Thursday, October 5, 2017

Countdown to Congress - Patterns

In less than a week I will be showing at the biggest single-breed horse show in the world. 

The feelings of "what have I done!?!" have not diminished, but I am trying to remember that I'm doing this for FUN.  This is fun, right? 

I popped down to the grounds earlier this week to get my parking pass and to check out our stalls.  Parking is $25/day or $75 for Exhibitors which includes 24/7 In/Out privileges and parking much closer to the barns/arenas/shopping for the entire Congress. 

Exhibitor's Parking Pass!

We have our stall assignments. We are moving in on Sunday. We show on Tuesday.

There are 83 entries in the Senior Ranch Riding and 53 in the Level 1 Amateur Ranch Riding.
Senior starts at 8am EST, then the Junior, then our L1 class.  No draws yet, but I'll post them when I know.

You can find the full schedule and lots of info at The Congress Website.  

The event is live streamed via iEquine.  You'll need to give them an email address if you want to watch.  I'll do a blog post with my show number and our draw order when I get it.  The Congress starts with reining, cutting, roping, ranch, then there's a big shift over to the jumpers and pleasure folks.  I'll tell you the grounds have a totally different feel between the two factions and I much prefer the atmosphere of the first! 

Here are the patterns:

The Senior class is an open class for horses aged 6 and older.  It's mostly pros in the class riding client's horses.  I entered it as a warm-up, hoping that by going into the arena once alone before our class was worth the extra $65.

The Level 1 Amateur class is for amateur riders showing their own horses.  The Level 1 is basically the "novice" class.  There is also Amateur and Select Amateur for riders of a certain age.  

Here are my challenges going into practicing the patterns:

1. Bringing him down quietly from the extended lope to the collected lope.  Most times he will come down fine, but if he gets really excited I have to be more heavy handed, which doesn't make for a soft transition.  We are working on this with a few exercises so that hopefully he will be more willing to give with a smaller cue.  Practice practice practice. 

2. Coming down from the lope to the extended trot without breaking back to the lope.  This is really the same issue as #1.  We will have to err on the side of breaking to a jog for a few steps then asking back up to the extended trot.

3. POLES.  Sometimes he's super careful over poles and sometimes I think he's trying to step on all of them.  We will keep some poles in the arena this week, as well as working over the bigger logs out in the obstacle field.

4. In the Ammy pattern, elements 3-5 are somewhat unclear.  There has been an interesting discussion going on in a facebook group about whether or not it would be credit earning to treat those three numbers as a rollback, or if the judges want to see you stop.  turn.  lope off.  I'm leaning towards the latter, partially because it does NOT say rollback, partially because keeping Huck quiet leads to better control.   Plus, if there are three separate maneuvers listed, the judge will probably have three separate scores to enter so I want to be clear about completing maneuvers.  

5. My stress level.  (Note the name of this blog.)  Honestly part of me wishes I'd never even thought about doing it, let alone actually paid the money.  The other part of me knows that it's something I've wanted to do for a long time and this is the time to do it.  I'm trying to get enough sleep and eat well, an I'm trying to breathe and find the fun in it.  :)

More to come as we Countdown to Congress!


  1. Can't believe I just found your blog! I LOVE the Congress. You are going to have so much fun. We have one going to the World in the RR next month and I'm super sad I'll miss it.

    You totally didn't ask for opinions, but I think I would treat it as three separate maneuvers - in part, because three scores, it doesn't say rollback, and honestly, stop-turn-lope done smoothly should look just as nice. To me, the things that stand out as places to earn credit would be making sure your first "loops" are distinct loop shapes vs the second lope where it's a true rectangle - but keeping that right side on the same line, and then keeping it a true square through the poles (vs a circle) and not crossing your lope paths again.

    Annnddd moments like this I seriously miss Horsemanship patterns!

  2. OH MY LANTA!HOW'D IT GO?! I've been thinking about you guys!!