While I was looking for ASB sport horses, a young lady from the barn was trying out horses for her future saddleseat equitation mount. Let’s call her Princess C. Her Royal Highness had far more success in finding candidates than I did [Midwest]. Since I would not be buying the horse, riding the horse, nor training the horse, I had no stake in the decision. That left me free to speculate. All that follows is idle thoughts inside my own head. I have never ridden upper-level equitation nor known anyone who did. Since when did a lack of experience stop the horse world from pontificating?
Princess C. is a beautiful rider. She wins her equitation class more often than not. Such is her aura that judges have been known to overlook errors that might derail a less stylish rider. IMHO. However, current shopping was for horses that would win at the finals. Equitation finals are tough. The classes are filled with beautiful riders used to winning all their classes. One needs a way to stand out.
The Mismatch – A few days before, I had seen Princess C on Willie. Pretty rider. Pro horse. The effect was eye-jarringly wrong. Neither horse nor rider made any mistakes. The effect was simply unharmonious. Like potato chips and ice cream. Separately, yum. Together, please no.
The Good Soldier – One of the horses HRH tried was a well-trained, good-looking soul. They could have trotted from the try-out ring into the show ring and won any class in the region. In the finals crowd, they would have been fine. That’s it. Just fine.
The Sports Car – The most expensive horse she tried would have been a terrible equitation ride. He was sharp and full of flash. He drew the eye. Unfortunately, he drew the eye to the horse. I have no clear memory of how Princess C looked on him.
The Holy Sh&t Horse – I took one look at these two and thought -deleted-. It was an awesome combination. Sure they were both tall and attractive and well-matched. But there was more to it. HSH was young and need guidance. I could sense the potential for strong teamwork, for – dare I say it – the start of a beautiful friendship. Sure, equitation is all about form, but what judge could resist a happy kid on a happy pony?
The take-home message was not so much about the specific horses but how much the picture could change for the same rider on different horses.
New Off Topic post: Pros & Cons