Stacy’s Video Diary Jac-Episode 33- Behind the scenes look at horse training at an expo

Total training time-139 hours 30 minutes

When traveling with horses to shows, trail rides, clinics or expos it is often the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff that seasons them more that the event itself.

Before the event even began I was riding in the arena where I would be speaking. This is also the same arena that the freestyle reining is held in during the Quarter Horse Congress which is why I said, “Jac’s pretending we’re getting ready to go in the freestyle.”

There is a quote that says, “Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”-Robert H. Schuller

I explain that there are often times when riding horses that the horse will anticipate things; for example a reining horse anticipating the lead change when coming through the middle of the show pen….because a lead change always happens in the middle during a show.

Many people think that avoiding the problem area is a solution. The problem with this thinking is that the lead changes cannot be avoided during showing…so by ‘avoiding’ the problem area during training you are actually highlighting the fact that the ONLY time you deal with that area is when showing.

I explain that I do patterns like the 4 leaf clover pattern (shown on the DVD Basic Body Control and Bridleless Riding: How Does She Do That?) at home so that I can ‘open the can of worms’ and work on the issue at home. By using a repetitive pattern, such as the 4 leaf clover, the opportunity to train through the anticipation phase become possible. When the horse knows that a left turn is coming and the rider corrects the problems such as ducking and diving, the horse become aware that although there are repetitive things coming-they should still wait for and respect the rider.

The video also shows a ‘behind the scenes’ of Jac’s celebrity life including getting into Jac’s ‘celebrity’ stall, lunch on the go (PB &J) with Stacy and Jac, saddling up, and warming up for a demo.

The chaos of traveling with horses is what gets them ‘seasoned’; trucks, people, other horses, flags, carts, etc.

Jac encountered his first ‘scared’ moment of the expo when a small driving team entered the warm up pen. Listen as I explain how I used the distraction as a ‘test’ for Jac.

Jac handled this whole experience quite well. I show a closing video of Jac in his ‘celebrity’ stall as the expo is closing (I try sneaking up on him) and we see that Jac is relaxed and confident…exactly what we want to see in our horses.

My favorite part is when I ‘sneak’ up on Jac and he stops chewing…I don’t know why but I always laugh when horses stop chewing to focus…it makes me think of a human freezing ‘mid-chew’ and I can’t help but laugh!