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Spinoff-- Tips for riding a great pattern

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  • Spinoff-- Tips for riding a great pattern

    I was inspired by the dressage forum. What are some of your helpful tips for riding patterns?

    For reining one tip I can think of is to make your final circles each direction more of a 'D' shape to make sure your lead change will be on a straight line.

    For horsemanship make sure to start all of your transitions at the same place on your horse. So if you start at cone A with your horse's nose when you go to make a transition at cones B and C do them as your horse's nose is crossing those cones. Sometimes shoulder works better than nose.

    What other tips are there for reining, horsemanship, trail, showmanship?
    Kick On

  • #2
    Remember to breathe.
    Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.


    • #3


      • #4
        Originally posted by RoughOut View Post
        I was inspired by the dressage forum. What are some of your helpful tips for riding patterns?

        For reining one tip I can think of is to make your final circles each direction more of a 'D' shape to make sure your lead change will be on a straight line.

        For horsemanship make sure to start all of your transitions at the same place on your horse. So if you start at cone A with your horse's nose when you go to make a transition at cones B and C do them as your horse's nose is crossing those cones. Sometimes shoulder works better than nose.

        What other tips are there for reining, horsemanship, trail, showmanship?
        Where you "make your move" on the cones is going to depends exactly what you are doing and what the pattern calls for.

        For example, if you are to walk up to cone B, do a 270 turn, and then walk away from cone B toward the judge, then you are going to want to stop with the horse's hindquarters at the cone, so that when you do your turn, you are walking straight away from the cone.

        Make sure you pay attention to the cones. If the pattern says the cone is supposed to be on your left, then make sure it is on your left! You'd be amazed at how many people go on the wrong side of the cone. Pay attention to how the pattern is drawn and written. Also make sure you are far enough from the cones to complete your manauver. If the pattern calls for a turnaround by a cone, make sure you leave enough room between you and the cone to do that.

        Be as precise as you can. If the trail pattern calls for you to trot into a box and then stop, then that does NOT mean to break down to a walk before the box and walk into the box. It means to trot into the box! Do exactly as the pattern says. Don't add extra gaits or extra steps.

        And don't forget to SMILE. You are showing your horse. Show the judge that you are happy and proud to be there!

        It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.


        • #5
          I'm of the opinion that you need to execute the maneuver before the cone - if you pass the cone before changing gaits or turning etc then you get penalized for being late. So if you are totally prompt, and depending on how fast you are going, then you do it just before you horse's nose hits the cone.

          Question - what happens when the pattern and the set up in the ring don't match? I was watching a class once and the pattern twice called for a maneuver to be done in the center of the ring. One was halt in center and back, and the other was halt in center and 360 to the left. The pattern did not mention a cone or marker, it specifically stated "center." The judge went out and place a cone in the ring way way off center so there was a lot of confusion. Do the halt back/halt 360 at the cone or in the actual center? One person did it one way and won the class, and everyone else did it another way.
          "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."


          • #6
            Always found looking around the ring for landmarks helpful whether for Western Riding, Trail, Horsemanship, Reining or Hunters. Jumpers get to walk the course and don’t just count the distance, they look for landmarks.

            What do you want to be looking at as you start a rundown, finish a circle, come out of a spin or turn onto a diagonal line for that single oxer? A light pole, sign, announcers stand? I have used a lighted exit sign in an indoor to plan a turn to a hidden obstacle in both Trail and Hunters. Walk all the way around the arena before showing looking for points to focus on to keep track of your position and stay straight.

            Looking just at the diagram isn’t enough, you need to superimpose that diagram over the arena in your mind to plan how everything fits together.

            Hope that makes sense, it’s the difference between riding a decent pattern/course and a great course that will pin well. It’s details. And if it says something on the diagram or the judge gives you verbal instructions ?, Thats exactly what you do. In the above example, I would have followed the diagram instructions and disregarded the cone. It said stop in the center, judge placed the cone but said nothing.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.