Horses are some of the most incredible creatures known to man. They are personable, sensitive, intelligent and share a long history with humans; one of compassion, connection and understanding us in ways deeper than we understand ourselves.
It is no wonder why we fall in love with them so effortlessly. It is also no wonder why they make wonderful companions who encourage us and work hard to succeed and help us succeed, especially when it counts the most. With Sport Horse Nationals and numerous other competitions going on, now is the most important time for horse and rider to work together and prepare for upcoming events.
Jim Porcher is the Region 8 Vice Director and Chair of Region 8 Show Commission. He grew up on a working cattle ranch in southern New Mexico and has always had a love for horses. He remembers having thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses as a child, but always wanted an Arabian stallion. Similar to many
other kids, he read The Black Stallion, which introduced his love for the breed and spurred his determination to purchase an Arabian someday.
“As soon as I could, when I got out of college, I got an Arabian,” Porcher said. “And then I started breeding Arabians and training Arabians professionally. I did that for about 40 years.”
Porcher has an extensive background of showing and still competes. He talked about how he planned to participate in the Sport Horse Nationals this year, riding an Anglo-Arabian named Ready Freddy and a purebred mare named Sella SW.
Many people Porcher knows at the Region 8 Championships are friends and colleagues he has shown with for 40 years. He enjoys not only putting on a good show for exhibitors, but also being around the horses and people who compete.
“When I retired from training, I wanted to give something back and use my experience to help them out and put on a good horse show,” Porcher said.
He emphasized how much people love and appreciate their horses, and how even though many enjoy the competition, it is also about the process of getting to the show and spending time with the horses.
“It’s not really that the horse shows are the end product, but it’s the journey,” Porcher said.
For Porcher, even though he appreciates all horse breeds and their specialties, the Arabian is the one he connects with most because of the breed’s natural beauty and personality. He also discussed how social media, the digital age and urbanization could potentially distance people from animals. He explained that we need to introduce children to horses at an early age so they can learn about animals and become interested in horse-related sports as opposed to other sports.
Showing teaches kids many life lessons and skills, and it is important to inform kids about horse-related events so they have the opportunity to experience something new and fun and something they will remember for the rest of their lives.