angle-left School of Thought

School of Thought

Was I schooling Miss Shiney or should I have been schooling myself?

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By Barbara Aitken Jenkins

I see your break of gait and will raise you an OP. 

As I reflect on my third horse show in a month, I am acutely aware of one thing. As an amateur, no trainer has ever given me a lesson on the “how-to” of preparing for a world show.

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in the stands awaiting the ranch riding and reining at a local cowboy church ranch show. I felt confident in the fact I had planned four schooling shows to prepare for the Lucas Oil AQHA World Championship Show. However, the longer I sat in the stands, the more my heart raced. I knew I was there to school Miss Shiney, but what should that “schooling” entail?

A talk with my dad helped ease my rising panic. We decided I would go slow that day. I would raise the bar the following weekend. On the third show, I would put my hand down and ask for greatness (just like I plan to do in OKC). On the fourth and final show, I would ask Miss Shiney to go slow once again, all the while working on correctness, soft maneuvers, and attentiveness throughout the patterns.

Simple, right?

Read the rest of this second blog.