Breyer Horse Showing: Introduction to Live Shows

Showing model horses is a fun activity that not only is educational but also helps you get in touch with people of similar interest. Showing model horses is easy and can be extremely fun!

Live Model Horse Showing can seem like a bit of a confusing concept with the word “Live” in there. A “Live Show” refers to the fact that they are live, “In Person” shows where you actually show up the day of show with your horses, There is another type of showing called “Photo Showing” that involves photographing your models and sending the photos either through the mail to a judge or digitally via email to a judge. We’re going to focus on Live Showing today.

The first step in attending any live show is to find one. Breyerhorses.com is a great place to start as is namhsa.org . Both websites allow you to search by area or state and have contact info for more information. If you are in the New England area Golden Oak Stables hosts several live shows a year, check out the website to see upcoming events.

Once you’ve found a show, contact the show holder as soon as possible. You’ll first off need to get information about the show and entering and you’ll also need to enter as soon as possible. Entering early helps the show holder plan the show. Tables and chairs need to be ordered far in advance as well as seating charts and paperwork. Please try to enter as soon as possible; some shows may have a late fee that needs to be paid if you don’t enter before a certain time frame, all of this will be laid out in the show information.

Once you’ve entered you’ll want to start planning what models you are going to bring. For Original Finish models you’ll want to be very critical and pick only your most mint models. Leave any models with rubs, breaks, or marks at home. Models are judged based on not only the model itself but also the condition it is in. In most cases a model with an obvious rub or mark won’t place well. You’ll also want to pick out models that are good fits for the breed. The most realistic horses show best.

When you have picked out your models you will next need to pick breeds for each of them. You can check out the internet along with the library for breed information. It is also a good idea to invest in a Horse Encyclopedia. They can often be found very cheap at most bookstores. Look for one that has lots of breeds, especially ones you may have never heard of before!  Read descriptions very carefully and pay attention to the photos and the colors. If your horse has appaloosa markings make sure whatever breed you pick for it can have appaloosa spots.

There are two types of showing you can do at most live shows, Halter and Performance. Halter is simply judging your horse on the breed conformation, performance is judging your horse doing an activity with tack that is appropriate for the activity. If you are showing Halter be sure to clean your models well and get all of the dust off of them. In between the ears and in the creases of the manes and tails are notorious for hiding dust. If you are showing performance you may choose to “Tack-up” your horse before you pack them up for the show.

Packing your horses needs to be done with care so that they don’t incur damage on their way to and from. Large cardboard boxes work well, but Rubbermade totes work the best. Wrapping the horses should be done with care, using either old tee-shirts or bubble wrap cover the horse entirely and start standing up your largest horses in the bottom of your container. After the first layer of horses is down, start laying your smaller horses, on their sides, on top of the other models. Do NOT over fill your containers, it will cause damage.

The day of the show be sure to get up on time, and head out with enough time to get a good breakfast in your stomach and to also get there on time. Most shows open up an hour before the show starts so that people can begin setting up their horses. It is a good idea to do this. Once you arrive at the show check in with the show holder and introduce yourself. You will probably be assigned a table and the show holder will point you in that direction. Bring a table cloth to set your horses out on and start setting them up on your table. If you are sharing your table with others be sure to be careful about how much space you are using.

Once the show starts just listen for your horse’s classes and have fun, be sure to introduce yourself to others and try to have a good time. The most fun of a horse show isn’t winning, but its making great friends!

~Stacy

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