I am doing hunter over fences and jumper in a show soon, and since we don't get the jump sequence and pattern until an hour before you ride, I was wondering if anyone had some memorization tips. It would really help me out! Thanks in advance...
Only look at one course at a time, don't try to memorize every course. When you are done with one then move on to the next. The hunter courses flow pretty well, usually something similar to:single, outside, inside, outside, inside, single. The jumpers is numbered but I am not too familiar with thier classes. But the big thing is only one course at a time
I normally repeat it outloud. Normally you don't get the course till right before your class. I would practice memorizing at home. My instructor will often have us memorize and jump a course on the spot during lessons. As for "tips" create fun ways of naming jumps. For example it might be the flower diagonal to the judge''s line to quarter line dolphin to wood line. Also, I have the younger kids recite their course to me and tell me what they will be thinking about with step to step guide. They also incorperate what their weak spots are and how they will remember to "fix" it. For example they might say enter to the right. Trot three steps at sitting trots. Make sure I absord the motion and keep my horse underneath me. Check me rein length before I canter. And so on..
I get to the ring as soon as I can. In most of our shows here, there will be a lot of classes before mine that have the exact same course that I will. I ride in Long Stirrup, and Short and Med. Stirrup typically go before me and they have the exact same course. Not sure if that's the case with your shows but if it is it helps a lot to watch others do the same course.
Also, don't be the first in your class to go in. Watch a few other riders first so you can really drill it into your head. I stand outside the ring with someone that knows the course and I run through it and the strides with them a bunch of times. The more you can repeat it outloud and see it, the better.
One more thing, if you do hunters, and your classes are fairly beginner, then the course is always pretty much the same: single fence to a diagonal line to an outside line to a diagonal line to an outside line. You basically make a bunch of figure 8's. When you get into the more advanced classes and medals then they tend to switch things up a bit.
People learn courses differently than others. I go by numbers. I memorize the jump with the number..other people memorize it in lines. Like, single, diagonal, outside line, etc.
The best thing to do as someone said above, don't memorize more than 1 course at a time unless your brain can manage all that. Look at the course as your next to the ring and visualize yourself riding the course. Think to yourself, "What will I have to do from fence #4 to fence #5?" or "I know the outside line is a forward 6 stride line, so I better keep my horse forward through that turn so I can get that 6.."
Visualize the flow of the course, and make a plan. Having a plan always works out in your favor. If all else goes to hellwater in a hogwash, at least you can still stick to your plan so you don't completely fall apart. Plans are easier to stick to than going in blind.
But don't worry, if you go off course you go off course. Everyone does it. It's part of learning. :)
I am one of the weirdest people I know for memorization of stuff. I remember the pattern, then I look at the strides and I go in. I usually only show hunters (in which a course walk is not taken) but I honestly look at the courses before I get on, memorize them all and before I go into the ring do a quick once over in my mind of the course I'm doing. (Like Single Q-line -> diagonal 5 stride -> single long-side -> etc..)
You really just have to find a strategy that works for you. I set up an "arena" in the barn and run my course or dressage test on foot before I get on.
Good luck and have fun! If it's a schooling show and you go off course, chances are they'll let you keep going, or have you coach yell the next fence out to you if you get lost.