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Ride Competitive Trail To Win
ES 487

ELECTIVE




Instructor: Vicki Zapel, PhT


SYLLABUS

COURSE OVERVIEW:
         A rider of any discipline, riding any breed of horse, at any training level, will benefit from riding at competitive trail events.
          Whether you just wish to know more about riding competitive trail, or you are a serious competitor and want to learn to win, you're going to love this six-lesson course.
          Competitive Trail is as versatile as the obstacles you'll learn to negotiate.  The most rapidly growing segment of the horse industry, competitive trail is all about the fun of riding, the friends you'll meet and the challenges and victories you'll enjoy.   It's all about you and your horse; no fancy equipment or expensive show outfits needed. 
          Vickie Zapel Professional Riding Instructor (PrI), a two-time national competitive trail champion, has designed this course to teach you the "ins" and outs" of every facet of the sport, from how to sign up for your first event to how you accumulate points.  She explains the rules and judging systems, gives tips on pattern memorization and provides a road map to finding additional training information. Plus teaches you how to train your horse to cross water - anytime, anywhere.
          In addition to text, Vickie has prepared 2 to 7-minute training video clips on negotiating obstacles.  You may even get ideas for building your own obstacles and training area.

        Lesson 1   
              WHAT IS COMPETITIVE TRAIL RIDING ON AN OBSTACLE COURSE AND WHO WOULD WANT TO TRY IT?
                    a.Origin of competitive mountain trail clinics and shows.
                    b.What a typical pattern involves.
                    c.Samples of trail obstacles you can expect to ride.
                    d.Learn how to interview potential instructors/trainers for hire.

       Lesson 2
              HOW TO ENTER A COMPETITION; WHAT TO EXPECT ON COMPETITION DAY.
                   a.AQHA and other breed sanctioned events.
                   b.What are International Mountain Trail Challenges and how to join.
                   c.Defining the entry form; ground rules, directions, liabilities, fees.
                   d.Know the reservation information for your advance deposit.
                   e.Which classes to consider?
                   f.Check in gate and "Order of Go".
                   g.How to track and coordinate your different patterns.
                   h.Keeping yourself and your horse "safe" in commotion.
                   i.Pin the entry number.


       Lesson 3 
              THE JUDGING SYSTEM AND SCORING POINTS.
                  a.Judging is subjective and judges are human too.
                  b.Different scoring systems and how they add up.
                  c.The score sheet and tally postings.
                  d.How to read a pattern and the Judge's Walk Through.
                  e.Memorizing the pattern.
                  f.Quadrants and Designated Holding Areas.
                  g.Required Obstacles and not so typical obstacles.
                  h.Dress rehearsal and a fresh pair of socks.

       Lesson 4
             CONTROLLING HORSE'S BODY PARTS
                 a. The horse's head (face and mouth) and pivotal atlas and axis.
                 b. The horse's shoulder is often theleast ridden.
                 c. The horse's rib cage works in concert with the level of the spine.
                 d. The horse's hindquarters are his motor.
                 e. Controlling the parts individually.
                 f.  Moving forward with straightness.
                 g.  Straightness going backward.
                 h. Moving sideways; a must for many obstacles.
                 I.  WHOA...doesn't mean maybe or in just a minute.
                 j. Mounting and dismounting, and waiting patiently.


       Lesson 5
             LUNGE LINE, A STICK AND THE WATER POND
                 a. Requirements of the proper functioning gear.
                 b. Pushing and pulling won't work.
                 c. Reading your horse's body language.
                 d. Utilizing his curiosity to your advantage.
                 e. Know how to ask an insecure horse.
                 f. Create your goal oriented pre-prep plan.
                 g. Pick your entrances, win your battles.
                 h. Superb "ins" and "outs" of water scores points.


      Lesson 6 
            MY HORSE WILL CROSS WATER ANYTIME, ANYWHERE
                 a. Let you horse think crossing water is his idea.
                 b. The horse's four feet and your pathway.
                 c. Cue, drop and release your horse's head.
                 d. Refusals and how to overcome them.
                 e. Rider balance and cue sequence rechecked.
                 f. Ride water in segmented progression.
                 g. Backing into water and patiently waiting on the rider.


   

TEXTBOOKS:
       There is are no required textbooks for this course.



TIMEFRAME:
        There is no completion deadline for the course.  The student works at his or her own pace.  The student will not be "locked-out". 
     

GRADING: 
         The grading scale for this course is as follows:
                 90-100%  =    A
                 80-89%    =    B
                 70-79%    =    C
                 Below 70%     Fail


COMMUNICATION: 
        You are strongly encouraged to communicate via email with the instructor. Ms. Zapel is available as an instructor and mentor to assist you in meeting your goals for this course.  If at any time during this course you change your email address, please be sure to notify the instructor and office right away.
        Do not use text messaging shorthand or acronyms when communicating with the instructor.
        Please include full name and address in all correspondence.  


WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS:
        Many lessons require written assignments or essays.  They should be submitted as an attachment to an email using Word or a similar word processing software.
        Please be sure to include full name and email address on all documents - not just in the email message. 
        Proper grammar and spelling will be graded.
        Do not use text messaging shorthand or acronyms - this is college level work.



MISCELLANEOUS:
        Access to a horse is required.
        The ability to make videos and submit them to the instructor is required.
        All assignments and quizzes must be completed.



     
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