NSBA World show has passed and we got to talk to John Whitney who won the Performance Halter Mares Halter.
Enjoy his great tips and strategies to become a Halter Champion!
What’s your horses name and how is she bred? How old is she and for how long have you owned her?
Her name is Reissued In Red. Reese is a 6 year old quarter mare. We’ve had her since she was 3 years old. She’s by Repeated in red and Sweet on Occasion.
Can you point out some big decisions you have made along the way that have let you come to this point?
One of the biggest decisions we made was to join TeamFrid and show outside our home state. Moving our horse to Texas was a big leap in deciding to show at larger shows. In addition, limiting our focus to only Halter, Showmanship and Horsemanship has allowed us to stay more competitive and focused on our goals.
How do you train your horse during the weekend? Do you ride her or work her in other ways to keep her body strong and beautiful?
Reese is kept with Robin Frid and his program is big on prober body control and athleticism.
He has taught us to look at horse as athletes and train like a professional athletes.
This means lots of different exercises and a great feeding program which keeps her really fit. We try to ride every day at home and we see Reese once or twice a month.
Can you tell us a little bit about the position of the horse in a halter class and what the judge looks at?
Balance, balance and then more balance.
The horses legs and neck position allow you to show their natural balance. A good trainer with the right guidance will help you find the proper leg and neck position to show off the balance.
What are your 3 best advices you can give to someone who wants to win a halter class?
Some advice for the halter is to first know how to get the expression. I like to show halter very fresh. Knowing what makes your horse give their best expression is key. Next is to learn their legs. Even a slight pull forward or set closer could change the balance and appearance. Finally learn your horses weaknesses so you can properly show the strengths. Reese isn’t great in her neck but she’s extreme well balanced. For this I lengthen her neck and raise it up to allow her balance to be seen easily while improving her neck.
How do you keep your horse alert during a big halter class?
Expression is so important for the halter and can be lost in the long classes.
I usually ensure a prompt expressive walk and trot in but I then let the mare relax until the judges start their inspection. Then I break out the peppermints and pull up her head. Once the judge is done I stop, rest and wait for the next judge to come. When they are one horse away I pick up her head and try to get her ears and expression back. I try not to show her the whole time but rather rest and show when she’s is being evaluated.
What is next for you? What is the next big dream and goal you are working towards?
I like projects. I want a new project horse. Reese is a great Showmanship mare and I enjoyed teaching it to her with Jenny Frid. I would like to continue with the horsemanship and trail.
I bet the horse business takes a lot of your time? Do you have a job and family that let you spend the time needed with the horses?
Me and my wife, Erika, share Reese. We both show and have our specialized classes. I’m a fertility expert for work and focus on business development and program development for a national network of fertility labs. The job is always traveling which allows me to work while at shows. It’s a good system that allows me to work and show.
Thank you for your great answers
to our readers and good luck with your future goals.
With this we wish all our readers Good Luck in their Halter Classes to come!