Keeping Up with Robin Frid
The NSBA World show kicks off this weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Through the flood of horses and riders, show clothes and ribbons, Kimes Ranch endorsee Robin Frid is sure to be spotted. Through a lifetime of hard work, Frid has become known as the face of successful horsemanship— a horse trainer, all around showman, AQHA judge, and teacher. While Frid is frequently found in the winner’s circle, he remains competitive in the show pen through his youth and amateur riders.
The Ontario native credits his mother for his early love of horses.
“My mom, actually, was the horse person of the family,” Frid recalls, “She grew up with horses and got into the paint horses before I was born. That’s where I kind of started, showing the paint horses with my mother. She had the desire, and then I kind of learned it from there.”
Frid had a very successful youth career living in Canada. His final year (1990), he even earned APHA Youth Reserve High Point. Still, Frid had the desire to do more and train professionally.
Frid explains, “The business is just not as strong there (in Canada) and the ability to learn from your peers is not as strong. There’s no doubt there are some great horseman and horsewomen there, but I think it’s a little fewer and far between.”
With this in mind, Frid set off to the States in 1991. He says, “I wanted to go to people I believed in that I could learn from the most. The ability to learn was so much stronger in the US than in Canada.”
Frid landed in Michigan at the home of Garth and Sonnesa Gooding, whom he grew up showing for.
From youth rider to horse trainer Frid says, “(The transition) was very seamless. When I was a youth riding with Garth, he didn’t treat me like a student as much, he treated me a little bit more like an employee. I rode all of the horses and he taught me a lot about training them. The hardest thing was getting used to riding horses all day. The physical toll it takes on your body and the ability to transition from one horse to another.”
After four years with the Goodings, Frid made another big move—to the horse mecca of Texas. He continued to apprentice another seven years. Today, he owns and operates Robin Frid Show Horses with his wife Jenny in Denton, Texas.
Frid explains, “Our program is very much about our clients; we sacrifice ourselves for them. I think that’s one thing that truly separates us from a lot of programs. That’s how we want to run our program. We actually downsized our program, just a few weeks ago. I feel that we have the ability to be even more specialized for our clients. With keeping a lower number of horses, it’s always going to be me riding the horses and it’s never going to be anybody else coaching but us.”
Along with training horses and coaching youth riders for the all around, Frid is on the road with a strict show schedule.
With a laugh, Frid explains the crazy traveling he will be doing from now until the end of November. He says, “The NSBA world show is next. We have about two to three days home time before we go to the select world in Amarillo. Then we have about three days home time before we leave for the Kansas City Royal. Then we go to the Congress. After the Congress we drive as fast as we can home so the horses can get their feet done before we leave for the world show.”
With show season revving into high gear, Frid looks back on highlights of his long, successful career.
“The Congress is my favorite show, no doubt,” Frid says, “There’s a lot of reasons why. It’s the second biggest horse show there is. I’ve always felt that way, but once I got to judge it and how amazing Ohio Quarter Horse is running that thing. I mean it is unbelievable what a well-oiled machine that event is.”
And what about the most memorable moment of his career?
Frid replies, “Oddly enough, it wasn’t a win. That’s the funny thing! I would say one of our biggest successes was one of our most recent reserve world championships. That client had been with us for quite a long time and she had successes beyond that particular one, but that was the first time I have had a horse and rider combination that completely dominated their competition in every way.”
Robin is an original endorsee for Kimes Ranch, founded in 2009. The most popular men’s jean, the Watson, is Robin’s favorite as well.
“They are so much more comfortable and more durable than other jeans out there and the fit—they fit my body type great.” Frid adds with a chuckle, “It doesn’t hurt that my wife likes the way I look in them.”
Follow Robin’s success on the road. The NSBA World Show is this weekend, followed by solid action leading up to the Congress and the World Show. See it exclusively on Kimes Ranch Apparel’s Facebook page.