Individual show under saddle
When it’s time for your individual show under saddle, gee up your pony a bit as the one before you come back to the judge, so your pony knows you want him to go. That way, you can walk out confidently. You should have planned your show while you were in the line up, so now you can execute it. Make is short and simple – but not hurried. Demonstrate walk, trot on both reins, canter on both reins in a figure-of-eight (with a trot in the middle before changing legs) and (but only if expected for the class) a short gallop. Then halt in front of the judge, salute and pat your pony before going back into line.
In hand show
If you are expected to perform an in hand show, lead your pony out of line and ask him to stand up in front of the judge. The judge may ask you how old your pony is, or what breed, so be ready with the answers, and don’t say any more. A smile goes a long way! Then walk away from the judge (make it a straight line as the judge is trying to see your pony’s action), turn your pony away from you and then trot back towards the judge (aim for her, she’ll get out of your way) so again, she can see your pony’s action. Then go back to the line up where you were.
Always turn your pony away from you before trotting towards the judge. This keeps him balanced and looks much better.
Walk a few paces to get your pony straight, before asking him to trot.
Match your strides with your pony’s strides, so you look professional.
Don’t look at your pony – his confidence will melt away!
Trot smartly – don’t creep – and keep trotting right round until you get to the back of the line up. The judge may still be watching!
Whether standing in line mounted, or in hand, keep your pony standing to attention and yourself sitting well. You never know when the judge may glance at you, and you only want her to see you and your pony at your best!
If you win a rosette, thank the judge. If you don’t win a rosette, congratulate the winner. You could ask the judge afterwards whether she has any tips for you for the future, but always be polite and take any criticism on the chin. After all, you did ask! Then you can put any advice into practice next time.
Remember, the more you show, and the more you observe how the successful riders do things, the better your performance will be!