of the horse by ideally being able to look through a tunnel of the legs as the horse moves away . It does not matter how correct a horse is ; if we can ’ t see it , we can ’ t credit it .”
given to the pro ; nor was there a penalty given to the amateur owner . The horse that shows like a star places like a star . The horse that shows like a turtle places like a turtle !”
In summary , the Winsalots encouraged owners and non-pro exhibitors who feel that they are not getting a fair evaluation in the show ring to learn to look for and recognize areas where the pros earn their fees , where skill and knowledge , showmanship and attention to detail pay off in terms of better placings . Each time you show your horse try to make it the best time you have ever shown a horse . You and your horse need to show the judges everything they need to see to win the class . While showing your horse , make it easy for the judges to see that your horse is the best horse in the class .
Showing is a skill which is learned and developed over time with experience . Learn something new at every show . Watch the top handlers do their jobs . Watch the whole class , not just your horse or your friend ’ s horse . Catch the handlers doing something right . Observe when the handlers miss opportunities to showcase the horse they have in hand . It is called showing for a reason ! Time can move pretty fast in the ring , so make every moment count . You may believe your horse deserves to win – you need to make that superiority easy for the judges to appreciate . There is no shame in being overshadowed by a truly superior horse ; any shame involved lies in allowing your horse to be beaten through failure to get it shown well .
“ Years ago , as a younger judge , I had the experience of judging the same horse with its professional handler and again with its amateur owner . In the first class , the horse was a star – balanced , typey and brimming with presence . When traveled he moved in a lovely straight line and showed his gaits dynamically and with animation and class . I placed him highly . When he came back later with his owner in an Amateur class , he was bored and distracted . He did his job , but with minimum expression . He moved without engagement and NOT in the straight line that would allow observation of his limb flight . He stood like a lump , with his withers dropped and his neck retracted – there was no “ show ” in the horse . He did not place over some of the horses he had placed over in the earlier class . With a different entry number , and very different presentation this solid black horse truly looked like two different quality animals . I was asked later by his owner why I penalized the horse when shown by an amateur . That was not the case at all ! There was no preference
It can be easy to criticize or be confused by what you do not know or to feel victimized when you are doing your best but your best may not be as good as others .
NUTRITION THAT WORKS
Karen Maas is an AMHA Senior Judge who has officiated for over 25 years at hundreds of Miniature horse shows .
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