To Show Or Not To Show

Training Journal

If you’re riding a horse, you’ve already won.

Awareness of the outside world. CDC: Considerations for Events and Gatherings. CDC: COVID-19 Considerations for Animal Activities at Fairs, Shows, and Other Events, includes ‘Livestock and horse shows’.
There was a dressage schooling show last Saturday. Will there be a show report tomorrow? Let’s examine the factors.

Factor 0) All Previous Reasons
As before, I have less than no interest in performing yet another mediocre exhibition of lower level dressage. [Finishing The Season]

As before, Rodney and I need the experience.

Verdict. Go

Factor 1) Covid
Should we be horse showing? No.

At least not in a state with hundreds of new cases a day and an undesirable postivity rate.

Too many people are wandering about, pleasing themselves instead of sitting at home not being the next match. Juan Delcan, Visual Artist

This disease is highly contagious, has no cure, no vaccine, minimal treatment, and is not under control. Maybe if we had a picture of what was going on. Maybe if we knew where transmission was actually occurring. Maybe if we had reliable test & trace. We don’t. So we are just guessing that X is dangerous but Y is okay.

Having said that, this show is as low a risk as possible, given our current educated guesses.

Local. No one is importing germs from other states. No restaurants. No hotels.

Outside. Wide open space. I probably didn’t get within 10 feet of a non-bubble human in pre-pandemic times.

Acceptable size? Depends on your definition for outside gatherings. Will it be over 25? Yes. Over 100? No.

Solid Covid plan, including wearing masks, minimizing contact, etc.

Since it is a dressage show, I can plan my day. No hanging about watching the show schedule drag on. No hordes of horses swarming the ingate waiting for a class to start. Show & go.

Really torn about this one. I want to be socially responsible. I also know that perfect compliance is not humanly possible, so calculated risks need to be accommodated. Close, tipping toward …

Verdict. Go.

Factor 2) Timing
Before we could go anywhere, we needed new Coggins tests. Back in the spring, the vet was not making farm calls.

Before we could ship the horses to the vet clinic, we needed new tires. [Shod]

By the time we got tires, the vet was making farm calls again. [Vetting]

By the time we got tires, got shots, and Sir Precious Petunia got over his shots, we had no time to school off grounds before the closing date. We had not been off the grounds since March.

No problem. He’s been to the showgrounds plenty of times. He was going all over the place earlier this year. He’ll be fine. Then we started trotting on our trail walks. I was reminded that Rodney does not adapt quickly. Springing a show on him with no warning is not the optimal path to success. [Virtual Gaits]

Verdict. No go.

Factor 3) Virtual Tevis
All of our walking meant no practice in the ring. That might be a good thing for both of us.

We would lose mileage that weekend. Meh, we have 2 1/2 months to go.

Rodney has been doing a great job coping with about all the activities the VTevis is asking of him, walking and trotting and going around the pasture. (Yes, I think it is ridiculous that he needs to think deeply about such simple issues. That’s not my call to make. But I digress.) Is it fair to ask him to think about two things at once?

Verdict. 2/3 go, 1/3 no go.

Factor 4) Class
If I did USEA Novice A, I would …

… be able to convince both horse & rider that we are doing eventing flatwork rather than dressage

… have a test that suited us better than Training 1.

… not go up against straight-up, serious dressage types.

… better acceptance of my rhapsody-in-green turnout of green saddle pad, green reins, and green shirt. People expect eventers to be over the top with colors.

… do a test of choice. Never done that before.

Verdict. Strong go.

Survey says: 3 go, 1 no go, 1 mixed.

However, the factors are not all equal. We gave heavier weight to the psychological component. We did not have sufficient time to prepare. Rodney has enough to think about at the moment.

A roundabout way of saying we didn’t go to a horse show last weekend.

Stay safe. Stay sane.
Katherine Walcott

3 thoughts on “To Show Or Not To Show

  1. Nothing’s easy with R, is it? However, it certainly gives you something to think about, doesn’t it?

  2. ‘Something think about …’ Unf, the last thing my hyperactive brain needs is more to stew about.

    ‘Show report.’ Huh. I think I remember how to write one. Wrinkles brow. Emits long-suffering sigh. I’m sure it will come back to me, should the occasion ever arise.

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