The saying goes, “practice makes perfect!” In Iowa, saddlebred barns are fortunate to have two practice shows to do just that in preparation for larger ones. Timber Hills experienced both great learning opportunities and success at these shows, held in Cedar Rapids and Iowa Falls.

One of the most exciting moments was Cameron Kay Knouse’s debut in not only a full suit (saddle seat people know this is an enormous deal), but also with her very own horse, CH HS First Day (“Spencer”). Cameron and Spencer had a clean sweep at both shows, winning all four junior exhibitor show pleasure classes they competed in! Cameron couldn’t stop smiling throughout this experience.

Abby Van Kooten competed in equitation with her mount, Million Dollar Kiss (“Dinero”), as well. Abby has put a huge amount of work in over the winter with her horse, and her efforts paid off. They executed both clean rail work and patterns, doing her team behind the scenes proud. Abby is one determined, smooth rider!

The Hartwick girls, Addison and Ella, began their season at the second practice show with their handsome horse, My Tinker Toy (“Andy”). Ella rode in equitation, and earned good ribbons in deep competition. She’s spent much time in the saddle practicing her form and horsemanship, and it was certainly evident at the show. Addison showed Andy in country pleasure, where they earned blue ribbons in both classes! This pair has become so dynamic and fun to watch.

THF also brought several academy riders, all of whom rode the priceless lesson horse, Absolutely Apparent (“Abby”). Highlights included the walk/trot/canter riders, Leah and Olivia, winning blues in both their rail work and pattern classes. These young ladies exhibited great horsemanship and precision!

Our “littles,” Atlas and Leilani, held their own as some of the youngest riders! A special moment was when these girls placed second and third amongst 9 riders in the pattern class. A major accomplishment for a couple of 9-year-olds, in only their second season of showing!

THF is proud of the successes of both horses and riders this early in the season, and is looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year brings. On to Des Moines Springfest!