The halter the horse wears is very important as it is the only piece of equipment used in showmanship. Ideally the halter for Western showmanship should be a fancy show halter. Any halter can be used as long as it fits well but the nicer your set-up the better it may do. The lead and how it is attached is very important. The snap should be attached to the left side of the halter up near the throat latch. Like this
Then it goes from the outside, through the left cheek piece, under the chin and out the right side cheek piece. The chain on a real showmanship halter should only be about 4-6 inches long. The extra chain on this halter is too long to be correct. On a model halter it should be only about a half inch long. The handler should hold the chain right at the end of the chain but on the leather of the lead. If your chain is too short or too long the handler will not be holding the horse in the correct way.The next thing to learn about showmanship is the quadrants of the horse. From a top view the quadrants are the four different sections of the horse. As long as you know them you will always know where the handler should be in relation to the judge. The handler should always be looking at the judge and not blocking the judges view. Also the handler and judge should not be in the same quadrant at the same time. As you can imagine there is a lot of quick movement from the handler as they try to stay in the proper quadrant. The quadrants look like thisI use a Breyer Lady Phase for my showmanship because she is standing squarely and that makes for the best looking (standing) showmanship set-up. Make sure when you set up your entry to check and make sure the halter is straight, the doll is holding the lead correctly (*note: for 4-H shows the extra part of the lead should be scrunched in the hand. For breed shows a large loop is the usual way of holding the extra) The doll should be standing straight, with her legs together and her body angled towards the opposite rear hoof of the horse. The doll and the judge should never be in the same quadrant but they should be in the quadrants next to each other (ex: the judge is in Q2 the doll should be in Q1. The judge is in Q3 the doll should be in Q4. The judge is in Q4 the doll should be in Q1). It is a nice touch to have the doll looking at the judge and the judge holding a clipboard and pencil. Make sure you have a pattern for this set-up as well.
This last photo was my showmanship set-up at region X regionals this year. I got OF Champion for the second year in a row and I'm very happy about that. Maybe next year I will change things up a bit. Or perhaps I will also try CM showmanship and see how I do in that.