I was 13 when I entered my first horse show. The judge advised me that the yellow macramé browband I’d crafted for my gelding’s bridle was not customary horse show attire. I didn’t really understand the difference between hunter or equitation-over-fences, showmanship or halter/line classes. I just signed up for all the classes, hoping that things would somehow work out in the show ring.
My folks, seeing the value of life lessons learned from horses, graciously upgraded to buy a hunter, enlist a riding coach, and trailer us to the A-circuit horse shows (where honestly, I logged almost as many classes going off-course as staying on-course).
After a post-secondary education break I hung out my shingle as a professional horse trainer. Wiser and more experienced, I changed course toward the Quarter Horse show circuit and was blessed to find myself regularly in the winner’s circle, now in both english and western tack.
In 25 years as a professional coach and trainer, I’ve worked with 100s of horses, coached even more riders and logged countless miles hauling to horse shows.
What I’ve learned from horses and their people! What I’ve learned about myself in the fishbowl of the show ring! Horse shows have enriched the lives of so many – and been the catalyst for the train wreck of others.
I’m still learning – asking questions, reading, studying, observing, experimenting. Digging deeper through the hows of working with horses and riders to the whys. As a coach and trainer, I love being part of the process, not just the result. I’ve learned that it’s more than ribbons…and life is more than horse shows.