Ryan Cottingim on Schooling Show Horses

How do you fix a horse’s tendency to anticipate in the show pen? AQHA Professional Horseman and Team Wrangler member Ryan Cottingim weighs in.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

From the first draw position, AQHA Professional Horseman Ryan Cottingim and MWS Sevens Are Hot claimed their first world championship together at the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show. (Journal photo)

Horses are not always completely honest when you drop your hand to show in the show pen, and that’s just normal.

Say your horse stops early, or he breaks gait, or he lopes off before you ask him to. For those of us who have shown a lot, it should never be a surprise, says AQHA Professional Horseman and Team Wrangler member Ryan Cottingim of New Albany, Indiana.

“It happens to every rider, whether you are a novice in your first out or a seasoned professional, and it happens for a number of reasons,” Ryan told the Journal. “It is not unusual to have your best ride in the practice pen right before you go show.”

The Team Retro member thinks of it as “losing efficiency.”

Find out what Ryan means and learn his tips for improving that efficiency in “Borrow a Trainer” in the February American Quarter Horse Journal. Ryan also weighs in with his principles for schooling for a gold trophy-winning performance.

“I’ll give you some examples of how it might look in schooling for trail, but you can apply these ideas to any class, from showmanship to western riding or ranch horse pleasure,” Ryan says.

“Borrow a Trainer” is just one of several horse-training articles featured in the February Journal. Be on the lookout for “Nervous? Me?,” which offers tips for managing pre-show jitters. “The Road to Reno” returns in February with the final part of the two-part series that picks the minds of reined cow horse trainers John Ward, Sandy Collier, Jon Roeser and Tucker Robinson.

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