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A young Rider's Perspective

Updated: Oct 9, 2018

The following letter is an account of the High Desert Classic from the perspective of our student Isaac. He is 8 years old and this was his second show. A good read!

The horse show at Bend was the time of my life. It was totes legit. Horse showing is packed with drama because everyone there wants to win a first. Well, first you want to not fall off and remember your course. But then you really just want to win. The first time they called the winner 690 – Isaac Paulson, I threw my hands in the air and cheered I was so happy and proud. Mocha and I worked so hard to not tranter and stay straight. I ran through the show grounds screaming and waving my ribbon. It is probably not the best horse show manners, but I could not help it and luckily I didn’t spook any horses. I think they were used to me by then. Every first place gets a ticket to pick out a prize and I won the biggest, softest stuffed animal, Ralphie. But most of the time you don’t win. And a lot of times you don’t even place at all, except reserve which sounds great but doesn’t even get a ribbon. It’s easy to get mad and blame it on your pony or the other riders who you don’t think belong in your class. But mostly it’s just really disappointing. It helps to share the sad part with horses you love like Mocha, Griz, and Harry. But after an hour and a chicken burrito from the Taco Truck you get over it and can’t wait to try again. I learned never to eat or drink before your class. I do not think you will score extra points from the judge if you barf. But you could be nominated for Ride of the Day if you keep riding?? With all your nerves and concentration, it is really uncomfortable to have food bouncing around. Your mother will ask you a million times if you need a drink or something to eat. Keep saying No. This is easy if you have the first class of the day like I did. I also learned you need to spend the time before your class with only your trainers and Librado. Anyone else hanging around will get you out of your zone. Lisa and Sara are the absolute best at getting you ready. I did not see another trainer there I would trade them for. Moms and critical sisters are not so great and should sit under the tent. No offense. One of the hardest things is to keep your show clothes clean with all the mud and sand piles inviting you. Plus there are awesome dogs that want to play and horses to pet. But you have to just sit still and be clean. I can’t tell you how good it felt to get into shorts and run around after wearing a tie and a jacket for eternity. I had the best time being at the show after I was done with my class. I could ride my bike around and watch the jumpers. It helps to have a girlfriend like Reagan – Lottie Dah to hang out with. I definitely recommend showing for two weeks in a row. It takes at least a week to get your nerves to settle down. I started the show jumping the cross rails and by the end entered a 2 foot course that I am so glad Sara did not tell me about until after I finished because I would have fallen off. At this rate, I will be ready for the Grand Prix next spring.

Isaac Paulson riding Mocha, owned by Woodside Stables (photo from High Desert Classic in Bend, OR)

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I can't believe this was 5 years ago!

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