No matter what discipline you follow, there are people here in town who want to do it with you. The El Paso borderland is an interesting place to be a horse person, for our fairly moderate climate lends us the ability to ride nearly all year, and there is never a shortage of equine activities in our area.
For the all around horseman, both the Arabian Horse Club of El Paso and Las Cruces Horseman’s Association offer both English and Western shows all year long. The Arabian club is a wonderful group who offer all breed shows and have driving classes as well. Their club is known for well run shows including fun classes like Costume or Stick Horse. They have been very welcoming to all newcomers and their shows are a wonderful place to start showing in the borderland.
Las Cruces Horseman’s Association hosts a number of multi discipline shows and clinics each year. Their Western, Gymkhana, Eventing and Hunter/Jumper divisions all run their own shows, with many competitors showing in multiple divisions. They offer great social and learning opportunities, including a number of clinics with well known clinicians, poker rides, Trials n Trails (an awesome equine obstacle course), and combined derbies. LCHA’s Eventing division also organizes two events each year. They consist of 3 phases, a stadium jumping portion, a cross country course run for time, and a dressage test.
For the Quarter Horse enthusiast, the Southwest Quarter Horse Association is a great group of people with some very nice shows each year. They have a little of everything, including Halter, Showmanship, English Hunter and Equitation classes, Trail, Western Pleasure, Reining, Working Cow Horse, Roping, Barrels, Poles, and Ranch Sorting. Showing with them is great experience, and they offer a very reasonable all day fee to show which also makes it very inviting.
The local classical rider can also find a wonderful group with which to ride. The Paso del Norte Dressage Society is an eclectic group of riders who share the passion for the sport/art of dressage. With mounts ranging from scruffy rescue ponies to fine Andalusian stallions, these riders enjoy their discipline, and have shows filled with smiling competitors and happy horses. They offer schooling shows with non-traditional classes such as dressage tests ridden Western, Bareback, or Jumping. Once each year they also bring to our borderland a nationally recognized charity horse show, Amigos de Dressage, which benefits El Paso’s own Therapeutic Horsemanship of El Paso and is held at Sunland Park Racetrack.
In addition to these groups, one can always find a more informal setting in which to enjoy their equine companions. All across town, people are organizing barrel races, playdays, endurance races, derbies,trail rides, roping, sorting, and cowboy mounted shooting practice.
Check with your local tack store to see who is doing what and when, and go join in!