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Horse shows: What appearance does for you

Article by Leah Park, a successful show rider. Find out more about her and her pony, Shamrock (the background pic on this page is Leah and Shammy in the schooling ring at Upperville Show)at their page on this site. Leah and 'Fool's Gold'

We all know horse shows are to show... or in other words... show off your horse, right? Well, yeah, it is, it's a show for your horse, and his/her abilities. Appearance is a big part of showing. Any kind of showing. To look your best is very important, to you, the judge, your trainer, etc. Even if its a schooling show or some show you just pit around in, "its important to look like a million bucks." (J. DiCarlo)

The way you look can affect you in ways you might not know. Just think... you're last to go in your class... everyone has jumped their rounds, some faults here and there, couple of them were good, but now its your turn. You have a good round, not perfect, but acceptable. There were others in the class that could match your performance, but the so called "tie-breaker" for the class will all the depend on which one stuck out to the judge the most. If you make the effort to look good, try your best, have fun, and all that, then looks will make you come out on top. The judges always appreciate a nice looking crowd of competitors.

Before the show, make sure your horse is clean. Make your horse "sparkle in the sun!" Hehehe... my pony is a palomino, and a couple times in the summer I hand grazed him and rubbed him with a towel to make him shine... "like a piece of gold." The shine shows good health, cleaness, and all the good stuff that comes along with that.

A good skill to know is how to braid. It can be a hassle, I know... i've been there... but I have to admit, when all is done they look GOOOOOOD! When I was little, I used to be a lil' strange and JUST want to braid my pony's tail... it looked dorky... he had a BIG bushy "wig" (mane) and a nice looking tail! Well, his forelock... what can I say... it looked like a ball of fluff... haha... but braiding does make a difference in looks, it gives a more SHARPER image. (see the pic of Shammy braided on the right). It's OK to just braid your pony's mane and forelock but not the tail... but please... don't be a nerd like me and JUST braid their tail! Make sure your pony's tail should be its ORIGINAL birth color if you know what I mean.. or in real english... it should be CLEAN! So if its white... make sure it's WHITE... or atleast OFF-WHITE! Usually to match your "sharp-kick-butt" look you should "box-cut" the tail... which means you grab the end of the tail and just CHOP right across, make sure its not too short, if it's short then ignore what I just said... but decide what a good length is. I personally prefer it right at the fetlock, but if it needs some growing... pull out the Pantene Pro-V and help it grow... =) hehehe...

Before your class, is the peak of your "LOOK." Take ten minutes before you go in, pull over to the side and clean up. Rub away any dirt etc. An important detail that always brings out your "LOOK" is POLISHED HOOVES!!!!! Some kind of oil... horse hoofy oil of course... and polish all four like fingernail polish. Its a great look... and always impressive. If anything the rider should be JUST as nicely groomed... boots polished... clean riding clothes... clean tack... clean saddle pads... etc. A key of importance... REMEMBER A HORSE SHOW IS TO SHOW OFF YOUR HORSE NOT THE PERSON... THE RIDER SHOULD NEVER LOOK BETTER THAN THE HORSE!!!!!!!!
O.K. I'm done... hope you have fun at the shows!!


~*L.S.P.*~ & *!*~FoOL's GoLd a.k.a. ShAmRoCk~*!*

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