The previous articles have outlined the type of Horse required for which Showing Class and offered you some helpful guidelines in preparation for you and your horse before the big day.

Here we will outline the art of catching the Judge's eye and producing the best impression you can.
cob bridle

Your Horses presentation is vital and with clever trimming and the correct well-fitting saddlery, it is possible to exaggerate the good points and possibly lessen the weaker points.
Trim whiskers, ear fluff and chins carefully and be very careful when trimming the bridle path. Make sure it is in the correct position for your bridle and do not cut it to low down the neck.

plaiting tailDepending on the class you have chosen will determine the tail turnout. Hunters and Cobs will have a pulled tail which if done correctly looks beautiful however if they are not it will be noted to your detriment.

The similar rule applies to a plaited tail, they can look very attractive and enhance the lines of the quarters however if it is untidy and loose it detracts the eye form the confirmation lines. 

Never have the tails too long, approximately 5‚Äö√Ñ√π below the point of the hock is a rough guide however a slightly shorter tail can make the horse's backside look bigger and rounder which may well help in some class's. 

Thorough grooming and strapping will encourage a glow to the horse coat which will show off the muscle and tone lines during movement.

Quarter marks can also help define strong areas, do not over do them, watch the professionals and ask for advice if unsure.

Keep your horse warm on chilly days to stop the coat standing on end and remember that intense sunshine can also bleach the darker more solid coat colours, so perhaps use a cotton summer sheet on your horse when turned out on hot sunny days.

Always keep your horse well shod as it not only looks better but will help the horse's overall balance and therefore movement.

Rider Presentation
Your presentation as the rider is equally important; be aware of the correct code for your class and abide by it, the criteria is written for your benefit and not as a rough guide, it will clearly indicate what is required.
Smart, clean, well fitting clothing and highly polished boots all contribute to the overall picture which is the first impression your Judge will remember.
Do not over dress, wear jewellery, over big buttonholes or white jodhpurs when showing.

For understanding the importance of the warm up prior to entering the show ring. click here