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We began our Congress showing experience (for the second time!) in showmanship. 8am in Cooper Arena can be a veeeery cold time. Mid-October in Ohio can sometimes be rather unkind. We kept Taylor wrapped in blankets until we entered the arena.
Our pattern was one we had done a million times before: Trot cone A to cone B....
...Then walk cone B to cone C (Taylor was right on the money!)
Back up....(nice, straight backup for us...something we always have to work on)
Do a 270 degree pivot...(careful to line up Taylor's hip with the judge so that we will end up straight...and we hit our mark!)
Then trot to the judge. This is where our problem occurred. Unfortunately, the trap in this pattern was the spacings of the cones and the judge - very close together. I always know going into the class that having a big huntseater as a showmanship horse is a disadvantage, and here's the biggest example why! By the time I got her long body around on the pivot, we just had not enough room to get her long legs into a full trot before stopping at the judge. She kind of took a trot step, but there just wasn't enough room for her to truely trot.
Our set up was SO fast! This has been a major item we have worked on all year - setting up quickly and neatly. It was nice to have an element we made a priority to work on all year come through at the Congress.
Pull turn and walk out. Our pull turn was right on the money, neat and straight. Another element we have been working on successfully completed!
It was a successful class - we nailed all of the elements we had worked so hard on all year. Too bad about that second trot! Oh well, them's the breaks when you have a big horse. This winter's project will be working patterns in smaller spaces!!!

Page 2...Hunter Under Saddle

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