Clinic teaches show ring etiquette for horse and rider

Teri Larsgard is at much at home inside a show ring with her horse as she is on her hobby farm near Crestomere.

Jewel Pollitt and Hope Perreaule get some up close and personal training from clinician Teri Larsgard

Teri Larsgard is at much at home inside a show ring with her horse as she is on her hobby farm near Crestomere.

Raised near Rocky Mountain House, she grew up around horses, competing in her first show when she was only four-years-old.

“My dad logged and farmed with horses,” she said. “And my mom showed horses.”

By the time Larsgard was 12, she was skilled at riding horses people had brought to the family farm to be broke or trained.

“I was small and I bounced well,” she said.

At age 14, Larsgard started competing with futurity horses.

Growing up around horses, and becoming experienced and skilled in the show ring has resulted in several trophies and championships.

She has earned the American Quarterhorse Association World Qualifier and Reserve National Champion. During her years in the AQHA she has five grand champions and 16 reserve champions to her credit. She has earned the distinction of being the futurity money earner multiple times and has received several open high point awards as well as many open junior horse high point awards.

Larsgard, who has spent 21 years coaching and almost that many judging, enjoys using her skills to help others.

Her latest clinic held in Rimbey Oct. 13, gave her a chance to help people of all ages learn the technical and regulatory aspects of exhibiting their horse, what clothing and tack is acceptable and the proper show ring etiquette.

During the clinic Larsgard defined each class, how it is judged and what the rules and expectations are for each.

She explained how to avoid cutting people off, rail positioning, how to deal with badgering from outside the ring, and how to properly line up.

She defined terms such as extended jog or trot, counter canter and reverse on the jog.

She explained the proper definition of a junior horse and what tack is acceptable, talked about hand positions and the ruling regarding bits and defined a snaffle and where a leverage bit should be used.

Larsgard enjoys sharing her knowledge.

“It’s very heartbreaking for me to see someone who has put in the time and traveled long distances to attend a horse show and then not be allowed to participate.”

“It breaks my heart to have to tell them you have two minutes to go find the proper tack.”

Learning the rules of horse shows is not easy, she said, noting that experienced people are not always willing to share information to less knowledgeable competitors.

Clinics such as the one held in Rimbey give novice showmen a chance to gain valuable information.

“It gives them confidence and in the end it works out well for everyone. They enter the horse shows, bring money to our economy; to our towns.”

Larsgard plans to do a series of clinics in the spring focusing on showmanship and halter, grooming, western riding and also hunter under saddle and hunt seat.

For more information about Larsgard and her clinics email her at tlarsgaard@gmail.com

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