For those of you that have not heard of the NRHA Derby held in Oklahoma City, it is one of the premiere events put on by the National Reining Horse Association. It is a derby that four, five and six year old horses are eligible to compete in, of which last year there were 450 entries in the derby alone. The event is held in conjunction with a full slate of classes and there are usually a little over 1,000 head of horses there to compete. The added money last year was $650,000, so no one is coming to this show just to practice or get your horse out for a weekend. They are here to run and win. Fans of the sport and spectators are here to watch, not just in the stands but with the internet, they are watching around the globe.
I have had the privilege over the years to compete at this event quite a few times and have done well. I have been the Reserve Derby Champion in the Limited Open, I have also fallen flat on my face. No quite literally flat on my face, skidding through the center of the arena like I was sliding into home plate while still in the saddle. My horse lost his footing, went down and the rest is history. It was quite a wreck, we were running fast circles and my horse, got a little out of control when it came to running his fast circles. My thought was, well I am here to show, and if I pull him up we are not going to get scored anything. Maybe I will just go with it and smile like it is something that I asked for and the judges will give me the benefit of the doubt. All doubt was removed when we both hit the dirt in the middle of the arena. Insult to injury came when my horse got up without me, and ran a lap around the arena with his tail in the air. One of my friends had to jump down out of the stands to catch my horse.
It was horrible. I was horrified, humiliated, defeated and a whole bunch of other things. To make matters worse I had to shake that off and go show another horse in the same pen, in front of the same audience, the same judges and the same peers. Then to top it all off I had to call my client and tell him not only did we not win, we wiped out and received a zero score. Not one of my shining moments.
I have had some tough times on horses; tough lessons learned and tough relationships lost. So you might ask, why in the world do you show and train horses for a living? Because, What I have learned and gained from horses, this sport and the people that surround me are priceless. Horses have sent me on a life journey that I will be forever grateful for, and I am a better man because of the horses I ride and show.
Horses have taught me about perseverance and grit. As the great Babe Ruth once said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” You have to fail to succeed and sometimes a lofty goal or ambition is worth failing for a few times. I have literally fallen off the horse and had to get back on (more times than I care to share). However, being able to persevere and actually succeed has been very rewarding. It has taught me that “I can” and I have been able to coach many others through to the same mindset of setting goals and achieving them.
Horses have taught me about grace. Not the kind of grace it takes to fall off of one, but the kind that is free and unmerited. They have been kind and forgiving of my mistakes and have tried in spite of them. Horses have given me perspective and taught me humility. The Bible says God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. I thank God that he taught me this and so many lessons through something I love so much.
There are always horses coming and going. Clients buy new horses, sale old horses, get out of horses all together, run out of money, change trainers, change disciplines and the list goes on. It is never easy to see horses leave that you grow attached to, but it is inevitable…things just change, they do people. This is not an easy business to make your living, but I am not sure we would have it any other way. We have met some fabulous people, some not so fabulous people, great horses, some not so great horses but they have all left their mark on us. We learn something new from all of them, and just feel fortunate that they entrust them to us for awhile on their journey. You know, every day presents new challenges and accomplishments. Frankly, life is just good around the ranch. The people we are surrounded by are top notch and the fact that we get to do all of this with our little family makes it so special.
Todd and I are considering adding to our little family. So pray for us. Pray that we don’t screw it up, lol. Just kidding….sort of. We serve a mighty, merciful God and I am certain that what is supposed to happen will, but your prayers would mean the world to us. Todd and I have been blessed by adoption once and are considering it again. Only this time instead of one child we would be considering three more. We would be out numbered 2 to 1, but other people do it, why not us? I just pray that what is supposed to happen does, and that Todd and I are up for the challenge. Children are a heritage from the Lord, a reward of God’s grace. We pray that if this is God’s will, we raise these children how God see’s fit. Thanks for taking the journey with us! See you down the horse show road! Taumi
We showed in March at the reining show in Hamilton. It was in the middle of nowhere! But, the facility was cool. It has a hotel and restaurant on the grounds, thank goodness! The town of Hamilton has very little in it, especially in the way of eating! It really surprised me, because Hwy 281 runs right through the middle of town. Plus they have a really cool town square, with a beautiful old court house. I always love those old courthouses! Anyway, the show was kind of a dud for us. Alli Buffington showed Priss (aka Playboys Last Fling) and had a good run. They had a few bobbles so the end result was like a 68. It was derby, so that wasn’t going to win her anything, but she looked great on the mare….and really taught her a lot for her next derby! Todd showed Canelo (aka Pick N Berries) and had a fantastic run, except the horse kicked out on the lead change. So his 74 run was quickly taken to a 68 between the penalty and maneuver score. Bummer. He also showed Willy (aka West Coast Willy) who marked a 71. Unfortunately, he swapped leads in the center a few times. They don’t give extra points for that. So, he too, was on target for a 73/74, but it was not to be.
We were at the NRBC, in Katy in April. I am convinced that no one in Katy has a kitchen in their house. There is never a time that you go out to eat that the restaurant isn’t packed! The show as always was big and action packed. Todd and Alli both showed in the Derby. They had good runs, but didn’t score high enough to make the finals. We stayed in a corporate apartment this year. That was nice! We have never done that for a long show like this. We usually stay in a hotel, but man that is a long time in a hotel. We will definitely do the corporate housing again!
At the end of April we went to the Graham Stampede in, yep you guessed it, Graham! What a lovely town. It was very picturesque and quaint. Beautiful homes, lots of restaurants and plenty of hotel rooms. The facility was good. Not my favorite facility, but definitely good for the competitors and horses. Us spectators have different needs than the people showing! We had a great show! Todd marked a 73.5 on Canelo and had a great run on him! Tracy and Envy (aka Such a Day) had a great show. She was reserve champion in the NHNP L2 and was 3rd in the Green Horse L2. Miko Garcia had his first time in the pen, ever, on Red (aka Red River Banjo). He marked a 66.5, stayed on pattern and finished in the top 10 of his first ever class! It was really awesome to watch!
Our next show is the Great Escape at the Greater Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy. We looked forward to seeing you all there and until next time, see you down the show road!!….Taumi
The Shoot Out is just around the corner! It is so hard to believe that a year has gone by since the first one, but here we sit anticipating the 2nd annual Shoot Out. The response by sponsors and the community has been phenomenal. I am always so humbled by peoples generosity and willingness to give of their resources and time. I hope that this years Shoot Out leaves the attendees, competitors and sponsors feeling like they got their “money’s worth”. I know Todd and I enjoy bringing people to the Texas Hill Country and hope that all who come to compete see why we love it here so much. But really more than anything, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for making the Shoot Out a stop on your show calendar! If you need more info on the Shoot Out feel free to call me or visit the website at www.sananotnioshootout.com!
We made it back fromt the Waco Warm Up in one piece and no worse for the wear considering the temperature! The aptly named show was HOT! Todd won the Open Derby on Wimpy’s Lil Hollywood, owned by BJ Vick. Thank you BJ for allowing us to partner with you on such a fantastic horse! He is truly a gem! Our non pro’s survived the event, and even had fun! Everyone had a great show, it was fun to see all of them show and make progress. It is truly a blessing to see! Everyone works so hard and it is rewarding to see them give it all they got in the showpen. I know it means so much to everyone. Pastor Mike had services for Turn Around Ministry. That ministry is really taking off….it is great to see the reining industry embrace it.
Our next show is the Tulsa Ariat Reining Classic at the end of August. This show is home to our Affiliate Finals as well as a large derby and futurity. Todd is showing in both the derby and futurity. He has a handful of his non pro’s going to show in the affiliate finals. So we have our fingers crossed for a successful show and successful journey.
We are truly blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people and horses. We thank God everyday that he allows us to do the work we love with people that we love.
The Shootout is coming along! The facility is booked, the dates are set and the sponsors are coming on board! We want to welcome Retama Equine Hospital and Ewald Tractor as gold level sponsors and Bluebonnet Feeds as a contributing sponsor. We sincerely appreciate their support and are looking forward to a great show. Make your calendars and plan on attending! If you are interested in sponsoring this event, please contact Taumi Martin at 830-249-7835 or firstname.lastname@example.org or click here for more information.
NRHA reining is officially coming to San Antonio! We will host an NRHA, AQHA and STRHA approved show on March 28-30 at the San Antonio Rose Palace. To make stall reservations contact Glenda Harrel at (817) 929-5802 email@example.com. To become an event sponsor for the show, contact Taumi Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling at 830-249-7835. Here is a link to the show bill! Hope to see you there!
The NRHA has a new affiliate called the South Texas Reining Horse Association. It is our mission to support, grow and promote the sport of reining by providing high quality horse shows and clinics. To learn more about the association, or to become a member, visit their website at www.strha.com.
We will be hosting a NRHA reining at the Rose Palace in March. More details will follow soon, so be watching. We would love for you to turn and make this a successful event so there are more reinings in San Antonio! I will be posting more information in the coming days as things take shape.