Article by Susan Hargrove,  Oh Joy Farms

Photo showing models has become extremely competitive...it's not unusual to have 100 to 200 photos in a single class. You want your model photos to stand-out and be the very BEST in the class... so remember:

1. Make sure your photos are clear and well-lit... and that your model takes up the majority of the photograph. If the judges can't see your model...they can't judge it correctly.

2. DO NOT cut off ears, hooves, tails, etc. Center your model in the picture.

3. If you use a halter...make sure it fits correctly...otherwise it detracts from the appearance of your model.

4. If your model has its head turned to one side...photograph it so that it is looking towards the camera.

5. Make sure your footing and any props are of the proper size. Having your model look like it is about to be eaten by "plantzilla" does not help your placing in the class!

6. If your model is attached to a base... COVER IT UP! We are trying to make our models look as "life-like" as possible... the appearance of a base sitting on a table does not help your photo make a good impression on the judge.

1. Take the "kinks" out of those reins… and make sure they are even. You don't want one pulled tight and the other one hanging loosely. There may be a slight difference in length if the model's head is turned to one side... otherwise...make sure they are even.

2. If you use dolls... make sure they are holding the reins (or lead shank if it is a showmanship class) correctly. Also... have your doll "LOOKING" where he/she is going...not staring off into space!

3. These are "horse show" classes... the models should be in an arena with a fence...unless you are in a natural trail, cross country, etc. type class. If your model is NOT in an arena... provide an explanation for the judge so they know exactly what your entry is doing.

4. Cutting competition classes must have solid fences... and they DO NOT cut calves! If you have an open-slat fence and a herd of "calves"... put an explanation that your entry is working out on the range somewhere "rounding up the calves".

5. If your trail horse is stepping "over" something (ground pole, log, etc.)... make sure it is going to clear it! Calculate how the hoof/leg will go down and be picked up... make sure it wouldn't hit the obstacle. Many models are placed MUCH too close to the obstacles.

6. Make sure your description matches what your model is doing. For example: Don't say the Zippo Pine Bar model is "walking over ground poles"... he's jogging.

7. If your model is loping/cantering... make sure you have them going in the correct direction. For Example: The Gem Twist mold is on the left lead... he should be going counter-clockwise in the arena. If you want to use your model in an unusual way...be sure and give the judge an explanation.