Zoetis AQHA Novice Championship Cattle Events

April 18-19
State Fair Park in Oklahoma City

April 16, 2014

Secrets of Ranch Pleasure

Clinician Mozaun McKibben shares his thoughts on the ranch horse pleasure pattern at the 2014 Zoetis AQHA Cattle Novice Championship.

By Larri Jo Starkey
The American Quarter Horse Journal

AQHA Professional Horseman Mozaun McKibben demonstrates ranch pleasure on Lil Ruf Catalyst, the first world champion in the event, during a clinic April 17 at the Zoetis AQHA Cattle Novice Championships in Oklahoma City. (Larri Jo Starkey photo)

AQHA Professional Horseman Mozaun McKibben demonstrates ranch pleasure on Lil Ruf Catalyst, the first world champion in the event, during a Ride the Pattern clinic April 17 at the Zoetis AQHA Cattle Novice Championships in Oklahoma City. While Mozaun spoke, exhibitors lined up for pizza at a party sponsored by Zoetis. (Larri Jo Starkey photo)

Ranch pleasure continues to be the fastest-growing class in the AQHA lineup.

Exhibitors who entered the 2014 Zoetis AQHA Cattle Novice Championships had the opportunity to learn from one of the best in a Ride the Pattern clinic April 17.

AQHA Professional Horseman Mozaun McKibben
, who won the 2012 and 2013 open ranch pleasure world championships, offered his insights into how he would ride the ranch pleasure pattern at the Zoetis Cattle Novice in Oklahoma City.

"You’ve got to have lots of forward motion," he said. "The walk – (the judges) want a really fast, extended walk. All your extensions should show a big difference between regular and extended. I think that’s the most important thing. This is a whole different class. It’s a class for really forward moving horses with their heads up a little and their ears perked, going somewhere."

Mozaun also won the 2013 open Versatility Ranch Horse world championship in March, a contest that includes a ranch horse riding component, which resembles ranch pleasure, on Lil Ruf Catalyst, the horse he used first to demonstrate the pattern.

"I'm going to show where I think the transitions should be," Mozaun said. "After I do that, I’m going to get on a colt and go through the pattern and let him make some mistakes and show what I do to fix those mistakes."

First, though, Mozaun went through attire and equipment and what kind of ranch look the judges expect. The most important thing for Novices to remember, he said, is to show the horse they brought.

"Just go show your horse," he said. "Stand up and show him to his ability. Don’t hold back. When you walk in that show pen, show the judges that you’re there to win. Even if you don’t win, if you make a mistake, stand up and show your horse. If you mess up, you mess up. We all mess up. Just keep on keeping along."