I’m cautiously following my glowing Mother’s Day post in praise of horse show moms (and in praise of my own horse mom and cheerleader) with the other kind of horse show mother. Sharing the same breed characteristics as the intense hockey dad, this mom advocates fiercely for and rides vicariously through her young equestrian. As … Read more Hell hath no fury like a Horse Show Mom scorned
Fielding the daily “postponements” and cancellations of riding clinics and horse show judging. (a photo from my judging booth at last summer’s Teen Ranch hunter/jumper show). Every postponement is mingled with a little hope as we kick the can down the road a little further. Each cancellation feels like a little grief. Thinking of all … Read more Horse show cancellations… and hope
Attending the AQHA judges conference in Dallas felt like being part of a large orchestra! One of 350 judges, tuning up to be “on key” with the standard, and in sync with one another. So many experienced, talented horse-people, yet personal preferences, interpretations and biases were to be laid aside – a reminder to stick … Read more Judging horses – sticking to the “score”.
Just returned from the AQHA judges update in Dallas. Past president, Bill Brewer spoke of ethics in judging and set the tone with a remarkable yet relevant statement from the Bible. Ancient wisdom, yet fitting to guide the 350 judges listening as we make show ring decisions in 2020. As I mulled over these words, … Read more Horse show judging ethics
Judging the CQHA trail obstacle challenge at the Happy Trails Horse Park , my score sheet reflected the connection (and patience!) of horses and riders. When you think about it, the horse doesn’t know if that water obstacle is 2 ft or 20 ft deep. He doesn’t know that the bridge REALLY IS sturdy and … Read more Connecting with your horse through trail obstacle competition!
Math exam, driving exam – we’ve all been there. Unknown questions are best faced with well-rehearsed fundamentals. Judging the Mountain Trail challenge show at Happy Trails Horse Park, it was cool to see riders navigate their horses through unfamiliar obstacles with familiar cues. Though not permitted to practice the obstacles on competition day, some had … Read more Trail Obstacle Challenge – “This will be on the test!”
An excellent article from champion Bob Avila, addresses a horse show trend that’s been troubling me as a horseperson and judge. Another trend I hope our governing associations will consider “reining back” , for the welfare of our industry and the welfare of the horse. (Every discipline has its trends!) It’s the extreme low, even … Read more How low is too low? Head position in the show ring.