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Trail Patterns: Take a Winning Walk-Through – with Jim and Deanna Searles


“Every trail course is always a little different. It’s never the same twice, even on the same horse,” says AQHA Professional Horsewoman Deanna Searles. “It’s always challenging.”

That’s why Deanna and her husband, AQHA Professional Horseman Jim Searles, love trail. They’ve competed successfully in the class for years, as have their clients, training from their Circle S Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Jim and Deanna know that a good walk-through before a trail class can go a long way toward ensuring that the time and effort you put into preparing for the class won’t go to waste.

Here’s their strategy for a winning walk-through.

Really Memorize the Pattern

Deanna: Memorizing where you’re supposed to be going is the name of the game.

Everyone has to figure out how they best memorize a pattern. The night before, take 10 minutes or the whole night if you need it to get the course into your head.

If your nerves get the best of you during the ride, at least you know where you’re going. But if you forget where you’re supposed to be going, you just have to stop. We’ve all been there.

Find Your Walk-Through “Style”

Jim: At the (AQHA) World (Championship) Show, everyone runs to the front to be the first to get through. I like to hang back, let the crowd go through and walk it myself. I like to focus on my own and get my own thought process.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article from AQHA.

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