You guys are going to have an advantage over the competition if they’re not watching. That’s my gift to you.

In this week’s LSH Live, we are breaking down the patterns from the 2018 AQHA Level 1 Championship show. If you have been paying attention, you know that to me, it’s so important to practice your patterns at home and make sure you are accurate first and then add your horse in later.

As I said during the live clinic, it is not your horse’s job to know the pattern so we don’t practice much with them. Your horse is not going to bail you out at the judge or trot off instead of walk for you, and in fact, the less your horse knows the pattern, the better off you’re going to be. The advantage to having gone out there and seen the pattern a hundred times over the competition can’t be understated.

While you see us having a great time and laughing and joking around in these videos, I think it’s so important to stress how much effort we put into our practice and how seriously we take our time at the barn. I try to think of this as a professional sports team whose players are horses and rider teams, and for us, this would be the equivalent of studying game footage and looking over the playbook.

Being prepared before you come to the show to me is huge, as when you get there, there are going to be so many variables that are going to try to throw you off your game– fresh horses, poor timing, mystery lameness, loss of sleep, orders of go, being nervous, people watching, getting crashed into in the makeup pen, your clothes not fitting right, having a bad hair day… believe I’ve seen a ton of things really throw people off and get into their heads when it comes down to showtime. Horse showing truly is a mental game, I’m a huge believer that the one that can go out there and maintain as close to 100% focus as possible is more often than not the one at the top of the class if they’ve done their homework and come prepared themselves and with their horse.

We are about 6 weeks away from the novice championship show at this point of writing this, and that means, for some of my clients that come out only once a week, there are only 6 more hours of practice left before it’s showtime. When you start thinking about it that way, it becomes so important to make every second that you’re riding count and to put in your time outside the barn hours. I can’t wait to see everyone there!

Keep grinding,