Before the horse show season training project – mounting manners.

Why does it matter if my horse stands still while mounting? There aren’t any ribbons handed out at the mounting block. So, who cares if we let our horses walk away or wiggle around while we’re climbing aboard? If my horse walks through my hands, backs away from the mounting block or swings his hip into my outside leg, isn’t he more likely to do that inside the ring?

Teach your horse a credit earning rein-back on the judge’s score card.

Stop and back. It’s the final segment in many horse show patterns – the finishing touch. Most score cards include a separate score for the rein-back. As a young competitor, I didn’t take that final score card box seriously. With the “important” parts of the pattern in the rear view mirror, I’d be mentally reviewing the previous parts instead of earning a credit in this one. Now, I remind the riders I coach – don’t waste that maneuver score!