By: Brittany Bevis
For the past eleven years, Christine Shidler has been a devoted, horse show mom to her daughter, Kim. When Kim was just ten years old, she started on the competition circuit. Now, she’s about to turn 21 and is studying at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, FL.
“My mom has always been an amazing, horse show mom for me when I showed APHA with the Gillespies, and now it’s her turn to shine!” Kim says. “She did everything a horse show mom is supposed to do. She calmed me down, when I was nervous. She gave me a hug, when I was upset. She always had food! I used to get really nervous and forget to eat, so she was always right there with food.”
“She rode horses when she was younger, so that’s definitely what influenced me to start riding horses. When I headed off to college, I thought I would be able to keep showing, but I quickly realized that I couldn’t, so she started picking it up.”
In 2014, Kim had a horse named Zips Juan Pat Star that she rode to win 14-18 Trail at the APHA Youth World Show. That year, Christine showed in Parents Western Pleasure with the same horse and was named the Reserve World Champion. “That was the first time she’d ever shown a horse, and that’s what really got her started,” Kim says.
Fast forward to 2019, and, with Kim in college, Christine recently decided to purchase her very own horse, James Dean Daydream. They just competed at their first horse show, the Prairie Classic in Oklahoma City, and won the Level 1 Select Western Pleasure circuit championship.
“She just got him a month ago at a show in Venice. She raved about how much she loved him, and it worked out perfectly. She’s the same size as me, so she wears all my old, show clothes. She sent me a picture of her and ‘Hot Rod’ and said, ‘Your show clothes gave me luck!’ She eventually wants to do some all-around classes. She loves Horsemanship, but she hasn’t really gotten into it much yet. Her dream would be to do Western Riding.”
With a show schedule including all the majors like the Silver Dollar Circuit, Level 1 Championship, and Quarter Horse Congress, Christine and Hot Rod are ready for their first full year of competition “out on their own.”
Kim will be able to take some time off school to watch her mother compete at the Congress, but she’s not sure if she will actually be able to watch or not.
“I get so nervous the whole time. I cannot really watch. It’s so hard for me. It’s also hard, because I want to tell her everything to do; but, at the end of the day, she’s in good hands. I just tell her that she needs to keep thinking the whole time and not go blank.”
“She says that she wants to win everything that I’ve ever won, which I won mostly Hunt Seat classes, and I don’t see that happening! But, her biggest goal is to show at the Congress this year and really take advantage of the opportunity, since she’s a novice rider and has a really seasoned horse.”
Author’s Note: Christine is likely a bit surprised, because she had no idea this article was being written. It was organized solely on the part of her daughter, who wanted to do something special to commemorate her mother’s introduction to the world of horse show competition after years of being the perfect horse show mom.