Pre-Game Rituals and Superstitions

More important than what happens in the show ring is what happens before. Every trainer and exhibitor has his or her unique take on pre-show rituals and superstitions.

Kendall Woellmer from Sedona, Arizona, has been showing horses for 14 years and participated in the Ranch Riding event this week. She said she prays before a show, which helps keep her mind mentally in check.

Kendall Woellmer from Sedona, Arizona

“It even helps me with the jitters to talk to my horse and ride him around,” Woellmer said.

Alexandra Santos from Tucson, Arizona, has been showing for five years and was part of the Showmanship, Trail, English, Western and Equitation events this week. She blasts country music before a show and practices her pattern.

Alexandra Santos from Tucson, Arizona

“However, I make sure I don’t over-practice because then my horse will memorize it and you don’t want him to do it by himself,” Santos said.

She also said she has a post-show tradition with her family. When she was 11 years old, she won her first all-around trophy and went to a steakhouse with her family to celebrate. Now they always go to a steakhouse after a show.

Jacinda Roybal from Las Cruces, New Mexico, has been training horses for seven years.

Jacinda Roybal from Las Cruces, Mexico

“I always make sure I’m wearing two necklaces: one with a diamond that belonged to my grandmother and another a client gave to me to ‘pass on the magic,’” she said.

She also mentioned that it’s a known superstition to never place your cowboy hat on the bed. She tries to make sure not to do so even with her baseball cap.

Tucker Clark from Tucson, Arizona, has been showing horses for 10 years.

Tucker Clark from Tucson, Arizona

He said he listens to loud music and drinks a beer before a show.

“I also don’t wear yellow because once someone told me that cowboys don’t wear yellow,” Clark said.


Devika Singh is the 2018 Arizona National Horse Show digital media intern. Originally hailing from India and now residing in Sugar Land, Texas, she studied agricultural communications at Texas A&M where she was a member of the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow student organization.

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