Ode to the Horse Show Mom


Me & my “Horse Show Mom” in 2010. Approximately 27 years at that point of early mornings, crappy food and great times together.

Ode to the Horse Show Mom


This is an ode to the horse show mom.

She’s not just any Dick, Harry or Tom.

Horse show moms are a special breed

Always around when you’re in need of

Some water, your spurs, or perhaps a crop.

With her help, you always come out on top.


She has made you and your horse her top priorities

(Mostly to keep you from the hands of the authorities!)

She’s dedicated to inhaling pounds of arena dust

And driving an aged truck covered with rust

So that it can pull your two horse trailer

Which she curses at like a drunken sailor.


Throughout the summer on any Friday night

She hooks up that rig, considering with foresight

She should have encouraged stamp collecting or chess

At least that would be far less of a mess.


You arrive back home woefully late

As your horse hated that blue and green gate

During a lengthy schooling session with your trainer

Who suggested, perhaps, he’d be better as a reiner.


On the night before a show she packs

A cooler full of drinks and snacks.

She knows you won’t take time eat or drink

Which will hinder your ability to clearly think

While on course guiding a thousand pound beast.

And that makes her worry, to say the least!


Then she has a choice to make,

Even though her bones quite ache,

Between a shower and some rest

Or to help you in your mighty quest

To remove the stain from your shad belly coat,

A remnant of last weekend’s root beer float.


You’ll lay your head to catch some zzz’s

Knowing she’s up scrubbing your custom Dees.

The alarm goes off at a quarter to four.

Before you know it, you’re out the door

And on your way to lunge him down

As he’s out to win the Triple Crown.


She’s the best at “hurry up and wait”

While cajoling poor souls guarding in-gates.

She stands and watches, seemingly tense

Until you’ve cleared every last fence.

Because she rode every stride with you,

Especially when you put a one in the two!


She claps the loudest, and without pause

Even when you don’t deserve applause.

She’s just glad you are safe and sound

Cuz he took that last oxer rather round.


She knows just where you left your tack

As they wait on you to start the hack.

Then she’ll wipe your boots three times for luck,

Admonishing you for walking in the muck

After she spent the hour that she had for sleep


Horse Show Mom grooming my first show pony, Heart’s Delight, at the Waukesha Expo. Probably 1983.

Polishing, without a peep.


Your trainer says, “She needs a bat,

Do not let her go into the flat.”

But horse show mom’s been around a while,

And she tells you sweetly, with a smile,

“I’d like to leave before midnight

So get in that ring, let’s not fight.

If you can’t hack your horse by now

Perhaps it should be pulling a plow!”


Finally, she sits down for a moment of rest

Just as you’re called back for the medal test.

Quickly she produces your blue coat, not green,

Knowing that you’d make quite the scene.


Those times it doesn’t go your way

She won’t let you pack up and call it a day.

Instead she listens to you rant and rave

About how your competitor was given a “save”.

She congratulates you on a really nice trip

But will not tolerate your poor sportsmanship.


You’ll begin to complain how exhausted you are

And horse show mom is dreaming of hitting the bar.

Yet you have to get your pony put properly to bed

(or else your trainer will be seeing red!)

So once again she gets in the truck

To hook up the trailer – first time, what luck!

She packs your things and tells you to skedaddle

While you chat with friends, lazily cleaning your saddle.


Then of course your horse won’t load

Finally two hours later you’re on the road.

Horse show mom glances over at you

As you’ve nodded off, clutching that blue

Ribbon you got for a job well done.

And she has to admit, maybe today was indeed fun!


You crack open one eye and you catch her glowing

Then you’ll know she enjoyed your day of showing.

But it isn’t about the ribbons or glasses

Or how many people rode in all your classes.

Horse show mom is proud to be a part of your life,

Committed to all the struggle and strife

It takes to make your dreams come true.

So horse show moms, please know how much we love you!



Horse Show Mom at the Danada Benefit Show in probably 1989 or 1990.



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15 responses to “Ode to the Horse Show Mom

  1. Marie Wren

    That is all so true. I was a horse Mom for over 18 years and still one but afar. My daughter, has a horse farm in Montana. She went over 30,000 in 2013 to campaign Galileo for the top spot, many blues, many championships. I was with her in spirit all the way. I am proud to be a horse mom!!!

    • Debran Ivey, MS

      Marie, I know and I love your daughter. We went to school together at Rocky in Montana. I have been to her facility. You have raised an amazing, talented, kind, beautiful, hard working horse woman. I am proud to say she is my friend and follow her on facebook. NICE WORK HORSE SHOW MOM.

  2. susan bailey

    I too am a horse show mom and the poem fits me to a tee…we lived at least an hr from any show ,mostly 2-4 hrs and always left before the sun came up and never got home before it went down…AND I loved every minute of it. I still also have one daughter who shows and I just drive to the show,sometimes hold her horse then when she is done I drive home in a car with of course no trailer and she takes care of all the rest…and at my age now that is just fine with me..!

  3. Elizabeth Gray Rust

    Love that! It made me cry remembering all those cherished days, how much work, so much fun and little sleep—all worth it. I admire my daughter as she continues to ride and be the best trainer in Indiana. I miss her from afar but she knows how proud I am of her accomplishments. Mom, Beth

  4. Owen O'Meara

    I am married to one of those.

  5. Ann Lawton

    The best days of forever bonding.

    • Patricia Palmer

      no matter how much work it was or money it cost, the time spent with my daughter and her horse was a forever bonding time that I look back on with smiles and warm memories.

  6. I was fortunate enough to grow up showing horses then had a daughter that showed from lead-line age until college. She showed halter,English,western,dressage,jumped,and even ran barrels and pole bending. She claims her mid life crisis will be showing a reining horse! Every single minute spent was a gift like no other. Nothing will ever be sweeter than being a horse show mom.

    • debbeie barratti

      This is so true. We traveled, cried, laughed and I watched my daughter grow into a beautiful young lady. I just wish student loans did not keep her from showing now. She is great person. She has five acres her first pony and may have to give it all up just because of student loans. This poem brought tears to my eyes. Memories of a wonderful time with my daughter. Oh how I wish I could watch her in another show. I would do it all over again!!!!

  7. Jeri Taylor

    I am the mom who prompted this. Please remember how important the time you spend with your daughter or son is. My daughter is my best friend and we continue to share our love for each other and horses! We would love to quit our day jobs and play ponies all day, but are happy to share whatever time we have. Growing up with horses was a life lesson both of us will never forget. To all the mom’s and dad’s out there who love and support your kid’s horse habit, it will be in your heart forever…..

  8. Hi Jorna,
    Would you be willing to allow Eventing Nation to repost and link this on our website?
    Thank you!
    Eventing Nation

  9. Joann Regan

    I would not trade a single minute of the special time spent together and would do it all over again in a heartbeat!
    From another Horse Show Mom

  10. Lori

    I am the sister of the Mom that prompted this and the very proud Aunt of Jorna. She makes us laugh and cry with her incredible wit. Thanks for sharing your memories and experiences with the rest of the world! Love you tons! LK

  11. Dawn in SC

    Another horse show mom here! Yes, this is how we spend every show season. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Thanks for sharing this!

  12. Hillary

    ❤️❤️❤️ only really special moms curse every jump!

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