Originally Posted by luvmyperch
I hate to say this, but there are some nights that I get out of work and am seriously too tired to tack up and ride around in circles!
I know EXACTLY what you mean. Plus, I think it's good to have something different to work on. Our training week includes rail work, over fence work (upon occasion), showmanship, pattern stuff...never a dull moment. :)
Try to hook up with your local APHA/AQHA breed club. You don't have to join or anything, just get on their mailing list. Breed clubs will frequently bring in world champion trainers that hold multi-event clinics. Showmanship is usually half a day and you'll work on things like perfecting your halt, body position, how to get your horse to listen to you...just a bunch of stuff.
When you start showing, go to Wal*Mart and buy yourself cones. Yes, cones:) They sell these really cheap, flimsy things. I think they're like $4, but it's well worth the cost because you can practice your patterns outside the arena (although Shapley cans work in a pinch!
). I suffer from pattern-panic and so I really have to go through the moves over and over and over again.
I've even been known to use a Sharpie for cheat symbols on my index finger. You should see me before a class. I'm like a prize fighter. I stand outside the ring and trot in place, turn in circles, assume the inspection pose...I must look like a NUT, but it works for me. :)
Good luck and if you ever need anything, let me know. I really think you'll have fun!!