Competing with horses includes sacrifice. A friend and I have asked each other over the years, “Would we prefer to go on a vacation? Or attend this horse show?” The answer is: “The horse show.” Competition has changed since my friend and I started out. There was a day, when competing at an American Quarter Horse show could exclude the entourage of trainer, the inclusion of 4-day camping fees, stall fees and large exhibitor fees. So why do we do it?
Competition motivates us to improve our horsemanship skills, thereby increasing the partnership we have with our horse and improving their ability to perform certain maneuvers. There are so many disciplines and levels within the spectrum of ‘showing horses’ that this editorial can only address a tiny sector. This is an attempt to explain the wonderful world of competition with horses.
Riders and their horse attend horse shows to showcase their partnership and ability to perform under pressure with others in their chosen discipline. Competition can be great for all ages, and my favourite shows have included both children and adults with big smiles and a lot of “try” as they compete! The partnership is what stands out; often the rider does not own the horse, or train the horse, but they ride the horse and they have a connection! Then there are those special cases where the owner, rider and trainer are all one! And that is a lucky horse.
My favourite memories of horse shows include shows (and there were many) my mother attended. She didn’t groom or ride or train, but she did offer the best loving support, sitting in her lawn chair and just watching.
Dedicating this to my mother “Leona (McLean) Wolfreys” (May 8, 1923 – December 27, 2018) A true horse show spectator and supporter of the sport!
Ontario Quarter Horse Association is bringing shows for the first time to Lindsay Central Exhibition Grounds in 2019.
Spring Classic May 17-20; Summerama June 29-July 3; Summer Circuit August 9-11.
Be a horse show spectator and make a difference for someone!
Janice Ecclestone, Inukshuk Farm, 1940 Birch Island Road, Selwyn
New Website www.inukshukfarm.ca