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Aqha performance halter- what to expect

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  • Aqha performance halter- what to expect

    New to the Aqha / western show world and working towards eventually attending my first show (of that kind) with my horse. Would like to get her halter ROM since she already has a performance ROM. How is a halter class conducted? Do all competitors enter the arena at once? What makes an appropriate show halter for a rookie or level 1 amateur? Clothing for me, jeans or pants?
    Any advice is appreciated

  • #2
    You have to have 10 points during the current qualifying period to do performance halter, FYI. Each show is a little different in how they operate the class, but typically you'll need to check in at the gate to get your place in the order of go, then you wait in the warmup area. Each person will then bring their horse in individually, do the walk then trot around the corner for the judges and line up with the rest of the class for the walkaround. The judges will come by, evaluate your horse, then move on. A nice leather halter and lead is fine, the bling isn't necessary. You must wear a cowboy hat - pull your hair back into a ponytail, and just jeans, clean boots, and a tucked-in collared western shirt are fine for the average show. Congress or the big shows are a different matter - there it's way more of a beauty pageant feeling.

    I'll caveat all this with the fact that I show hunters, so the only time I have to do halter is when it's required for circuit awards, and have never placed higher than 8th with my tall thoroughbred-y quarter horses


    • #3
      I belive the restriction on ROM earned in the current year is only for the world show compeitiors. I've showed it in the past with my HUS gelding and done well, but I've shown halter for years. If your just starting out AQHA it might be a good idea to watch a show before you take your horse to one.

      Quick tips - make sure your horse is spotless (clipped, hoves done, and a great hair coat) either banded or braided. You need a propperly fitted hat, but for most local shows a long sleave button down, jeans (make sure they are long enough) and boots are acceptable. You'll have to bring proof of your ROM to the show office (you can print out your horses record from AQHA). Please find a decent show halter, brands like Billy royal, circle Y are good entry level, Dale Chavez and Kathy's are a step up from that. Expect to spend 150-200 for a good used one.


      • #4
        Correct that the requirement to earn performance points in the qualifying period/year is only for World Show participation in the Performance Halter. For all other shows once a horse earns a performance ROM in the open/ammy/youth division they are able to show in any Performance Halter class.
        The best little horse show series around! www.WinningWeekends.com


        • #5
          In AQHA halter classes, each exhibitor/horse enters one at a time but stays in the arena as a group until all horses are judged. Each horse/exhibitor walks to the judge, trots away, and makes a sharp left turn before lining up as directed (generally head to tail, in one or more rows, as directed by the ring steward). In some classes they will check the horse's teeth after you walk to the judge/before picking up the trot. Once you line up, you set your horse up and show while the judges inspect all horses (in a big class, this can take forever!). Plenty of exhibitors at the weekend AQHA shows here wear nice starched jeans and button ups in the halter classes. You aren't being judged, only the horse, so a blingy or fancy outfit isn't going to get you any points. At the higher levels I generally see khakis/blazers (or blingy showmanship jackets, for many women). Clean boots and a properly shaped hat complete the look. Most will be using a "silver" show halter, but a nice leather halter without silver is perfectly acceptable, with a matching leather lead.


          • #6
            Remember the class is judged on the conformation of the horse. But a good handler knows how to showcase their horses good points and minimize the not so good- that means you need to honestly evaluate your horse.

            There are some excellent videos out there and probably on YouTube covering Showmanship at Halter. How to present the horse to it’s best advantage. Strongly suggest you hunt some of those up, Showmanship is judged on how the handler the horse so those are great resources to learn about showing the Halter horse.

            You need to practice standing him up correctly and standing without moving fir longer periods of time as well as properly showing at the walk and jog when it’s your turn. And practice a lot.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.