Mississippi State University instructors teach riders to have a mental plan to perfect their riding patterns at the AQHA International Horsemanship Camp.
By Kelsey Stangebye, 2016 AQHA international intern
From the left: Hannah Miller, Ashley Palmer, Samantha Miller, AQHA international intern: Kelsey Stangebye, and Ashley Shiffler
Over the last three weeks, Mississippi State University instructors and I have had the privilege of promoting the American Quarter Horse as we have traveled through Austria, Italy, Slovenia, and now Kreuth, Germany for the 2016 AQHA International Horsemanship Camps.
The AQHA International Horsemanship Camps have been an incredible experience thus far, from which our greatest takeaway has been how the AQHA International Horsemanship Camps truly foster an environment of friendship, where riders reconvene annually to attend the horsemanship camps to develop their horsemanship skills and share their passion for their horses. This past weekend, the horsemanship camp in Germany was just as fulfilling. We were hosted with tremendous hospitality, developed many new friendships, and had the pleasure of working with over twenty riders at the phenomenal Gut Matheshof equestrian facility in Kreuth, Germany; where the Federation of European Quarter Horse Associations’ European Championships is hosted annually.
The Mississippi State University instructors explained that practicing patterns is beneficial to both the rider and horse’s preparation because it serves as a way to “test” the horse’s training progress and allows the rider to develop their mental strategy for riding through patterns effectively. Additionally, the MSU undergraduates, Samantha Miller, Hannah Miller and Ashley Palmer shared some of their specific knowledge of the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations from their experience from the Mississippi State University Horse Judging Team, in which the 2015 team was the reserve champion team at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, third high team at the AQHA World Championship Show, and fourth high team at the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity.
Review the AQHA Rulebook for Pattern Class Descriptions
First, as a foundational introduction for perfecting a riding pattern, the MSU instructors delivered a “From the Judge’s Perspective” lecture, in which they explained the AQHA Rulebook’s scoring system for pattern classes, the ideal presentation of the horse, and the correct position for the rider. Specifically, the instructors discussed the pattern class’ scoring systems and correct maneuvers for each class, as well as what constitutes minor faults, major faults, and severe faults. Read the rest of this entry »