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<em>Journal</em>

The Rundown: Darn Was It Fun

Horse showing is about more than just showing horses. Don't forget the good times and camaraderie.

By Tara Matsler
The American Quarter Horse Journal
June 13, 2013

2013 WTRHA vs. PRCHA Kickball Game

I think us cow horse folks had higher expectations of our athletic ability; I’m certain not one of us thought we would be out-scored 6-1. Now I know how Notre Dame must’ve felt against Alabama in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game. It was pitiful. But darn was it fun. (Photo courtesy of Amanda Love)

Sometimes it takes getting your butt kicked by a bunch of kids at a horse-show kickball game to remind you of the all-important lesson: Horse showing is about more than just showing horses.

Back in my youth days, the older competitors would always tell me, “When you figure out the secret to winning, let me know.”

That was a thought I chewed on for quite a while. What is the secret to success? I worked hard, persevered, tried to do everything just right, and it did pay off in the show pen – to a certain extent.

But winning became easier when I sat back, relaxed and just had fun. Going to horse shows were my happy times. My best friends growing up were my horse-show friends. My family was my horse-show family. How can you not flourish in a positive environment like that one?

I’ll admit it – it has been a little tough getting settled in a new area (the Texas Panhandle) with a fresh set of horse-show folks to get acquainted with. Here, I don’t have the lifelong bonds that I had in the Northwest. No longer do I see people weekend-to-weekend who still remember my first show horse: a freckle-faced, copper-colored pleasure mare whose wide barrel I could barely wrap my 10-year-old legs around. To a certain extent, that’s OK. I’m at least able to avoid reliving embarrassing moments, like when … well, we won’t go there.

Our local reined cow horse affiliate, the Panhandle Reined Cow Horse Association, is where I predominately show now. And this past weekend, we partnered with the West Texas Reining Horse Association to produce an event at the Texas Tech Equestrian Center in Lubbock, Texas.

The show schedule provided for a lot of downtime, which allowed me and my husband, Cody, to visit family in the area, and for once in what seems like a very long time, just relax.

As the show wound down on Saturday night, we all gathered ‘round for brisket and beverages … and maybe indulged a little too much in both. It was a time to get to know your fellow competitors; to laugh, have fun and be merry, plus rejoice in the sport that had brought us all together.

Yet the night was not over at that. We toed up to the line of the first-ever WTRHA vs. PRCHA Kickball Game. That’s right – reiners vs. cow horses.

I think us cow horse folks had higher expectations of our athletic ability. None of us expected to be shamed by a herd of kids, plus a few enthusiastic dads. I’m certain not one of us thought we would be out-scored 6-1. Now I know how Notre Dame must’ve felt against Alabama in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game. It was pitiful.

But darn was it fun.

Enjoy more horse-showing quips, quotes and anecdotes from AQHA Internet Editor Tara Matsler by visiting The Rundown archives at www.aqha.com/therundown.