How to show a Shire Horse
If you are planning to show your Shire horse, it is important that the papers are ok and that it is registered in Norway. If you are in doubt just call The Norwegian Horse Centre, and they will tell you what to do. Cold blooded stallions must also be shown in driving, besides the ordinary exterior judging, and you must therefore break it to drive a good time before the show to make a nice impression. This rule about showing the shire in front of a wagon is absolute, and lasts until Starum and The Norwegian Shire Horse Society have prepared a Norwegian Breeding Standard.
When you have taken the step and signed your horse in for a show, you have to consider how the conditions will be for the horse during the show; how big are the boxes? Are there enough stray? What about food and water? Is it possible to bathe the horse if it will get dirty right before the show? You can contact the organizer and ask the questions you might have. And besides this, the horse need to be vaccinated and insured, and followed up with de-worming and hoof care.
How to prepare your horse for a show:
The horse shall be shown form its best side, which includes the horse to be cleaned and most likely bathed. I little tip is to wash the legs and powder them with WOODEN CHIPS to make the feathers look white and fluffy.
The mane and tail should also be knitted with mane rollers, flags and flowers. You can buy complete show equipment in USA and England (For more information; “links” in the menu), but it is also possible for us to arrange with someone who makes it in Sweden as well. If the interest is good enough, the Norwegian Shire Horse Society will arrange knitting courses on how to prepare your Shire horse to a show.
The horse also have to be trained being shown by hand and must be calm and nice to handle. All equipment must be cleaned and present the horse in a best possible way, and of course follow the rules set by the Norwegian Horse Center. (Look on: www.nhest.no for further information) Short told; all adult horses must be shown in bridle, bit and reins, with or without nosestrap. Those who try to show their horse in a halter will be dismissed from the area. Only foals are allowed to be shown by halter. Stallions must wear a bit from age 1. The stallions can also wear a bellyband.
Your own clothing:
Your clothes shall be clean and neutral (it the horse you are showing, not your self), and must be suitable for the conditions. Proper footwear is very important. During showing the horse by wagon or by riding, you have to wear a helmet. The showman/woman must behave calm and precise, and must try to show the best of the horse while following the judges’ instructions. Some shows actually have a certain award for the best dressed showman or the best showmanship. And this award is quite nice to win if it did not go very well for your horse.
In the ring:
The horse shall be shown by walk and troth on a right line or a triangle. Some judges even want the horse to be shown loose when the conditions are adjusted for this. A smart tip, is to have been trained your horse to come to you when you ask for it,- BEFORE the show. The horse must listen well and must be easy to move around. It must stand correctly (opening towards the judges), and stand still during the examination and judging. It also has to be backed a bit if the judges ask. The lead/reins must be held in the showmans´ right hand, with a finger between each rein. The other end of the reins must be held in the showmans´ left hand, to make sure the horse does not step in it. When you turn the horse, make sure to turn it away form you and not towards.