The Noriker is a very impressive looking horse with the beautiful, rich coat color and the long, thick and dense mane, tail and forelock. The Noriker may be shown in-hand, also known as a halter class in North America, as well as in riding, jumping, basic dressage, and pleasure classes. The calm and even disposition of the Noriker makes it an ideal show horse that is rarely high strung or nervous in the ring once properly desensitized and trained.
Showing the Noriker starts with training the horse within the specific discipline that you wish to compete. Since these horses are so versatile it is possible to train them for a variety of different types of event including riding and driving competitions. Many Norikers will excel at other, non-traditional events such as basic dressage and even hunter seat which combines movement with some jumping, but not as intense of jump heights as show jumping events include. Since these horses mature relatively quickly training can start when they are two to three years of age and can continue on as the horse starts to respond to basic commands and cues. The Noriker is considered to be an easy breed to train but does need consistency and routine training. The Noriker is a breed that does well with repetitive types of training but also needs a bit of a challenge to prevent the horse from becoming bored with the routine.
Preparing the Noriker for show is a fairly lengthy process, but the results will be a beautiful and eye-catching horse, regardless of the type of event they are entered in. Most of the time the Noriker is shown with the mane and forelock down, not plaited or braided. In some dressage type events the mane may be plaited or braided, but some riders prefer to leave the mane down and long. Usually the manes and tails of the Noriker are not pulled, and the slightly wavy or textured look in the mane, tail and forelock is highly desired in the breed.
Conditioning and detangling the mane and tail should be done the day before the show. Wash with a good quality horse mane and tail shampoo, then follow with a conditioner. Comb or brush the tail and mane prior to washing, and only work the shampoo and conditioner through the mane or tail along the hair shafts, never use a rubbing motion or it will become hopelessly tangled. Brush or comb through with a mane comb or rake, using a detangler if necessary. Loosely braiding the mane and tail or using a net covering on the mane and tail will help keep the hairs in place until the show. Before showing remove the loose braids and tail wrap and gentle finger comb the hair to enhance the natural fullness and wavy of the Norikers mane and tail. Combing through the feathering on the legs just before showing will ensure that the hair feathers nicely around the feet and will also remove any debris that may become trapped in the longer hair.