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The Power of “Thank You” in the Horse Industry

As a child, one of the first things we are taught is how to say “please” and “thank you.” These simple, yet meaningful words are often overlooked and under-appreciated as we grow older. We are all guilty of forgetting this at times, whether it is because we are in a rush, are in a bad mood or simply forget.

However, a simple “thank you” accompanied by a smile can positively impact someone’s day. This is especially true for equestrians. In every facet of the equine industry, equestrians work tirelessly to reach their goals. Sometimes, we, as exhibitors, become so focused on a single goal that we forget the big picture.

You do not have to make a grand gesture to show your appreciation – make your gratitude known. Horse showing does take a village and it is crucial to be appreciative to everyone who makes your showing experiences possible.

Author Harvey Mackay says, “Anyone too busy to say thank you will get fewer and fewer chances to say it.”

Saying these two simple words is entirely free – it costs nothing to reciprocate kindness.

To the horse show parents…

Thank you for always being there – through highs and lows and the tears of joy and sadness. This sport is not easy; we equestrians are challenged in every way imaginable. However, with your endless love and support, we can dream big. These dreams are what carry us exhibitors from show to show, weekend to weekend. Horse showing has the power of bringing families even closer together, especially when you are always on the road with a trailer full of horses. You are the backbone to the entire operation, the glue that holds the chaos together. You are always there for everything, from when we need our boots wiped to an inspirational pep talk. Thank you for being you.

To the trainers…

Where do we begin? Thank you for your endless patience and dedication to help us achieve our dreams. It is not easy juggling one million things at once, but somehow, you make it work. We know that all those late nights that turn into early mornings are tough on you, but don’t think your efforts go unnoticed. Your patience and coaching allow us to grow as exhibitors and form a special connection with our horses. You show us that showing horses is a form of art that can only be mastered with dedication and hard work.

To the horse show friends…

Thank you for being you. Horse show friends are truly invaluable. You always have a shoulder to lean on, through every good and bad ride, always there to lend a helping hand. Still there to cheer us on. It doesn’t take long for your barn to become a barn family. Horse showing truly brings everyone closer together through a shared passion and dream. The beauty of that is unparalleled to any other sport.

To the show management…

Thank you for your endless hours of work that makes each show possible. As exhibitors, we are not sure how you do it. Somehow you juggle what seems like a million different entries, scribe sheets, etc. You are the reason the entire show can run efficiently. You are incredibly patient with us and devote so much of your time to make sure us exhibitors enjoy the horse show. We truly appreciate everything you do.

To the judges…

Thank you for your honest opinions and constructive criticism. You are the reason we learn and grow as equestrians in the show pen. Sometimes, it can be intimidating seeing six or more judges staring at you at the start cone, but we know that you only want the best for us. You are always trying to better yourself and others as horsemen and women. We are more than grateful for your unwavering dedication to this sport and your job.

To the haters…

This may seem like a strange ode to show gratitude for “haters,” but here we are. Thank you to anyone who has ever doubted, rejected or thought less of us. You know who you are and what you say. Even though you think these comments affect us, we promise you they only make us stronger. You are a crucial aspect of any exhibitor’s success. Your doubt has only caused us to want to become better each day and work even harder. And for that, we are forever grateful. As someone once said, “I don’t have haters, I have fans in denial.”

To the horses…

All the carrots, peppermints or Twizzlers in the world cannot express our gratitude for horses. What is more magical than forming a bond with 1,200+ pound creatures who do not even speak the same language? Thank you for always being our best friends, teammates and often personal therapists. You give us your all and trust us to guide you in the show pen. Thank you for letting us become a team. This unbreakable bond is something all exhibitors find invaluable and unparalleled to anything else. The magic of horses is something we cannot explain, but it is something all equestrians are forever grateful for.

About the Author: Cat Guenther is a devout equestrian and a senior at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. She has been riding horses for almost nine years and has loved every minute of it. Cat started and runs her successful show clothing business, Behind the Bit Show Clothing. Her favorite classes are horsemanship, showmanship, and trail. She plans to attend Michigan State University in the future to study veterinary medicine and possibly also business. Cat is excited to show the all-around classes in 2019 with Zippos Kat Man Do aka Teddy.