Reichert Celebration Daily News
Sponsored by DAVID
ARCHER SHOW HORSES
Sunday, September 4, 2011
The Trail Man
We all have our own calling in life…granted, some
more unique than others. It’s safe to say that California native Tim Kimura has carved his very own
niche in this world. The designer of trail courses
for more than three decades, he has rightfully
earned his byline as “Tim – The Trail Man.”
These days, Kimura resides in Texas and is the
official “artist” of roughly a dozen trail courses for
the ongoing Reichert Celebration. But there was a
time in his distant past, that Tim actually considered another career path. Kimura, 51, a Cal-Poly
Tech graduate with a degree in Agriculture Education, and a long history of riding and showing
horses in several disciplines, actually started his
post-college life in the mid-1980s instructing a
horsemanship class at a community college.
That didn’t last long. “I taught there one semester,” he recalled with a smile. “I hated it. The kids
had all the excuses for why not to show up for class
and I really already knew them. I told them, ‘You
Trail Course Architect, Tim Kimura, poses next to a portion of
are telling this to someone who used to ditch a course he designed for the Watt Arena on Saturday, along with
his traveling good luck charm, “Laker Monkey.”
classes all the time. Why do you do that?’
father had actually pressed him into the task on a
From that point on, Kimura basically invented a
limited basis back in his teens and it’s a talent he’s
career that really didn’t even exist at the time – enjoyed developing over the years.
constructing trail horse courses. He admits his
continued on Page 2...
The Trail Man
Continued from Cover...
Today, he travels the country and the world
designing and constructing trail courses for some
of the most prestigious shows, and is widely
acknowledged as one of the best in his field.
Kimura admits that he may have gotten “carried
away” a time or two in his designs.
“At the [AQHA] World Show in 1995, it was a
shock to a lot of people when I brought that many
poles out,” he said. “Then in 1997, I built the
course from hell. I brought out two trailers and
every pole on the place. I built just this massive
course.” He made a point of adding that these
days he has “toned it down a little.”
building three courses for the 2011 Reichert
Celebration - two in the Watt Arena and one
more in the John Justin - utilized by about 250
horses on Saturday. His crew’s day started at
about 5:30 a.m. and it ended shortly after 6 p.m.
The “course architect” could be found spending
most of his day personally observing the multitude of horses and riders negotiate his work of
Kimura subscribes to a three-tier theory regarding how the course should impact the field.
“The true art of what I do is class layering,” he
explained. “You want to challenge the top third of
the class, you want to educate the middle third of
the class and you want to make sure it’s safe for
Kimura and his crews spent about 2 ½ hours
the bottom third of the
class. You layer it out so
it exposes that the good
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Tim also conducts clinics that help riders learn
to negotiate horses
through his courses. “If
you learn the technique
of the puzzle, then it’s
easier to solve,” he
points out. “That’s kind
of how it works.”
TRAINER SAYS “TRICKS”
HELP ALL HORSES
Alan Poe, Sue DeLaurentis and a large painted
Gypsy Horse named Trevor spent about an hour
Saturday afternoon showing and telling why
teaching horses tricks might help them do any
other task you assign them, just a little bit better.
“Everything we do is carefully calculated to be to
the long-term benefit of the horse,” Poe said.
“Getting horses to perform maneuvers on platforms, like several Trevor performed in an
auction area near John Justin Arena in Fort
Worth, teaches them their caretakers will place
them in safe situations and will not ask them to do
unsafe things”, he added.
Trick trainer Alan Poe with “Trevor” during a brief clinic at the
“If you take an animal, like a horse, and they get
scared - they run away,” Poe said. “If, instead,
you teach a horse that ‘This is your safe place,’
honest to God, it absolutely changes a horse’s
outlook on life. If he’s got a safe place to go, he can
very confidently deal with pressure.”
GOOOOOOD!’ A horse can indeed tell the difference just by your tone, he added. And while they
advocate rewarding horses often, they said it’s not
wise to reward the same performance time after
time when it’s not done with at least some
The husband and wife duo based in Dripping
Springs, Texas, emphasizes positive reinforcement, ranging from cookies to frequent but varied
use of the word “Good.”
“If you keep rewarding the same old behavior, a
horse is just like anyone else,” Poe said. “They are
going to get lazy. They are not going to want to
improve. If they try a little harder, then you give
them the reward.” Trevor earned many rewards
Saturday while supporting that theory.
“You can moderate just how good they were,” Poe
said. “You can say ‘Good, GOOOD OR
In the West Arena (Auction area in Richardson Bass Building)
12:30 Liberty Training - Cool things to do with "No Strings Attached"
1:30 Fort Worth Mounted Patrol - Desensitizing your horse, choosing mounted patrol
horses, a career as Mounted Patrol officer.
2:30 Computerized Saddle Fit - by Specialized Saddles
Are you certain your saddle fits correctly? Let the computer decide.
3:00 Pat Burton - Biomechanics of Pleasure Horses
Forces exerted by muscle and gravity on the skeletal structure.
3:30 A Circus at Your Training Center
Teaching horses high school moves and tricks of trust to save their lives.
4:30 Saving $$ by compounding your equine prescriptions - Pros & Cons
AROUND THE SHOW...
ONE LITTLE GIRL &
ONE BIG HORSE Leave Their Mark
Championship, and they have also qualified to
compete in Youth and Open divisions at
November’s AQHA World Show in Oklahoma
“He’s just a big Teddy Bear,” said Lacey, who
spends much of her time competing at horse
events, but also competes in both varsity track
and cross country for her high school and is a
member of its freshman basketball team. “He
has his moments when he thinks, ‘I’m bigger
than you,’ but you go, ‘No thank you,’ and he
Lacey Edge, pictured with her award-winning partner, Eclipse
When you stand right next to her, 5-foot-2, 130-
pound Lacey Edge doesn’t seem that imposing,
but things are a bit different when she walks into a
show ring holding her halter horse teammate –
16-3 and 1,600-pound “Eclipse.”
The American Quarter Horse officially known as
Eclipse The Rest, sired by Mr Elusive and out of a
Touchdown Kid mare, and Lacey, a 14-year-old
freshman at Slidell High School in nearby Krum,
Texas, lived up to the horse’s name as the duo won
the Youth 3-Year-Old and Over Gelding class, as
well as the Open 3-Year-Old Gelding event Saturday during the AQHA show in the Will Rogers
Coliseum. “Eclipse” also teamed up with Lacey’s
mother, Kaye Garrison, to win an Amateur title at
the show, while continuing a strong show career
that will take on some new twists soon.
While her small frame appears smaller as she
stands next to her horse, Lacey isn’t intimidated
by a faithful partner that helped her earn Texas
AQHA Rookie of the Year and a No. 3 national
finish as youth halter competitor last year. Earlier
this year, they teamed up for a Texas 4-H State
Kaye Garrison said the gelding and her daughter
relate so well in the show ring because Lacey has
taken care of and trained “Eclipse” since he was
18 months old. “That’s all her work,” said the
proud mom. “There’s not a trainer behind that.”
Lacey, who also attended the event with her stepfather, Eric Garrison, said she plans to keep
training her big horse and take him in a few
different directions next year.
“We are going to break him this fall and we are
going to ride him,” the horse’s teen trainer said.
“We are probably going to train him in trail and
maybe some English.”
Those moves are aimed at improving the longterm health of a horse she’s obviously grown
rather found of. She plans to compete with him
quite a bit in upcoming years.
“He’s going to go on a big diet,” said Lacey.
“He’s not going to be fat anymore and he’ll get a
Regarding her own future, Lacey said she plans
to pursue a career as a veterinarian, while also
quite possibly attending Texas A &M University
and attempting to earn a slot on its horse judging
team. This busy girl currently participates on a
local high school-level judging team and says she
eventually wants to be an AQHA, NRHA and
The Texas A&M Judging Team which will compete at its highlight events - the All American
Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio and
the AQHA World Show in Oklahoma City during
October and November. According to Cavendar,
this trip to Fort Worth served a very specific purpose: to actively look at as many horses as the
team could as arena spectators - up close and
Horses, like other things, can look much different
when they are right in front of you. This is what
Texas A&M University Horse Judging Coach,
Clay Cavendar, said as several of his team members examined a winning halter horse along with
him on Saturday here at the Reichert Celebration.
Asked how many times the scene involving the
coach, team members and “Eclipse” would be
played out with other horses, Cavendar said, “As
many times as we can.” The team spent Saturday
in Fort Worth and is touring the show grounds
Shortly after Lacey Edge and her gelding Eclipse
The Rest walked out of an AQHA event as Champions, the teen competitor agreed to allow Cavendar and his visiting “class” to surround her horse
and critique him up close.
While an admirer of the young halter competitor
and her horse, it’s also Cavendar’s job to teach
his team’s members to look for flaws, too, and
not be intimidated by size. “Do not get tricked by
big. Do not be fooled by big. Big is good. Muscle
is good, but do not get fooled by it,” Cavendar
told them during the inspection. “Do not get
fooled by a good hair coat, stuff on their mussel
and proper clipping. Don’t get fooled by that.”
And he knows of what he speaks. In 2008, this
coach was a judge at the Reichert. “Three years
ago, I judged Appaloosas and Paints when this
show was in Tulsa,” he said. “I took my team up
there then. This time, the event being this close
was a real benefit for us.”
And truth be told, the coach noticed more positives than negatives about his four-legged subject. “The overall quality and balance to that
horse, along with obviously his muscles, are good
aspects. The structural correctness of that horse,
for a big horse, were good for our students to look
at,” Cavendar said. “Every good horse has some
faults,” he added.
Cassie Holloway, Darlington, Md., a junior team
member who will turn 20 in nine days, and an
animal science major, said she believes the trip
will help her quite a bit. “We’re just looking at
frame, muscle, balance and just kind of going
down the line as far as what’s acceptable and
what’s not and major and minor faults,” Holloway said. “Being up next to a huge halter horse –
what we have at home are mainly stock horses –
these body types will blow you away at a contest if
you don’t have experience with them.”
Megan Webb, 21, Burlington, W.V., and a senior
animal science major, agreed. “It’s nice to come
and practice on live horses,” Webb said. “Whenever we line horses up at the AQHA World Show
or Congress, it will flow nicely with how we place
Members of the Texas A&M Horse Judging Team visited
the Reichert Celebration.
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