The Same, but Different
How many of you just spent a pretty big chunk of your weekend around horses? It amazes me in talking to other horse people just how many things can be done that involve everything from the Thelwell-sized ponies to upper level dressage horses to
How many of you just spent a pretty big chunk of your weekend around horses? It amazes me in talking to other horse people just how many things can be done that involve everything from the Thelwell-sized ponies to upper level dressage horses to eventing masters to trail riding friends, to one-of-those-things-turned-another. At a local schooling show, there was a woman my age who because of injury (yes, with a horse) had to quit riding for a time. After surgery, she decided to get out of the breeding business and return to the ring. This time instead of Western pleasure or trail riding, she took a beautiful Quarter Horse mare and is turning her into a low-level hunter. At that same little schooling show was my 11-year-old daughter who just returned to lessons after a bout with soccer. It was hard to say which one was more excited when there was a ribbon awarded at the end of a class!
It was an experience just watching the people at this small show. For some it was the first time in the limelight for an inexperienced rider on an old packer; for others it was a first outing for a young horse with an experienced rider. It was a small community of which I was proud to be a part. Everyone pitched in to help the kids (and adults) who were showing that day. There were photos and high-fives, and a couple of Oops! after fences. Treats and carrots abounded. And I’m sure from talking to other horse people that the cash registers jingled at the various tack shops in the area the week before. Amazingly, while I heard quite a few comments on the cost of having a horse in the family, I didn’t hear one single person who would have spent the money otherwise.
The horses themselves were an amazing collection. Being in Kentucky, there were quite a few purebred Thoroughbreds who didn’t quite have the stuff to make it on the racetrack. Then there was Popcorn the pony. I’m not sure of his breeding, but suffice it to say I could have walked over him. And a more willing competitor never stepped foot in the ring.
At this time I don’t own any horses. Perhaps if I can get my hands on enough dynamite this summer, I can blast through the limestone rock and plant a few fence posts. In the meantime (and much to my pleasure), I’m riding my father-in-law’s wonderful event horse Talisman. He’s been described as a cross between a giraffe and a race car (his “passing gear” is something to be experienced). The wonderful thing is that he is kind enough to put up with me learning what he already knows about eventing, and smart enough to test me. And with a coach and mentor like Helmut (my father-in-law), I might just learn something.
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