Horse Show Bliss!

Horse Show "Bliss". Really? Can it be that much fun? What is the alternative: Suffering from performance anxiety, self-imposed pressure, and nervous stress? I never knew it could happen to have this much fun at a show. I want to share with you that it is possible to be blissful while:

- packing,- loading, - trailering, - grooming, - preparing and - riding my horse at a show,  for real. Even the chores felt good! You can feel this too!

Yes, I admit I was a little bit nervous at first, because I'm not actually a "horse show kind-of-girl". I'm more of a "trail riding kind-of-girl". Some people enjoy showing their horse a lot; while others are quite stressed, nervous, or frustrated taking a horse to a show. Unfortunately, some may not know that there could be a better, more relaxed way. It can at times become a downward spiral  - especially when any kind of stressful situation escalates and affects horse and human. However, given the right support, preparation, attitude and venue, showing your horse can be very rewarding, even exhilarating!

So why did I enjoy it? And why did my horse seem to enjoy it with me?

I went without any great expectations. We had prepared, took our time. And we had support. We settled into our job and just went with it. The venue itself was low-key, not high-pressure. A good start!

For me, it also wasn't about winning. It wasn't about competition. It wasn't about being perfect.

You know how they say, it's starts with showing up, and showing up with a positive attitude.

What I wanted was simply a good experience and have fun with Rollie. That's it! Prizes are a bonus, they're great too, but really it's about being there and just doing it. And so as we took it slow, laughed, stayed aware and set the intention for "fun and a good time", it is exactly what we got.... and a few prizes, including First Prize in the Tennessee Walking horse class! Yes!!

Interesting Tidbits:

- The name of the show is "Interior Gaited Horse Show" held annually in Armstrong, B.C. every June.

- This year 2012, it was Rollie's second ever horse show! Rollie took part in his first show two years ago, when he was six years old. He won First Places for best gait in the Tennessee Walking horse classes both in 2010 and 2012. Well done, Rollie!

- There are all types of gaited horses participating in this show, such as Peruvians, Islandics, Paso Finos, Rocky Mountains, Missouri Fox-trotters, and Tennessee Walking Horses. The Interior Gaited Horse Show is all about fun. There are many games, like Tricky Trail class, Barrel Race, Pole Bending, and so on. All these classes are great for expanding your and your horse's skills in a fun, relaxed way. (picture below shows Rollie and Karin on the left).

- Some classes allow all different breeds to compete with each other, other classes are breed specific such as the "Tennessee Walking Horse" class

- Rollie truly seemed to enjoy himself, as we have a trusting relationship and work well together. Rollie even stole some hearts as he walked up to the person handing out the prizes. He stuck his nose in the bucket and the prize person kept petting him and giving him kisses on the nose every time we came up to her. What a sweet horse he is!

- Rollie did particularly well in the Tennessee Walking Horse class, showing off his beautiful smooth running walk, at a loose rein. He was so even and balanced, I just sat back with a smile and enjoyed his gait! He is truly a credit to his breed. If you have a gaited horse and need help with the gait, let me know!

- The show lasts for two days. We deliberately set a realistic, achievable goal of only doing one day. This took the pressure off both the horse and myself. We kept the demands low key.  Instead of exhausting ourselves, we went home tired and happy but not completely exhausted. If you need coaching in setting achievable goals, let me know, I can help!

- We entered nine classes that day, and placed in five. We enjoyed the classes that were games like pole bending and barrel racing.

Insights on my Horse Journey

As I focused on cooperation, team work and praise, lots of praise, I felt very close to Rollie and was so proud how well he handled everything. Thank you, Rollie! The ribbons represent a job well done! If you want to have this much fun with your horse and need help, I can coach you!

If you would like to explore Your Journey further…

Questions, or interested in experiencing Equine Facilitated Coaching and Personal Development sessions in Kelowna? Please contact Karin Bauer, BSW, by calling 250-860-1964 or




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