The Perfect Set-Up

The Fourth of July marked the first full day of the 2010 American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup festivities in Oklahoma City.

The Fourth of July marked the first full day of the 2010 American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup festivities in Oklahoma City

Youth competitors at the 2010 American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup were treated to a showmanship clinic, which featured AQHA Professional Horsemen and judges.

By Tara Christiansen

First on the card Sunday morning was the horse draw for the 2010 American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup.

After the draw, the youth returned to their new stalling areas, where they set to work decorating. Meanwhile, the coaches remained in the draw arena, where they were given a rundown on each horse that their riders had drawn.

Stall decorating carried on throughout the morning and, after lunch, the youth regrouped and were given the chance to test drive their new horses.

Everyone got down to business for the first Youth World Cup clinic: showmanship. Clinicians included Vicky Ramsey, Carla Wennberg, Charlie Cole, Suzy Jeane, Patti Campbell and Scott Neuman.

Prior to the start of the Youth World Cup, competitors were given the chance to choose three events to participate in for clinics throughout the week. Not every youth was able to participate in the showmanship clinic, so many competitors and leadership team members were riding the rail and taking in the valuable information from the sidelines.

Competitors who attended the showmanship clinic were broken down into four groups. The groups rotated throughout the afternoon, giving every youth a well-rounded lesson, which including schooling in quarters, set-ups, turn arounds, back ups, tracking straight and ensuring that the halter was a correct fit for the horse.

At the beginning of the clinic, Carla stressed to the youth that showmanship is a combination of the pattern, their own personal style and their confidence. But above all else, the correctness of the pattern is No. 1.

Patti reminded the youth that their pace should be equal to their horse’s pace, to give the pattern a natural look. If you know your horse’s rhythm, she said, it makes it look like you’ve done your homework.

“Don’t just trot forward and stop and back your horse,” Patti added. She explained that this creates an artificial look to the horse and in the end, it can hurt their hocks.

Despite the afternoon rainstorm, the youth and their groupies trekked out to the Bricktown Ball Park in Oklahoma City following the clinic to take in America’s favorite past-time: baseball.

The American Quarter Horse Journal is in Oklahoma City for the Youth World Cup’s online coverage.  Check out the slide show below (click on each photo to see the caption).

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