Reply To: Anyone else "just" a trail rider?

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Newbie here, but this post speaks to the experience I’ve been having. “Just” a trail and pleasure rider (where pleasure means “for fun”, not any of the show disciplines that have “pleasure” in the name!)

I love teaching (safe, non-crazy) horses stuff. For several years I’ve been leasing a horse that was bred by the ranch where I had been taking lessons, and came out too slow for the intended purpose (barrel racing) and too runty and weird-looking to easily find another show niche. Given I didn’t care about looks at that time in my life, she was my dream horse: basically sane, very smart, but relatively uneducated. I’ve since brought her from being reasonably well-broke for trail riding, to being able to do patterns, figures, pivots, flying lead changes, etc. – all without having showing as a goal. (And of course we still trail ride!) But I’ve noticed the ranch instructor and others sometimes have a hard time wrapping their minds around why I would want to teach my horse things if I don’t specifically intend to show in a discipline utilizing those things.

The ranch seems to be moving in the direction of seeking more boarders, and specifically more “show” boarders, though there are still some who just want to trail ride. I think I’m the only one who wants to trail ride *and* do more advanced stuff just for the fun of it.

(I have had some chances to tag along with other boarders to some small local shows and put my horse in some hunt seat flat classes, including pattern equitation classes, where she does everything she’s asked to do – without my ever having specifically thought of myself as doing “show practice!”)