Iowa Quarter Horse Exhibitor Information

Iowa Quarter Horse Association is concerned about safety in the warm-up pen and holding area during halter classes at the recent Mayflower and May Denison QH Shows. Here is an excerpt from an article posted by

“The Holding Pen is a Place to Polish, Not Prepare”

All of the exhibitors and trainers we spoke with said the one thing everyone needs to remember is that the holding pen (the arena adjacent to the show arena or the area sectioned off by cones inside the show arena) is a place to polish, not prepare your horse.

Rebecca Bunting, an Amateur exhibitor from Wichita, Kansas said, “The holding pen is not a training avenue. Beckie Peskin, an Amateur exhibitor from Atlanta, Georgia agreed, “If you have serious work to do, go somewhere else to get it done. I’ve seen wrecks happen right before people go in and it can easily ruin their ride.”

The bottom line is exhibitors need to enter the holding pen 99% ready to show their horse. If you haven’t done the homework before you hit that pen, it’s too late. And it isn’t fair (aka: poor etiquette) to let your warm up mess up someone else’s.

And if you plan on practicing your back in a holding pen? Please remember to look before you start backing your horse.

Gene Spagnola of Powder Brook Farm in Harwinton, Connecticut said, “Showmanship is one of the most dangerous classes to warm up for. People are constantly backing into you, especially when they can’t see over their horse.”

When you back your car up, you always check your rearview and side mirrors, right? Same rule applies when backing your horse in the warm up pen, or even more importantly in the holding pen.

Lastly, if you are not in the class that is immediately preparing to enter the show arena, stay out of the holding pen. It’s not that big and gets crowded fast. Be courteous.”