Merial Region Two Championships: September 17

The Merial AQHA Region Two Championships kicks off with reining and two clinics in Rapid City, South Dakota.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

This is the Region Two Championships showmanship pattern for the youth, amateur and Select divisions. (Credit: Journal)

AQHA Professional Horseman and Team Wrangler member Brent Tincher of Oxford, Ohio, presented two Ride the Pattern clinics on September 17 at the 2015 Merial Region Two Regional Championships in Rapid City, South Dakota.

“Showmanship and horsemanship are a good start for someone to learn to ride,” he told the crowd of riders and observers. “Showmanship is good for teaching your horse ground manners.”

He added that he requires all of his clients to read the AQHA rulebook regarding the rules for the classes in which they are going to compete.

“Because I’m going to quiz them about it,” he added. “You need to know that standing in front of your horse in showmanship is a severe penalty.”

Brent also has his clients analyze their patterns at show to determine where the difficult parts of the pattern occur.

In the horsemanship clinic, Brent mostly focused on fundamentals: body position and posture, the use of the seat and legs to encourage forward motion, and the use of the hand to direct the horse.

The pattern being used for the youth, amateur and Select divisions at the Region Two consisted of walking a straight line from Cone A to Cone B, breaking into a trot while turning left at Cone B, and continuing to trot to or past the judge, depending on the division. Here were some of Brent’s tips in the showmanship clinic:

  • Set-ups: Every time you get your horse out, set him up 10 times, following the same procedure every time. When you get done with your horse, set him up 10 times, following the same procedure every time.
  • When you start your showmanship pattern, line the horse up a horse’s body length away from the first cone. Then, if u have to do a spin at Cone B, you are far enough away from the cone to do that without hitting the cone.
  • Also at Cone A, line your horse up anywhere from the horse’s nose to his shoulder at the cone.
  • When you come around the corner at Cone B, go past the cone a horse’s length and trot toward the judge. As you pass Cone B, immediately make eye contact with the judge or ring steward so that you make the turn smoothly and trot directly to him or her.

The Region Two pattern required the youth, amateur and Select exhibitors to trot past the judge five to seven, then back the horse so that its pivot foot was even with the judge’s right shoulder. It was easier said than done, and required the exhibitor to pay close attention to her horse’s back feet. After the judge/ring steward walked around the horse, the exhibitor was required to do a 270-degree turn, stop, then walk out of the arena.

  • When doing the 270-degree turn, I want to see your shoulders parallel to the horse.
  • On keeping the pivot foot from moving: If your horse is down on its front end, I’m going to pull its head up. If he’s stretched out, I pull his head down.
  • When done with 270-degree turn, I’m always going to make my horse "close" or set up again before we walk off so that he doesn’t anticipate walking off and starting before I start

Friday's show schedule begins with halter, trail and ranch riding in the Event Center Arena, while speed events (barrels, poles, stake race and roping) will take place in Rounds Arena.