October 3, 2013
By Tara Matsler and Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
View larger slideshow with photo captions
"Know the pattern, walk the pattern, school the pattern, visualize the pattern, ride the pattern," said AQHA Professional Horseman Ryan Cottingim, using youth rider Kamiah McGrath of Murfreesboro to demonstrate the pattern. (Journal photo)
Having a plan is the road to success, AQHA Professional Horseman Ryan Cottingim advised exhibitors October 2 at the Nutrena East Novice Championship Show in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
“You’re qualified to be here,” he said. “The rest is up to you.”
Ryan spoke with the judges and course designer Tim Kimura, he said, and the key to making it successfully through the trail course is to have a plan for the day and the course.
You’ll also need a Plan B, he said, in case Plan A doesn’t work out.
“Know the pattern, walk the pattern, school the pattern, visualize the pattern, ride the pattern,” Ryan said, using youth rider Kamiah McGrath of Murfreesboro to demonstrate the pattern.
The Ride the Pattern clinics are part of the Novice Championship experience.
More bullet points from Ryan’s talk:
October 1 -- hunt seat equitation
On October 1, AQHA Professional Horseman Stephanie Lynn of Fall Creek, Wisconsin, led a Ride the Pattern clinic just ahead of the October 2 hunt seat equitation competition at the Nutrena East Novice Championship in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Stephanie, author of "A Lifetime Affair" and the Good Rider series, had three main points she wanted exhibitors to focus on: Be ready, be confident and have fun.
Using amateur Katie Bowman of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and Chips Review as her demonstration models, Stephanie had a few more suggestions:
September 30 -- equitation over fences
The horses are unloaded; the course is set. The 2013 Nutrena AQHA East Novice Championship Show kicks off October 1 at the Tennessee Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, with equitation over fences as the first class.
For better insight as to what the judges would be looking for, exhibitors flocked to the Ride the Pattern clinic taught by AQHA Professional Horseman Anne Brzezicki at 4 p.m. Monday. Demonstrating the equitation over fences course that competitors will be riding the next morning were reigning amateur equitation over fences world champions Dionne Stigge and Knee Deep In Assets. Like Anne, Dionne also hails from Murfreesboro.
Not just an AQHA Professional Horseman, Anne is the director of equine laboratory classes at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, where she started the equestrian team in 1977. She coached the National Hunt Seat Champion Team in 1972, and since has led many equestrian teams to regional and zone championships in both English and western disciplines.
This is what Anne had to say about the equitation over fences course at the 2013 AQHA Novice Championships, plus her insights for a winning ride.
More Ride the Pattern clinics are on tap at the Nutrena East Novice Championship. View the full schedule of clinics here.