NW and National Mountain Trail Championships Oct. 31 through Nov. 9, 2014

As trainers and exhibitors we sometimes gauge our success on how much we, or our clients, win.  I encourage us all to look a bit deeper than that.   As we each strive to grow our abilities, and that of our horses, I think we need to put more emphasis on celebrating the little steps as we accomplish them.  They will eventually lead to obtaining a personal goal or a big success.  That was my personal lesson for the season’s culminating mountain trail events at Oregon Horse Center this fall.

All my clients ended the two weekends very successful in my eyes, and several in the eyes of the judges as well.   I’ve said this before but I think it is important to say again. I’d like to encourage folks to look deep inside themselves and ask if the relationship with your horse grew, or maybe you figured out how to get past one difficult hurdle that you had been struggling with.  Maybe it is that you accomplished a simple goal you had set for yourself in the spring.  Ribbons and prizes are great, but they don’t keep you safe and help you to enjoy your time with your equine partner during all the rest of your rides.  Building the relationship and broadening your equine’s boundaries does.

I am lucky as a trainer.  I was able to see personal accomplishments in everyone of my clients over the two weekends.  It was very rewarding to watch as the two weekends unfolded and the numerous opportunities to grow presented themselves.  I do appreciate those that ride with me and I hope that they know how thankful I am for the opportunity to be a part of their journey.

Stephanie Johnson was probably one of the more decorated exhibitors this fall.  The entire Wild Cowgirl Horsemanship team is very proud of her growth this first year of her mountain trail competition career.   Mackay has been a wonderful partner for her to learn from and grow with.

Steph w blankets 2014

Stephanie and Mackay present their winnings.

Bob Long has established himself as a strong competitor across multiple platforms including speed and cattle work.  His accomplishments with Wayne and Norm are something to be very proud of.  There is another side of Bob that intrigues me more than his wins.  Even though he can ride like the wind Bob has exhibited his desire to be a life long learner as he continues to grow his skill set and his relationships with his horses.   He is the only guy brave enough to be a Wild Cowgirl!

Bob Long

Bob and Wayne accept another ribbon.


Lana has ridden with me longer than I can remember and nothing made me prouder than to have her accomplish her goal of winning the Peppermint Brick Memorial Saddle.  This is a special class sponsored by the family of Bob and Linda Banks in memory of the very special horse they called “Cowboy”.   Lana bred and raised “Cowgirl” and has worked to prepare for this opportunity for several years.  The Wild Cowgirl team is immensely proud of your accomplishment along with the other championship and reserve championship earnings.


Cowgirl and her winnings


Sam Elliot Zessin, as the OHC crew called him, is making a name for himself.  We found that he has a sweet tooth and loves peppermint candy canes!  I am proud of the growth this special horse has shown in his third career show.   He is teaching me what his definition of the word exclusive means. It appears that I’m not supposed to engage in any other activity with any other horses, and only some people meet his approval.   I had to laugh out loud as we figured out what his antics meant.  I suppose when he picked me it was forever. Sam worked hard to keep up with the seasoned horses and I was very proud of his 3 reserve championship placings.  Two in the Logan and one in the Silverado. I just keep coming back to the fact that special horses can be found under unusual circumstances.

Sam Steps

Sam over the podium

podium moment

Jolinn, Lana and I – Limited Equine Class, Silverado Arena

Bobbette Ewing-Myra is continuing the process of developing another champion.  Peaches was labeled abandoned early in the winter of 2012 at 10 years old.  She was extremely hungry and had not been cared for almost a year.  She ended up at Mickie’s, who nursed her back to health.  While starting her in the summer of 2013 I found a sweet disposition and a willing attitude.  She was terribly fearful and looking for someone to buddy up to.  This is where Bobbette came into the picture. Peaches pretty much picked her from first site.  Bobbette’s calm confident personality and Peaches timid but willing desire melded instantly.  I’m particularly proud of the duo and anticipate wonderful things in their future.

BobbetteMickie Maxson-Box and Outlaw round out the Wild Cowgirl Horsemanship team and they experienced multiple personal achievements this year.  Good job!


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