Photo courtesy of @rideihsa on Instagram. ……

The weather is warmer, the days are longer… you know what that means! We are gearing up for horse shows.

We packed, we traveled, and we arrived. We go to sign in at the office. There, on the desk in front of us, is a stack of papers. Each paper has lines going in every direction. Our patterns. Don’t let your heart rate spike at the sight of them. With a few helpful hacks, memorizing patterns can be easy!

Visualize the Pattern

Read through the pattern and look at your arena space. Imagine you and your horse completing the pattern. Do this over and over until you don’t have to look at your paper anymore for help.

Tell Someone your Pattern

While someone is looking at the paper pattern, explain each maneuver and in what order. They will correct you if you say anything wrong and it gives your head another chance to go through it!

Walk the Pattern on Foot

At your stalls, use a feedbag on the wall and a spare bell boot as your markers. Walk the pattern, in order, as your horse. For instance, when the pattern says to spin to the right four times, turn to the right four times.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Over time, you will get better at memorizing patterns! It takes practice at a lot of horse shows.

Drink lots of water and eat healthy food. It fuels your brain to help you memorize those patterns better! And don’t forget to breathe. You can’t memorize anything if you’re too stressed to breathe.

Good luck, cowgirls, and happy show season!