It was a soggy debut for the nationwide American Quarter Horse Association’s Ride Now Tour, which kicked off at the Tractor Supply Company store on North Main Street in Nicholasville on Wednesday, April 25.
However, the rain did little to discourage equine enthusiasts who came out for hamburgers and hot dogs provided by the Jessamine County Beef-Cattle Association and to hear the latest in quarter-horse training from experts in the field.
“I think the rain did a little to hinder the turnout, but in all, we had between 25-30 people to attend the seminar, and I think the night went well,” store manager Randy Anderson said. “The purpose was to educate as many patrons about horses and the particular items for riders and their horses. And the guys from the beef association did an amazing job all for free.”
Workers from Tractor Supply responded quickly to the rain and provided a tent from the store for the attendees to stay dry, eat and listen to the speakers.
The Ride Now Tour seminar was hosted by Amy Herdy, the editor of “My Horse Daily,” and she introduced two speakers — author Tanya Johnston, who wrote “Inside Your Ride,” and well-respected quarter-horse judge Casey Devitt of Waddy.
The speakers gave basic information, mostly for beginners or very young riders who have some experience, and tips on horse training and riding.
Johnston also talked about “respecting” the horse and building trust because the horse is a reactionary animal and should respond to the rider, not the environment.
Devitt talked to attendees about AQHA and all the services it provides, including tips on how to find a trainer, the horseback-riding program and different opportunities and programs for youth.
Devitt also discussed the foundation’s role in protecting and enhancing the well-being of all horses.
After each presentation, there was a question-and-answer session and several prizes given away of the event while the rain staved off just long enough for everyone to grab another hamburger before heading to their cars.
The tour hit two Tractor Supply stores last week — one in Nicholasville and one in Frankfort — before making its way to the Rolex Three Day Event held April 27-29 at the Kentucky Horse Park.
The tour is expected to continue on to the opening of Colorado’s first Tractor Supply Company store in July.