Novel, BEGIN! 8D
Staying calm is a very important part of Gymkhana. Gymkhana is all about consistency, keeping a cool head, and staying right up there where you can all the way through.
First off, I'm going to take you through the body position and setting Cheyenne up. I talked to you in another thread of yours, so I'm going to try and help you again.
Let's use good ol fashioned texas barrels for instance. You have to be able to get that turn and know exactly where you're at throughout the entire thing. ALWAYS look ahead of yourself. If Cheyenne has done this, YOU can do this. Trust her. From what I've heard, you can trust her to help fix you.
As you are approaching the first barrel, when you enter is going to be the widest part of the turn. Don't take it wider than you need, but it's better to go in wide and come out tight then go in tight and come out wide. It's also better to risk going wide verses going to tight and knocking over a barrel.
Remember, during the turn, you should have a hold of the horn. Keep the rein on her neck to keep her in the turn. Exaggerate if you have to. The barrel needs to be kept BEHIND your leg at all times. If the barrel is ever in front of your knee during the turn, you're in trouble. That's why people hit barrels. Do your best to keep Cheyenne in the right form and bend. Let her follow her nose all the way through the turn. If she goes too wide, use your outside leg to push her back over. If she turns too tight, pick her shoulder up with the reins and your legs and move her back over. It's better to lose one second adjusting your horse than lose five by hitting barrels.
Another thing I LOVE to stress: SIT THE HECK BACK. It will throw you off and throw your horse off if you're leaning forward from the barrel. Get your butt planted in that saddle. Brace against the horn if you have to. Then get RIGHT back up and lean forward as soon as you're out of that turn.
Now just for a second, go to the 2:33 marker in this vide and watch this girls run.
Not how she comes out of the turn a little wide on the first barrel. Now watch her second barrel. The reason she knocked it over is that she came out too wide on the first barrel and therefor wasn't set up right for the second barrel. She didn't go in wide enough and then cut too tight. In speed events, a chain reaction can occur VERY quickly. She was too close to the second barrel when she approached, therefor had to try and jump to the right then jump back into a left turn. That's not very condusive to keeping a barrel upright unless you wanna go twenty feet wide to reset yourself.
Really, the turning and running are the same for all the Gymkhana events. But still, I'd like to have a quick word about pole bending.
Pole bending is one of the most difficult timed events. I jsut have a few pet peeves that I like to go over with people when they are learning.
STAY CLOSE TO THE POLES. When you're running straight, you shouldn't be losing ANY time. Keep her straight and RIDE her all the way to the turn. Just like in every other event, the first turn is going to go in wider and be tight.
Always think one turn ahead of yourself. In pole bending, things come on fast. You make a mistake and its hard to correct yourself....But here's the easy fix: Don't make a mistake 8D Don't risk going at a higher speed for hitting a pole. Trot the poles it you have to. And remember when you're weaving, look at the tops of the poles and ahead of yourself. By the time you start a right turn you need to be pulling your hand up for the left turn that's coming next. Because if you are constantly thinking about the right turn you just made until you are finished with it, you are already ontop of your next pole.
I would say about halfway through the weave, you need to be snapping right up for the next one. By the time you react, you will be RIGHT in the perfect spot for the next weave. What I tell my younger counterparts is this: Count your strides. one stride, right hand. Another stride, left hand. Get in that rythym and just keep it up all the way through. Pole bending is all about a smooth weaving rythym, and its important to maintain that rythym until the final turn. As soon as that final turn comes, run like hell right back to the timers because THAT'S whats going to gain you back any lost seconds in the weaving. If you have a fast horse on the flat, USE IT.
Ride her in a STRAIGHT line as long as you can. The shortest distance is a striaght line, and the shortest distance is the fastest time.
Okay, breathe xD
Do you have any super specific questions? xDDD