What happens when six riders who are new to the ranch horse show ring make it their goal to compete in the American Ranch Horse Association World Championships? This season, viewers of Steve Lantvit's "Sure in the Saddle" World Challenge show will find out.
"We're taking six people - all with different strengths and weaknesses and degrees of experience - and setting our sights on the ARHA Worlds," Lantvit says. A multiple World Champion and Reserve World Champion winner, he knows a thing or two about what it takes to make an American Ranch Horse. A popular instructor/trainer and clinician, Lantvit also knows how to teach others how to make the most of their time in the saddle.
Each episode will follow the progress of riders who have never competed or are new to showing in a Ranch Horse show. Some riders featured come from other disciplines. Some are still learning the basics of riding. Regardless of their prior experience, all have the ultimate goal to compete at the American Ranch Horse Association World Championships in July 2014 in Bowling Green, KY.
"People like seeing an individual have the same challenges they face," Lantvit says. "During the course of a season, they'll see the horses and riders evolve, and maybe they'll get inspired to try something similar."
Lantvit doesn't consider the training of either horse or rider something that happens in 30, 60, or 90 day intervals. "Training happens all the time," he says. "It is a lifelong pursuit, regardless of age or previous experience."
Taking on the World Championships requires a comprehensive training program that integrates whole horse wellness. In addition to following the progress of the individual riders, "Sure in the Saddle" will also explore what goes into training the whole horse. "We look at everything that goes into making the horse comfortable and competitive," Lantvit says. "That includes paying attention to things like nutrition, conditioning, saddle fit, and more."
Will all the riders achieve their goal of getting to the World Championships? That remains to be seen. "Competition is one way of keeping track of your progress," Lantvit says. "In a competition, you're not against anyone but yourself. But sometimes success isn't about winning the buckle. Instead, it's about the planning and the process. And sometimes someone's individual goals are more important than winning a trophy."