Doing it All: Kent Ray Taylor Takes on the NSBA World Show
Most people like to focus on a few events when they show their horse. However, AQHA Select exhibitor Kent Ray Taylor enjoys it all. What’s not to love? Taylor left the NSBA World Show last year with a truckload of trophies. He’s hoping to enjoy similar success this year as well.
“My favorite event to show is horsemanship. My favorite to watch is the western riding,” Kent said. “I like to watch the trail too, don’t get me wrong. The thing about me is I like it all, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. I even like to watch the halter.”
Each event has its flair and appeal, which is what Kent loves. Western pleasure, which Kent is showing in at the NSBA World Show, is one of those events.
“The pleasure, I enjoy it because I understand that it takes a lot of talent, and the horse has to carry themselves,” he said. “Pleasure is a lot harder than it looks. It’s very challenging for the horses to stay collected and go the pace they have to go and on a loose rein. It’s almost like western dressage.”
Taylor is also showing in horsemanship at the NSBA World Show. “I love the horsemanship because it’s challenging,” he said. “It’s about finding your spot, showing your horse. It takes a good combination between the horse and rider. So I like that. My goal is to win the horsemanship. I’d love to get that done one day.”
Along with the other Select All-Around events, Kent is also showing in showmanship. “The showmanship I enjoy. The patterns are intense,” Kent said. “It’s kind of like doing the horsemanship, but you’re on the ground. It’s about executing, getting a good rhythm with your horse, and being a partner and a team.”
In these various events, Kent will be showing his two mares, Dont Think Twice, also known as Marley, and Snap It Send It, known as Bailee around the barn.
“I love a good horse, but sometimes I’m more partial to a mare, and I don’t know why,” Kent said. “You know, it just tends to be what you click with. Each horse is so different, but I do enjoy my two mares, that’s for sure.”
Each of his mares has their personalities and quirks, which is why Kent loves each of them so much.
“Marley, the thing I love about her most is…she’s always there to show,” he said. “She’s come a long way, and she’s gotten so dependable. She has a presence whenever she’s doing something. I’ve had her since she was a 3-year-old, and she’s getting better and better each year.”
Marley and Kent are showing in the Select All-Around events at the World Show. Bailee, who Kent is showing in the Non-Pro Western Pleasure events, has her easy-going personality.
“Bailee is super easy,” he said. “She’s just happy go lucky. They both show really pretty, and in the arena, they have a lot of presence.”
“We were practicing and doing well until COVID hit,” Kent said. “Because I don’t live in Texas, where our ranch is, I haven’t been able to go out there and ride as much as I’ve wanted to.”
So far, the team has only been able to show three times in 2020 — at the Arizona Sun Circuit, the Silver Dollar Circuit, and the Redbud Spectacular.
“The Redbud, we did a lot of practicing there and schooling, because we knew there weren’t any other shows to get prepping for NSBA World and the Congress, which unfortunately isn’t going to happen,” Kent said. “This year is challenging for everyone, and we have to do our best and have fun, and we’ll get through it all. Everyone has to do their part.”
While Kent has missed showing as much as he usually does, it’s not just the actual show pen that he misses, but the social aspects. “For me, it’s a hobby, so I want to have fun, and I’m very competitive, but I want to have a good time,” he said. “I like to set it up; I like to hang out with the people at the horse show. I like to watch, not just my horses, but other events as well. I watch the hunt seat; I watch the halter, I watch the cutting. I think it’s a lot of fun, and I like that it’s a family.”
Taylor continues, “What I love most about it is it’s competitive, it’s fun, and you can build a real team in it,” Kent said. “You have your team, your people. And you get to see them at the horse shows, even though they might not live in the same state as you, you build a bond, and you have a common interest. Showing horses isn’t that popular, so it’s like you find that family of people that enjoys a sport or activity you do.”
Kent can’t wait to get his mares in the show pen at the World Show and is just excited to finally be able to attend a horse show. “I’m excited to go to NSBA,” he said. “I think it’s a great organization, I love the horse show, and we’re just going to go and do the best we can and hopefully win some stuff, and just have fun.”
CLICK HERE to view Kent’s latest ads in the August issue of GoMag.