Community Agriculture Alliance: Everything you need to know in life you can learn at a horse show |

Community Agriculture Alliance: Everything you need to know in life you can learn at a horse show

Marsha Daughenbaugh/For Steamboat Today

Everything you need to know in life you can learn at a horse show. Consider the following.

  • Practice ahead: You may be great, but you will be better if you know what to expect.
  • Be on time: If you are late when the class is called, the gate will close without you.
  • Come prepared: Make sure you have all your gear and know what to do with it.
  • Develop a positive attitude: A good self-talk usually helps.
  • Go to the bathroom before you get nervous.
  • It isn't wrong to have butterflies. Just make sure they fly in formation.
  • Relax: How can your horse be calm if you are tense?
  • Communicate: Problems can't be solved if you are the only one who knows there is a problem.
  • Patience is a virtue. Horse shows and life is a lot of hurry and wait.
  • Be a good loser; be a gracious winner.
  • Don't base your self-worth on one showing. Everyone has a bad day sometimes.

Community Agriculture Alliance is hosting the 12th annual Cayuse Classic Horse Show at Sidney Peak Ranch on Saturday, July 1. Beginning at 9 a.m., riders of all ages will compete in their choice of Western, English or Hunter Jumper Classes. This show is for fun and experience, only. Points are not earned toward national or international competition, and we strive to keep the day stress free for riders, horses, moms and spouses.

Saturday's show is only one of a two-part series. The second show will be Saturday, Sept. 9 at Saddle Mountain Ranch. Prizes are awarded at each show for 26 different classes, eight divisions and high-point accumulations. Series winners are announced after the second show.

Cayuse Classic was born out of the love affair our Yampa Valley has with horses and the need for a ride-for-the-fun-of-it day. Northwest Colorado is abundant with horses and equine training facilities but short on shows. We answered a call more than a decade ago, took the reins and continue to circle the arena.

Through these years, it has been my privilege to watch horses and riders work together in a variety of expertise. We have seen young riders, more mature riders, young horses and old horses. A lot of ribbons have been stuck to bedroom walls and hung in horse trailers. Smiles appear, tears fall and life-lessons are learned.

Spectators are welcome to visit at Sidney Peak Ranch between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to watch the judging and meet contestants and horses. Log the address, 32090 Routt County Road 14, into your GPS, enjoy the 10-minute drive south of Steamboat, set your chairs next to the arena and maybe see a few of the life's simple messages in action.

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We do not allow dogs at the show, so please, do yourself, your dog and us the favor of leaving your canine buddies at home.

Check out our website at for full details.

In case you are wondering: Cayuse (kīˌ(y)o͞os) is an Indian word meaning small pony.

Marsha Daughenbaugh is executive director of Community Agriculture Alliance.