Years in the Making
Have you ever been in a horse show? I have not, but after hearing about our students’ experiences over the past couple of months, I feel like I have missed out!
The Red Barn staff is full of talented riders who have wanted to give our students that horse show experience for years. Seriously, taking students to horse shows has been on the strategic plan for a LONG time. Well, the stars have aligned, and students have been showing and having an absolutely wonderful time doing it, just like we knew they would!
They Took the Risk
A total of eight students have shown in two shows this season- the Alabama Charity Championship Horse Show and the Alabama Classic Horse Show. These kids worked hard, mastered some difficult skills, got dressed up all fancy, and took a risk competing while knowing that they might not win anything at all. While you can see that some of our students did win ribbons, they all grew in confidence, made friendships, bonded with the horses, and grew a little more in their belief that they can do what any other kid can do.
Our students aren’t the only ones who shined either! The Red Barn has the best horses in the world, and several of our amazing horses showed with our students. They knew exactly what each student needed and when they needed it. They worked hard for their kids and just had the best time.
Made of Steel
Just LOOK AT THESE FACES! Our students shined bright at both shows. Their past doesn’t define them. Their abilities don’t define them. Their struggles don’t define them! Thanks to our generous donors, these kids went to a horse show and proved to themselves that they belong and are strong. We already knew they were made of steel!
How did these kids prepare to go to these shows? I’m glad you asked! Most instructors at The Red Barn don’t just teach others how to ride horses. They ride, too.
Alexis Braswell has numerous championships and was an invaluable source of information for the parents and kids. In 2010 and 2011, Alexis and her old horse, Charm, were World Reserve Champions in their division. In 2012, she and Chili were Reserve World Champions in their division. She won world championship titles while riding friends’ horses in 2016 and 2017. Just this season, Alexis and Chili have been undefeated in their division! They won all of their 5 gaited country pleasure classes at Pro-Am Charity Horse Show, MidSouth Spring Premiere Horse Show, Alabama Classic Horse Show, and Alabama Charity Championship Horse Show. Alexis and her other horse, Mac, took 2nd place at the MidSouth Spring Premiere and Alabama Classic.
Mary Beth Vaughn has shown in Birmingham Dressage and Combined Training for three years. She also now shows her personal horse, Havana, at the Full Circle Horse Park Schooling Shows. They have won some 2′ and some 2’3″ show jumping classes and placed third in their first Dressage test in intro A. Mary Beth and Havana joined in on the fun at the Alabama Charity Championship Horse Show in Decatur, placing 4th in the open walk trot and 5th in the walk-trot championship. She also showed our very own Luna in Decatur last year, placing 1st in the walk-trot horsemanship and 3rd in the equitation academy class. She also showed our own Dolly in the Alabama Classic Horse Show in Rainsville and placed 2nd in the open walk trot canter and walk trot canter championship. Last October, she showed a friend’s horse and placed 2nd out of 11 in the open hunter pleasure championship class.
Ivey Wise rode in the Alabama Classic Horse Show and placed 1st place in showmanship walk trot canter, 1st place in equitation walk trot canter, and 1st place in the walk trot canter championship. She also showed at the Alabama Charity Championship and placed 5th in showmanship walk trot canter, 4th in equitation walk trot canter, and 5th in the walk trot canter championship.
Jordan Belzer showed in the 2019 National Georgia Draft Horse Show. She showed a 6 month old filly named Athena and a 4 month old colt named Hector. Jordan says that entering and doing well at a horse show is the most rewarding experience!
most rewarding experience!
As you can see, our instructors are good at what they do. They love what they do so much that they ride and show their own horses on nights and weekends when they’re not at the barn! With that level of talent and dedication among our staff coupled with our well-trained horses and hard-working students, this is sure to be just the first of many successful show seasons for The Red Barn.
Here’s to many more horse shows to come. Enjoy these super cute pictures!