The judge was looking for certain things in each different class of the horse show. From an educational standpoint, she was able to describe on each individual winner what traits stood out and why she chose the winner she chose. This gives the 4-H kids something to remember and strive for in the upcoming year.
Austin had already placed first or second in each of his classes after the first hour of judging. He explained that the judge isn't just looking at the horse, but the showman has to be at his best, too.
"In the show ring, it's all on the showman," he said. "You have to show that you know what you're doing and how to do it right. You have to have control, so that if a horse acts up, you know how to take care of it."
As part of the horse judging team going to the national competition, Austin is working hard to learn all he can about horses and is thinking about ways he can make this a lifelong pursuit. He thinks judging may be that way.
Aaron was in 4-H when he was even younger than his sons are now, and they've always raised horses. It was just natural that they would be part of 4-H, too.
"The boys enjoy it, and it teaches them responsibility," he explained. "It's a lot of work. I help, but they do it all."