"Years from now, when the faded ribbons are packed into boxes,
and the trophies are dusty on the shelves,
You will pick up the memories
Hold them close
And realize they are what really mattered."
It's horse show time again. I love horse shows. The people, the horses, the smells, the excitement. Started off the morning with the sun coming up over the trees which are beginning to change colors. My car in its familiar spot, ringside. It likes that spot, it doesn't matter which show, it always looks at home. My first horse of the morning was this cute little Connemara pony, which just made me smile. It's always interesting seeing the "other horses" up against the big warmbloods. It reminded me of 2014 Nationals, when the Welsh Cob won the Grand Prix Freestyle:
You hear a lot of the same phrases over and over at horse shows, many times by me:
"#390, you are on deck, #460, you are two out."
And my favorite one, and the one I get the most flack on:
"No walkers in the ring"
But frequently I hear things out of trainers mouths that are funny, too. One of my favorite trainers, Lauren Sprieser, often comes out with good ones, but today, the best one was from another trainer: "If your arms are hurting, then stop pulling!"
One of the reasons I love being warm up ring steward vs ring steward, or any of the other jobs at a horse show, is that I get a lot out of the warm up lessons, all the trainers yelling at the riders what they should be doing.
My least favorite thing is people arguing with me. If the steward tells you to do/not do something, you probably want to listen. Today was one of those days where someone REALLY wanted to argue the no walkers in the ring point with me. They brought a green horse to the show, were leading him around, and were told before they went in the ring that if a rider came in, the walker (the person was leading the horse) would have to leave. A rider came in, and of course, they didn't want to leave. Wanted to argue with me about the safety of a person walking in the ring, with a long lead on a horse vs a young horse being ridden in the ring alone. Thank goodness for the technical delegate, she got to argue with them so I didn't have to.
When riding a 1200 lb animal, things don't always go as planned. One of the trainers who typically does well with her horses was having a particularly rough start to her day this morning. Her horse was having a moment, and she ended up having to stop her test. She came back out to the schooling area, and did a few simple moves, before ending on a high note, and that is one of the things I appreciate her for. She knew when to stop. She knew arguing at that point was not going to get either of them anywhere, but she wanted to end on a high note. So she asked for a simple movement, got it, and then praised her horse. I've seen riders come out and drive themselves and the horse crazy after a bad test, and this is the better option, and the mark of the better trainer, in my book.
Just some stories from today.....