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Archive for the ‘Promoting Peruvians’ Category

Yesterday I spent the day with another horse nut who was eager to learn more about Peruvian horses. Sandra and had I connected on Peruvian Horse World (if you’re not on there, you should be), a social networking site for Peruvian enthusiasts. She’s a lifelong horse lover who’s in search of a smoother ride and new adventures.

It’s been a very long time since my first ride on a Peruvian. It was way back before Wonder Pony, my other two geldings, my kids or even my college graduation. But I still remember the thrill of it, and I felt it all over again when I watched Sandra break into a huge grin as Speedy Gonzalez took up the paso llano.

For most of us, that first ride is a game-changer. If you’ve spent your saddle time rising to or bouncing from the trot, that ground-eating glide amazing. It still is for me (unmentionable) years after the first time I set my foot in a wooden stirrup. I hope Sandra can say the same (unmentionable) years from now.

 

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She only had a little lamb follow her to school. Kerry had a little horse, and he was way more fun that a bag of wool.

My daughter’s first-grade class has been studying Peru, so I loaded up Wonder Pony, donned my whites and did a quick demo for the 96 small people who brought their chairs outside for a quick lesson on our breed and a little Spanish for good measure.

Thanks so much to The Classical Academy in Colorado Springs for being cool enough to welcome us. We had a blast.

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I like to tell people that Peruvians are the original American trail horse. Before quarter horse folks jump down my throat, note I did not say North American trail horse. Plus, our breed predates the fabulous quarter horse by a few centuries, so I think it’s a fair title.

And one of our very own Colorado Peruvians is competing for the top spot on America’s Favorite Trail Horse, a show on HRTV. Bobbi Taylor and HHF Nevado of Cataloochee Ranch in Guffey, Colo., were picked from thousands of competitors to vie for the grand prize:  $25,000.

And there’s a second palomino Peruvian pair in the finals, Me Llamo Altanero and Jody Childs of Vista, Calif.

Bobbi’s and Nevado’s episode is Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. MT on HRTV (Dish Network 404). She’s hosting a viewing party at the 8 Mile Bar and Grill in Cañon City, Colo.; call Bobbi, 719-837-3011, or email votenevado@aol.com to RSVP. You can vote one time per email address for 48 hours following the episode on ACTHA’s TV website,  www.actha.tv. Nevado is No. 256 from episode No. 3.

No matter who walks away with the check, both these teams helped us secure a fabulous bonus prize:  exposure for our breed. Everyone watching will see these ladies and their geldings maneuver all kinds of obstacles with ease. Hats off and good luck to both of these competitors.

Here's a shot of Bobbi and Nevado when they were competing for the final cut of America's Favorite Trail Horse.

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It seems most of us who own and enjoy Peruvians have some kind of interesting story on how we discovered the breed.

I ended up on one as I was recovering from a broken leg courtesy of a thoroughbred jumper. I’ve heard stories of people being so impressed with the beauty and presence  of Peruvians at parades that they shoved small children out of the way to get closer to the magnificent horse they’d never seen before. Some follow friends into the breed.

But I think very few people know about the breed as they consider that first horse or take that first riding lesson.

That’s why events like the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo (March 11-13) are so important for us when it comes to promoting our horses. This annual Denver event draws roughly 15,000 people to the National Western Complex for clinics, vendors, performances and more.

This year, we have a group of club members who’ll be riding in the Mane Event, the featured Friday and Saturday evening performances. The Peruvians will be part of a lineup that includes Guy McLean, Ruben Villasenor’s western dressage, National Extreme Trail Champion Mark Bolender, WEG gold-medal reiner Aaron Ralston and more.

I really believe most of our new riders and owners come to us from other breeds and disciplines. So I encourage everyone to stay active in their larger horse community and find opportunities like the Expo to share our breed with new audiences.

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If you’ve been in the Peruvian horse breed for a while, odds are you’ve heard these kinds of comments:

“Peruvians can do anything any other breed can do.”

“They’re really not that versatile. They’re here to gait. It’s what they do best.”

A recent discussion on our club Facebook page hit on this very topic. An article on Peruvians and reining appeared in my email inbox, so I posted it to our FB page. There are some excellent comments in there about what different people are doing with their horses and what those activities mean for and about the breed.

I’m not picking a side here, but I think it’s a good discussion to continue as we all work to promote our breed. I know we all want to share and show off our horses, but I think we also need to figure out whose attention we’re trying to catch. If we can define the market we’re trying capture, we can target those folks.

I guess that raises the question of who “we” is, though. Are “we” traditionalists preserving and promoting Peruvian culture? Are “we” fun-loving trail riders who just want to get out and enjoy nature? Are “we” parade/demo folks who love to put on a memorable presentation of this stunning horse? Are “we” competetive types who have something to prove to other breeds?

If “we” are all the above, I’d say that’s a pretty versatile group.

What do you think?

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