Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How to Jog

One of the most common mistakes I've noticed so far this show season has been made in the jog. The winner, never having led a jog before, starts a pattern that results in the judge not being able to see most of the class jog, or only crosses half the ring so that there isn't room for the last horses to be jogged!

In this post we'll be looking at the patterns that work in several different ring set-ups, as well as a couple of definite no-no's.

Jogging is not complicated, but you need to keep a few things in mind when planning your track:
  • Make your turn on the left rein so that you're not trying to outrun your horse on the outside.
  • Halt in a location where the line-up will not block the judge's view of the remaining horses.
  • Halt well back from the in-gate. You should proceed forward towards the ribbon-giver only when the judge has approved the class and the announcements begin.
  • Make sure that you use enough of the ring that there will be room for the entire line-up to halt while still leaving room for the last horses to jog for more than a couple of steps.
  • If you're further back in the line, halt about a horse length back from the horse in front of you so that everyone can fit in.
In these diagrams, the arrows beside the judge's booth show where the judge needs to be able to see the ring.  If you're blocking those arrows, you're blocking the judge's view of the jog.  If you are finishing the jog on the side furthest away from the judge, you can halt closer towards the in-gate since you can't block the judge's view. The dashed lines show where you should be trotting, and the dotted lines show where you can come down to a walk/halt.

Good patterns:

And some bad:

Halting in front of the judge's booth, blocking his/her view of the jogging horses 

Not jogging far enough into the ring, both blocking the judge's view and not giving the last horses room to jog

If you've had a good round and you're waiting for the jog, take a look at the ring and figure out which pattern might work if you're called first. As long as you jog far into the ring and make sure not to halt in front of the judge, you can't go too wrong!

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