Today’s Tuesday Training Tip comes from the one and only Tim Kimura: Man Of Trail.
“In this modern age of large screen phones, I ﬁnd more and more riders using them to read many of my trail patterns. I believe there is no substitute for a real, hard copy version of my map when you’re trying to learn my courses. I always tell my students to have their pattern when they come to the trail pen, and not just one on their cell phone!
I teach memorizing a trail course in specific steps:
1) Read the words carefully, ﬁrst.
2) Read the captions again and look at the lines and words on the map to see if there are any discrepancies (i.e. lope vs. jog, RL vs. LL etc.)
3) Highlight your patterns to bring color to your map, and use your hand and eyes as a motor skill in memorizing. This simulates drawing the line of trail of the course. I use pink for Lope, blue for Jog, yellow for Walk, orange for Backing, and green for Side Passing.
4) Walk the pattern and formulate a plan of attack. Sometimes obstacles are tweaked and not exactly laid out like the map shows, or an obstacle is omitted due to time constraints.
5) ALWAYS recite the pattern to somebody to make sure you know it exactly. Make sure you say it to somebody who has the pattern or knows the pattern.
6) Finally, have somebody tell you the pattern, so you can listen to the story of the course and visualize what you are hearing and watch a horse do your pattern and follow along while you visualize your plan.
You shouldn’t take the trail course for granted. If you ride on two different patterns, such as Novice Amateur and Amateur, you should highlight both your patterns and be sure you understand the differences in the two courses. In the end, it takes practice memorizing trail patterns, but after all there are a limited number of obstacles that can be used, but in different conﬁgurations, thus a lot of similarities in their layout. When you have a handle on memorizing courses you can be sure that your communication to your horse will improve and higher scores should be obtained.”
Happy Trails to You.
Man of Trail
📸 Bree Hokana