Do or shoud I practice patterns before a event
Do or shoud I practice patterns before a event?.....
I have an arena but it's not wide enough to do a lot of the patterns. I can put barrels and poles down in this pasture area to practice at a trot(not great footing to run in)...I have an event next weekend and I won't be able to do the pattern but I have been working on trying to tone my horse up in the arena and trails.
anything I can do to prepare us?
You should absolutely practice the patterns at home. How do you expect to get better? Just dont run, run, run your horse or she'll likely get burnt out and become difficult to handle.
Make sure she has good muscle tone and stamina. Lots of trot work is great for that.
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You don't need to pattern a horse that much. I heard from a clinic[but I don't know if it's specifically true...] that you only need to show your horse the pattern 2 times a week while going slowly and then run your horse once a week. This way you can build on what you are lacking and not make your horse sour. The rest of the week, I ride the horse out of the arena.
With Gidget, she knows her job pretty well from doing HS rodeo before you got her. I would worry more about drills and slow work I would really emphasize reminding her to rate and use her body in position in a slow way just to remind her of where she is supposed to be. To quote Dena, "Hip in, shoulder up, inside leg up under them."
If you want though, I would go ahead and walk/trot some of the patterns and really get her flexing and bending. Really make your end turns in the slow work pretty circles instead of just a quick turn, so she stays in position when you go faster. Good luck!
I practice at home.. I never run it but I will change the patterns up and do refreshers with my horses. They don't let you exhibition at shows?
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