The Three Secrets to Surviving a One-Horse Class August 11 2015 2 Comments
So you’re getting ready for your class when horse show management announces class numbers and you hear it…. “1 entry.” The exact number of entries no one wants for their class. Not only does it sort of suck because it’s an automatic win, but it also sucks because every single move you make will basically be trumpeted across the arena, because all eyes are on you! Well, while we should always be grateful for an opportunity to get in the ring, be it alone or in a class of 20, here are three tips to surviving the dreaded one-horse class.
Getting too into your head about the fact that all eyes are on you will most likely throw your brain into fully loaded nuclear meltdown! Avoid this by doing some breathing exercises or following your regular horse show routine. Why should a one horse class be any different than a class of 20 in terms of your goals as an equestrian? It shouldn’t. So do your best to treat it the same emotionally!
Take it seriously
Even though you are basically guaranteed a win here, put as much effort into this as you would in a larger class. Don’t slump your way through the class and get sloppy because you know it’s in the bag. Treat each class, the horse show officials, and the spectators with the respect they deserve and put your heart into it! Just like you would in any other class. If being alone doesn’t make you nervous, don’t let being alone make you arrogant either.
While we all love the thrill of making big cuts and passes down the rail, the thrill of a roaring crowd for a giant class of beautiful animals, this is a rare opportunity for you to showcase yourself and your horse when you KNOW people will be paying attention to you! After all, a show is a show is a show and we are in it for the learning, the equestrianism, and let’s face it, the little bit of glamour we all feel on the back of a show horse, so let your glamour flag fly and SHOW!
Have you ever had something go seriously wrong in a one horse class? Tell us about it in the comments down below!
Kristy on March 19 2016 at 02:42PM
Actually.. it is not a guarantee win in all shows… I got a second place ribbon in a one horse class.
Picked up the wrong lead. Judge came up and told me why and I laughed and said it was ok, I had messed up and hadn’t loped at all that morning in warmup and thought this was still a 2 gait class and that I still had time to lope in the warm up pen before we had a class.
My mistake and a good laugh for the day.
Ashley Surre on August 19 2015 at 12:57AM
This article made me smile. Many years ago, showing at the Michigan State Fair, I had the opportunity to catch ride a mare for Wes & Sena Bowling. I was maybe 17 years old. This was the first time I’d shown a gaited horse, and I was thrilled for the opportunity. The old Michigan State Fairgrounds had a big old ring with lots of “sun spots” from the windows at the top of the building. When I entered the ring and made my first pass straight down the middle, I was oblivious to the big scary sun spots along that first rail. Well…the second time around, I was having so much fun riding this very fun, VERY game mare, that I was STILL oblivious to those dreaded sun spots….but SHE wasn’t. She leaped through the air like a Grand Prix stadium jumper. I damn near lost my seat, but regained myself and navigated the rest of the class without a problem, but I giggled the rest of the way! We were the only horse in the class, but that was one of the most fun, memorable rides I’ve ever had. Thanks for the memory!!!