Tara Reimer, owner of Cloud 9 Ranch, says that horses don’t need to be taught, and they can do anything we ask of them. The problem is that we need to know how to properly communicate with them, so that they know what we want them to do.
Reimer says that putting your communication skills to the test is what a horse show is all about. Communicating with your horse during a horse show can be a lot more difficult than on any regular day. The horse can be easily distracted by the crowds of people, announcers, or even other horses.
Nervousness can also change the outcome of the horse's performance. A horse doesn’t need to be taught how to jump, but they need their rider to build their confidence so that they can jump 10 jumps in a row in a horse show.
“That's why we love what we do because who doesn't need to build up their self-confidence a little bit and get out of their own head and then connect with the horse and go in that moment, right? Because it all happens pretty fast. In that moment, what does my horse need?”
You're not teaching the horse, you are teaching the riders how to stay out of the horse's way and stay balanced so the horse can actually do the jump.
She says the rider doesn’t even need to be looking at the jump when they’re jumping. All they need to do is ride to the other end of the arena, and the jump will just happen in the line of travel.
The Cloud 9 Ranch is having their annual horse show this weekend on August 13th and 14th. Both days start at 9:00 AM
Sunday will be dedicated solely to jumping, and within that, they have different categories that the riders and horses will be judged on.
Reimer explains they even have an event for how elegantly the horse jumps, “so how neat their feet go over the jumps up, how rhythmic they are, the number of strides they take between the jumps, so it's for the pretty jumpers.”
Then of course, there is also a competition based on speed alone since not all horses jump with beauty and grace. Reimer says that horses in the timed events may not be elegant, but they are extremely impressive.
“They can sure go fast and they can go from any angle and they'll jump whatever you put in front of them.”
Although the competition can sound intimidating to sign up for, Reimer ensures that it is welcome to all levels of riders. Even if you only know how to steer your horse around then you are already good enough to enter.