I can feel a rush of wind on my face as I enter the ring. The music is playing and the crowd is cheering. I am forcing myself to breathe at a normal pace and my heart to slow its beating. The energy of the atmosphere is unmistakable. This is what showing my horse feels like. This is what makes me feel alive and happy.
When I started riding horses over three years ago, I did not expect to be showing them at the level I am today.
In the summer of 2019, just after I had finally started riding my dream horse, Zoey, I was unexpectedly sponsored by a lady involved in the show world who had heard my story.
This show world I am talking about isn’t anything like a rodeo or even those jumping events you see in the Olympics. I showed Zoey in beginner level academy classes several times in 2019.
This year I am showing within an program called the American Saddlebred Horse Association. The ASHA was founded in Lexington, Kentucky. The event I usually compete in is called Country Pleasure. Kyah is a very expensive and well trained performance horse. To be able to win my event, I have to be able to control my horse while looking pleasurable. To put it simply, I have to make it look easy when in reality, I am fighting for control the whole time while also pushing her to be her best.
Showing is something that gives me respect for horses. Yes, these horses love showing. There are some that do not and it is very easy to tell when they are unhappy in the show ring. However, Kyah absolutely loves it. Before every show she gets so excited she can barely stand still. Once in the show ring, her ears are forward and when riding her I can feel how happy and how much she loves the show ring.
So far this year the highest place I have gotten is 2nd!