By Julie Preble, Assistant Editor
This past weekend, I had a new horse experience. Thanks to NRHA's Green Reiner classes, I was able to show!
It was a small jackpot show, but that didn't matter to my nerves! However, even though I was nervous, I was definitely prepared.
Before I went to sleep the previous night, I ran through the pattern in my head (this included my saying "whoa" and performing various leg/hip cues). I also talked through the pattern a couple of times.
Those tactics worked. Not only was this my first show, it was my first time riding a full reining pattern. The visualization definitely helped! I don't think that's the only help I had, though.
When proofing the magazine, we read each article several times. It's often the joke around the office that we should be better riders if for no other reason than osmosis! I think that's true.
I don't know how many times I thought about a previous article's tips. You know what? It paid off.
I was fully prepared to DQ on my first pattern. I know it happens a lot to the first-timers, and I wasn't going to be bummed if it happened to me. But it didn't!
Not only did I stay on pattern, but I also scored a 66! That was good enough to place third in my class of 12. Heck, I even zipped the figure-8 maneuver. (Thanks, Hannah, for your awesome lead-change abilities!)
Now I'm mentally preparing for my next (and bigger) show this weekend. My parents are flying out to watch, and I'm sure it'll be a great experience. Here's hoping for another good score!
What techniques have helped you for your first shows?