Hi, it’s Barb.
We’ve talked about getting into the swing of showing. I’ve also said that while I might talk about ‘showing’ that it can be anytime you want to ride at your best and you’re riding with others. You might be going to a clinic, doing a fun adventure with friends, or going down the trail.
In this article, I want to build that and do 2 things.
The first is I’m going to show you how I know when my horse was ready to show.
It’s a soft, clear, precise, and even responsiveness to your cues. It’s like being present and so in tune with your dance partner.
He’s paying attention but in a soft and responsive way.
When a horse is fresh, he tends to not pay attention as much, and be a bit more reactive to cues. With some riding and asking him to do simple things he already knows, you can get his attention, and then do a ‘test’ so to speak of his attunement with you.
I can put my leg on lightly to accelerate or move laterally and his response is smooth, seamless and accurate.
This is just one of the elements of getting you and your horse aligned together and focused and ready to do your job before you show. And I hope that little barometer was helpful to you.
The second is I want to share another little fact that has helped me so much in my thinking.
It’s that our job as a rider is the same at a show as it is at home. The difference, of course, is that you have to show up and ride at a certain time in front of others, and then have a result as compared to others.
But all of those things are external. Your relationship with your horse and his understanding of what you are asking him to do is the same. Your need to be tuned into him is the same. It’s just that it’s easy for us to be distracted by the show environment. But we can learn to overcome that!
Learn more about Barbra Schulte: barbraschulte.com
Barbra Schulte is a Professional Cutting Horse Trainer, Personal Performance Coach, Author, Clinician, and Equine Consultant. In 2012 Barbra was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, one of the most prestigious honors possible for women equestrians.