Recap of the Lendon Gray Webinar: “Preparing to Show”

Apr 20, 2022 by

Recap of the Lendon Gray Webinar: “Preparing to Show”

Big thank you to Lendon Gray for spending some time with ADS and giving us tips on showing.  She was absolutely wonderful, humorous, and gave some wonderful insight.  Also, thank you to Hayley Baker for setting this up for us!

Lendon provided some great tips on the show process, from preparing prior to the show through warmup for your test.

Tips before the Show:

  • Make sure all of your memberships are up to date and current.
  • Safe Sport Training is completed.
  • If you plan to participate in Young Riders, submit your declaration of intent.
  • Familiarize yourself with any rule changes.
  • Check show clothing and tack to ensure fit is good and appropriate.
  • Make sure what you are feeding and putting on your horse is legal.
  • Recommend to not shoe right before the show.
  • Make plans (ie do you need a groom, does your horse need a ride to the show, where are you staying, etc).
  • Have a printed show list of items you need to take.

Prepare for the Show:

  • What level/test are you going to show? Look at the criteria on the test – are you and your horse prepared to perform the movements. well?  Can you adhere to the criteria for that level?
  • Strongly recommends a trial run before the show (ie ride a test in front of your trainer, fellow riders, friends, etc).
  • Utilize schooling show opportunities.
  • Practice, practice, practice!
  • Look at your old tests and see where you can raise your scores.  What is going well that I can make better/super?

Test Suggestions:

  • Judges will give a 10 more likely on a center line.
  • Ride for yourself and your horse. This is your opportunity to show off the training of your horse.
  • What are the easy parts of your test?  Spend time doing those pieces so you can perform them really well.
  • In free walk to medium walk, does the horse melt into the frame or put his head in the air?  Pay attention to when and how you pick up the reins.
  • Must pay attention to the accuracy of your movements.  Make precision a part of your life.
  • Practice your corners. They have to become your best friend.  Make them a habit.
  • Practice the salute.  Halt put the reins in one hand and pat the horse to help overcome the disruption of the salute.
  • Put your horse in situations where they have to experience distractions.
  • Check the tests for how much of it are transitions.

The best way to deal with show nerves is to be organized, prepared, and keep doing it!  The more you show the fewer nerves you will have.

Tips for Warmup:

  • This is meant for tuning up your horse.
  • Utilize transitions.  This will help get your horse on the aids.
  • This is for showing your horse off at his best for his test.
  • What do you need to do to have your horse at his best to go into the ring?
  • Don’t drill things in the warmup.  This is not the time and place.
  • This should help your horse become comfortable mentally and physically.
  • Have to be able to handle the warmup ring and riding with multiple horses.

What if I make a mistake in my test?

  • Recover quickly – if your horse breaks at the canter, how quickly can you get the canter back. You don’t want to blow the next movement. Teach yourself and your horse to recover quickly.
  • If it takes multiple times to do something, you’re still learning it. You have to get to where you can do it well the first time.

Two exercises to help develop your horse:

  • Transitions
  • Shoulder In

Things to think about:

  • What do I do on the outside of the arena?  What do you need to do to keep his attention without wearing him out?
  • Double check your girth is tight.
  • Know your test without a reader.

What happens if you go off course?

  • Don’t panic
  • Make sure you are clear on the movement
  • Move on and forget about it

Don’t put pressure on yourself or your horse just to get a ribbon or a score.  Make it an enjoyable experience.

And most importantly, HAVE FUN!

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