I am not quite officially on vacation, but I’m close. I won’t consider vacation officially started until it’s the first day I don’t have to go to work. So that means Saturday evening is reserved for Lynda and I to go to the Summer in the Rockies horse show at the Colorado Horse Park.

We have been pretty epic so far, and gone to every Grand Prix since the spring series of shows. But now the prize money is increasing, and there are more riders coming out to give their all .

a horse going to jump a jump at the colorado horse park with Pikes Peak in the distant background

And while we did go last week, they ended the class early because of the storms that were coming over. The safety of the competitors is more important than getting some great photos.

storms over a riding arena

They did start the class, but eventually called it when it started hailing. I wish I had brought my umbrella.

grand prix show jumper

And while we were driving over to the horse park Saturday afternoon, the skies again opened up, and the rain began to fall.

We thought oh no, they were going to postpone the class. So when we got to the show grounds, we looked up to see if the class had been pushed back. Nope, they moved it up an hour! But with the rain coming down steadily now, and lightening streaking around, the class that was moved up actually got pushed back to the original 5:00 PM start time.

So we all huddled under the berm building where they have some tables, bar, and a small restaurant and waited for the rain to stop.

hunter rider at a horse show

Sitting under the protection of the building was a good thing. The berm building sits between the International (big jumpers) arena and the hunter arena. So while we were waiting for the Grand Prix to start, we were entertained by the hunters.

This is the arena Ethan will probably need to start his show career in. So I should really pay attention to how the horses are turned out, and what the riders are doing.

a horse in a hunter class

But my heart is in the Grand Prix arena. I love the speed, the jumps, and the fact that you are judged by the clock, not a person.

jumper rider going over a voltaire-design horse jump

So once the big class started, all my attention was turned to the International arena.

And while I do have a few favorite riders that I want to go clear, it’s more than just a fan thing for me. I shoot photos because the jumps are big, the riders are talented and the horses are powerful. But more than that, I take photos to come home and review how these talented riders do what they do.

triple crown feed sponsored jump at the Colorado horse park

I look at their hands, legs, seat, and their eyes to see if there is anything I can learn from them. It’s actually really inspiring.

jumper rider going over a jump

I especially like reviewing the photos up close, and look at the tack, as well as the rider turnout. I know, these things aren’t as important as the training. But you can see the equipment they are using, and what seems to be working. And you tend to see a trend of what the top riders use for their horses.

a horse jumping a big jump at a horse show

And of course it helps me to work on my skills as a photographer too. I can work on hitting the button at just the right time when the horse is airborne over the jump.

a horse jumping a big jump at a horse show

And he has a perfect bascule over the jump, with his feet tucked in tight.

a pretty gray and white jump at the colorado horse park

Or the moment when he just barley begins to launch himself over the jump, and tucks his front legs in.

a horse taking off at a big jump

Each rider has their own way of doing things, and it is fascinating to me to watch, shoot, and learn.

And I am happy to see that there are what some would consider ‘larger’ riders that compete well against the teeny tiny riders that seem to be the norm at the horse show.

a woman going over a large horse jump in a horse show

And even older women seem to dominate the Grand Prix class here at the horse park. Something that is very encouraging to me, as an older, and larger rider. Showing me that you don’t have to be a 100 lb 18 year old to do well in these type of classes.

You just have to have the motivation to do it. You are only limited by your own beliefs. And if you believe in yourself, and your dreams anything is possible.

a rider patting her horse for a job well done

If you can dream it, you can achieve it. If you put in the work and you are dedicated to whatever dream you have. You can do it.

a horse at a horse show in a jumper class

And of course we go to the horse shows so I can look at the jumps themselves! I love seeing the new combinations of jumps, along with seeing my favorite jump set up.

voltaire-design jump set up at a horse show

They had my favorite jump set up, complete with the multi-stripe rails. And this photo basically gives me the template of laying out the striping for my very own Voltaire-Design inspired jump rails. (More on that soon)

custom wing standards at a horse show

And then we found these wings and Lynda loved them. The detail, and work that went into building these is pure artistry. I don’t think I will be building anything this fancy, but they are beautiful.

hunter course set up at the horse show

So another Saturday is done, and another horse show completed. One day I will have Ethan here. And one day I will be a competitor. It may be the Grand Prix, or it may be a hunter class. I’m not sure yet. But I do know one thing.

a horse jumping a big jump at a grand prix

In order to get where you are going, you have to have a plan. And I am planning and working toward my goal of showing at the Colorado Horse Park. And who knows, maybe one day this will be me, and someone will be capturing Ethan soaring over a jump like this at the Colorado Horse Park.

Dare to dream, and dare to dream big!


I am horse crazy and love DIY projects, and finding great deals on everything horse related. When I have a new idea, or find a great deal I love sharing this information with you.

    2 replies to "Summer In The Rockies Horse Show"

    • Kimberly

      You are giving me hope too! I am 53 and did a little bit of showing in my teens, with lesson horses. This was before I became obsessed with jumping and switched from Western to English.
      The photos are beautiful, I love photos of horses jumping.

      • Lisa

        Thank you Kimberly 🙂 And I know where you are coming from, I am 48 and the majority of the top female riders that I have been watching at these shows are mid to late 50’s, so it gives me hope too!

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