So long story short I'm entering the event for kicks this weekend. Selena and I can do all elements of the pattern. I have never done it before. I can see the bad from the good but I don't know the good from the great.
So, is there anything I should know specifically to help improve my performance? Sorry this is such a broad question. I'd say my "equitation" is really good, but I don't know anything about how they want us to er....equitate....if at all. I know basically the position for the roping, and keeping Selena on the cow/dragging the branch....Is there anything that would be the difference between a bad score and a good score?
Sorry again for not being very specific. Just trying to gather information.
^ This is our pattern, if it helps.
The explanation pretty much says what they expect.
Make sure when doing your gates you push away not towards you and keep your hand on the gate.
When working your calf out don't go in team penner style and blow everything out. Keep your eye on your calf and follow him out calmly it will make holding him easier and your horse calm. Do it at a walk if you can.
The way they want you to rope is so team roperish.... a good ranch roper sits up straight and doesn't lean forward...so whatever..
I don't know how much roping you've done but dally counter clockwise without looking at your horn! And make sure you give your self enough room to get the brush around the barrel, so make a larger circle with your pony. The length of rope between your horn and the brush should be- not close enough it's banging on his hocks and you don't want it so long that you need forty acres to get it around the barrel.
I would really practice at home dragging stuff of your horse, dallying, popping your dallies(pull straight up from the horn, don't "un-wind", it takes too long and if you get in a wreck it's easier) Practice roping a dummy off of your horse, it is different roping off a horse than it is off the ground.
Sounds like fun though!
It sounds like they are looking at good solid horses that will do any task you ask calmly and effectively. And a rider that knows how to do it and put their horse there.
It seems alike a simplfied version of ranch versatility classes
Thanks Cowchick :) Selena is fine doing all the elements. She'll hold a cow, I can rope off of her and drag stuff and we open and close gates everytime we ride. I've just never actually done this class so I'm not sure exactly what the judge is looking for. I'd love to place high if I can, not many people enter this class because they think it's intimidating, and if I do well the next two meets I can go to state in it, or at least know to do it next year.
I'm also a little worried because it's held in the arena that Selena absolutely HATES. I mean, inevitably she tries to kill me every pattern class we enter in this arena. However I really think since she'll have tasks every second she will be more relaxed.
It's hard the first time doing a class, too bad you couldn't watch one and see how they place everyone to get a better idea.
And hopefully your horse won't blow up on you! Is it possible to trailer to that arena and ride her in it without a show going on so maybe she can relax in it?
^ We ride in there twice a week.....She still will randomly explode. One minute she will be doing absolutely fine, but then the next she absolutely flips. She won't do this in any other arena. (On that note, the arena is kind of scary. It has a lot of wierd stuff in it, but I KNOW she isn't scared, she's just being an antsy little brat. I used to think it was fear but it's becoming evident with how she behaves in these situations that it's not...)
Thanks for your advice :)
I would also guess that they will be looking for horses that are just good and solid, horses that will calmly and confidently do whatever you are asking them without resistance. Horses that keep their head level and their gait consistent. Horses that look like you could take them to any working ranch and hold your own on them.
That's what I would look for anyway LOL. XX Fingers crossed that your mare doesn't go guano with you during your class.
Thanks smrobs :) I think it will really help that we don't immediately have to pick up the lope either. In most pattern classes (Western horsemanship and reining mostly) when you pick up the lope first she gets pissy with that and I don't have time to get her mind back to me beforehand. (I.e. in dressage when we start off trotting, flexing and bending, she will always lope up in the circles really nicely) Plus she LOVES cows, she's the type that will hunt one down, so I think she'll get some focus there too because she really loves team penning and sorting.
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