To All The Horse Lovers Who Aren’t Winning Championship Ribbons – A Letter From A Horse Show Judge

Melonie Kessler, a dressage judge from California recently posted this open letter to exhibitors on her Facebook page.

“As I take a moment to rest and reflect I wanted to reach out to all horse lovers on fb that aren’t getting championship ribbons or 1st places this weekend.
At a recent show I judged I ran into a young girl crying and very upset. I found the TD so I could ask the girl what was the matter.
She was so upset her horse was naughty earlier that day when I judged her. I listened to her between sobs of disappointment and embarrassment and then I gave her my perspective.

I told her horses are not about ribbons or championships. They are not put on this earth to feed our egos or empower us. They are out here to teach us life lessons about patience, loyalty, and love. Difficult horses are put with people for a reason. I assured her that as a judge, I can tell she is a very competent rider with a very difficult situation. I commended her tactful handling of the problem he gave her. Now, she needs to try hard to find the root of his insecurities and help him be all he can become. This, I believe is the real reason we have these wonderful creatures.
So for you out there showing this weekend, remember it is not about the glory of the prize, but about the partnership with your wonderful friend.
Enjoy the shows, but enjoy your horse more :)”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Share this on Facebook if you agree with what Melonie has to say!


4 Responses

  1. Davinia

    4th paragraph ma yes sarmachana ko pani khasai auchitye rahana chaina hunu parne ma asttityorahane chaina, huna gayeko ma chyama ! Kripaya sachyayera padhidinu hola.

  2. Anonymous

    That was beautiful I usually hate competition and think judges are very cold and arrogant but this makes me feel that maybe judges aren’t so bad after all. This judge has my respect

  3. Chauntelle

    A great dressage coach will tell you, it’s not about winning, it’s about learning. When you win you move up to learn more. Not a day goes by that my mare doesn’t teach me something new. I love dressage for this reason.

  4. Jason

    If the ONLY reason you enter the show ring is to come out with a blue ribbon, you will be sorely disappointed. Every class is a learning experience, you win some, you lose some, but when we placed lower than we anticipated, we also knew why we placed that way; so we make adjustments, we try harder, and we learn something from the experience. That’s the value of showing, you LEARN something each time you enter and exit a show ring, and strive to improve with each class. If you have to have a blue ribbon to stroke your ego, buy one from a ribbon company to decorate your tack room, they cost about $2.00 each in bulk.


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