Show Report: Mid-South Spring Premiere, Rainsville, AL

Program design and cover artwork by Brittany Fox

Program design and cover artwork by Brittany Fox

It Takes a Village …
… To get me dressed. First, I sent my measurements to the nice lady at Commotion, a saddleseat consignment store. She replied with a box containing jodhpurs and a selection of shirt/vest/tie combinations. Saturday morning, I presented these choices to the Fashion Oversight Committee. Blue and salmon got the nod. I put the clothes on. This I was able do for myself. Once the fit and overall look was approved, one of the Show Dads with a handy pocket knife cut off the tags, and then caught me as I fainted at the numbers written on all of those tags. I was then passed to the Hair and Make-up Consortium. Sufficiently dolled-up, I went with a Shopping Advisor to the tack trailer for the bits and pieces to go with the new outfit. Willing hands helped with with tie bar and hair bow. Finally, the Fashion Police looked me over and gave her seal of approval. It was official. I was dressed.

Bentley Darnestwn detailThe other thing I can do for myself is tie my own tie, even in a spiffy double windsor. I didn’t think anything of it, but this seemed to impress people. It comes from showing old-school hunters in a tie and from years of macramĂ©.

Ribbons
Back to blue and red.

In the first class, I had a blast. As the time got closer, I was actually looking forward to showing rather than melting into a nervous puddle. To be honest, I was doing both, but at least the nerves were sharing the stage. Once we got in the ring, Sam was on fire. I had me a big-time, show-type horse. My only job was to sit and look pretty. He was so jazzed up that I had trouble settling him down for the final walk. When the announcer called for the line-up, I took it as license to start trotting as soon as he started talking. For the victory picture, Sam put his ears up all by himself and looked directly at the photographer, as if to say, ‘Yes, I’m lovely. You can take my picture now.’ The photographer suggested that perhaps this was not his first rodeo?

Granted Sam’s “jazzed-up” is nothing compared to a full-on, five-gaited horse racking on the green shavings in Louisville. The pace suited me just fine. He had enough under the hood to be thrilling without being chilling.

In the second class, I was penalized for hot-dogging. I was part way down the long side of the arena when the announcer called for trot to walk. The horse in front of me pulled up immediately. My plan was to keep going and “finish my pass” making sure I went to the inside where the judge could see. As with all grandstand maneuvers, I would have looked righteously slick if I could have pulled it off. However, when I asked Sam to move left, he came over all lesson-horse and said, ‘No. I’ll just stay here in line like I’m supposed to.’ I insisted. By the time we cut around, we were closer to the other rider’s personal space than was strictly necessary. I should have either walked or seen if there was enough room to go right.

Good judgment comes from experience
Experience comes from bad judgment

Phooey.

Competitively, I’m in it to win it. I’m aiming for that blue every time I ride through the in-gate. Philosophically, the non-blues are not such a bad thing. Much as I would enjoy an unbroken streak of wins for the rest of the year, I would – eventually – question if I was at the correct level. The less successful classes tell me that I still have something to learn in this division.

Sandra Hall Photography
2013 Mid South Spring Premiere > Saturday Morning > 065/066 AC Showmanship/Equit Adult. Two riders with black pants, blue vest & helmet. I am sans glasses. Sam is sans chrome. Disclaimer here.

My hands are way up. My tuchus is on the cantle. I am oozing saddleseat style. However, I still have an ever so slight hunter/jumper angle in my hip joint, evident particularly in MSSP13-066-010. (Please ignore the hands that appear to be conducting an imaginary orchestra, or perhaps bring in planes at LaGuardia.) The saddleseat riders are more vertical through the lower torso. Saddleseat isn’t behind the motion. I rode further in the backseat when I being was an old-school (are you sensing a trend?) event rider. Saddleseat riders expect the horse go straight ahead in order to rock on down the road. I have my weight distributed suitable to make a left, or a right, or even a u-turn if needed. Not sure that’s going away. Not sure I want it to.

MSSP13-065-005 – What in the world am I looking at? Checking the color of my new gloves?


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