By: Lily Richardson

Hi my name is Lily and I’m 11 years old. This is for all the Walk Trot 10 and Under kids showing or thinking about showing. For the past five years I have enjoyed showing in Walk Trot and being a part of the Washington State Quarter Horse Youth Association (WSQHYA). 2014 has been my first year moving up to 13 and Under. I loved Walk Trot, it was really fun and a great learning experience for me. It taught me many things including hard work, how to manage my time, and learning how to care for my horse.

Preparing for the shows is hard work but so much fun too. You and your horse are a team inside and outside the show ring. I learned how to groom my horse, muck out stalls, feed and water, practice and memorize patterns and more. Showing has taught me to never give up and that challenging yourself is a good thing.

Some of my favorite things about showing are the different classes. I love the pattern classes. Like Trail! Trial has always been my favorite class. Some patterns are harder than others but they are always fun. I also love Hunt Seat Equitation, and Horsemanship patterns. They are just a little easier than Trail but at some of the larger shows the patterns can be a little difficult, so I practice even harder to make sure I know them before my class. Of course I love the fun classes too! The Costume Class is awesome because you can dress up your horse in fun or crazy outfits and the Ride-A-Buck class is fun – just hold on! There’s usually a dinner night where everyone gets together and hangs out. Horseshows feel like one big family! I love being around people who love horses as much as I do.

In Walk Trot 10 and Under, or any other age group, there are the easy elements and then the harder elements. Everyone has challenges whether it’s horseback riding, math, science, or riding a bike, it’s how we face them that matters. Challenges are good because it helps you grow and become a better person and rider. Some of the classes that I had troubles with were Hunter Under Saddle and Showmanship. I had to work a little harder and that’s ok. I leased a horse for a couple of years that liked to nibble on my fingers during Showmanship and that would mark me down in the placings. But that was ok because that’s just who he was as a horse. But I never gave up and still entered in every Showmanship class. Even if you get last place and you are proud of what you accomplished you should be happy!

Never give up! Try your hardest no matter what. Also, having good sportsmanship is an important thing in every horse show, and in life. Always congratulate your competitors and give your horse a loving pat. Try to help out the Walk Trotters that are younger than you. Try and set goals and accomplish them to help you become a better rider. Develop a strong bond between you and your horse, you guys are a team.

I love horses so much! I hope you love Walk Trot 10 and Under as much as I did. Come say hello anytime and tell me about your horse. I wish you all the best of luck! Ride on!