In Halter Showing 101, we discussed how to find a model horse show in your area, how to choose a horse and how to pack it to get to the show. In Halter Showing 102, we will go through how judging works, and how to give your model the best chance to succeed!
First, remember that showing is supposed to be fun, and the results of one show under one judge does not determine if your horses will ever win or not. Celebrate your placings if you do well, but if some horses come home without ribbons, don't be discouraged!
It's true that based on some of the factors that we’ll discuss here, some models don't show as well as others, but depending what else is on the table (sometimes shortened to WEIOTT,) and judge’s preference, perfectly showable and competitive models may just stay out of the ribbons some days. Also remember to collect and own what you love! Even though I'm an avid OF halter shower, I have lots of horses I know aren't the best halter show models - and often I bring them out to show off just for fun, even if I don't expect to win it all.
|All three of these models show as different pony breeds, and often together in the same class. Each of these horses has won their whole class, or not even gotten a ribbon, depending on the judge and what else is on the table!|
When placing your horse on the show table, be mindful of the class list. Horses are divided into classes based on breed and type. For classes where there are going to be a lot of the same breed, the whole breed may have one class (or even have it split into genders,) such as "Quarter Horse," or "Arabian Mares." However, for other classes, it may be a type, such as "Feathered Drafts." This would put all Clydesdales, Shires, and other draft breeds with feathering into the same class.
Classes are designed to try to put "like with like," so that when the judge is going through their criteria, they are comparing apples to apples, as much as possible. If you have questions as to where a horse should go, always refer to the show holder or your judge and ask before the class is called. Just make sure to catch the judge in between classes while they aren't over the table judging.
Like names, picking a breed for your horse doesn't mean that you have to use the same breed that Breyer designated it when you purchased it. Look at your model, and decide what kind of horse it is. Is it a draft? A sport horse? Pony? When you've decided that, narrow it down to a specific breed. Try to find real horses that look similar to your horse in build.
It’s also key to make sure the breed you want to use comes in the color your model is painted. Looking up breed registry and breeder webpages is much better than using Google image search, as Pinterest pins come up in an image search and anyone can mark any photo as whatever breed they want, without proper research. If you are using a rare breed, rare color within a breed, or a rare cross, you want to consider creating yourself some documentation. Documentation is a piece of paper with a brief explanation of the breed, with key facts, and a photo that matches your model the best that you can.
|This is one of my favorite horses, but the old splatter dapple color is not very realistic (and definitely not on a foal.) This horse isn't a good candidate for halter showing because of this.||Though this mold is called "Clydesdale foal," Clydesdales don't come in this color, so do your research to make sure your model matches the breed you assign!|
How does a judge choose who wins? There are a number of factors, and since we as a showing body do not have universal criteria (remember, all of these show holders and judges are volunteers) each judge may weigh values differently. That said, here is a list of what judges are looking for:
At the end of the show day, showing is a bit of trial and error, so have fun and make sure to take the time to look into everyone else's collections!