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Horses to Shorthairs

Hi everyone,

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Kristy. Some of you may know my dogs, Ruger and Zenzi from Instagram (@justabirddog). When Emily asked me to be a guest blogger this week I wasn’t really sure what to write about. She then threw out the idea of how I grew up with horses and now my main focus is shorthairs. It seems that lots of GSP owners are or were horse owners. I used to be a very active horseback rider – extremely competitive in United States Pony Club, British Horse Society, PATH, and competing in higher-level eventing.

I had a very unfortunate event that caused me to break my back and left me on bedrest for a few months. That time caused me to really rethink my priorities; I wanted to focus my attention on something else. Then it hit me: DOGS! I knew that I wanted to get a dog to show, hunt, and compete with. After weeks and weeks of researching the breed, it seemed like a GSP was perfect for my lifestyle. I am extremely active and LOVE to be outdoors - I am probably outside for 15 hours a day!

The next step was finding a reputable GSP breeder. I started my search by posting on some of the GSP Facebook pages asking for breeders on the east coast that perform health testings and I wanted a champion bloodline. We found a breeder and we were on a waitlist for over a year for Ruger and let me tell you he was worth the wait, that’s for sure! I am still very actively involved with horses but shorthairs are my main focus at this time. The dogs love to come to the barn and are actually GREAT around the horses. Plus it’s the perfect way to tire them out (ha ha). When we are competing in conformation events so many GSP owners will come up to talk with us and it honestly seems that 8 out of 10 are horse people! What are the odds!

I feel as though most horse people turn to shorthairs simply because we know what it’s like to get up early, work outside in all types of weather conditions, and work hard for what we want. I know horses really taught me that hard work can pay off but you need to be consistent and especially with this high energy breed you need consistency! I personally feel as that horse people are drawn to the GSP because we love how versatile these dogs are - and how they can basically do anything we ask them to do (and do it well)! From confirmation showing, field tests, FAST CAT, dock diving, agility, scent work, YOU NAME IT, these dogs CAN do it.

I believe that horse people with GSPS are so active in competing and pushing their dogs to be the best is because we have such a competitive drive and we don’t want to stop until our dogs are the best; it’s surely helpful how GSPS are so willing to please! That all being said I don’t think I will ever own another dog other than a GSP - they’re absolutely amazing. Thanks for reading !!! 


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