Hartford Saddles Up for Final Horse Show of the Season

HARTFORD, SD-  It’s common for horses to jump in a competition. But what about horses that can throw in a casual trot, or even do a little dance?   Here at the Larson Arena in Hartford, South Dakota you can see that and so much more in the horse show.

The South Eastern South Dakota Horse Show Association members compete in five horse shows during the summer.  Most contestants come from different part of the state.

During these shows, you won’t see horses jumping over poles.  “There will be classes. we started this morning with Halter classes and Showmanship classes. We had our English riding classes and now we’re doing our Western classes. Later on this afternoon, we’ll do our timed event classes,” says Jennifer Martinez.

Each contestant competes by class, which is based on the rider’s age.  During competition, Martinez says a rider’s connection with their horse is crucial.  “You can be the most powerful person in the world, but if you can’t connect and work with your horse you’re not going to be able to do well. There are some people who come and do the very first class and go all the way to the last timed event class.”

Riders can start competing even before they start walking, like two year old Natalie Davis.  Natalie’s mom, Tara says, “I grew up riding horses, but we’re blessed to have her godparents (Jennifer and Tom Martinez).  So as her Christmas gift, they gave Natalie this opportunity.”

Natalie is just learning how to ride.  But when she first rode her horse Sebastian, it was hard to get her off.

It’s similar to how the Vollan siblings started riding.  Kenndy explains,”Ever since I was young like maybe two years old.”  Her sister, Maiya follows with, “Yeah she put us on a horse when we were newborns.”

They have been competing for about three years.  When Kenndy competes with her horse Ginger it’s the ultimate power team.  “It just feels like we’re like unbreakable. when we’re together we’re unstoppable like we can do anything.”

Horses may be great competitors, but they are even better companions.

For more information on the South Eastern South Dakota Horse Show Association, check out their website at sesdhsa.shutterfly.com.

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