Ugh, the pandemic has been hard, right? If you feel like there’s hardly a light at the end of this “lockdown tunnel”, here are some strategies that might help you finding your motivation to practice – even if there’s no show season around the corner. (Good news is: It looks like there is…)
Heels down, chin up – well, if it were only those two things you had to master, Hunt Seat Equitation would probably be easy. But it is a very complex combination of seat, posture, cues, riding a pattern while presenting a horse as a Hunter horse. We have talked to two competitors who have successfully mastered this class for their advice.
It looks like a dance, two souls guided by an invisible bond – that is the ultimate goal in Showmanship. Whereas in other events, riders can rely on cues with their legs, voice, a bridle and the impact of shifting their weight in the saddle, Showmanship exhibitors only have a little chain – and ideally, it looks like they’re not even using that. But what does it take to create that picture? We have talked to a World class trainer, Jenny Jordan, and three successful European Amateur exhibitors about the first steps of the event and how to ultimately master that skilled dance that high-class Showmanship is.
It’s a little object. Maybe a plastic bottle or a pink balloon. But your horse reacts as if the thing is about to kill it. Sounds familiar? Usually, every equestrian has been in such a situation where they ask themselves whatever is going on inside their horse’s head. But the good news is: You can work on that. We have talked to Swiss trainer Linda Johansson about her way of making horses “bombproof”.
One thing that separates the European horse show industry from the one in the States is the fact that Europe actually has an off-season. While that is sad in a way – not showing for a few months? Ugh – it also has its perks. Plus, it would be too cold for showing anyway. We talked to three young trainers who told us how they make use of the off-season.
Precision, flow, skill – those are only three terms one could use to describe Western Riding. The event is – for most riders – the ultimate event they teach their all-round horses. Mastering a pattern with approximately eight lead changes can be quite a challenge. We have talked two three trainers who have mastered this challenge multiple times and have become champions in several classes.
Ranch Riding is one of the events that has become wildly popular within the past few years: Whether it is the fast turns, the elements that contain poles or the diversity of it all, people seem to love it. One element that is characteristic for Ranch Riding is the extended trot – most people do have a certain picture in mind while reading this. We have talked to two successful equestrians who explained what this element is all about.
Long mane in all-round events – yes or no? This topic is discussed quite frequently and people either love or hate it. We have talked to professional Sandra Görtz who offers banding and braiding at shows and asked for her opinion and advice.
It is often underestimated, yet one of the classes that requires a lot of skill: Showmanship is far more than just walking next to a horse. Executing a good inspection and running in a natural yet athletic way is a challenge. We have asked three champions how they mastered that challenge.
Each team has that one person that always, always struggles with learning the pattern for their class. And for newcomers it can be hard as well – you are at your first show, you have practiced a lot and you are super nervous. No wonder many newcomers go out of pattern in their first classes – because their mind is filled with so many other things and they are just getting used to this whole new experience. In order to make it easier for them and all the people who struggle with learning the pattern, here is some advice on how to remember it.