August 3, 2013
By Christine HamiltonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
AQHA Professional Horseman Brad Kearns
It’s been full stands for all of the Nutrena Ride the Rail/Ride the Pattern clinics so far at the 2013 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show in Oklahoma City. (See the entire schedule.)
Click here to see a slide show from the first day of the Ford Youth World.
Offered at each of the AQHA world shows in 2013, the clinics feature top AQHA Professional Horsemen’s advice on performing specific classes at a world show, and analyzing the actual patterns for the prelims classes.
Attendees are encouraged to donate to the AQHA Professional Horsemen’s Crisis Fund in support of the clinics. As part of the clinic sponsorship, Nutrena has offered to match all donations given.
Here’s a little of what we've heard so far:
AQHA Professional Horseman Brad Kearns, Grayslake, Illinois, on western riding pattern No. 4:
• “Read the words and match the picture,” you have to think about the pattern and what it’s asking you to do.
• “At this show, you will not start (the western riding) at a starting cone (like at a weekend show.) When the gate men send you in, they are ready for you to go. Don’t look up at the judges when you come in, focus on your performance and go.”
• “Your walk in should not be super slow. (If you go slow) that tells the judges that you are scared, and you’re not showing to win, you’re showing to NOT lose.”
• “(As you jog over the pole), try for the middle but Plan B is straight to either side – adjust your line, not your steering.
• On loping your lines “lope the cones almost in a straight line … don’t overthink this, stay loping and even-paced … point straight with your hand, look where you want to go, don’t get busy with your hand and start weaving.”
• “Remember, the megatron (jumbo-tron in the Coliseum) is in the center – watch for it out of the corner of your eye (to help you with your center lead changes).”
• “Always be positive about your ride and your horse (no matter what happens). Because it is an animal, and you want him to have a good experience.”
AQHA Professional Horseman Jeff Mellott of Andover, Kansas, on the horsemanship prelims pattern:
• “We want to see a true walk (at the start) – don’t leave it up to the judges to decide whether or not you walked.”
• “You need a strong lope in this class. Pay attention to your cadence and ride your horse, not the horse in front of you.
• “(The judge is looking to see) how the rider handles the pattern – we want to see a rider that is effective, what was your part in performing a maneuver.”
The Nutrena Ride the Rail/Ride the Pattern clinics began at the AQHA World Championship Show in 2011 and have been at every world show since – youth, Select and amateur. Buy DVDs of past clinics at Quarter Horse Outfitters, www.aqhastore.com.