A Day in the Life of a Horse Show Dad

Photo courtesy of Hayley Kastrup's Horse Show Dad

BY INTERN HAYLEY KASTRUP

Everyone knows the hype about pony moms, but nobody is talking about horse show dads. They’re a breed all their own, and deserve just as much recognition. They are dedicated and love to support their children — in and out of the ring.

My dad is the best of all the horse show dads out there, and spends full days at horse shows as well as many nights helping me prepare. A day in the life of a horse show dad is both eventful and boring, and I could not ask my dad to do more for me than he does in a single horse show day!

5:30 am: Sets his own alarm to make sure I get up and out the door on time.

7:00 am: Shows up to the horse show armed with coffee and some form of breakfast.

7:30 am: While I am lunging my horse, he begins to clean my horse’s stall because my dad is the best.

8:30 am: Goes to the pony ring to video the pony kids for the moms who are too nervous watching their child to film.

10:00 am: Asks the grooms if they need any help or something to eat, because fed grooms are happy grooms.

11:30 am: Sees that I am finally getting my helmet on, and asks if I need anything. Then takes a selfie with me while I am getting myself ready.

Photo courtesy of Hayley Kastrup’s Horse Show Dad

12:00 pm: Finally makes his way to the ring to watch me show, even though I told him I would probably go around 10:30.

12:05 pm: Takes a selfie on the way up.

12:30 pm: Offers to help my trainer set jumps while warming up.

12:45 pm: Videos all of my trips, and even videos other people from my barn who are showing in the same division.

12:50 pm: Takes a selfie between trips.

Photo courtesy of Hayley Kastrup’s Horse Show Dad

1:00 pm: Waits back at the ring to hear results for my classes.

1:15 pm: Takes a celebratory selfie.

Photo courtesy of Hayley Kastrup’s Horse Show Dad

1:30 pm: Goes back to the camper or to the concession stand for lunch, because a hangry kid is not a fun kid to be around.

3:00 pm: Offers to help with chores, and ends up watering all the horses in the barn.

5:00 pm: Finally has some downtime, so consults with other horse show parents on what dinner should be for the night.

7:00 pm: Makes sure all the barn kids have something for dinner and offers to grill at the camper.

9:00 pm: Hands me wraps from the stall door as I wrap my horse for the night.

10:00 pm: Makes sure my boots are polished and asks what time I need to be up the next morning, so he can make sure to set his alarm too.

Photo courtesy of Hayley Kastrup’s Horse Show Dad

Horse show dads like mine are the best kind to have around, and we should all appreciate them and thank them for all they do. So on this Father’s Day, thank you to all the horse show dads out there!


About the Author: Hayley Kastrup is currently a sophomore at South Dakota State University studying Animal Science with an Equine Studies minor. She is also a member of the SDSU Equestrian team. She enjoys riding and showing, and loves to be around horses in any way possible.

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