You think the judge doesn’t know what’s going on in your brain as you can turn down to that long run to the oxer and see nothing? Think again. They’ve been there and done that, over and over and over.
These horsemen and women have been trainers, riders, owners, breeders, buyers and sellers. They have acted as veterinarian, most of them probably could tack a shoe on and certainly pull one off. As instructors they have taught students who are shy, insecure, out of shape, weekend athletes, fearful, cocky, uncertain, passive, aggressive and passive aggressive, in a variety of sizes and shapes. Judges have been babysitters, hand holders and are often parents themselves.
These judges have ridden and trained the best of the best, shown to more championships than we’ll ever know, received more national awards at national horse shows then we can dream of. They’ve also bought prospects for investment and for clients, and bred horses for decades.
And… they’ve worked with stoppers, pullers, the spooky, the rank, the lazy… including warmbloods, thoroughbreds, hunters, jumpers and equitation mounts. They’ve chipped, gotten dumped, gotten ahead, gotten left. They’ve experienced it all, and as teachers have seen it all, lead line to medals, pre-green to derby, baby hunters to grand prix jumpers. Did I mention being course designers in their own right?
They are trained judges, certified by USEF. A personal note, every one of them volunteered their time to be interviewed after a long day of judging.
The bigger question is why not ask the horse show judge?