Editor’s Note: This poem was written by Jan Tidwell of  Columbus, Miss., and sent in to The Walking Horse Report for Billy Walton.


It’s Spring! – It’s Showtime!


The vague sound of generators providing the power for light.

The faint smell of kerosene heaters providing much needed warmth.

The enticing aroma of hamburgers cooking on the grill.

The subdued murmur of the owners as they anticipate the show.

The demands of the trainers as they prompt their help.

The distinct call of a stallion as he makes his presence known.


It’s the early spring evening as winter struggles to hang on.

It’s the excitement that rises as the flag horses are called.

It’s the National Anthem that’s sung to praise our country and our God.

It’s the beautiful coat of the equine athlete as he prepares to give it his all.

It’s the anticipated gate call that makes us all hold our breath.

It’s the unbelievable talent that gracefully enters the ring.


I see the beautiful partnership between two of God’s creations.

I see the strength and power of an animal striving for praise.

I see the many emotions of the riders as they struggle to appear so calm.

I see the judge as he silently chooses whom he believes is best.

I see the joyful smile from within as each class champion is called.

I see insecurity and pain for those not recognized.


You need to be here at ringside wrapped against the cold.

You need to be here to experience the wonder of it all.

You need to absorb the anticipation as the line-up is called.

You need to witness the wonder of this God-given strength.

You need to see the steam so mythical as it rises from the beasts.

You need to observe the flare of the equine nostrils – so dragon-like.


Feel the dampness and cold as it invades every pore of your body.

Feel the rise of adrenaline as your own ride draws near.

Feel the pull of addiction as you dress for your ride.

Feel the power and strength as you settle on your mount.

Feel why we’re all gathered here as you enter the ring.

Feel with your soul this gift we have been given.


Close the gate!  It’s show season!


Jan Tidwell

May 2, 2005