Monday, January 21, 2013

Judges Seminar Part 3

Part Three was the boxing and fence work. 

I have shown the boxing a few times.  At last years club shows they added a class called rein, box and drive to give some of us in-betweeners a chance to go down the fence without having to really GO down the fence.  The first three runs we watched I judged 3,2,1 of course the real judges placed them 1,2,3.  What! I mean really  - was I that off base?  I sat with a friend who has judged some small club shows and he judged them the same way I did.  So what did we see or not see?  

Some of the first comments that were made really, really threw me into a tizzy fit.  Albeit a quiet tizzy fit, but I gotta tell you I was silently steaming.  One of the "sharks" said... "I placed him first because I know this horse and he is a good one." I wanted to say... "what...did you have coffee with him this morning?"  I mean really.... Then a comment from one of the wanna be judges  was "well I placed him higher because that steer could have really moved and the horse was so tuned in that he would have been on it."  But, but, but....  the steer didn't move. So the horse didn't have to move.  Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda....  Does not make a champion.  No What ifs, No Almost, No No NO!

Rant over...  But I did learn what the judges think is supremely important and what I was missing.
First....  the boxing is just incidental to going down the fence. Again, it is all about courage and control.  Being in charge, driving the cow, not just following it.  Making your turns quickly and in the right spot on the fence.  Making good choices about where and how to "circle up".  Even though the last horse seemed to be in a better position on the cow when circling up, the big dogs in the room all said that the first rider did a better job positioning the cow and horse.  I realized as I sat there that it isn't aways about being smooth and pretty.  Sometimes it looks messy, sharp and hard, but it needs  to be executed effectively with intent.


  1. Kel--You don't even want to get me started. Some of those judges you named--I knew them, I worked for them/boarded at their barns, I watched them show and I watched them judge. And I could tell you some stories. To put it concisely, sure they know a bunch--and I saw WAY too much of "I placed that horse cause I know he's a good one." And oh yeah, the guy on him is my buddy. I once watched one of these guys (and I'll tell you who if you ask me) leave Greg Ward out of the placings when Greg had a great run, and I asked Greg why it happened. Greg's comment: "He pretty much went with the board of directors (of the reined cowhorse association). I put that story in one of my novels. Anyway, nope, I don't admire those guys...not one bit.

  2. Laura - this is the second one of these that I have attended. And they are a real eye opener for sure. As I have said before - I only compete with myself. It is more important to me that I am a good horseperson/owner and that I am constantly learning something new and bettering myself. If I have the respect of my peers and other respectable horse people that will be all o.k. with me.

    I swear the men at my table looked like they were all constipated! Talk about sour faces and smug attitudes! You could tell they thought this training was completely beneath them.

  3. Sour faces and smug attitudes...too funny--and too accurate. And I'm sure they felt infinitely superior to the rest of you. And they can take that attitude and shove it you know where, in my not-so-humble opinion. I saw so much cruelty and dishonesty in that world. Uhmm, can you see why I quit showing?