Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Personally, the head throwing needs fixed before you even think about trot/canter on the pattern.
With mine, all training issues are fixed before I even think about showing any of the patterns. When their training is up to par, then I slowly introduce patterns walk/trot (trot straight, walk turns with backing up). Once the patterns are solid and they rate at a full trot without me having to check them (a half halt), then we move to canter/trot patterns. When the horse rates again without needing a check, we then move to complete canter patterns. When all turns and rates are perfected, only then do I add speed.
When the horse is at the trot/canter stage I will start to take them to shows. And the time frame that takes is completely individual to the horse, some progress faster than others.
I don't tolerate head tossing..my mare isn't even cantering in the arena yet because she throws her head in the air backing up and throws her nose out during turns at the trot. Until those are fixed, she will be restricted to cantering on the trail up the really steep hills (not enough muscle built up to walk some of them).
So, I think it's a bad idea to try and show this weekend. Your horse has holes in his training, and an unfamiliar atmosphere will only make those holes seem twice as big as they really are, IME. If you really want to take your horse, I would just be in the warm up ring working on fixing issues and leaving tied to the trailer while you work the gate.
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