Plaidcast 361: Year End 2023 Recap by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services

Plaidcast Episode 361 Year End Recap 2023


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Piper and Geoff Case of Horseshoe Bend Sales discuss some of the top Plaidcast episodes from 2023. Brought to you by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services. Listen in!


  • Host: Piper Klemm of The Plaid Horse Magazine
  • Guest: Geoff Case is a rider, trainer and large “R” judge. As a rider, Geoff has represented the United States in International competitions. As a trainer, Geoff has had many students become Year End Hunter Champions, USET Finals Champions and won many ribbons at Medal and Maclay Finals. Geoff is also a large “R” judge that has officiated at most major horse shows including The National Horse Show, the Winter Equestrian Festival, the West Coast Junior Hunter Finals and The Hampton Classic Horse Show.
  • Title Sponsor: Taylor, Harris Insurance Services, Taylor, Harris Insurance Services (THIS) was founded in 1987 to provide specialized insurance for all types of equine risk. THIS places their policies with the highest rated and most secure carriers, meticulously selected for reliability and prompt claims settlement. THIS is proud of their worldwide reputation for responsive and courteous service, and welcomes the opportunity to discuss your equine insurance needs and provide you with a quote.
  • Subscribe To: The Plaid Horse Magazine
  • Sponsors: American Stalls, Purina Animal NutritionAmerica CryoLAURACEA, BoneKare, Show Strides Book Series, With Purpose: The Balmoral Standard and Good Boy, Eddie

This transcript was generated automatically. Its accuracy may vary.

Piper Klemm [00:02:02] This is the plaidcast. I’m Piper Klemm, publisher of the Plaid Horse magazine. And on today’s recap episode, I’m joined by Geoff Case, rider, trainer and owner of Horseshoe Bend Sales. Today, we are fully soaking in the festive holiday vibes and celebrating the year we’ve had here on the plaidcast and looking forward to next year as well.

Piper Klemm [00:04:01] Geoff Case is a rider trainer and large R judge. As a rider, Geoff has represented the United States in international competition. As a trainer, he has taught many students to become Year End champions, USET Finals champions and many ribbon winners at medal and Maclay finals. Geoff has also officiated at most major horse shows, including the National Horse Show, The Winter Equestrian Festival, West Coast Junior Hunter Finals, and the Hampton Classic Horse Show. Welcome back to the plaidcast, Geoff. 

Geoff Case [00:04:28] Good to be back. 

Piper Klemm [00:04:29] So we had two words of the year. The Merriam-Webster word of the year was authentic. And then the other word of the year was rizz. I don’t know about you, but some children taught me what riz means at Harrisburg this year. So I was in the 10th month of the year when I heard the word of the year for the first time. 

Geoff Case [00:04:51] I am in the 12th month of the year and have just heard it for the first time. 

Piper Klemm [00:04:54] So it’s I came home and yelled at Adam, who teaches college students all day, every day, but he didn’t teach me the lingo. Rizz basically stands for Charisma, which took about five young riders at medal finals to actually describe it in a way that made me recognize the word rizz. And this is not the word of the year, but the word of the year that I came up with last night is the rizzvac that I invented on this podcast. And it’s the charisma vacuum. When you are talking to someone and they literally just suck all of the charisma out of it. So we have a new we have a new term we can call people. What about you? What what you just learned the word rizz and and then the other word is authentic. What are your thoughts on our words of the year? 

Geoff Case [00:05:54] I think I think they’re fantastic. My word of the year is extra. 

Piper Klemm [00:06:00] Extra. 

Geoff Case [00:06:02] It’s what everybody throws out in Europe when a horse jumps really well, ‘oh extra!’. 

Piper Klemm [00:06:06] I like that. Yeah, Yeah. I think Ruben is extra all the time. So I feel like that’s been that’s been his word for, you know, like 17 years. 

Geoff Case [00:06:20] I mean, I don’t know that I’m necessarily a leader in the field of cultural lingo, but. 

Piper Klemm [00:06:28] So Geoff, we both had big years in moving and starting over. I obviously moved 7 hours south and you moved to a new country. 

Geoff Case [00:06:40] It’s a seven hour flight. It’s the same haha 

Piper Klemm [00:06:45] So many people have been like, oh, Connecticut’s so cold and I’m like, but it’s 7 hours south. Tell us a little bit about, you know, kind of your year and your planning and you weren’t necessarily even going to move this year. So it’s it’s all been pretty exciting. 

Geoff Case [00:07:01] Yeah. So there was kind of a confluence of events that happened at the end of Florida last year that spurred this move on. You know, real estate prices were quite high. We thought, let’s put a fantasy price on the farm and see what happens, because one just down the road from us had sold for much more than I thought it was worth. And yeah, within 30 days the farm sold and we were talking about, you know, what our next step should be, did we want to stay in Wellington do we want to move to Ocala, we want to move back to Kentucky, because my parents are, you know, they’re getting older and need a little bit more help now. Or did we we’ve been talking and sort of throwing the fantasy idea about going to Europe for several years and with the farm selling and really only having one horse left, we thought, you know, let’s seize this opportunity. It may not come again and we’ll give it a shot and see if it works. And we had bought a horse, the nine year old mare there in March that I thought, okay, this will be a nice horse for Taylor to kind of dip her feet in, get the European experience, jump some like 140 national grand prix, learn about the national show system in Europe and all that and buy some younger horses and build them up. And then, you know, within a couple of years have a nice group of horses to take to the international show as well. The first horse show she took the horse to, she was clear in every class, the one star big tour. And then we thought, oh, the next, yeah, let’s try a two star. So we went to a two star in lastrop and they built it huge, like it was built like a three star. And she was double clear and placed in the first ranking class and had one little mistake and had one down in the Grand Prix. And then it’s just kind of shot forward from there. So now we really only show the international shows we’ve added to that mare, the one older horse we took over. She had a small injury during Florida. She’s healed, she’s back showing. She just jumped her first one star Grand Prix a few weeks ago. We bought a new seven year old that was just clear in her first one star Grand Prix. And we bought a new eight year old that the last show we went to the year, week before last, they actually had three ranking classes and I didn’t want to make the one horse do it. So I thought, Oh, let’s just throw the eight year old in and see what happens. And she jumped around with one down and a time fault. So very quickly, much quicker than I could have anticipated. She now has a group of four horses that she can take to the international shows and use in ranking classes. And she’s. What I was saying before, when before we moved to Europe, we had really just we had a couple of nice eight year olds and nothing really for the National Grand Prix. So Taylor had totally fallen off the USEF computer list and totally fallen out of the FEI rankings and was jumping her first two star. I want to say it was like the first week of August. So between August and now, I think when the next rankings come out, she’s going to be either in or quite close to the top 50 on the computer list and has broken the top thousand on the FEI list without her second place result in the ranking class from two weeks ago. So it is it’s been a whirlwind and it’s far exceeded my expectations. And, you know, and we talked before and when I was talking, since we’re doing the year recap, when I was doing the episode with Margie, we talked a lot about developing young horses. But by luck and sheer accident and Taylor’s amazing transition to Europe, we’ve actually skipped over that step and now have a group of horses for the bigger shows. Yeah, we’ll still continue to look for young ones and help help clients find horses and things like that. But it’s really it wasn’t the plan we had, but it has been such a fantastic accident that’s happened and I’m really just impressed with Taylor, how she’s adjusted, how quickly she fell in love with Europe. I mean, she had me buying a house after she was there a month, bought a horse truck after six weeks like we are now fully invested and in it for the long haul and something we continue to be very excited about. We’re going to go to Spain for January and February. That will be exciting. Start the the one mare and the three start classes and with the hope and goal of being able to do some of those three Star Nations cups this summer. That’s the that’s the plan at the moment. So it really it really took off quickly and has gotten far better than I ever could have guessed. So we’re we’re over the moon with how this year has ended up for us. 

Piper Klemm [00:11:25] And and you’ve been flying back pretty much almost every month this year to judge still, right? 

Geoff Case [00:11:32] With the exception I was just there for two months. It’s the longest I’ve been there. But yeah, my pattern for most of the summer was judging in the U.S. three weeks in Europe a week, and going back and forth a lot. I’ve set my schedule up a little differently for next year. I’m still judging a lot, but I’m doing it in four week Blocks of the plan is to be in the States a month, Europe two months, the states a month, Europe two months, and try that for this year and see if that works better, you know, without. Having a crystal ball and knowing how it was going to go and, you know, with a worry that maybe Taylor wouldn’t like it and would want to come back, you know, now, I didn’t want to give up judging jobs. I didn’t want upset horse managers. I didn’t want to, you know, risk my. Income going forward. But like I said, I think now we’re at the point that I can safely say that this is going to be a long term move for us. So my life will be a little different. 

Piper Klemm [00:12:29] That’s awesome. That’s really exciting. So are you going around in Europe and like, looking, you know, are you going to other farms and looking a lot of out, a lot of horses or, you know, involved? You know, what’s your kind of day to day life looking like? When what’s your home life looking like now? 

Geoff Case [00:12:45] Well it when I’m when I’m there, when I’m able to be there in bigger blocks of time, I’m able to do a little bit more of the horse finding and traveling around. I’ve been able to do that a lot more recently, but really, basically because of the success of the one new horse we’ve been mostly showing. You know, the nice thing is you really. The horse shows for the most part are for three days. So you have a little more time. But also when you’re we’ve been just taking three horses to the show. So then when you get home, you don’t even get a day off because you got to ride the ones you left at home with the other groom just kind of lunging them at the trot and like really haven’t had a lot of time for that. But my hope is that going forward, I’ll be able to do that more. You know, obviously watched a ton of horses at horse shows and things like that, but traveling around and looking, I haven’t had a lot of time, but when we have had time, we’ve been lucky and we’ve got a couple of cool new horses so that we’re all so excited about. So the Instagram will feature more than just the chestnut mare hopefully. 

Piper Klemm [00:13:50] Some of your episodes this year that were listener favorites were where you talking about judging, talking about commissions and talking about the buying process. What were your some of your favorite episodes to come in for? You mentioned Margie. I love that episode. I loved how she just totally chatted about so many different different times in horse show careers. 

Geoff Case [00:14:12] Yeah, I think that if I had to pick a personal favorite that I was on, I would have to say the episode with Margie. I just thought that basically it just was became a conversation between two people who have known each other for a long time and it was recorded and I just thought it it was a bit of a different format for the plaidcast. And also a lot of people thought they really enjoyed it and the different way of doing it. And Margie is always fun to talk to. You know, I enjoy coming on, you know, every episode I think I enjoy or I wouldn’t do it. Every time I come on, I, I feel like I have a good time. I feel like it’s a good panel of people and I feel like I learned some things along with it. And hopefully people listening at home, you know, get a different perspective or or maybe can look at things a little bit of a different way after listening to our episodes. 

Piper Klemm [00:15:01] We had so many great people on this year when we were going through the episodes. I couldn’t believe that most of them were this year, but such, such great people came out and have You don’t hear the episode you love the most. It was a lot of a lot of hard choices to talk about for this episode. The first one that I got so much email about was the really great episode over the summer after Derby finals with Amanda Seege, Hannah Isop and Jen Bliss and they all all three of them did Derby finals with their very longtime partner Horses, and I thought it was really special and also really showed the way we cheer each other on and and it really reflected such great things in the sport. All three of them were so complimentary of each other and shared about their special partnership. 

Montage of Episode Clips [00:15:52] You have everybody expectations and hopes and dreams riding on your shoulders. You really have to just be at the end of the day, happy with your team, your horse and your ride. There’s something about that chemistry. It may not be perfect, but they’re perfect for us. It’s something special when you have that kind of relationship with a horse. 

Piper Klemm [00:16:13] I really loved all three of them. Kind of talked about really knowing their horse and, you know, you get to one of the big horse shows like Derby Finals or Indoors, and you see everyone else preparing and preparing and preparing. And then you kind of have this panic like, oh, what if I’m not prepared enough? And. And that that concept of trusting your horse that you know your horse and you know your horse’s program and you know, I really appreciated that because. it’s I do think it’s so easy to look around and so many people are doing such different things and you are in the schooling ringer or really overdoing it. And, you know, I, I, I do very little. But I also felt like it was so comforting, like knowing that, you know, other people see those things and feel those pressures and say, No, I know my horse and look the other way. 

Geoff Case [00:17:05] Well. And the other thing about those guys is, you know, in an era where, unfortunately, we’ve created this idea almost that horses are disposable and you break them and you buy the next one and yada, yada, yada. I mean, if you think of those three horses and the length of the careers that they’ve had with those riders, the horsemanship and and the program that those guys have for those horses, it’s it’s it’s something that should be emulated. I mean, you know, those guys have been. Those three horses have been jumping Derby finals, I feel like since it started this I mean, maybe not exactly, but they’ve been in a long time. 

Geoff Case [00:17:45] And, you know, they’re still able to compete at a high level. And I think that’s a that’s a that’s that’s a sign of true horsemanship. I was actually reading something on Facebook today about, you know, vet checks and x rays and yada yada yada. But part of the article was, you know, before we had digital x rays and before these vettings became so complicated, it wasn’t so uncommon to see grand prix horses in their late teens and early twenties. We almost never see that anymore. And that’s probably to do with the footing, the schedule, Like there’s a lot of other factors, but, you know, it’s rare to have horses like Lafitte, and Red Rider and Pokey that compete and jump that big. You know they’re not two foot six horses and have that sort of sustainability and and competitive consistency also you know it’s truly something to be to learn from I think. 

Piper Klemm [00:18:36] You know and then that like just in case tendency I think you know I, I was sitting at the horse show this weekend and I was like. My very not prepared on my end. And before I got there, my horse was jumped around and he normally doesn’t jump in the morning or even get ridden in the morning. And it was really like I was like, oh, like the less prepared I am the more prepared my horse has to be. It took me to pause for a moment and be like. Oh. You know, like it. Those horses have to make up for everything we’re lacking. And you know, the best way you can preserve them is for you to be prepared. 

Geoff Case [00:19:16] Well. And I think too, though, like for you to say that is just another example of how the horse and rider really at its best, they’re a team. You know, there’s certain things that the horse can make up for in the rider and vice versa. You know, it’s not it’s not you know, people call it an individual sport, but to me it’s a team sport. Just your teammate happens to be an animal. And, you know, we also can’t forget about the rest of your team that isn’t in the ring with you, your grooms, your vets, your farriers, your truck drivers, everybody, your entire support staff that makes all this possible. Like if you have to, you have to have a strong link. Or every link in their chain has to be strong to really produce at a high level. And I think that that gets lost sometimes, or people maybe don’t appreciate that as much as they should. How much effort on everybody else’s part it takes to make a rider and horse successful and especially over a long time. 

Piper Klemm [00:20:09] One of my other favorite episodes was 326 with Haven’s. 

Montage of Episode Clips [00:20:15] We had at that point like 40 Horses, and I did have a good team around me, but I just felt like the clients always wanted a piece of me. I felt like I needed to perform. When I showed, I think I just got burnt out and I got tired. I just can’t push myself like this anymore. I just kind of made it a priority to think about me. 

Piper Klemm [00:20:36] I hadn’t really besides press conferences and very formal settings. I hadn’t talked to Havens too much over the years, and she was very candid and I really appreciated that. And a lot of people really connected with her podcast and she talked about burnout and what professional riders go through and her love of green horses. There were so many different topics in there that I think were very real, and that’s what I’ve always wanted the plaidcast to be. But it’s also, you know, it’s hard to be really vulnerable and honest. 

Geoff Case [00:21:11] Havens and I are not super, super close, but we’ve known each other for a really long time. You know, we’ve had talks about that very thing for the last several years. I mean, Haven’s really, you know, struggling with what she wanted to do with her life for a while. And I think that the position she’s in now is is fantastic for her, and she’s certainly earned it. But I also think it’s great that she’s willing to talk about that. And because I think, too, a lot of times the clients, you know, they they have the same sort of worries and neuroses and nerves and stuff, but they think that their professional is sort of superhuman, like a robot, and those things don’t affect them. And I think it was great for her to sort of give everybody a look inside to know that. You know, no matter how successful we are, no matter how well we do, you know, we all still have. Everybody has doubts. Everybody, as you know, has to have their mental game at at the sharpest it can be. And to let people know that it’s okay to feel like you’re not good enough or feel like you’re not doing the right things to make you happy and be willing to make a change for the better. Now, I think this was probably for me in my mind, one of the most helpful episodes of the year. Just to, like I said, open a window into into the mental side of being a professional, because I don’t think that, you know, McLain talks about having. Having a mental coach and things like that a little bit. But I don’t think it’s talked about enough that, you know, nobody’s perfect, nobody’s a robot. Everybody has feelings and it’s okay to have those feelings. And you just have to learn how to deal with them and adjust your life so that, you know, it can be as positive as possible. 

Piper Klemm [00:22:56] And you’re only going to get to the top if you’re obsessed and this is all you’re doing. But it’s very easy when you’re obsessed and this is all you’re doing it a lifelong sport to live your head up and say, are there are there other things besides riding in this circle.

Geoff Case [00:23:14] At the top international leves though, I mean, the FEI forces you to live like that, like the way the point systems are done now. I mean, you have to show every week where you drop in the rankings. You have to and it’s it’s something that they actually discussed at the riders meeting in Geneva what to do about that because. You know it really. It really is a problem. And, you know, that’s that’s something that Taylor and I have sort of gone back and forth with a lot and struggled with a bit and tried to find a life work balance. And, you know, when you have goals like especially the goals she has now, that that life balance gets harder and harder to figure out because, oh, if I don’t go to the horse show this week, I’m going to miss out on a few hundred ranking points and you know, then maybe I won’t be ranked high enough the coming summer to have a shot at those Nations Cup teams. Like, you know, all those things play a factor. And until the FEI and the USEF and all the governing bodies figure out a way to, you know, we’re maybe your top 30 results of the year count or something, then there is no incentive to step away for a minute for mental health because you’ve got to keep going. 

Piper Klemm [00:24:27] And I think that that so many things that at the top level and you know, I. Pretty much every trip I’m on, someone says to me like, What does your husband think of you traveling so much? And I’m like, It’s like, it’s this weird assumption that I would see him more being at home because he’s just as obsessed with what he does. And he’s at work all the time. And, you know, and I respect that too, because he’s really good at it. And it’s always interesting to me because if you’re not putting the work in someone, you know, if you’re not there every weekend, as you said, like someone else is, and they’re going to edge you out on ranking points. 

Geoff Case [00:25:09] And they did in this story, they did a side by side comparison with other major sports and how often they have to compete and with the exception of Major League Baseball. There are no athletes more busy than showjumping riders like. It’s it’s insane by the time you factor in, you know two, three, four or five ranking classes a week. I mean, these are the top ones in the world are jumping 160, 180. Ranking competitions a year. I mean, that’s that’s nuts. I remember years ago, there was an interview with Edwina Tops, and she had done she’d shown 50 weeks of the year took Christmas off and like, one, like, had to go to a wedding or something. Other than that, she was at horse show every single week. 

Piper Klemm [00:25:55] I mean. Yeah. When was the last week that I’ve ever not been at a horse show? But also that sounds insane. What are we talking about other people. I Yeah, I struggle. You know, I’m like, we all talk about, like, what we would do if we won the lottery. And, you know, I’m not sure how much more I would actually horse show because I really enjoy all the other things I do at the horse shows also. And I can’t do them well if I’m trying to show also. And there there’s so many different facets of this. But yeah, at what point does it get boring? At what point do you like lift your head up and say like, is there something else? Like. I think, over decades. It’s completely normal for people to to have these conversations. 

Geoff Case [00:26:44] Oh, yeah. And I mean, I think burnout is a real thing. And I think that’s something that, you know, a lot of riders struggle with. 

Piper Klemm [00:26:50] Yeah. And I just I was, you know, reading, um, Walter Isaacson’s book on on Jennifer Doudna over the last few weeks at the horse shows and, um. She’s the scientist, the Berkeley biochemist who developed the. CRISPR technology. And in the beginning of the book, she was literally thinking about quitting academia and walking away like, literally. Months before her, the biggest breakthrough in a generation. And you know, you think about if she had done, you know, like literally life would be different right now if if things had gone just so slightly differently. And and I think these are human things that we all need to think about, because to be good at anything, you need to be so invested and. There’s no balancer. 

Geoff Case [00:27:43] Well, And you know, the same is true like for a lot of my judging colleagues. You know, they if if judging is your sole source of income, you’re forced to work a lot. And, you know, I think I actually think when I came back and I judged Ocala last week, I was much better off for the two month break. Like, it was all kind of more fresh, more crisp, like it was it wasn’t stale anymore, you know? It was. I think I did a better job because I was able to take a break. But not all judges are in that position to be able to do that. And I think that if I can find a way to balance that out, better to the judging in general, be better. 

Piper Klemm [00:28:21] I, I find when I do too much coverage and cover too many classes in a row, I become apathetic, basically because you’re you’re you’re chasing the winner and everyone else, you know, doesn’t count. And you know, and it’s like fourth place. It’s like, why would we talk to you? You know, when you when you do like true like news, sports coverage, you know, I can become very unempathetic very quickly about how hard it is to get fourth place, to get eighth place, you know, and and especially these big classes. And that’s because I tunnel vision. I’m on the hunt for what I’m trying to do and and get it done and. You know, I haven’t judged like you, but I notice a little bit in myself. The one year I judged a whole lot more than I had in prior years, and I could almost see some of these same feelings seeping in. You know, when you do it occasionally you have so much feel and empathy for every player in the game. But when you when it becomes more of a job, it’s easy to become unempathetic sitting in the box. 

Geoff Case [00:29:33] Well, And I think it’s become easy for people, especially when you’re talking about, you know, all the controversy just in general over the big medal finals and the criticism of how the judges did their job. And I mean, just even as a spectator try to sit down in that seat at 630 in the morning, watch 250, do the same course over and over and over and over again, then have a flat and then have a test and, you know, be done at eight or 9:00 at night like. You have to respect their ability to even get them 99% in the right order. I mean, it really like it’s. It can get. You have to really be good and really be focused because it can it can really get mind numbing when you’re watching the same thing that many times. And then also having to remember. You know, the little mistake that the person who went first made compared to the little mistake that the person who went 230th, I mean, it’s difficult to do. And I do think that as a community, we need to look at the judges for those championships a little bit of slack. I mean, they are humans and it’s and human judgment is and will and should always be and has always been part of the hunters and the equitation. And I don’t think we need to be trying to take that away. I think we need to be more appreciative of the ones that are quite good at it and build them up instead of constantly trying to tear them all down. 

Piper Klemm [00:31:01] Absolutely. Speaking of judges, on episode 320, we had Don Stewart. 

Montage of Episode Clips [00:31:09] You know, try to, you know, listen and learn. There’s so much out there to read about this, how to train, ride, different techniques, watch some people that win. I always, being a a know it all. I just hang out with the people that won and see how they did it rather than act like I didn’t know something. Don’t be like that. Try to be flexible. Try to learn stuff as you go along. 

Piper Klemm [00:31:29] As you can see, we got a little we got a little braver with our guests on the podcast. You know, I thought Don made a lot of really interesting points, but, you know, it kind of came back to that sense of humor, a part of it, and a part that that Don really brings to the ring is that it’s just the seriousness balance. And when I’m at a lot of the big shows, you know, there’s not a lot of balance and in the seriousness, at the ring. 

Geoff Case [00:31:59] Well, I mean, you talk about what was the word, Chris, the word of the year. There’s not. 

Piper Klemm [00:32:04] RIzz. R-I-Z-Z as in there is no one with more rizz than Don Stewart. 

Geoff Case [00:32:08] Exactly. Like he’s got the most rizz in the game, if you ask me. I mean, there really is no one that I enjoy talking to about anything, really. And Don, I think he’s such a wonderful conversationalist. He has a great sense of humor. But behind all that, he’s also incredibly knowledgeable. Has strong opinions, but for the most part is able to frame them in a positive and entertaining way. And I mean, for me, obviously you you interview a lot. But if you ask me who the best interview in hunters and that quotation is, I would probably say it has to be Don Stewart. I mean, he’s he’s just so full of charisma and Joie d’vive. And on top of that, like I said, he’s a very good horseman. And, you know, he. He had a vision of a business making, you know, huge leasing business and all that stuff long before a lot of people did. And he’s been incredibly successful. Doing that. I mean, the man doesn’t even know how many horses aren’t really. And people love doing business with him because he’s an honest, straightforward, charismatic guy. And I think he’s you know, he’s one of the better people in the sport, if you ask me. 

Piper Klemm [00:33:24] Absolutely. So you can go back and listen to that. He he talks about a lot about courses, a lot about the same winners over and over again, you know, needing different courses, different jumps, and needing to know how to judge the hunters. All stuff that I, I think made really great conversation. I also I don’t know if we talked about it in this podcast or not, but this this kind of concept where we have course designers who are we have a lot, of course, designer mimicry, I would say going on all over the country in the in the hunters and equitation. And so we’re we almost have people who are learning from people who. Have this very system and there’s not as much variety as as one would hope. Around the country, I think in courses and jumps and texture. I mean, there are a couple outliers in that statement, but but it is kind of interesting how homogenous we’ve become nationally. 

Geoff Case [00:34:25] Well, I think, you know, I think there’s a couple factor there’s a handful of factors that influence that. I think also, for course, designers, you know, burnout is a thing. And a lot of times when they try to push the envelope, especially in the hunters, more so than the equitation or the jumpers, but when they try to push the envelope and they try to do something different, they get such pushback from the exhibitors that they end up just building the same thing, because at the end of the day, whether they will admit it out loud or not, most Hunter exhibitors want it to be dressage, with jumps in the way like they want it to be the same pattern, because it is it is difficult to make a hunter truly consistent every day. And I think the path to becoming a course designer is so different now than it was 20 years ago. You’ve got less horsemen doing it and more guys that came up through the jump crew and, you know, worked with some great course designers and all that stuff. But you have never really ridden at a higher level. And I think you can tell at least I think I can tell when, of course, was built by someone who’s ridden and of course it’s built by someone who wasn’t who has. And I think we need to look at how we can incentivize. It’s the same with the judges, the course designers, all all the support staff at the horse. So we have to figure out a way that incentivizes and encourages. Our better horse people, too. Also, every now and then go into one of those roles, be it course designer, judge, whatever. And I think that’s something that we’re especially with the judges committees and things having constant discussions on how do we get. The people who are really from the trainer side and the business side really shaping our sport. How do we get them in the box so that not only can they see it from our perspective, but also be able to take their knowledge and everything that they bring to the table and put it to good use in the judges booth. And I think the same is true with course designers. And I think until we can come up with a way to change that model, it’s going to be difficult. And the other thing is there aren’t a lot, of course, designers, so you see the same course designers, a lot of places. And that’s even true with the with the top sport, the FEI in this country. I mean, you know, Alan Wade, Guierme, Bernardo, like those guys like that, they’re very good at what they do, so they get used a lot. But there’s only so many individual ideas in the person’s head. Like at some point they’re going to have to recreate something they’ve already done or alter something they’ve already done. I just think that’s the nature of the beast. I think that’s hard to get around. I mean, other than being able to use different material at different shows, but as far as the patterns and things like that, it’s. Just It’s hard to have too much creative license. But I think it’s especially true in the Hunters, because if it’s not side diagonal side, people get grumpy. 

Piper Klemm [00:37:15] Oh, absolutely. And you know, we were we were I was at Ledges last weekend and we were laughing that last May. We were in Kentucky and people are freaking out at the pony ring that there was a two stride in the green ponies and their green ponies hadn’t seen a two stride before. And the first December Ledges, there was a three to a one in the Green Ponies. 

Geoff Case [00:37:36] That’s all you can fit. 

Piper Klemm [00:37:39] That’s all you can fit and all. All the green ponies jumped the three to the one just fine but it like it always like kind of makes makes me laugh, you know of the different expectations on the different areas of the country and you know you you kind of have to you know, you work with what you have, but also, you know, once you once you get comfortable and, you know, also get comfortable speaking up, the horse shows bend to to what the exhibitors want. 

Geoff Case [00:38:10] Well, I think this is a funny story from years and years and years ago. A very, very good friend of mine was, course, designing in the main Hunter ring in Wellington. And he intentionally posted the courses a little later than usual, but he put in the ring. Because I think the day started maybe then with a four foot, a four foot skinny plank, it just put it in the ring. It was never intended to be jumped. It was never to be used in the course. They just did it to see what would happen, he said. At 630 in the morning, his phone started ringing from all these, ‘are you kidding? With this jump in the hunter ring?’ And he’s just kind of laughing to himself because he never intended it to be used. He just did it to see to gauge the reaction. 

Piper Klemm [00:38:49] Yes, I could imagine, there would be lots of lots of reaction. I just laugh because, yeah, a three to a one in the adult hunters. I’m like, Oh, I got that one. 

Piper Klemm [00:40:39] Moving forward on my personal growth and bravery. Episode 346 featured Sue Ashe, which I was. I was very scared before, during and after recording. 

Montage of Episode Clips [00:40:56] And you’ve got to stand up for what is feel and what to think and what you feel is correct. You pin it that way, you don’t pin the ingate and you don’t pin the whoops and hollers thinking that they just won the Olympics. You pin what you see. 

Geoff Case [00:41:12] Sue is not shy with her opinions. 

Piper Klemm [00:41:15] She is not. Not shy. And I have a great deal of respect for her. And and she shared them. And I respect that so much. 

Geoff Case [00:41:25] I’ll tell you, the first time I looked at a judge’s assignment sheet and I was paired with Sue. I barely slept the night before. I was terrified. I’m like, Oh, my God. Tomorrow it’s going to be, Oh, my God, I’m terrified. And you know what? At that time and every time since, I she’s one of my favorite people to judge alongside. She’s again, she’s a very knowledgeable horsewoman. You know, there’s some some of her ideas can be a little antiquated, but it makes a nice balance between the two of us because, you know, I think of myself as thinking of a little bit more in the modern sport. And she has such a background with hunt horses and everything in the true history of the sport and why things are the way they are. It makes her really interesting discussions. And like I said, she’s one of my favorite people to judge alongside. I think we we’re just different enough. But also, you know, the basics are the basics. The basics are the same. And I think the two of us together, it’s it really is enjoyable. And I think we do a very good job together. 

Piper Klemm [00:42:24] And that’s also, you know, kind of, as you were saying, with Don and with her. And this is the part I found really fascinating is that, you know, we’re so afraid to disagree with people in today’s world and have conversations. And I really respect debate and, you know, constructive, constructive conversations. And, you know, I was talking to someone after the talk to her and she was like, oh, did did they leave the part in where I said, amatuers shouldn’t judge? And they were like, Oh, yeah, you know, and I’m happy to have that discussion. I’m happy to have many other discussions. Like I, I think we can have differences of opinion for different reasons. We can justify them and we can all, you know, have dinner together. And it doesn’t need to be a big deal because if there was an easy answer to fix our sport, we have so many smart people in our sport, we would have done it. Honestly, there’s no easy answer. These are all going to be shades of balance and we’re going to go a little too far one way and a little too far the other way and, you know, find just like with the horse and find what works and find what’s right and are going to overdo it and under do it. And I think we we come to conclusions by, as you said, melding our different perspectives and our different judgments and bring our own lived experiences and share the experiences that only we have. 

Geoff Case [00:43:50] Well, and, you know, and I don’t know if this is 100% real or if it’s just perceived, but I would say the vast majority of judges feel like the guillotine falls quickly. And, you know, the money in this sport has become so big at that. I think there are certain times where. One exhibitor or one bad apple. Can influence a show manager’s decision of whether to hire this judge or that judge the next time a little too much. And I think that there’s not enough. I think in general, the community, I don’t think that other than other judges that you don’t really a lot of places you work, you don’t have the feeling that there’s anybody there that has your back. So if you wanted to make a statement or if you wanted to push the envelope or get people to look at things a different way, and you tried to do that from the judge’s booth, I think a lot of people are worried that they’re not going to get hired and a lot of judges, this is their sole income. You know, they need to work. So you end up kind of homogenizing everything just to avoid making someone angry so that you make sure you still have a job. And like I said, I don’t know how real that is or if that’s just perception. But certainly a lot a lot of judges feel that way. And I think that holds us back from making real, meaningful changes in the sport. 

Piper Klemm [00:45:15] I mean, I think it’s very real. And there is one time viewer judging. A few years ago before before you were on the podcast that you made, you made a judging call that I just sat there watching, being like, Oh my God, no one would actually do it. 

Geoff Case [00:45:30] Well, but that’s where I’m in the least. I’m in a nice position that I judge because I enjoy it. I judge because I think I’m good at it and I judge to try to give back. But if tomorrow every Horse show manager called me and said, You’re a terrible judge and we don’t want you around anymore, I’d still be able to put food on the table and live my life. And, you know, that’s not it’s not a position a lot of judges are in. 

Piper Klemm [00:45:56] Absolutely. And I don’t know what we do about that because, you know, we we don’t have a great system for for caring for the people who have served our sport for many years. But also, we need the best people for the job. 

Geoff Case [00:46:11] And yeah, and I think there are certain and I don’t mean to lump every horse show manager into this conversation, there are some horse show managers that, like you said, I’m not all that afraid every so often to do something that might be unpopular. And there have been a couple of times where I really have been impressed with the support I’ve gotten from the horse show manager that we are. We think what you did is correct and yes, the exhibitor’s pissed off, but you’re right and we have your back and always will. And I think if just whether whether it actually even worked in practice or not, if the Wednesday of every show in the morning, the show manager just came around and gave the judges a pat on the back and said, you know, whatever decision you make, we got your back. Just that one sentence statement, I think, might give some judges a little more freedom to. To make what might be an unpopular call, even if they believe it’s the right thing. And I think you want judges that are willing to do that because. As a general rule, we do a terrible job of self-policing. You know, there was I forget, I think I don’t remember if it was at the annual meeting, but there was some conversation about horses and medications. And, you know, one of the ideas brought up was, you know, see something, say something. If you see somebody injecting a horse within 12 hours of showing, you know, go find a steward. But you do that and then all of a sudden that exhibitors mad at you, you might miss a sale, you might miss out on some kind of business, You might upset other people. You might be seen as a narc. Like it’s I think it’s a tricky thing. And I think you need to have stewards and judges that are willing to stick their neck out for the betterment of the animals, the betterment of the sport, the betterment of the exhibitors. And, you know, I think that’s Sue’s to be commended that she never shies away from doing what she believes is right, whether anybody agrees with it or not. And I think that’s a great quality that she has. 

Piper Klemm [00:48:10] I’m not sure that like as someone who does see something and says something a lot and not always very popular, as you said, my kind of my kind of thought on that, I don’t think see something, say something works in our sport because I think we have to share too much stuff. It’s like you said about the sales. We have to share jumps in the schooling ring. I think if you ever watch the orchestra of a schooling ring for an entire class, you understand why see something, say something will never work with our small community. And back to Don. Also. It’s like the same people winning all the time. Like even if a horse has won so much. If today’s not a day like I. Want someone in the box who says today is not its day. This horse has won many things. It’s a great horse. Today is not a day. 

Geoff Case [00:48:54] When I’ve had that conversation. A lot of times when you’re you know, the other thing I think people need to realize when you’re when you’re judging in pairs, Right. At some point, you’re not always going to see everything exactly the same. So at some point, some compromise comes in. But you know that one of the things when I’m sitting with another judge, the line I hate the most is, but this is such a great horse. So, yeah, it is a great horse, but it is three steps to the lead change they had four rubs. They can’t win. Like, I don’t care if it’s won every other class. Like you said, today’s not its day. And I think that exhibitors have to feel like it’s as level of playing field as possible. I mean, it’ll never be a truly level playing field because everybody has different skill sets, everybody has different financial backgrounds. You know what the quality some people are able to afford, others can’t. But you’ve got to feel like, I think anyway, as an exhibitor, if you’re not on the Million Dollar Horse, but the million Dollar Horse makes a mistake and you don’t that you feel like on your day, maybe it’s only one out of 100 times, but you actually feel like you have the chance to win. 

Piper Klemm [00:49:59] Absolutely. And I think that plays into all of all of the money and all the other stuff of people feel like they bought this horse they like deserve to win or whatever. Like, you still have to. It doesn’t matter if you buy the hack winner or like, you know, if you don’t hack like a winner, you don’t get to win. 

Geoff Case [00:50:18] When I love like another person and sort of of the same ilk of of Sue Ashe, Brian Lenihan. I wasn’t there, but I was somebody was telling me this story last week that, you know, a lot of times in Kentucky for the PreGreens, they’ll even though they’ll have a judge like one judge scheduled for the rain that day, they’ll ask a judge to come in and help that judge, because you’ve got 40 really good moving horses with the same color at 730 in the morning with your sun in your eyes, you know, to be able to help with the under saddle. And Brian actually requests that he not get any help. And my friend said, Well, Brian, but what happens if you miss one? And he said, Well, if I missed a good one, they didn’t do a good enough job showing it. And I think there’s some truth to that. You know, I think they’re even in an undersaddle class. Even if you’re on the best mover, you have to make sure that you’re seen. You have to make sure that you shove yourself in front of the judge as much as possible. And you do a good job of staying out of traffic and you make good passes and you do all those things. Like winning an under saddle is not necessarily just about buying the best mover. You have to hack it. Well. 

Piper Klemm [00:51:23] I lost two under saddles this year, and I’m still very bitter with myself. 

Geoff Case [00:51:30] But you know, that’ll happen to, you know, there’ll be certain you know, certain judges prefer more of what you call, like a daisy cutter remover. I personally, you know, I like a more athletic mover, even if the knees bend a little bit more. But if it’s got a big stride and it has a great push and all that stuff like. You know, two different judges, two different days might flip depending on those two horses. And I think, again, I think it’s a good thing. I think you need multiple opinions. I mean, you want them to be good opinions and strong and well-educated and well-founded opinions. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with, you know, two people seeing two horses and one liking the other better than the other one. I just think that’s human nature and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. 

Piper Klemm [00:52:13] Absolutely. And I, I did not hack like a winner these two times. It’s completely on me. It’s not any judging issues in the sport. 

Geoff Case [00:52:23] Just another sort of on the same No one other thing that again I’ve just I’m so impressed by a lot of the people in Europe. There’s a there’s a man that I bought a couple of very good horses from, and his rider has become a good friend of mine and his rider’s excellent and he is a wonderful horseman and the Grand Prix at Peelbergen And he’s on this incredible horse, but it it just jumped a little too high at the second jump. And it had the back rail down and we were packing up, get ready to go home. And I said, Hey, Marcus, like, that was a shame. Your horse jumped fantastic, like just strange it jumped so high there and it was kind of a silly rail. And he just looked at me. He said, eh, I have to ride better. That was it. And I thought that was a great attitude. Like I ran straight to Taylor and I’m like, I have to tell you what Marcus just said to me. Like, it was so apropos and perfect, and it’s the way we should all look at it. You know, if you don’t win. It’s you know, it’s not necessarily the judge’s fault, you know? 

Piper Klemm [00:53:22] Yeah, well, I mean, I’m lucky that I have a trainer that says that to me every time I walk out of the ring. And then we had two different episodes coming in at the end of the year talking about about style. I mean, I think they they a little bit talked about social license and, you know, fans of the sport and and a lot of the stuff we’ve been talking about with the special episode featuring Michael Britt Leone and Diane Carney and then episode 359 featuring Holly Orlando and T Whitehead. 

Montage of Episode Clips [00:53:57] I personally don’t see that as a problem I’m not doing an equitation class. I feel that Im balanced it wouldn’t be jumping the way that it does if we were not. I would hope that people making comments are coming from the love of the sport. Be constructive because we are all stewards of our sport. There’s so much that goes into it and unless you have sat there and been in that position and tried it, it’s really hard to have a strong opinion about it. All of the judges, everybody is is on the exhibitor side. You know, when a horse comes in the ring, you know, we’re rooting for it. You know, we want good rounds because those are the rounds that are fun to judge.

Piper Klemm [00:54:38] I think a lot of things we’re confronting in society and life right now is is what are things supposed to look like? What are horses supposed to look like? How are they supposed to go? How how are we able to express our opinions in a constructive manner? You know, it used to be if you didn’t like someone, you just told someone else. And now you post it on the Internet and potentially that you see it, you know how. How do we really kind of grow our sport? And when when we we all who do this all the time can’t always agree on what the sport is supposed to look like and how is it supposed to go and how do we present to the outside world. 

Geoff Case [00:55:22] You know, in in the in the hope of consistency? I mean, I do think there has to be in the hunters and equitation there has to be a bit of a blueprint. But I think also there has to be you have to be able to allow for. Different body types different, and then the hunters as a rider like a little bit different style because the goal of every hunter rider should be and the goal of every judge should be. To get the best jump out of the horse possible. And, you know, there are certain people that can do that with perfect style. There are certain people who do it their own way. But the biggest thing is the biggest thing is a rider in the Hunter ring. You just want to you don’t want to distract from your horse. You want to be as invisible as possible so the judge can truly focus on the animal and not the rider. And I think that’s where a lot of amateurs struggle in that, you know, they see. Like just not not saying this negatively at all. But they see like Geoffrey Heslink winning a lot and Geoffrey does a beautiful job, his horses jump great for him. But I don’t really want to see amateurs and juniors laying on the neck for four strides after the jump. Geoffrey gets away with it because he’s very good at what he does. You know, Michael is a great example of maybe not your textbook body type for a rider, but his horses jump. Fantastic. He has beautiful hands. His horses go well for him. I don’t think you can say, Oh, oh, this person can’t win because they don’t fit our ideal body image. And I think that’s a little bit that’s tricky in the equitation, I think a lot and discussing different body types with judges while I’m judging an equitation class for me. And maybe this won’t be a popular statement, but I think a lot of the things you look for in the Hunter ring to me also really matter more than style in the equitation ring like, I want to see the track executed. I want to see the horse jump well, I want to see the horse in balance. I want to see the rider not interfering with the horse. And then if two riders have the exact same execution and ride the track the exact same and one has better position than the other. That to me is a tiebreaker. Like I would never pin a poorly ridden round with great style in the equitation over a very well ridden round with maybe novice or mediocre style. That’s just not how I see it, because I think our goal always in any in any way, whether it’s the jumpers, the hunters or the equitation, the ultimate goal of every rider should be to get the best jump they can out of their horse all the time. And. I mean, look at people that have success at the top level of the sport. Like the first person that comes to my mind is Roger-Yves Bost. I mean, you would never teach somebody to ride like that. Never. But he gets a lot out of his animals and he’s incredibly successful doing it his way. And you also see a lot. And then you have Kent, who’s never out of balance and is in perfect position every time. And then you have everybody in between. And I think that as a society, we’ve become a little too focused on body image. And I think the social media and the Internet has gone way too far. And I think the Internet allows for cowards to sit behind their keyboards and make statements with no repercussions. I mean, it’s much harder to go up to someone’s face and say something to them than it is to, you know, type of phrase on the keyboard and send it out into the world. But I don’t think that’s a unique problem to our showing, and I think that’s a problem the world over. And I think that’s something that young kids struggle with. And, you know, even older people like the way they put their body looks. And does it look like this Instagram model or that Instagram model? But it doesn’t have to. I mean, there’s different strokes for different folks and. You know, myself being not built like your prototypical rider. Like, I can really appreciate that. And I don’t think the genetics that I was given should automatically say I’m incapable of winning. And, you know, again, I think that everybody has to feel like they have a legitimate chance to be competitive when they go to a horse show. And to say you’re 5 pounds overweight, you can’t win in the equitation. I mean, if we haven’t learned our lesson with all the eating disorders and problems we had in the seventies, eighties and nineties, I mean, shame on us. That’s my opinion. 

Piper Klemm [01:00:09] I think, you know, I think both of those are the kind of conversations both of those episodes are the kind of conversations I want to have. And. And. How we how we bring things forward. And there are so many more younger people listening to the podcast this year, which is something that’s really exciting to me. The the 18 to 25 numbers went way up, went way up. And in 2023 and I think starting to grasp of of what we can control, how we want our our world to be, how we want to make our shows better. And I think the biggest thing is that, you know, when you did this this year, Geoff is like really just taking control of where you’re going. And and our sport is great because it’s full of great people and be one of those great people and invite people to the barn and welcome people into the sport, help other people where you can. And we make this community what we want it to be. And I think a lot of us. You know, have have a lot of things to to heal from growing up in the sport. But but we can and make it better for the next generation. 

Geoff Case [01:01:18] Well, I don’t think any positive changes ever come out of acting from a place of fear or insecurity. I mean, if you’re afraid to speak your mind because of what somebody else might say, then we’re never going to get new ideas. We’re never going to implement new ideas because everybody’s going to be afraid to to change the way we do things. And I mean, it’s funny to me how how so many people have reacted with amazement that Taylor and I made the decision to move to Europe. I mean, for me, I didn’t even ever have a second thought. Like I just said, we’re going to do this and it’s going to go well. And if it doesn’t, we’ll figure out how to make it go better. You know, I think if we make people afraid to try new things or make people afraid to do things a different way, then nothing’s ever going to change. And things have to be constantly changing. Otherwise you’re never going to get to the best result, I think. 

Piper Klemm [01:02:12] I, I couldn’t agree more. And hopefully all of our judges, our course designers, our riders, everyone can be. Everyone can be as brave as they can next year. Geoff, what are some of your goals for 2024? 

Geoff Case [01:02:28] I mean, our major my personal goals is, you know, I just want to do a good job in the box and I want to help support Taylor and try to build the best team of humans and horses and support as I can for her. You know, her personal big goal for the year. And again, just a symbol of her growth that she’s even able to say this out loud is she really wants to hopefully qualify for some of the three Star Nations Cup series next summer. And my goal is to do everything I can to make that happen. It may not, but it certainly isn’t. I don’t want it to be from a lack of effort on my part. And, you know, other than that, like, my goal in life, honestly, is always very simple. I just want to be happy and I want to do. Whatever I can to stay happy. It’s simple, but that’s always how I look at life like. Things. Things may not always turn out the way you want them to, but if you have a positive outlook and you’re trying to do the things that make you happy, then I think on balance, in the end it all works out. 

Piper Klemm [01:03:34] I’m happy. I’m most happy when I’m accomplishing things and on the move and working really hard. And I think that’s something that the way some parents parent almost try to see. It seems like they might try to take away from their kids a little bit. I like it when things are hard and I’m really digging in and I’m with you like I want to I want to be happy, too. And digging in and finding that grit. I mean, that that’s my that’s a place I want to be in. I don’t know. I’m not a big goals person. I don’t really think about what’s coming. I mean, I look at trends all the time. It’s funny, I was talking to Adam last night and the With Purpose book we published at the end of 2022 just won an award. And Adam was like, Oh, aren’t you aren’t you excited? That’s like really cool. A book you published won an award and I was like, Oh, that happens all the time. And he’s like, I’ve never heard you mention it. And I’m like, Well, yeah, I don’t know. I just can’t imagine caring about an award. 

Geoff Case [01:04:39] Well to me that’s a great way to, to look at things. And I think it’s also it’s something that can translate into our sport. Like I think you if you write the book to win the award, you’re not going to write a good book if you write the book because you believe in what you’re doing and you’re passionate about it and you love the craft, then you might win an award. And I think you have to look at horse showing that way too. Like you just want to go in the ring and do the best you can for yourself, the best you can for your horse and the best you can for all the people that are there supporting you, whether it’s your parents, your coach, your groom, your friend, your whoever. And I think if you go in the ring with that mindset, I think you probably end up winning more often than if you go in and you’re only thinking, I need to win. Because I think when you when you focus on the prize and not what it takes to get there. I think you you lose a little fluidity, you lose a little bit of that sort of extra. We shouldn’t say that. That really turns an 80 into a 90.

Piper Klemm [01:05:43] Absolutely. And so, you know, I would say that’s why that’s my goal for my own riding for next year. It’s a that that’s keep my head on straight and and focus on what what’s important there and then professionally, show strides. I don’t know if I’ve even talked about this on the podcast but Show Strides was bought by Andrews Mcmeel Universal my my children’s book series with Rennie Dyball. And so those are going to be making like Andews McMeel owns Calvin and Hobbes and the Far Side. And so show strides that’s going to make their national debut with with new art and new Everything next year and be on Target and Walmart and every everywhere you go shopping. So I think it should be a really, really exciting year. Bring horses to more people, have more kids reading more kids dreaming of going to the barn. And, you know, I don’t think anything could be better for for my goals of better community than that. 

Geoff Case [01:06:46] And I think that’s awesome. And my goal for you is that it also goes into Action so we can get it in Holland, which is basically the target of Holland. 

Piper Klemm [01:06:55] Yes. Okay. So it went to it’s going to the London Book Fair in March for the European audiences so that I can come on book tour to Europe. 

Geoff Case [01:07:07] I love it. You can do it. We can do a signing at the stable. 

Piper Klemm [01:07:10] Exactly. Exactly. So, my goal in 2020, was to expand The Plaid Horse into Europe more. And obviously, that was a really Bad year. To make that my goal. So, yeah, maybe maybe 2024 is the year. I just needed to take a breath but come back when I was ready. Well, Geoff, thank you so much for for recapping the year with us for for being on the plaidcast all year long and talking about all these topics. And, you know, thank you to our plaidcast team, Tori Sheehan edits all the episodes. Cira Malta does all of the scheduling and Piper wrangling and making sure that everything comes out on time. Did you know we have put out over between plaidcast and plaidcast Junior and our special episodes, we put out over 500 episodes and not a single one has ever been late. 

Geoff Case [01:08:12] Congratulations. 

Piper Klemm [01:08:14] So that’s that’s all due to the team, because we all know that if it was due to me, there are so many great, great topics and great things to really focus on, and it’s good to be passionate. So I hope my hope for everyone, my mission for everyone, my hope for everyone is that everyone makes an effort to bring one new person to the barn and into the sport to meet your horses. This year, I really hope everyone makes an effort to be welcoming. I hope everyone makes an effort to not blame anyone else and hold themselves to a higher standard, hold their own education to a higher standard. I hope everyone rides with a trainer that they feel comfortable trusting, listening to and buying into their program. And if you don’t trust and listen to your trainer and buy into their program, look for someone you feel that way about and you know they might be anywhere and they’re worth it. If you truly believe and buy in and want to learn from them. I hope everyone listens to their horse this year and does the best by their horse that they possibly can. They remember that there is always another horse show and you can always say no to this horse show and your horse will always come to the next horse show and be happy and be fine. And there is no horse show that is worth your horse. What else, Geoff? Anything I’m missing. I hope we’re nice to each other. 

Geoff Case [01:09:42] Yeah, I think, you know, let’s. Let’s all try to build each other up, not tear each other down. Going back to Havens, too, you know, you talk about finding the right trainer and also as a client, realize have some empathy for your trainer, too, because they’re not robots. They have issues in their lives just like you do. And we’re not always on top of our game every single day. But we have to have some humanity and some compassion for for each other. 

Piper Klemm [01:10:05] And for the big, great long term relationships. You know, there’s ebb and flow. You know, there’s times that everyone’s going to be more into it and less into it and dealing with more of their own stuff and more or less stressed. And, you know, if you want to have one of these great long term relationships with a trainer, which is where the magic horses come from and where things really happen for people, there’s going to be ebb and flow in that and there might be a few months where you’re like, Yeah, that’s not their best and that’s okay. 

Geoff Case [01:10:36] But then I think with it coming just around the corner, you know, everybody try to remember by week 12 of all these winter circuits that we do this because we love it and it’s supposed to be fun. 

Piper Klemm [01:10:45] And also you can go home. You can go home early. Your horses can go home early. If it’s not the circuit you want, you can go home now. What is making you continue to be there? You should be at a horse show because you love it and you want to be there to behave well and you’re excited to to find out the judges opinion and you respect everyone working there. 

Geoff Case [01:11:09] I think that’s beautifully put. 

Piper Klemm [01:12:55] To learn more about anything we’ve discussed on today’s show, visit You can find show notes at, Follow The Plaid Horse on all the social medias. You can subscribe to the print edition of The Plaid Horse magazine at Please rate and review the plaidcast anywhere you listen to it and if you enjoy this episode, please share it with your friends. I will see you at the ring!