I decided to take my daughter (6) and niece (11) to a schooling show on Sunday. This was the first time I took 2 equines (pony for daughter and niece's new horse) and of course I had no help...just me and the girls. Why not, right?
It's already 89 degrees and muggy at 7am as we are loading up to leave home. We arrive at the show and I do the entries. Of course the leadline division and my niece's division are back to back, so I politely ask for them to hold the ring for me. I hate to do that, and I did get a disgruntled glare, but I slid my $84 cash across the table with a big smile, and hoped for the best.
I figured I'd get the 11 yr old on and schooled first so we could leave her horse tacked up in the trailer and ready to pull off and show after leadline. We pull him off the trailer and he's calling to every horse there, which scared my niece. She scares pretty easy. So she asked if I would get on him first. Of course I had not come prepared to ride so I sqeeze my head into her helmet, and my butt into her 16" saddle, wearing my khakis and school her horse to demonstrate to her that he is in fact still his usual calm and lazy self despite calling to the other horses. It's about this time that my daughter declares she must use the bathroom this.very.minute. We get everybody situated and get niece on her horse and I do my very best to keep my daugter supervised as I help my niece navigate the warm-up ring (a tough thing when you are used to riding solo at home). I hear an announcement over the speaker they are starting leadline. 15 minutes early! Who does that!?! So we sprint to trailer and get pony off and put horse back on. When I say we of course I mean I because I am the one mom show. Thank goodness for well-behaved equines and children! They started the class without us, but then did re-start. All goes well and mini MO did great even in the off-lead classes which made her nervous. Sorry no photos, I was busy huffing, puffing and sweating alongside.
Niece also had a great show, only her 3rd ever, and 1st on new horse. http://i1093.photobucket.com/albums/...d/untitled.jpg
I did manage to snap a cell pic as I was coaching from the rail. 8 beginner kids in a smallish indoor with jumps had me worried but she did great.
By the time we got home I was exhausted, dripping with sweat, overheated and my back and heels were aching (can humans get navicular? ). The girls helped me hose the horses off and put them away and then they went inside to hang their ribbons up and call grandmas etc. to brag. I finished putting stuff away, unhooking etc. and came in the house about 30 minutes later to find that the girls had made me a beautiful construction paper blue ribbon adorned with glitter and rhinestones declaring me the "Best Trainer in the World" and "#1 mom and aunt." I wish I had snapped a picture of the ribbon, it was pretty spiffy.
I remember all those hot, dusty, muddy days of hell when Sis and I decided we MUST show two different seats and all the work Mom and Dad put in. And the tack changes, and the missing equipment. And the hair buns. And the naughty horses. And I remember the days Dad said "once you get on this horse, you are not getting off so make sure you're ready" and I completely understand
Sweet! The memory then came from a completely different place! and it's those memories that are the important ones. You should frame your ribbon!
A few I had (and they mean the most) - driving the whole load back home after two exhausting days at the state fair (trying to sleep in the noisy lit aisleways overnight, early am waiting in a long line for the wash rack, lugging all the stuff in and back out, trailer packed to the gills to not miss having anything) my two young daughters with me in the front seat of the truck, the one next to me snuggled up and blurted out "Thank you mommy." They knew that I had just gone to the end of the world and back for them!
Now older (age 24) same daughter finished a xc run at a HT and was crying happy tears and 'missed me being there at the finish for her.' I was out back on the course where I got some video for her but then she tells me that she missed me at the finish where she wanted to share that special time with me right then in that important moment with her. I didn't know that. Now I'm conflicted! Video/photo memories or the finish??
And the young granddaughter that hugged her arms around my neck and whispered in my ear - "You're the pony grandma."
Thanks for sharing - I'm happy for you that you have some special kids to do this with!
About the only time losing is more fun than winning is when you're fighting temptation.
-- Tom Wilson, actor & comedian
They are wonderful kids and it does my heart good when we get to spend time together like that.
As I was loading up the pony, miniMO realized our 2 horse trailer was full and she exclaimed, "Mommy, there's no room for your horse!" What a sweetie. I'd have to be certifiably insane to attempt to get two kids and myself in the show ring on the same day without help! But in a few more years when the girls are a little more independent I'm gonna have it made! One can dream!
I like doing it myself but I can certainly see why many opt to pay a trainer to handle the show thing. It would definitely be nice to be able to sit on the sidelines and take video and pictures for a change. But, I couldn't justify the extra cost. My husband already asks me why I'm (we're!) supporting my nieces' horsey habit. For the ribbons honey, of course!
It's quite a stark contrast many times to the teenaged relatives I'm raising. I totally sympathize with the "teenagers these days" thread. I sure hope these two grow up to be respectful and appreciative teens. I think they're well on their way. Keeping my fingers crossed that they stay that way. And if the horses keep them on the right track, I will happily continue with the effort and expense!
PS-bring along a friend next time, the kind that knows enough about horses to dust off boots, check girths, hold horses and yell encouragement
A fabulous idea! Nobody (seriously, nobody) else in my family has the horsey gene (which is why I'm fostering my niece's horse habit). Her parents were with her brother who was playing in a regional championship baseball game or they would have been there. Although they know nothing of horses. My hubby had his hands full back home with the teens and our toddler. I really need to find a responsible teenager to rent. Hopefully for less than $19/hour cash!