SmartPak Trail Day: Kicking Off the Sun Circuit in Style!
By Nadia Aslam
SmartPak sponsored a Trail Clinic for day one of Sun Circuit, and what a clinic it was!
With over 100 attendees, four expert clinicians, and an amazing prize draw, this was one of my favorite clinics of all time – and I don’t even show trail!
Deanna Searles and Charlie Cole were aboard their horses – riding each obstacle and showing us all how to do it (and making us wish we were as good as them).
Jason Martin and Jim Searles were our guys on the ground, with great advice and training tips.
Here are our four takeaways if you missed out on attending…
1. Don’t practice for yourself, practice for your horse.
All of the clinicians were stressing this point. You don’t want to over practice and make your horse start to anticipate, if you’re having issues with a certain obstacle then go ahead and practice that obstacle but make sure to mix it up!
2. Pattern practice is all about learning your path.
You never know when practice courses will be set up differently to the real thing. Don’t stress about the practice being perfect, the point is to learn your path not worry about how many points your practice run would have scored!
3. The most important thing is to be smooth through all of your obstacles.
If you can be smooth and quick, that’s awesome, but don’t sacrifice quality for speed.
4. The judges are watching you – and they DO take into account how much you have to help your horse.
If you’re riding an obstacle and pulling and poking at your horse – you’re not going to plus.
5. Charlie can’t ride walk overs.
Okay, so he can really – but it was pretty funny seeing the crowd laughing at a few unsuccessful attempts! He finished up with a perfect example and received a rip-roaring cheer, so I’m sure that makes up for the teasing!
All in all, this was an awesome event to attend. SmartPak obviously really cares about the horse community, and it’s awesome to see.
To finish up, they drew a winner for their “Ultimate Trail Package” worth over $5,000. The winner was a jubilant Kaitlyn Bowen from right here in Arizona.
“I’m so excited, I ride trail a lot and having 12 foot poles is going to make a huge difference to my training at home,” Kaitlyn excitedly tells us.
To find out if they’re hosting any events near you, follow them on Facebook.