The higher Colorado 4-H Horse Project riding levels tests make a big jump in turnout. Workman-like attire and turnout are acceptable for Level II, but by the time you hit Level III, expect to demonstrate show quality turnout for horse and rider. This photo (click to enlarge) demonstrates acceptable western showmanship attire. Technically, you don’t have to get this dressed up for your 4-H Levels test. The western rules call for long sleeves, long pants, riding boots, belt and headgear. Show-quality grooming of the horse is required. Always practice with new equipment and clothes before performance day. High-quality turnout seems like a lot of trouble, but it is important to be proud of your appearance, especially when performing. Learning how to create a successful image is a real-world professional skill. As a teen, I rode into an individual workout for a Saddle Seat medal class, only to have a trainer completely unravel me as I entered the arena by shouting, “Turn your collar down!” Proper attire builds confidence, and confidence builds a better performance.
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