Trevor Dare and Xtra Wimpys Catalyst competed—and placed fourth—in a virtual horsemanship class among a group of trainers from various disciplines. Scroll down to watch the video.
By Kaycie Timm, Reiner Associate Editor
Trevor Dare and Xtra Wimpys Catalyst showed they can turn heads doing more than just a reining pattern. The NRHA Professional dusted off skills he gained as a young rider to compete in an all-online horsemanship class though The Virtual Horse Show, a Facebook group started by AQHA Professional Charlie Cole in mid-March. The group, which now boasts nearly 10,000 members, allows equestrians all over to compete from their own barns while guidelines in place to combat COVID-19 have temporarily halted the usual show season.
Trevor’s seamless performance aboard Xtra Wimpys Catalyst earned the pair a fourth-place finish in the virtual Trainer’s Horsemanship class, and we caught up with Trevor to hear more about how he got involved.
How did you hear about the Virtual Horse Show?
“Troy Compton, who trains top-level pleasure horses, lives right down the road from me. He’s started coming over and playing in the reining a little bit. He and his wife, Alicia, remembered when I did AQHA western pleasure and horsemanship as a kid, and they told me about the Trainer’s Horsemanship class.”
Tell me about the horse you were riding.
“Originally, Troy offered for me to come use one of their horses. A couple days went by, and I asked him if he thought I could use one of my horses instead. The pattern had a lot of fast maneuvers, so it fit a reining horse really well. I set up the cones, started playing with parts of the pattern, and then we videoed. I think it was only our second or third try on the pattern.
“The horse I rode, Xtra Wimpys Catalyst (Wimpys Little Step x Im Not Blonde; $36,415 LTE), was great. “Zorro” is just awesome. Anything I want to do, that horse is on my team. He’s a very, very special horse.”
What does it mean to you to participate in this group?
“This took me back to when I was a kid. I train horses because I love it; it’s been a dream of mine and I’ve loved it since I was a little kid. But, as we get more advanced about it, it becomes a business. When they shut down the horse shows, everybody remembers how much they enjoy going to shows and how much fun they have participating.
“This page allows people to do it at their own ranch, and everybody is having a blast. It’s not quite as intense and serious. There aren’t all the fees for stalls and shavings and high-dollar entries. It’s just a fun way to get to compete, while we can’t be going to shows. I’m sure there are a lot of people posting patterns on the page who aren’t part of the high-level horse show world. People who normally do 4H or weekend shows are getting to be part of it and have fun, too.
“I haven’t shown in the AQHA world since I was 16, so I’ve gotten to reconnect with a lot of the people I showed with and have lost contact with through this group. As a reiner, it’s been awesome, too, because I’ve gotten to meet some new people who saw my pattern. They’re like, ‘Wow, that reining horse is really cool. I didn’t know they could do that.’ It’s been really neat.”
How does your history with horsemanship influence your reining?
“I want people to remember me as being a great all-around horseman, not just a reining horse trainer. The horsemanship background for me as a young rider taught me a lot about my posture and pattern placement, because everything is so specific and detailed. You learn how a horse moves and uses its body to walk, trot, and lope.
“In the reining, you learn how to put a horse in a very athletic position, because you’re doing maneuvers at a high rate of speed. A reining horse has to be in a very natural, athletic, strong position in order to complete those maneuvers successfully. I apply the specifics, attention to detail, and knowledge about a horse’s movement and body position from the horsemanship to my reining. In this case, I also took what I’ve learned from the reining and applied it to my horsemanship pattern.”
Have you seen a reiner excelling in other equestrian sports? We want to hear about it! Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.