The most important part of any performance entry is the horse. The tack, the props and the doll are all secondary. If the horse isn't right, the entry just won't work.
With that in mind, today's post is all about selecting a versatile performance horse that can easily be shown in a wide variety of classes.
One of the first things to consider when choosing an all around performance horse is gait. Standing, walking, trotting and cantering models are generally the best choices for a novice shower. Models in more dynamic poses, such as jumping, galloping, cutting, spinning and sliding, can be surprisingly versatile but require a shower with advanced skills to realize their full potential. Bad behavior poses, such as rearing, bucking and cross cantering, have extremely limited performance potential. They might do well in certain circumstances, but generally speaking, these models are best left at home.
|I think it's easiest to show cantering models,|
particularly in the English division with its emphasis on Over Fences classes.
|The grey paloose's head position makes her a better performance prospect than her Appaloosa sister|
|Where there's a will, there's a way. Big haired models can excel in performance but often require custom made tack and lots of sticky wax. It's much easier to start with something that is tack friendly.|
Sir Sproing! is a Breyer Wintersong customized by Melanie Miller and owned and shown by Erin Corbett.
Please note--these very general guidelines intended to help novice showers choose a versatile performance model. They're not hard and fast rules, and they don't apply in every situation. Exceptions abound, and some of the hobby's most interesting (and infamous!) performance horses do not meet any of my "easy performance horse" criteria. That said, it's hard to go wrong with a well liked horse in a normal show ring gait that's on the bit and features low profile hair.
Thoughts, questions, differing opinions? Please post them in the comments section!