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This is Jewel and I at the State 4-h Show this year and I was hoping that you would critique the pattern. Please be honest but not hurtful. We won grand champion in this class. First time anyone at my farm has won this class. Please let me know what you think. And in advance thank you.

Painting Missy
YouTube - Sam and Jewl state Trail
 

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Looks good! When I was watching, it reminded me of the phrase "slow & steady wins the race". Your horse didn't make any mistakes throughout the pattern, but there are still areas where you can improve. First of all, I would get him really good about moving away from your leg. He's got to be able to move his shoulders or his hip separately from each other. It looks like you have some trouble getting him to move his hip for you (think forehand turn). This would have brought a little more finesse with the back-through poles. On that same note, he's got to be able to move both his shoulders & hip together (think sidepass). When you were closing the gate, a sidepass would have been very helpful & would have made that portion of the pattern look flawless.

There were a couple times in the pattern that your horse got a little head strong with you. He lifted - sort of tossed - his head at one of the stops. Then he also got strong during the second lope over poles. Keep working to get him very soft in the bridle & responding quickly but quietly to the bit.
 
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