Through sheer force of will, Coach Courtney pulled a horse show from the jaws of defeat.
Stepping Stone Farm Fun Show
Chelsea, AL USA
October 28, 2017
2 Driving with Snippy – canceled
3 Open Pleasure with Dottie – 3rd of 5
4 Equation Pattern with Dottie – 2nd of 4
5 Open Pleasure Championship with Dottie – 1st of 5
Costume Class with Alvin – unplaced of 8
Thank you to Alvis family, Courtney Huguley, and the Wamble family.
The annual, in-barn fun show is less a horse show and more a glorified group lesson with ribbons. So, when the forecast looked dismal, Miss Courtney insisted that The Show Would Go On. On Saturday, we woke up to wet. Standing in the aisle, watching the rain come down and the water run across the parking lot, I was utter convinced that the effort was hopeless. Yes, events and CDEs go on in bad weather. These were Saddlebreds. They don’t do adverse conditions. My suggestion was to roll dice for ribbons, pass out the barbecue, and go directly to the costume class.
It rained. We held the grooming classes in the covered ring. It misted. The driving class was canceled due to the amount of mud that would be flung on my person. It was time for the first riding class. It stopped raining.
Miss Courtney may have prevailed from a combination of optimism and denial, but Dottie was horrified. The entrance to the ring was blocked by a bottomless chasm of muddy water. The ring was sloppy. How did I expect her to work under these conditions?! When the announcer came over the little, portable loudspeaker. Dottie had a complete change of attitude. ‘Oh. This is a horse show? Well, in that case…”
These were my best rides with Dottie so far. I am learning the fine line between supporting her and pissing her off. This seems to be a mare thing. Bliss would routinely put Greg in time out. He’d get lost in cones. She’d come back to a walk for a stride or two, ‘When you’ve gotten yourself together back there, we’ll go on.’
I watched Dottie in the walk-trot classes and saw how much sparkle she has. You can’t feel that from the saddle. I can have an outstanding ride on Sam, only to have him project a sour, grumpy attitude that gets a ‘Meh’ from the judge. Sparkle is like charisma, or an affinity for the camera. It just is.
I also discovered that the only thing worse than having anxiety is having the faint ray of hope that you might not have to do the thing.
Show today: Stepping Stone Farm Fun Show & Show Report & Show Tweets: SSF Fun Show 2014
Show Report & Tweets: SSF Fall 2015
Short Show Report: SSF Home Show 2016 & Macho Dresses Up As Dr. Whooves
Thank you for reading,