As a young girl, when I could only dream of being part of the horse world, it was horses that I admired. It wasn’t Western horses or English horses. It was just these beautiful creatures that I wanted to completely immerse in my life. When the time came to join the horse world, I was faced with a choice. I had to choose a discipline. Being a rough and tough tom boy, who shied away from tight pants (aka breeches), I chose barrel racing.

Across nearly a decade of competing in the barrel racing and rodeo circuit, I never concerned myself with what was going on in other disciplines, almost as though I had blinders on. It became really easy to get caught in that bubble, which, in hindsight, limited my appreciation of the equestrian sport as a whole and my knowledge of horses. Lucky for me, shortly after college, I joined the Protequus team, the creators of NIGHTWATCH®, and my eyes were opened to other disciplines.

As a discipline-agnostic product suitable for horses of all breeds, we are fortunate enough to travel to shows from Quarter Horse Congress and Morgan Grand Nationals, to Rolex Three Day and Devon, to Scottsdale Arabian Show and Winter Equestrian Festival. Through this experience, I have learned just how incredible the horse world is. We may dress differently, sit a little differently on our horse’s back, and have different circuits that we travel, but we share one thing…the love for these animals. Whether we are competing for a garland of roses at the US Arabian Nationals, a gold buckle at the National Finals Rodeo, or a medal for your country at the Olympics, we want the very best for our beloved equestrian partners.

Inspired by this shared passion for the sport, I decided to mix up my riding by taking hunter/jumper lessons. While it took a few laps around the ring to get comfortable with my Western-trained legs to sit underneath me and to canter in my half-seat instead of maintaining contact with the saddle, I have been able to appreciate my time with the horse just as it is… time with a horse. As we move into a new season, I challenge you to open your eyes to a new discipline. You will be surprised at what you can learn and how much fun you will have along the way.