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Discussion Starter #1
How do you all remember your hunter/jumper courses? I am pretty sure I am not going to remember mine to well... =/ The show is in 13 days =D, but I don't think I can remember two courses... How do you all remember? Any little games or something you play to remember right before you go out there? Also, when do you find out what the jump order is? I need some help with this.. I know this is not going to be easy for me, and I know there are other people out there that have problems with remembering. What do you do? Help!?
 

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It's been a very long time since I had to do that. I would draw the courses over & over in a sketch pad and then practice it myself on foot in the closest open area, most of the time with my eyes closed.

Now with technology, for my students we snap a pic of any posted patterns, be it showmanship, horsemanship or jump courses with my phone and go over them that way.
 

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To be honest it completely depends on what type of show youre at! Is it a fair, a registered show circuit or just a fun show?
For jumpers, if it's on a show circuit generally the jumps are numbered and you have the chance to walk the course first with your coach so you can discuss how you're going to ride it. Even if they're not numbered, they generally still will have a white flag and a red flag on the top of the standards of every jump. These help you remember what direction you're taking the jump in! You must ALWAYS jump with the red flag to the right!
Then again depending on the size and type of the show they might not even have flags! But you will still be able to walk it.
For hunters you cannot walk the course but the course will be posted outside of the ring. Generally in the low hunters there are 8-10 fences, and very similar patterns. Usually you begin on a single fence, and proceed to a diagonal line, then an outside line, to a diagonal line, to an outside line (or the same in a different order!). What helps me to remember my courses is that you will never have two diagonal lines in a row, neither two outside lines in a row.
hope you have a great show and good luck! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Because it is hunter, it will be posted beforehand.. Ok, got that. It is a 3 day show, so which day do you think it will come out if the hunter shows are on the second day? That day or the day before? I just want to make sure I don't forget the jumps on my first show.. =/ and Thanks!
 

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Practice is how you remember. Luckily, in eventing and jumpers you are able to walk the course. I do it many times to really get the feel of the way the course "flows".

One dressage show I was showing eight different tests, up to PSG. And I don't use callers. Luckily I didn't go off course once! It is simply practice. The dressage tests are ridden on dry erase boards and in my mind hundreds of times.
 

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Also when you get there, watch the riders before you who are doing the same course. Seeing it being done might help you to remember it better.
 

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The way I helped myself remember was to draw the course out for myself on a piece of paper so I could go over it throughout the day. I would also look at the course set up in the ring and go through it in my mind. Finally I would usually watch someone else go before me to make sure I really had it down. It's a lot easier to remember the courses than it seems. I was worried about it too at first but it wasn't that bad and it gets easier with time. It also helps to work on courses during lessons so you get the feel for having to memorize one. Good luck!
 

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Very helpful topic! I'm going to do my first CT ever next weekend, and I'm also nervous about remembering my course since it's not like a dressage test that I can practice months beforehand.
 

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When I have to learn my courses, I draw them over and over again. Even when I think I've got it down, I do it one or two more times. I've had too many beautiful rides where I blew it and went off course, so I'm extra careful now. lol Also, I sometimes make up a little song to remember what jump is next and sing it in my head. Sounds silly, but it works.

If I get the chance I like to see the course set up and run through how I'm going to tackle it in my mind.
 

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I have never ridden in hunters so I didn't know that the course was posted in advance, that's nice but I imagine you could send yourself insane studying it.

For me, I struggle when I just watch it, but it makes sense when I walk the course as the jumps flow into each other. I can be the first person walking the course and it is fairly obvious which jump is going to be next because of the line that you would follow. There might be a few turns which you need to think about, but other than that, I think it's fairly straight forward.

Don't freak yourself out or over think it, relax and it will help you a lot. Red starts with the letter 'R' for Right. And even if you mess it up, it's not the end of the world, there are more shows.
 

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I used to use chalk and draw the course diagram in the barn aisle, and then have the students trot it on foot. We would practice where they entered the ring, started their hunter circle, where they'd ask for the canter, going deep in their corners, everything.

Doing this, along with drawing it on a dry erase board, are great tools. I used to keep a small dry erase board in my ring to draw exercises or courses on for students who really struggled with a spoken description.

People usually fall into one or a combination of learning styles: visual, auditory or kinesthetic. If you're an auditory learner, you can listern to your coach say "enter and track left, pick up your canter by the picket fence jump, then outside natural line, diagnol line, outside, diagnol." and go do your course. Very few people, IMO, are completely auditory learners. Drawing the course, or watching other riders ride the course, is good for visual learners, and actually walking the course, either for real or a chalk outline on a barn aisle, is good for kinesthetic learners.

Trying a combination of all the techniques is great when you're trying to learn a new skill, and it allow you to identify which technique works best for you.

Try to get your coach to put your number in late in the class so you can watch other riders ride the course. Separate yourself from your friends and family while you do this so you won't be distracted.

I also wanted to let you know you're in good company - this is a *very* common, almost universal worry among riders new to showing.

Good luck!

ETA: Hunter courses are usually posted the evening before or the morning of the show.
 

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If you let the secretary know well in advance that this is your first time and ask if she will place you farther down the list of entries. They are usually understanding.
 

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Hunter courses are very easy to remember, it is usually outside line, inside line, outside line, inside line, or maybe you start with a single or end with a single. Jumpers are little more complicated to remember but genreally the jumps have some color to them so you can remember "b;ue jump to red jump to yellow jump etc."
 
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