Same Time, Next Year
One of my first posts from Stepping Stone Farm was their summer show last year [Showing in the Sun]. This weekend, I rode in the same show. How was it from the inside and a year on? Still hot, quick, & friendly. Helmets are still not an accessory of choice. Ironic, since the show took place on International Helmet Awareness Day.
My Life as a Ring Monkey
The girls were in the barn getting horses ready (including mine – thank you!). The trainers where getting riders organized and into the ring. That left no warm bodies to work the ring. Since chronic volunteers abhor a vacuum, I got sucked into the combined job of ringmaster, runner, and gatekeeper for the morning. It was a small fun show, so it was easy enough to line the horses up, pick up the judges card, and open the gate on my way out. I realized the flaw in this plan at the beginning of one class when I had to close the gate and cross back into the center of the ring while six trotting saddlebreds tried to occupy the same space.
My first-second tradition continues, although in this case, first and last would be more appropriate. The good news is that I won all the classes in which I rode. The bad news is that I only rode in the second class. In the first class, I simply sat on the horse with devastating lack of effect.
Resident horses often do worse at home shows. ‘Who are all these strangers and what are they doing in my living room?’ For a youthful five-year-old, Trump was a star. He came out of the barn, thought, ‘Hmm. People. Interesting.’, and then stood like a champ waiting for our class.
When we got in the ring, he took a bit more of a look. Well, duh, we were trotting. Things looked different at speed. He wasn’t bad, not even a half a bubble off plumb. Instead of reacting to the horse I had on the day, I flipped frantically through my mental files trying to remember what I had done last weekend that had worked so well. Lacking any guidance from his rider, Trump rolled on down the highway. Lapping the competition is not a good sign in a pleasure class.
Nor was my equitation any better. When I think too much on horseback, I lean forward, round my shoulders, and look down at the horse. This gets blamed on my hunter/jumper background. In truth, riding like Ichabod Crane is no more correct in hunt seat equitation than it is in saddleseat equitation.
I am human. I accept – grudgingly – that I will make mistakes. Do I have to keep making the same one? Isn’t it time to move on to better, different, more interesting mistakes?
Previous saddleseat posts