Horse Show History

This weekend the baby, Uno, went to his first ever horse show.  Cue panic!

My horse show history is at best a story told with copious wine.  When I was younger and rode the hunter jumper circuit it was pretty basic for a horse mad girl on school horses.  Predictably average.

In high school I got the chance to start going to bigger A rated shows and was amazed when I was am to keep but gutsy but average streak going even amoungst "the big leagues."  Then I fell.  It hurt.  A lot.  The doctor told me to take a year off riding and maybe no more jumping.

I went to college.

Enter horse # 1.  Dressage superstar.  Imported.  Super Fancy.  Hard. To. Ride.

One month later I fell and broke my back.  When I was able to ride again we scored really well.  Taking home ribbons at training and first level.

One year later we lost him to colic.  I was emotional done.

Enter horse # 2.  Skinny. Plain. Covered in rain rot. He was emotionally damaged.

This was the best and worst horse that I could ever have asked for.  He was the love-st of love bugs.  He was constantly in my business and very territorial of me.  He was soft and sweet.  He bolted unexpectedly for who knows what reasons.  He had absolutely 0 self preservation.

We toddled along from trainer to trainer, discipline to discipline.  Acquiring knowledge and broken bones.

Showing him was like a mixed bag of tricks.  He was equally likely to go around like a dead head hunter packer as he was to jump out of the arena and go for a run.

He doesn't look like he wants to kill you does he?

I stopped jumping.  I had jumped GP horses over 5 foot jumps, I had shown over 3'6", I had practiced side pass and tempi changes.  Suddenly, I was happy with calm 20 meter circles and 2 foot jumper rounds.

Check us out looking almost capable.

But.. you know there is always a but somewhere. On every test I have ever ridden with this horse are two comments, "Cute horse," "Good partnership."  On a notable occasion we have even had a hunter judge approach us after the class to say, "Cute horse, nice ride.  You are clearly not a hunter."

My best friend.

As he has aged he has gotten better.  He is still my best friend.  And maybe at 16 he finally has enough sense not to kill us just because.

No reins = All the trust.

Enter horse #3.  Small.  Scared.  Very much "in the rough"  Actually a pony.

One year of love, food, and consistent handling and he is a solid citizen.  He gives pony rides, he hacks out on the buckle.

This was supposed to be my husband's trail horse.  I don't know if he will ever get him back.  He foxhunts, trail rides, and meets most challenges with calm capability.  Unless they are hard, then he has a baby freak out about so. much. work.

We still can't canter 20 meter circles, but the gift of a partner that you can trust not to kill you is priceless.  Blue ribbons don't hurt either!


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