From the Arena to the Stage with Jaida Dreyer

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Many people know Jaida Dreyer as the winner of the first season of USA Network’s reality TV show "Real Country”. What most might not know is her history in the equine industry. She has been riding and showing horses her entire life. She won her first World Championship title at the young age of five. She continues competing across the country today.

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“I started showing POA’s when I was three years old,” Dreyer said. “My mom trained and was a breeding manager her whole life. She worked with some of the most influential studs in the industry. When I was 12, I started showing APHA/AQHA in mainly the hunter under saddle and western pleasure. I showed on a national level pretty much every weekend until I moved to Nashville 12 years ago. I won the hunter under saddle at the APHA World Championship Show when I was 13 and was second in the nation that same year in the junior hunter under saddle. My mare, Vested Wishes, won the Quarter Horse Congress in 2005 with Tina Kaven in the Coughlin open two-year-old western pleasure. After a 10+ year hiatus from showing to pursue my music career, I re-debuted in the show pen at the Congress last year in the level one amateur western pleasure.I currently have seven horses, a mini named Kitty Wells and a baby bottle calf named Carl. I keep a few broodmares in the pasture that I breed every year. I show in non-pro events and my show horses are in training with Ty and Karen Hornick and Brett, Candy and Cody Parrish. We’re showing together in Florida right now and have had a blast kicking off 2019

Becoming a songwriter is no easy task. It takes talent and hard work. Dreyer enjoyed writing when she was younger and decided to turn it into more.

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“I guess I’ve always been a writer of sorts. It started with stories and poems and evolved from there. I’d write these elaborate tales in school constantly. Honestly, my life has been a country song. Growing up on the road, doing the horses and all the characters I met along the way definitely helped shape my musical path and put a lot of water in my well. It still does.”

2018 was the debut year for “Real Country”. This new country music showcase series is similar to American Idol and The Voice. Dreyer loved the experience and the networking opportunities that followed.

“Over the years I’d been approached to do American Idol and The Voice, but it just never made sense for me at those particular moments in my career. With “Real Country”, it felt right from the get go. I liked that it was a first season and I was going to be able to authentically represent myself as an artist. I trusted my gut, stuck to my guns and I’m glad I did! After winning, I’ve found that I’m definitely more recognizable in public now. I don’t think I really realized until after the finale aired that the show was bigger than just that arena and the people in the audience that day. It’s opened a lot of new doors and brought some exciting opportunities along with it. For me though, I think the biggest change has been within myself. I've always believed in country music, but the overall experience of doing the show made me believe in me again.”

Dreyer enjoys many different styles of Kimes Ranch Jeans. Her favorite happens to be the same name as two of her mares.

“In 2016 I was at the Congress and my friend, MaryAnn, told me about Kimes Ranch Jeans. She took me over to Pard’s Western Shop and insisted I try them on. I bought my first pair of Bettys and I’ve been in Kimes ever since. I love the Black Betty to show in, but I’m also very partial to the Jolene’s as I have two mares named Jolene.”

The future holds many opportunities for Dreyer in the equine industry and in the country music world. She has big hopes and dreams for the upcoming years.

“My goals out of the show pen are to keep digging deep and go to that unpredictable place as a songwriter and an artist. I want to get back on the road touring, finish recording my new record, put it out into the world and also continue writing songs for other artists and their projects. In the horse show world, my goals are to have fun, enjoy my horses and just get better with every ride. I’m looking forward to showing my mare, A Slow Martini, at all the majors, including NSBA World and The All American Quarter Horse Congress.”

~ Courtney Hall, photos courtesy of Jaida Dreyer