Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Daffodil All Arabian Spring Horse Show.......... Hat Retrieval 101.......

Part 1

As soon as the realization dawned that I wasn't wearing my cowboy hat, momentary panic set in. The class in the ring was a hunter pleasure class and the one following mine was a country pleasure class. There were no western pleasure horses in sight except for those in my class and the rule clearly reads a cowboy hat is required in western pleasure.

I don't know what the penalty would be for inappropriate attire now did I want to find out. I sure didn't want to be making any fashion statements either. I think I already do my share of bucking the system. Showing in a baseball cap was not on my agenda and I sure wasn't going into my class that way.

My mind raced with the possibilities. The stalls seemed miles away at this point but I guess in the big scheme of things the location of our stalls was probably the closest on the ground for this kind of error. I didn't know if I had enough time to get there and back or not but I was going to have to try. I had not plans of testing the waters to see what they'd do if I tried to enter that class with my "Scandalous Legacy" baseball cap perched on my head.

I can't even tell you how many times over the years I have seen someone trotting their horse across the asphalt. My reaction to such sights has been less than kind. It never occurred to me they might have some reason to be in a hurry so I certainly never volunteered any assistance. I just thought they were blooming idiots.

Now, I was the blooming idiot jogging my horse across the asphalt headed back towards the barn. I pushed Legs up at the jog wanting to get as much speed as I could get without causing the horse to slip. As long as his feet felt firm underneath me, I figured we would be all right for the short distance we had to travel.......still I felt uncomfortable even though we were still clearly travelling at a jog.

I passed Quinton Des Fontain in my hurry and told him my problem. Quinton's stalls just happened to be on the same aisle as mine and he asked if he could help. I was relieved to have some help and not to have to explain where my stalls were located. Quinton wouldn't know where to find my hat but he did know exactly where my stalls were.

I jogged along with him giving him detailed directions to the location of my cowboy hat inside the tack room. I figured if I could get my hat quickly and avoid having to mount and dismount I might just make it back to my class so I actually even went right into the barn with him. . Being right there with Quinton, I knew I could answer questions and avoid any delay in him finding my hat.

Quinton did ask me a couple of questions before he located my cowboy hat so I was really glad I had made the decision to ride into the barn. Did I happen to mention that riding in the barn is one of those things I have little tolerance for as well? Now trying to get my cowboy hat and still make my class I was throwing out all kinds of my little rules.

As I saw my silver belly Stetson coming towards me, I breathed a quick sigh of relief. Plunked that thing on my head. Turned my horse around and headed back to the arena...........and yes, I was jogging my horse across the asphalt again like the blooming idiot I was.

As I got closer to the arena, I could see the western horses were still lined up on the runway. It's not that this was a big class, only four horses but the fact this is a concurrent show with two judges can make the presentation of ribbons take a while if the judges picked different winners. I figure that's what happened in the hunter class because I really had expected my class to be in the ring while the paddock announcer called my number searching for me.

As it was I had time to get my horse onto the ramp and collect myself, my thoughts and my horse before we entered the arena. I didn't know what kind of jog I was going to get after our trip jogging across the asphalt at a rate faster than I've been trying to school my horse. Would Legs go on auto pilot doing the thing we'd just done to get my hat or would he gear it back down to what's normal for him?

I guess I was going to find out soon enough. The gate to the class was opened and the paddock announcer called the purebred Arabian western pleasure open class into the ring. All I could think about as I entered was reasons why amateurs shouldn't show in open classes and I was really hoping I was going to be looking like a blooming idiot again.........

To be continued............

Riding the Open Western Pleasure.....

This is my very first foal, Dandy. I remember very clearly how he let me cradle him in my arms as I dried him off. The Arabian horse may have come in with an attitude but he also appreciated attention right from the start.

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  1. Could you have asked for a brief gate hold?

  2. I'm happy to hear that you made it there and back for your hat with no problems. I can understand why you have no tolerance for people trotting on the asphalt or into a barn but I guess sometimes there are extenuating circumstances.

  3. Glad you got help, and your hat .Dandy looks like just that,a dandy!

  4. Cheryl, yes, if I had thought of it but as you can see, I went more into panic mode instead of using my brain.

    Arlene, I'm glad I made it too but I'm still not sure how I feel about having jogged my horse across the asphalt. Not the best case scenario that's for sure. Hopefully, I won't ever get myself into another situation like this.

  5. I remember a friend of mine finding that she was late for her show hack class one evening and in the dark her horse's shoes threw sparks as they raced off to the arena. A little too much excitement for me!

  6. That's funny. I don't like trotting on asphalt either, but it does make sense now why they would do it. I'm hoping that little trot was good for him and settled his nerves.

  7. When you are in a pinch you find a lot of self imposed 'little rules' can just go flying out the window for the moment. Gives you a little perspective into why others may have done what we may consider wrong, but when you find yourself in that situation...

    You could have asked for a gate hold. Tack change or a legitimate reason- the paddock person should have been more than happy to help with that. You can also call a time out in some cases, once you are in the ring and class is proceeding. The time out, you will have already been seen entering the ring and first impressions and all...

    Good thing someone on the rail had alerted you about your hat. They could have remained silent and just laughed as you went around the ring.

  8. i'm glad to see you feel the same way as me about the safety issue of riding (trotting!) on pavement.

    don't come watch an endurance ride in europe - where they race on pavement in normal steel shoes.

  9. FV, me too, I was really in a panic I might miss my class. The kids named Dandy and he has always lived up to that name quite well.

    Story, I have seen sparks flying in the night myself. Believe me it was a little too much excitement for me too. LOL

    Linda, I guess we need to be able to laugh at ourselves every now and then. I do wonder what Legs was thinking about this distraction. LOL

    CNJ, you're so right about that. Fresh perspective is always a good thing, I think.

    I don't know why I didn't think about a gate hold but it didn't even cross my mind. With all my years in show management, you'd think that would have been the first thing I thought about.

    You're so right about the alert. If it hadn't been for him, I could have ridden my whole class that way and not even realized what I done until after the fact. That wouldn't have been good.

    lytha, I did think about the endurance riders because I have heard that about them, probably from you. I also thought about how hard some of the road at the park is and Legs has trotted on that so I thought this one time would not hurt him.

  10. I think little mistakes like forgetting your hat and having to ride on asphalt help to keep us humble. I know that I can forgive some idiotic drivers on the road by speculating what might be causing their erratic behavior. On the other hand, some people are just morons. I'm not a complete Pollyanna.

  11. Ms Martyr, I couldn't agree with you more. I remember as I was jogging across the asphalt thinking "This will teach you to be judgemental." I definitely know I'll be looking at some of those trotting across the ashpalt in new light.

  12. Well I'm not a show person, but I'm glad you got your hat & got back in the ring!
    I was grateful for my pony's bare feet as we had to cross a few concrete drainage ditches last weekend (post forthcoming)...