Western Horsemanship: Scoring a Horsemanship Pattern, provided by eXtension
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Western Horsemanship: Scoring a Horsemanship Pattern, provided by eXtension

October 22, 2019


Today, I want to twist your hat around a little bit.
I want you guys to think like judges. Because when I first got my judges card leaving
the youth arena and the training arena it gave me a whole new perspective on showing. What we are
going to do, is our little victims out here our demonstrators. I’ve told them a pattern and they’ve
had the chance to practice like you would in a normal show situation and I’m just throwing
them at the wolves, you being the wolves. So, the pattern is what I would consider average difficulty
and just for your information, it’s pretty much a straight line pattern. A lot of people think those straight
line patterns look like they are easy they are actually one of the more difficult patterns as
opposed to the patterns with circles and arcs So, don’t let a straight line pattern give you a little
bit of false confidence, that it’s and easy pattern it’s very hard to get a horse to go correctly in a straight line. So, what I’ve done is I have prompted the riders the pattern,
and I will explain to you begins on the outside of the cone and will have one of you just
demonstrate the pattern, just so you are all familiar with what it is. But the pattern is walk to the first
cone, right lead past the second cone, 270 to the right extend the jog past the third cone, 270 to the left,
lope left lead to the last cone, stop and back. [Ok, so who would like to just demonstrate the pattern? So
they can get a feel for what the pattern is.] And our volunteer is Michelle, thank you Michelle. So, just use this to get an idea of the real estate
and how she uses her pattern etc, but mostly just so that you understand how the maneuvers go. So
she’s going to walk to the first marker, Right lead past the second marker, with a stop, and a 270
to the right, extend the jog past the 3rd marker. With a stop and a 270 to the left, and a lope
left lead to the last marker, stop and back. Ok, and we are just allowing her that little correction,
but if you were in a judging situation you woud have to deal with that numerically as well. Ok, everybody understand the pattern, any questions on it?
So, what I’m gonna do is try to not say a word, which is very
difficult for me, and we’ll just start. try to not say a word, which is very
difficult for me, and we’ll just start. Whoever wants to go first, and we will just go, five
patterns in a row. And if you guys want to take notes or possibly write down scores. [if
I would just hold you a second] remembering from yesterdays showmanship talk, all of the pattern classes, I think pretty traditionally through all the breeds, I’m not sure about the
Appaloosa’s, but certainly in the Paints and the Quarter Horses, you score from 0-20. 0 is
a disqualification, that does not, in the Paints disallow you to placing, but in the quarter horses it does. So, anytime you would disqualify, using two hands,
wrong side of the markers, inclusion of maneuver, failure to complete a maneuver, etc. That would give
you a DQ and you are not eligible to place. In the paints you are still eligible to
place, I can’t answer you on the Appaloosa’s. eligible to place. In the paints you are still eligible to
place, I can’t answer you on the Appaloosa’s. So, first and foremost, you want to be on pattern, you
don’t want to disqualify etc. to get a score. The median score, and just to refresh your memory is anywhere
from 12-14, that a judge will begin with and will go up and down the scale of points
providing you preform the maneuvers good or bad. In a novice class, very often an average score will
win, you just want to be correct. How do we derive our score? First, it’s a
mechanical, the mechanics of the pattern, meaning the maneuvers, where you get, if you get past the markers, if
you get correct leads, perform the maneuvers as they’re described and then there is also a style score which will relate to how
you sit in the saddle, handle the horse, you’re actual overall horsemanship or equitation. So that’s how we derive the scores, it’s similar
to reining how we get penalty scores and maneuver scores. So sometimes a rider can be an exceptionally good rider, have
a little mistake, that may beat a rider that is at average or below average rider that’s correct. That’s a little
confusing sometimes to the audience or to the those onlookers because they say “Hey, that one trotted out of it’s rollback.” But
you have to remember that at each maneuver we are plus-ing and minus-ing, okay. A lot of times judges interpret what you have
done to, so if your horse stalls or freezes up in a turn around in the reining that would be a penalty two
in the horsemanship we’d wait and see how you handled it. Of course it’s not ideal, but it would beat somebody from if i
could see that the rider was thoughtful and worked through it in a timely manner. For me, that would beat someone who went out
on a horse that turns around and absolutely gives them an incorrect cue, or guides it incorrectly to get it through that turn. Okay, so in the horsemanship, as in the showmanship the
judges also are interpreting your thought process. We have enough feel, and we’ve done it enough, where
we can kinda feel and see whats going on. I would say “Oh, she’s getting into trouble.” How
is she going to handle it? Okay, so keep that in mind. There’s a lot that goes on. I
think its 3 fold. It’s mechanics, it’s style and it’s interpretation. Thoughts and interpretation that gets you your overall score.

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