Touching on the judges. For the most part, in my experience, the judges are great. When I went into halter for the first time, the other competitors were very helpful, the told me how to stand and hold my halter and where to go etc. The judge smiled and kind of guided me through it. After the class, one of the competitors stopped me and gave me some really neat tips on how to square your horse up for the judge.
It was a very good experience for me.
Last year I did trail for the first time and it was so embarrassing, I thought I'd cry. The judges had to fix every obstacle. I had signed up for green and novice but I wasn't going to do the novice after that course but the judges made me go in. They were really encouraging.
The show staff at the shows I go to (the gate crew and the office staff) are also really great. They actually cheer you on. I really like these shows and as I said before, I'm not the big winner. Once in a while I do something wonderful and win a class but not very often. For the most part, I'm somewhere in the middle.
"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"