by Ashley – Sales Team
I can remember the first time that I was able to sit on a horse. I was five, it was early fall in Vermont. My mom lifted me up, I sat in that tiny western saddle, and that was it. I would forever be hooked on horses. I briefly flirted with the English discipline, but quickly found my love in the seat of a western saddle. By the age of 10, after many lessons, I was ready to hit the show ring.
Eleven years later I was sitting in the saddle of a two time World Champion. I can remember the morning that I won the back to back world titles like it was yesterday. It was a hot, humid morning and the in the sun it felt like 120 degrees (especially when you are wearing black leather chaps). Rocki warmed up well that morning; he was loose and right on with all of his gaits.
When I jogged down the center of the large indoor arena to enter my Western Pleasure class I knew that this was it. The announcer came off the loud speaker, “You are now being judged at the jog”. I remember just focusing on the ride and I blocked out the hundreds of people watching the event.
Rocki and I had a great spot on the rail. All six judges in the ring had their eyes on him when we rode by, so I threw my head back, let the reins loose, and just rode. To this day I really can’t describe what was going through my head as they were adding up the judges scores to determine the top 10 in the world.
They read the individual cards first and I pulled two 1st, a 2nd, and a 3rd. Then they read the top ten finishes from 10th to 1st. They announced the Reserve World Champion and I actually started to walk my horse forward to accept reserve, but they didn’t say my name. At that moment I knew that I was a WORLD CHAMPION. I was smiling, crying, and cheering all at the same time. It was a feeling that I don’t think I will ever be able to duplicate.
I then went on to win another world championship that day in another western pleasure class day as well as two futurities. It was a good horse day!
Rocki and I are still showing together this year. We have made it to several shows in New England and a few southern shows. We did have a minor set back a few weeks ago when he was injured out in his paddock, but he is recovering well (thanks to all the vet wrap that SmartPak carries). We are hoping to be back on the show circuit by mid august and back out chasing points. Our next goal is to end the year with a top 5 finish overall, but if we don’t make it this year there is always another year…