As a horse show judge, I survey the group of horses moving around the show ring and visualize the ideal- the entry illustrating the original intent of the class. Could that hunter under saddle effortlessly jump a course? Would that road hack fit the hunt field? Is that horsemanship rider not only elegant, but effective? Is that pleasure hack truly a “pleasure” to ride?
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. In 25 years as a professional riding coach and horse trainer, I’ve worked with 100s of horses and coached even more riders. 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.