Showing in the Sun

On a hot summer day, let’s take it as read that activities requiring long pants are inherently ridiculous. The only sensible way to ride in the heat is to put on a pair of shorts, hop on bareback, and head to the creek. That said, I went by what I hope to be my new lesson barn [Random], Stepping Stone Farm, to check out their end-of-camp show last weekend.

How to Run a Show in the Sun

My first blue, beginner walk/trot at a camp show.

Recognize the evil necessity of camp. A deluxe training barn might charge enough to forgo the rugrat brigade. However, most farms of any discipline need the clients, whether it is summer-only or part of a program. I knew a barn in another state that brought kids in as up-downers and took them through to the Pony Finals. Two other barns in my area – one hunter, one hunter/jumper – had shows the same day.

Schedule low-key classes. Walk. Walk/Trot. Leadline Walk. Leadline Walk/Trot. You get the idea.

Motivate the judge. The classes flew. I don’t think the walk/trot/canter classes made it four times around a medium-sized ring. The announcer had trouble keeping up with the speed of the ring steward’s signals. I’ve ridden in hunter flat classes that I wished moved so fast.

Have the right horses. The Saddebreds shed heat like the tall, thin endomorphs they are. I’ve seen hunter/jumper shows in less heat where horses and riders looked more miserable. Rodney looks worse standing out in the field all by his big, fat self.

Yes, there are nits I could pick – starting with slapping helmets on all of the adults – but I hope to ride there. I’d rather not get thrown out before I even start. Everyone was friendly and the horses looked healthy & happy. That goes a long way.

Did you camp?

Categories: Horse Shows, Weather

5 replies »

  1. When I read your posts It makes me want to take a ride on a horse sometime. I can feel the love you have for them. I think maybe in the fall I will see if I can do that. I think they are so majestic. I am in my mid-life and when I read your blog title it always makes me smile. Happy 4th!

  2. congrats on your first blue in your new discipline. how does it feel? your center of balance has got to be different. i rarely showed but i would have appreciated some classes going faster, lol.

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