Judging the Road to the Horse

Judging any event is a big job. The success of events falls largely on the shoulders of the judges. The way that a competition is judged results in the winner. Future competitors, and spectators, watch what was rewarded and what was not and then decide if they will support the event. This is true not only in the horse world but in any judged competition.

At the Road to the Horse the judges have a big job. The judges must look at each horse in each round pen as an individual and watch each clinician as they train the horse. The judge then must evaluate how difficult the horse is naturally and then they need to determine if the competitor used the best approach possible for that horse.

This year’s competition is even a bit more difficult because each of the competitors is starting two horses. When I first heard this I wasn’t sure what the point was but after watching today I think I can see it. Starting the first colt was interesting to watch…but watching how each clinician modified their technique to better fit the second horse was even more interesting. Especially because this all happened back to back.

Exhausting for the competitors…and the judges. Very interesting to watch!

P.S.- Sorry for the confusion. After this post people thought that I was one of the judges. I can see how it looked that way. This was a photo of me visiting with the judges but I was not/am not one of the judges. Maybe the lack of sleep played a part in my lack of catching this sooner!

Back row L-R: Cody Lambert, Dr. Jim Heird, Sam Rose, Mike Kevil. Front row: Jack Brainard & Stacy Westfall

Back row L-R: Cody Lambert, Dr. Jim Heird, Sam Rose, Mike Kevil. Front row: Jack Brainard & Stacy Westfall



  1. Robert Fisher on March 28, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    I have never been a fan of the Cattleman creased western hat however the history of this crease comes primarily from ranch hands who styled their hat according to each ranch styled crease as an identification. Turns out the original Boss of the Plains hat designed by Stetson made it so anyone could style their hat the way they wanted it. Probably why the Stetson western hat is still around today as well as the company.

  2. Rebecca on March 27, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    They couldn’t have chosen a better judge! You’ve got the Lord of Lords, THE judge, helping you weigh matters in your heart. <3

  3. Stacy Foster on March 27, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Exhausting for the fans as well. It made for a very long day of sitting. Lol

  4. darlaflack1 on March 27, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    Interesting take and love the concept Tracy! I work as clinic coordinator for Daryl Gibb here in BC (Canada), who does clinics in colt starting and problem solving (and more). We had a clinic last weekend locally, ground schooling. Well it was Fascinating to see how he approached each horse, assessed and dealt with. Then he got the owner in to work with him, with the horse. So much progress was made it was inspiring. So really think it is educational for people to see how trainers tackle each horse as a clean slate and show how they approach them for the individuals that they are. Cool, and love it!!!

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