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Becoming a Horse Show Mom… to My Son and Select Mother

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Kina and Koa with Speedy and Karen

By: Kina Marie

The Silver Dollar Circuit always represents the kick off of show season for us West Coast horse show enthusiasts. Although that’s nothing new for me, this year also marked my first horse show as a new mom.

As always, the horse show was fabulously put on with competitive classes, great vendors, fun events, wine tastings, and beautiful prizes. Aside from having a 3.5 month old baby at the show, two things were very different for me this year. I let my mom take the reins of my black gelding, Pass The Black Gold, and it SNOWED in Vegas. I mean not just a little snow; it was a full on blizzard and shut down the city that never sleeps. This of course prevented some exhibitors and horses from making it on time to the show, or making it at all, so I was especially surprised at the turnout in class sizes.

One class that was especially big was the L1 Select Showmanship with 22 exhibitors showing. It was not only a big class; but, as a spectator, I found it to be very competitive, especially for a novice class. This class is one that my horse, “Speedy,” is either great or shameful in. My mom, Karen Minow-Tavary, put on her new black and gold, glitzy show jacket from Show Me Again and, although I gave her words of encouragement, I could almost see the butterflies fluttering in her stomach.

Kina and Koa

The one thing I never knew before was the immense anticipation and nerves that a horse show mom feels. In this new role as a horse show mom, both to my infant son and select mother, I found myself more nervous watching her than when I was in the boots and blinged out jacket myself.

My mom had shown in Showmanship classes for a limited time, 12 years ago. But, at the Silver Dollar Circuit, they run both Showmanship classes on the same day. The arena is split in half, and the classes run one after the other. So, once you’re done showing in your first pattern, you immediately go and show to a second set of judges.

Her whole pattern was beautiful. Speedy even kept his mouth to himself. I let out a sigh of relief at the inspection, and then… she didn’t cross over! My heart literally dropped to my stomach and a couple of inappropriate words spilled out of my mouth, as well as that of our trainer, Andrea Kail.

After finishing the pattern, my mom came out with a discouraged look on her face, but we quickly prepped her for the next pattern. As quickly as the last one ended, the next pattern began. This time, she nailed it. I watched her pull herself back together and finish a beautiful pattern. I burst into tears. I was so proud. I now know the feeling that my mom had so many times of tearing up when I would ride. I always thought it was adorable, but I never knew how much joy I would feel watching a loved one, especially my best friend and mother, execute a pattern so well.

Andrea Kail with Karen

My mom ended up first under all three cards in her second pattern at her very first show in this class with Speedy. On the other cards, her fate wasn’t so great. Congratulations to the Circuit Champion in L1 Select Showmanship, Lori Braunstein and Potential Zip.

The moral of the story is, never give up! I know that’s a commonly used phrase; but, in the world of horse showing, you really have to stick to it. It was such a different experience for me to be the encourager, part-time coach, and full time horse show mom to my mom. We really need to give all of the horse show mom’s more credit, because I felt one second away from a heart attack every time she entered a class.

After the completion of her classes, (I also showed in a couple), I could finally relax. It was such a great experience to be surrounded once again by my fellow horse show exhibitors and to have the company of my new addition, and future lead-liner, my son, Koa Kingston.

Ryan and Andrea Kail with Kina, Koa, and Karen

Congratulations to all of the champions and to all of the exhibitors who persevere through mistakes and mishaps and get back in the saddle. You are all winners to me. Spoken like a real life (new) horse show mom!

If you’d like to write a blog post for like Kina, email for consideration. 

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