How to School a Horse That Anticipates Cues, Part 2

In schooling for a pattern, we tend to focus on the slower maneuvers for a number of reasons, but one is because trail is a game of mathematics. Journal photo In schooling for a pattern, we tend to focus on the slower maneuvers for a number of reasons, but one is because trail is a game of mathematics. Journal photo

February 7, 2018

How to School a Horse That Anticipates Cues, Part 2

A continuation of last month’s horse-showing tip on how to school against seasoned and green horses’ tendencies to anticipate.
By AQHA Professional Horseman and Team Wrangler member Ryan Cottingim
In Part 1 of this series, we learned a couple of ways to defeat anticipation in the show ring. Let's keep moving:
The Gate 

When I school the gate, I reinforce “Whoa” in four places: the spots in this maneuver where I’m most likely to lose my horse’s attention.

First, when I say “Whoa,” my horses already know that means all four feet are to stay on the ground, they are to be straight through their body, straight through their head and neck, and soft down in the bridle.
Winning in the show pen takes hours and hours of preparation in the practice pen. Watch our "Showing to Win: Trail" DVD and learn more about what it takes to be on top.
Addressing Anxiety

If you run into problems as you are schooling, especially with slow maneuvers, step out of the maneuver to fix it.

Anxiety is easy to create in those slow maneuvers, especially in the back-through and the gate. I try to have horses come to those maneuvers when they are mentally and physically ready to do slow work.
Trail is a complicated event with many different parts. Learn more about how to train for this class with our "Showing to Win: Trail" DVD.
Slow Thinking

In trail, most people have the highest percentage of penalties on the slow maneuvers. That’s a fact if you look at score sheets as a whole, individual after individual, horse after horse.
To read more about schooling your horse, go to AQHA Daily.