View Full Version : Tribute to Horse Show Moms

Mar. 27, 2011, 08:57 PM
I had a great horse show mom. She had no idea about horses, other than writing the checks. She had her foot badly broken by a gelding of mine, rushing out of the trailer and landing soundly on her foot, she was needing a cast for weeks.
She always had beef jerky, sandwiches, and lemonade. And Tang! for my bratty self. Always was there for me with (unwanted at the time) critique. Her heart was in her throat watching me jump.
She gave up days of work to come to my shows. She always thought I should have won, even though I rarely did. I love my Mom.
How was your Mom at shows?

Mar. 27, 2011, 09:20 PM
mine, who'd never driven much bigger than a Plymouth Voyager, learned how to drive our big 1500 and trailer so we could afford to go to more shows, so she could happily groom and polish boots to her hearts content. She'd always live in a town with not much space for horses, so it was her dream come true when we bough our big plain bay gelding, who we still have to this day, and still gives her pony rides and up-down lessons!

Mar. 27, 2011, 09:24 PM
My mom always had beef jerky, PBJ's and Margarita mix on hand. I ran cans for years and she would never watch me but was always there at the in gate to give my mare the talk"take care of my child or so help me I will kill you" and hug with a "thank you" when I got back. When I moved on to showing halter she was there with me at 3 in the morning shaving, waxing and braiding as needed for a 6am class. She always had my saddle pad and shirt laid out for Pleasure and could spot a stain and sew a sequin while holding a fractious yearling for my next class. She could both change a tire and back a trailer while giving me pointers on both seat and looks. No horse in their right mind would cross the teacher look and would shut themselves back into whatever holder they had escaped. Never graceful she sprained her ankle getting to me when the arab mare I was showing decided to try and kill me. (I was 10 and was not winning the footrace away from her.) She always had my lunch ready for me when I started exercising the race horses and would watch the one I loved running.

Mar. 28, 2011, 01:30 PM
Mine got her toe broken by my gelding too! She was convinced it was purposeful (not a horseperson) and never let me live it down. But she was always there to rub my boots at the ingate and say "better luck next time" when something went wrong.

She supplied endless bacon & egg sandwiches and gatorade, and I bet she'll even come when my kids start showing!

Kudos and thanks to all the great horse show Moms out there!

Mar. 28, 2011, 01:59 PM
I had no idea how lucky I was to have the best horse show mom ever until I started showing as an adult and had to be my own horse show mom.

Like others, my mom had countless hours of driving me to the barn, doing her work in the car while I rode, and then driving me home only to make dinner for the family. She learned how to drive the truck and trailer, dusted my boots a gazillion times, stood in the heat and rain, and talked to people she didn't want to talk to while at horse shows. She even took riding lessons so she could understand what I was doing. And to top it off, she was the first one out of bed on horse show mornings, always with a smile no matter how tired she was.

Whenever I am at an event with my son, I always remember the things my mom did with me and for me, always with a smile and always seeming to have fun.

Thanks mom - I couldn't have done it without you!

Mar. 28, 2011, 02:12 PM
The amazing thing is my mom is thrilled to get to be a horse show mom again 20 years later!

I'm pretty sure my mom never watched me jump at a show after the one time she saw me come off jumping in a lesson. But she was always there for me, helping me, ready to do whatever I needed, whether it was brush off my boots or longe my horse after I'd ridden more bucks than I wanted to try to handle and was too worn out to stand up on my own! (So I could then get back on, too, of course...)

Mar. 28, 2011, 02:17 PM
Very nice tributes to your horse show moms. Hmmm, I wonder what my son will say about his horse show mom (me) when he gets older. Right now if you ask him, he'd probably say, "Oh that Pesky One who makes me reapply (insert eyeroll) sunscreen while I'm waiting to go into the ring? The Naggish One who bugs me about not spilling blue/orange/lime-colored juice all over my white breeches just before going into the Classic? The Ridiculous One who thinks I might need to actually review my stable management stuff before a Pony Club rating/testing/National qualifier? The Wimpy One who can't bear to watch me in a little old jumper class because it makes her insane with nerves?"

Mar. 28, 2011, 03:35 PM
My mom was decidedly non-horsey, but once my sis and I decided we wanted to ride, she used her first real estate commission check to buy us the pony we had been using for lessons. She took us to every show with a hot breakfast in hand, an amazing picnic packed, and sparkling clean jods, despite the fact she had to stay up late the night before to wash and dry them after our lesson ( we couldn't afford spares). One night during our leadline/SS days when my sister and I decided to take apart the bridle to clean it, she sat up with Happy Horsemanship putting it back together. She adopted a whole bunch of other kids at shows, from our barn and others and was the go to mom for a sandwich, a drink, a pep talk, or someone to hold your horse when you had to pee! She always had an old Paul Mitchell hairspray bottle full of water in the cooler, and on hot days she would spray your face before and after you went in the ring. When the pony she purchased 20 years before needed colic surgery, she persuaded the office staff to lose the paperwork until she could get her house REFINANCED to pay for it all. She also developed into a great mom for a racing stable and then progressed to horse show Grandma! When a move took her grandchild 2000 miles away and to a different horse world, she became a great rodeo grandma!

Mar. 28, 2011, 04:42 PM
When I was a kid, we couldn't afford a horse, but I took lessons for years. We did all the schooling shows we could and my mom was there for every single one of them. Then as an adult when I could afford my own horse, she was STILL there at every show being my biggest fan. Even as an adult if I were to fall off, she was be out there in a flash, there to help, (and call the horse stupid even if it was my fault, which usually it was!). :) I moved out of state about 13 years ago, and I miss my show mom. My niece started riding back "home" and now my mom is taking her to all her lessons and little schooling shows, (I'm a little envious. A little. )

Thanks mom!

Mar. 28, 2011, 05:03 PM
My mom was never one to get dirty and couldn't understand why her pretty little girls wanted to get all messy and smelling like a pony! As much as she didn't love the dirt and the sweat and the pony stink, she came to every lesson and every horse show. She was (and still is) the best! Always had a hug or a "good job" even when we ended up with not so great a trip, and a "better luck next time" or "keep trying you'll get it!" My breeches were always sparkling and my gray horse was always without slobbery lips! :)

When we lived overseas in Japan (I was 10) she even found a tailor to make me breeches and a hunt coat from a pattern! True dedication!

Now both her daughters are pro's and she still shakes her head in wonder and can't figure out where she went wrong! ;) She still gets nervous if we are showing but is always supportive! Now that my kids are showing, she is right there to cheer them on too, even driving crazy hours to come and watch! Horse show moms are irreplaceable! Thanks mom!

Mar. 28, 2011, 05:24 PM
I personally lived the dream ( or nightmare depending on the day lol) my mom was my trainer! She dressed us, trained us ,yelled at us ,commiserated with us, and pretty much did it all. I was also very lucky in the fact that my dad was at almost every horse show as well, packed the cooler ( added beer for himself LOL) and drove the truck, polished our boots, held our horses and hauled the water ( we never parked close to a water source for some reason). It was an amazing way to grow up that I am now recreating for my 7 and 4 yr old daughters. Their dad is NOT horse savvy but my mom and dad are still there doing all the same stuff! My mom and I coach them and my dad does all the same stuff he did years ago for me! I couldn't ask for better horse show parents!!!

stolen virtue
Mar. 29, 2011, 02:51 PM
OK, I'm crying with all of these posts. I never rode as a child but started riding as an adult. My daughter rides and shows and I just bought her a young Tb horse to work with and eventually show as a hunter.

I gave up showing for my daughter (cannot afford two of us showing) and I just hope I can be a good showmom and that years from now she can write something as nice as these posts about me. Where's my tissues....

Mar. 29, 2011, 03:54 PM
I had the greatest horse show mom who, at the start of my riding career, knew nothing about what she was getting herself into. :)

Like most of the horse show moms mentioned above, mine was always there to take me to the barn at 4:30 AM, write the checks and fill out entry forms, wipe boots and slobbery pony mouths, tell me I had a great round (even during countless rounds when my green pony threw me/refused/bolted around the ring), hold not only my horse but anyone else's horse when they needed to pee, etc.

The best thing about my horse show mom is that one summer she involved into a a riding mom - taking lessons even in my group when the days were so hot we'd combine into one big early morning session. That lasted until the 17 hand horse she lessoned on slammed on brakes while she was cantering with no stirrups and reins.

Then she became a vet tech mom, making daily trips to the large animal hospital to hand graze my first pony. She did that for the last six months of his life, often going while I was in school and making a second trip in the evening to take me as well. All the while, she was still carting me to shows at 5 AM every Saturday where I'd show whatever anyone would let me ride.

Later, when I was close to outgrowing ponies completely, she decided the best solution was to become a breeding farm mom. She bought a broodmare and some land, and my dad built three shed row barns complete with a foaling stall. A year later I had my very own colt. When his giant knees got stuck during the birthing process, my mom was first in line to pull a leg. The next year she did it all again to "pay" for my baby's stud fee.

11 years later my parents still have the broodmare (she is my "mom's" horse), another mare (my "dad's" horse), and a retirement farm complete with three boarders. Neither of my parents ride, both are retired, and both get up at 7 AM to feed horses every day. I quit riding and showing for 6 years during college and the first few years after graduation, but these days I'm back on my 12 year old homebred baby. When I announced to my mom that my goal was to start showing again this year - "... as an adult you get to go first thing in the morning, Mom! I'll be done by 11 AM!" - she said ...

"I love to watch you ride, but I could absolutely care less about going to another horse show for as long as I live." :lol:

Mar. 29, 2011, 04:08 PM
My mom hates horses and is scared of them. Yet somehow she managed to marry a rancher who had cattle and a band of broodmares. My brother, sister, and I all rode and showed. My mother learned to drive a truck and trailer since, as a school teacher, she had summers free to haul us. She learned to braid as brother, then sister, then I all rode hunters and jumpers. I know that most times she was miserable, but those were the best summers. When my brother and sister were out of the house, and I was the only one showing, she still came along. I was mostly self-sufficient, so she spent a lot of time reading or she would go shopping.

We were at a horse show one time, and my mom told my sister she was on the wrong diagonal and to get her heels down. Someone asked her if she rode, to which she replied, "Good God no. I've just sat through 10 years of riding lessons."

Mar. 29, 2011, 04:24 PM
I had the same kind of mom that many of you had.

She was up at 4am to be there with me in the rain/heat/snow, etc. She bought me a truck and trailer, yet offered to drive them home from shows late on Sunday nights when I had to get up early for school the next day. She was my groom and stable hand. She braided, tacked, cleaned stalls, wiped boots and mouths, and even helped feed. She was the only parent who was at every single show I went to. She never once missed a show until I was in college. She wrote countless checks without even blinking, even though we were far from rich. She learned how to ride and even schooled my high dollar jumper when I was out of town.

Mom passed away 6 months ago at the tender age of 53. Reading these posts and writing this out brings tears to my eyes. Please, everyone hug their horse show mom for me, since I can't :sadsmile:

c'est moi
Mar. 29, 2011, 08:13 PM
For my very first horse show, my father drove 8.5 hours (through the night…he had to leave after work) so he wouldn’t miss my first competition. My mother made the same commute, although I think I’ve always given her a little less credit because she made the journey during the day. And they made this trip BEFORE they knew how horse-crazy I would become. Once they realized I had been bitten by the horse-bug, they did everything they could to ensure I had the opportunity to ride (despite limited funds!)
Looking back, the amount of support and encouragement they have given me over the years truly takes my breath away. I am so very, very, lucky to have such wonderful parents!

Mar. 29, 2011, 10:44 PM
I had a great horse show mom..

She was scared to drive the truck and trailer but did it anyhow,

We would go to shows early so that mom could find a parking spot that she didn't need to back into. IF we did need to back, there were plenty of dad's that would happily back up the truck and trailer.

She shined boots, cleaned horse bits, did a wipe off of the body, straightening coat (saddle seat), last minute tail brush out. And away we went...

I would come out of the class and a cold drink would be waiting for me, and the coat would be stripped right off.

My dad was even funnier, he would have a chat session with whatever horse it was. He had one conversation with my Appendix not to be naughty at the horse show.

Mar. 29, 2011, 11:08 PM
I have the very best horseshow mom!!!! She comes to every single one of my shows, helps me do everything from tacking up, cleans my stall, grazes the horse, takes care of everything. She has learned to clip, trim, and loves grooming any horse. Her favorite thing to do is trim muzzles. She even learned how to drive the truck and trailer so I could go to more lessons and get to horseshows earlier. I am so lucky to have her with me! I have never been to a horseshow where she wasn't there but this weekend she won't be able to come, and I might be doing the big eq for the first time. I don't know what I am going to do without her. It is so scary thinking about it!!!

I have a great horseshow dad too! He tries to make as many shows as possible when he isn't working to pay for my expensive sport. He bought a new truck when I outgrew the little guy so that we would have no problem pulling the trailer with mr giant warmblood in the back :) He has always polished my boots for me except at my first A show. The night before he suddenly had to go in for emergency surgery because he almost lost his hand and then had to stay in the hospital the entire weekend. He taught me how to polish my boots via phone that night. He is always there to keep up my competitive thoughts and positive attitude. Tonight at the dinner table I was talking about another competitior I show against alot and how she always beats me and he was like " don't have that attitude that she will just probably beat you again! ride your best and think i will be the best!"

Mar. 29, 2011, 11:19 PM
I'm pretty sure my mom has the monopoly on the Horse Show Mom market.

She instilled a great respect and passion for horses in all five of her daughters, and found a way to keep a suitable mount for each of us.

And yes, there were (and still are) shows where all five of us showed at the same time. I'll never know how she juggled that.

She didn't always do all of those typical horse show mom things mentioned in many of the posts above, but so much more importantly, she took the time to teach us how to do them ourselves. I still remember my first tail braiding lesson. :)

Mar. 29, 2011, 11:23 PM
I had/have the best horse show mom ever! She showed western for 20 years and at the age of 6 I demanded to ride english and jump...well, off she shlepped me to the best hunter/jumper barn in the area.
A few years later she bought a 3500 dually and a 3h trailer to trailer our horses and fellow boarder's horses to offset showing costs. Her part-time job? That was entirely to fund my lessons, and showing.
At horse shows she was the one shining the boots, wiping pony snot, polishing hooves, offering water, gatorade, and warning me not to trot through any puddles with my little grey pony :lol:
Over the years she learned what to look for in the hunter, equitation, and dressage rings and was a fantastic eye for knowing exactly how many good trips were in the division and critically looking at my own trip and who did what better than me. She was the first one to tell me that I stunk or that I had a fantastic ride.
Waking up for countless 4am horse show mornings and driving me and my horses several hours was her specialty on weekends and she did it without a complaint.
More than anything, she was a constant moral support system for me, the one to wipe the tears when I had a bad ride or a fall, and the first one to send me and my pony packing to the trailer when I had an attitude or lacked sportsmanship.
And now, as I train and have students she occasionally comes along to the shows to play for the kids who's parents have no interest in delving into the role of horse show mom.
Everyone needs to experience a horse show mom like mine...they are few and far between.

Mar. 30, 2011, 09:13 AM
My mom was never a horse person. 5 years, 4 horses and ponies, many shows, hundreds of lessons, thousands of hours later I can say she really knows her stuff now.

My mom was so scared to drive a truck and trailer, that for the first few times my sister and I had to listen to her 'calming' whale music during the whole trip. But she did it anyways, and now even trailers our show horses up to 5 hours confidently by herself, hitch up and back up with no problem.

She paints feet, cleans boots, picks stalls, cleans tack, fills water buckets, grinds pills and helps out in anyway she can.

She can tell now when our horses get a leadchange, who should win the hack, and if the pony in the next ring over needs it's hocks done. She has never missed a show.

We always made fun of her when we were at a show because one time my sister and I were both catchriding and she said "Remember girls, this isn't about ribbons, it's about winning!.... I mean learning!!!" but she always told us we did great no matter how well it went.

She withstands my sister and I's teenage attitudes and frustrations even if she is just as tired as we are.

She has given up so much to let my sister and I ride. That new car the neighbors have? She could have one too if I hadn't gotten my current horse. That 2 week exotic vacation she could take? She would rather take us to horse shows. All the hours she could spend pursuing her own interests? She has invested in our riding careers. My mother is truly the one the makes it all work, and without her, all I have today riding wise wouldn't be possible.

Mar. 30, 2011, 09:35 AM
My mother is completely horse illiterate. She couldn't tell you a three legged lame horse to a perfectly sound one. But my oh my, bless that woman's heart because she's put up with so much of my crap for the past 10 years! :winkgrin:

I'm always very stressed at shows. My classes are A.) either sprawled out over the day, or B.) Packed together. I'm always stressing to get ready and even when i'm running down to the in gate just about to miss my class, she is right behind me with a grooming tote, gatorade, and a big bucket of water.

She's always there to shine my boots, button my collar, do my hunter princess hair :D, and to provide moral support even though she is EXTREMELY allergic to horses. When I hear someone sneeze, sniffle, sneeze over and over again I know it's my mom! She'll even hold my 17 hand beast of a draft cross..... only for about 30 seconds though :p

Even though she's not very knowledgeable, she still provides me with constructive criticism when I've done something wrong, cheered me on when I had a fantastic trip, and been there with a big glass of cold lemonade when i've had a scary or just overall terrible ride. All in all, I dont know what I would do without her!!

Mar. 30, 2011, 12:31 PM
My mom and grandma were both into horses. They both showed paints. My mom was there cleaning my boots and getting my horse ready. Much to their dismay, at 10 years old I decided I wanted to show miniatures. They bought me a mini and one for my mom and that same year off we went to the miniature nationals. The following year, my mom passed away. My grandma was still there at all my shows. I started showing dressage. My show season was from march-October and we were hauling every single weekend. My grandma even bought a trailer with much bigger living quarters so that she could stay out of the heat as she got older. She wasn't there at the ring helping me but I knew she supported me. She stopped coming to the shows once I was 18 and learned drive the trailer myself. She still calls me a few times a day when I'm showing to find out how it's going. My grandma has been the best horseshow mom. She worked until she was 70 just to pay for my horses. Now I am sitting here at the hospital as she gets a biopsy of her lung. She had cancer 3 years ago and now it's back. I'm scared to death to lose her, but I will stand by her side until the very end.

Mar. 30, 2011, 03:14 PM
I had a great horse show mom. She had no idea about horses, other than writing the checks. She had her foot badly broken by a gelding of mine, rushing out of the trailer and landing soundly on her foot, she was needing a cast for weeks.
She always had beef jerky, sandwiches, and lemonade. And Tang! for my bratty self. Always was there for me with (unwanted at the time) critique. Her heart was in her throat watching me jump.
She gave up days of work to come to my shows. She always thought I should have won, even though I rarely did. I love my Mom.
How was your Mom at shows?

OMG, same here!
My mum always pushed me to do things and discover new activities when I was little... So she started with piano lessons. I hated that! Then she pushed me to do ballet... That was ten times worse than piano! I was 6 or 7 when I literally ran away after she dropped me off at ballet class and my mum's co-worker found me trying to walk back home (about a 10 mile walk... lol). This is the country in France, everybody knows everybody in case you wonder how I got so lucky to be caught someone I knew.
Anyways, after that episode I got to quit ballet, but she wasn't done trying to find something I would be interested in... so she pushed me to ride! Oh my!... She didn't have to push me for a long time... Soon she was up at 6am every Saturday and Sunday to drop me off at the barn! And of course the expenses for the equipment, the shows, and everything that comes with riding... She never once complained.
I love my mum so much and even though I'm a fully grown adult it is very hard to live so far away from her. Merci maman !

Mar. 30, 2011, 03:24 PM
Now I am sitting here at the hospital as she gets a biopsy of her lung. She had cancer 3 years ago and now it's back. I'm scared to death to lose her, but I will stand by her side until the very end.

FineDesign08, I am so sorry and I hope that she can beat it again. I will say a prayer for her.

I have so enjoyed hearing all your touching tributes. My parents didn't have the money for me to horseshow when I was growing up, but supported me in any sport I participated in. I have two little girls who seem to be pony-crazy, which is good since I breed ponies (!)--I hope one day I can be as supportive a horse show mom as all of yours have been. :)

Mar. 30, 2011, 03:28 PM
My horse show parents are amazing.

My Dad loves to keep track of all time times in my jumper classes. He knows what the winning time is and what I need to do to beat it.. Whenever I take a turn too wide or slow down too much, he likes to tell me how much time he thinks I lost due to that..

My Mom always drives to the show. She is always there to give my horse treats and give him a kiss on the nose.

They put up with my awful attitude the whole time I'm showing. When I get stressed I get a major case of horse show diva.. bless my poor parents!