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by Downunder Horsemanship

Training Tip: Help for Horses That Anticipate Maneuvers in a Pattern

If you compete with your horse in any sort of pattern class, you should only practice parts of the pattern, not the whole thing. Continually practicing an entire pattern from start to finish with a horse before a competition will backfire on you. Many people think that if you’re going to compete on Sunday you should begin practicing your pattern on Monday so that you get good at it.

That doesn’t work because horses anticipate everything we do with them. It doesn’t take more than one or two repetitions with some horses before they get smart and realize what maneuvers are coming up and start doing them before you cue them to.

The trick to riding a seamless pattern with your horse is to only practice parts of the pattern, not the whole thing. The only time I ever put a whole pattern together is at a horse show.