Fletcher rests from his labors.  Photo by Courtney Huguley
Fletcher rests from his labors.
Photos by Courtney Huguley

Different riding disciplines could learn from each other. For instance, saddleseat shows have institutionalized a break between the afternoon and evening sessions.

My reference point is interminable local hunter shows that run from first warm-up straight through to the last jump of the last class. You are trapped in the middle of a vast, dusty open plain. Your brain slowly leaks out your ears as you watch endless repetitions of outside, diagonal, outside, diagonal. It would have been nirvana to retreat back to a hotel to rest for a few hours in a cool, dark space.

When Instructor first told me that the show would stop in the middle of the day. I didn’t believe her. Not that I doubted her, I just couldn’t process the horse show juggernaut griding to a halt and then starting up again.

It does.

Even the horses have bought into the program. At one of the early shows, I went back to the showgrounds to look for candid photo ops. Nothing was happening. Nobody was around. The horses up and down the aisles unanimously greeted me with ‘Who are you? Why are you here? Leave us alone. It’s our naptime.’

Hamlet hides amid the covers.
Hamlet hides amid the covers.
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