Letters to the Editor: How to Request Feedback from the Judge

*Introducing a new column, Letters to the Editor, in which we share correspondence that we believe may help others. Do you have a story to share? We want to hear it! Email piper@theplaidhorse.com

This month, we heard from a reader happy to learn how to correspond with the judge at a horse show.

Dear TPH,

I recently got back into riding after my junior career ended and I didn’t have the time or funds after college. I’m so fortunate to have the same horse—my 20-year-old Appendix, Mickey, who seems to be aging like a fine wine. Twelve years ago, we couldn’t make it through course without an eyebrow-raising, a bolt, or a spook. It seems the 10 years of being a pasture ornament treated him well. He’s now taken me from Modified Child to Modified Adult…we might even try the Adults at Pin Oak since he’s been doing so well! 

I did the last week of the Texas Winter Series and was excited and nervous for my first equitation on the flat class in over a decade. Back then, I could usually grab a top-five finish, but not this time. I was dead last! Most of us were confused, and so I reluctantly gathered up the courage to go to the announcer to request the steward. She played messenger and confirmed my worst habit: “Reins were way too long and that is a pet peeve of mine so she went straight to the bottom.” I appreciated the honesty! 

Thanks for the tip. If it wasn’t for you, my brain would still be spinning on what error I made (Stirrup leather twisted? Didn’t like Quarter Horses? Wrong diagonal?). I started listening to The Plaidcast when my barnmate, Jessica, told me about it in January 2021. I’m only 50 episodes away from catching up to current. 

Hope to see y’all at the ring at Pin Oak!

(TLDR: Thanks for educating me on how to request to speak to the judge. I didn’t know this was an option and I got great feedback. I’m excited to work on it and get a redo at Pin Oak.)

Annie Bean McHale

*This story was originally published in the April 2022 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!