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Did anyone else have a horse show DAD? share your memories/stories here!

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  • Did anyone else have a horse show DAD? share your memories/stories here!

    My mom was never into horses. Neither was my dad, really, but it was his idea to get me my first horse. FF a few years, now its show time! We did mostly local circuits, with a few reigonals sprinkled in. Usually we were able to trail ride to the public park most shows were held at, so no trailer driver required. But if one parent attended, 9 out of 10 times it was my dad. He didn't know much about horses, and didn't really like them, but he came because he knew it meant a lot to me to have him there.

    Once at a show, he gave me a leg up (I think the first time he ever did it) and pushed so hard I very nearly fell off the other side! Natrually, he thought it was hilarious.

    Another show, my mare decided she was itchy while waiting at the in gate, and decided a good roll was in order (with me mounted). Again, hysterically funny to my dad, mortally embarassing to me.

    Once we went to 4H district, a few hours from home. My whole family attended that one, lil bro included. It was brutally hot that day and we were all miserable. My dad was really grumpy all day, and it didn't help that I didn't place at all in my pleasure class. My dad probably thought what a waste of a day! He never said so though. I did get fourth in a big eq class, so I was very happy!

    Dad always tried to get me to enter the show with my horses name down as "puppy chow" or "elmer". Haha very funny dad. NOT! Ok a little funny. He also tried getting me to enter the costume class with cuts of meat outlined on my horse in chalk, with "rump roast", etc... Written in appropriate places.

    Sorry so long, just lots of good times. . He passed in April and I guess I'm kust missing him today. . Hope ill be forgiven this long butted post!!


  • #2
    I only got a year of riding lessons as a kid, but my dad would've been a horse show dad had I gotten to continue riding.

    When I was little, he built me a stable for my Breyers--little hayloft, windows for the stalls, hooks in the tack room, etc. He did forget to put doors on the stalls, though. d;

    After my year of lessons when my barn had a fun show, I was all set to go the night before and had my "authentic western" outfit all laid out, right down to the cowboy boots and bolo tie. My dad took my boots while I was sleeping and super-glued rhinestones all over them because he wanted them to look special for the show. I wanted to strangle him, but I acted enthusiastic, of course. (:

    This year he built me a great tack locker for Christmas. Again, there's the little details that are a wee bit off... like the nets he installed at my request for polos and wraps, that kind of hang out of the door and drag on the ground, or the fact that once you put a bridle in there you have to reach in as you're closing the door and shove the bit sideways so the door can close all the way. d; Clearly he is not a horse person... But I love how much work he did to make me happy!
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

    Graphite/Pastel Portraits


    • #3
      Yes, my dad. He was the horse show dad, then the horse show granddad, and now he is the horse show great granddad. He lost his right leg to polio this year, so he just taught himself to drive with his left. There is not much that can keep him from a horse show.
      \"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.\" Anne of Green Gables


      • #4
        I come from a non horsey family. As I got steadily more involved in horses, and ended up competing in the event scene in the 70's and 80's, my father would come watch. My mother always went, as I was just in my early teens. My father was always proud when I did well, but I could tell he thought it was a lot of standing around waiting. The thing I remember most is what he said one time. He told me the 2 requirements to make a horse show a complete day "shot in the a$$" were heat and dust. I always think about that at every show! I have a picture of my dad holding a water bucket at the now defunct Cahaba horse trial in Birmingham, Al. He is smiling and looks so strong. I cherish that picture because he is now in a nursing home suffering from dementia and Parkinson's. My once strong father is a shell of the strong man in the picture. I also have a picture of my old event horse he painted for me, and it hangs proudly in my den. My dad may not have been a hands on dad at shows, but his support meant the world to me. He can no longer talk, but I know if he could, he would want to know how the horses are doing.


        • #5
          Great horse show Dad

          Dad wasn't a horse person but was very involved in our 4-H horse club. Helped build the barn and announcers stand. When I bought my first horse, he thought he should try it before he let his 13 yo buy it (and no, I didn't have a trainer). So, I ride the horse walk and trot and like it. Dad gets on and horse goes backwards. Dad turned around and asked if the horse had a forward gear.

          Fast forward a few years and Dad is "showing" in a musical tires for the parents of the 4-H kids. He is riding the same horse as above. As the class progresses, my sister and I are sitting in the stands yelling "canter him Dad." He turns to us and yells "what's a canter?" and horse proceeds to canter, stopping at the nearest tire when the music stops. Dad gets third (did I mention what a great horse this guy turned out to be?).

          A couple of years later I'm changing clothes in the horse trailer and Dad is supposed to be taking the saddle off of my QH (I've now moved on to a different horse and sis is showing the first one). All of a sudden the trailer is shaking and Dad is yelling at Holly to stop. Turns out, he hooked her leadrope on wrong and it hit her in the eye and she freaked. After an emergency room trip to treat badly rope burned fingers, he was ok. When others commented on it and asked if I was going to get to keep my QH, he replied that I told him not to wrap the leadrope.

          As an adult (me), he custom built an oak tack trunk for me.

          I lost my Dad last summer but have those wonderful memories. This is one of my favorite photos of both Dad and first horse, Tony:

          Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe


          • #6
            Another great horse show dad.

            My parents were not horsey either, but they supported all of us no matter what. When my sister and I moved past lesson horses and onto our own, they bought a truck and trailer. Now that I am a parent myself I understand how hard that must have been and the other sacrifices that must have been made.

            My dad worked for Sears in the days they had a salesman in every department. When we had a show my dad would drive the rig to the show, my mom following in the car. He would park the rig and make sure we were all set. Then he would go home and put on a suit and if possible come back to the show in his suit to watch and get an update. Later he would come back to take us home. My dad made almost every show at one point or another.

            I still miss my dad everyday, but I know his example helped make me a better parent.
            Quality Hunter Ponies


            • #7
              My dad was the horse show dad. he handled all things pretty well, except braiding my hair. Never allow an ex-navy man to braid your hair. YIKES! way too tight, it was like he was trying to splice my hair instead of put in two cute SS braids. I used to wander over to another 'mom' with my bands and ribbons and ask her to braid my hair
              Mighty Thoroughbred Clique - has a Facebook Page!!!http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mig...80739235378806


              • #8
                Well, back when my dad was an engineer in St. Louis doing things like going for random drives on the weekend with his weird engineer buddies (if you've ever seen HBO's "From the Earth To the Moon", the episode about the Grumman engineers who built the LEM--yes, they really were all like that) on one of those road trips he almost bought, on the spur of the moment, a TWH stallion (colt, more like, I think.) Still has a slide of him. However, an apartment is not a good place to put a horse. So I've always thought Dad not being "horsey" was more lack of opportunity than lack of interest. He would always take Fair week off, once he bought the Brenderup he hauled our horse plus one of the others from our barn to the fairgrounds or for clinics, and he and Mom would be at the Fair all day, every day with us. I should find and post the picture the show photographer got from one year when it was POURING. Dad's in his yellow slicker and rubber boots, up to his ankles in water and yelling something off to the side. When you realize that was the arena, and he was out there trying to set up the jump course...
                Author Page
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                Steampunk Sweethearts


                • #9
                  I had a horse show mom AND dad My parents were very very supportive and were at every show, until I moved to CO and they didn't live right there haha. We're an aggie family, so horses were 2nd nature to us all. I am the only english rider out of the whole family though hee hee

                  BUT my dad did recently fly out to Nebraska from Idaho so he could drive 5 hours with me to a CO AA rated show for a week He was my slave all week long......pretty awesome being able to take your horse for a walk while someone else happily cleans the stall and fills the water haha.
                  Horse Drawings!


                  • #10
                    My mom is not a horse person (she's afraid of anything larger than a large Labrador), so my father was the main horse show parent. Mom still came, but she handled packing lunches, ironing the show clothes and other things that didn't involve direct contact with the horse. Dad could never remember the details of the classes. He'd get the saddle out of the trailer for showmanship, or ask me if I knew my pattern before a pleasure class. He tried so hard though, and was always there with flyspray, water, a dust rag. And he was my number cheering section, and the first to tell me I still looked good out there when I blew a class (kinda helped that he couldn't tell a right lead from a wrong lead if his life depended on it!).

                    The county fair had a stall decorating contest, with awards going to the 4-H club with the best display. Dad brought out his staple gun and a seemingly endless supply of ties, bolts and screws to attach decorations, and would go to town on the stalls. I think he enjoyed it more than the kids.

                    Dad also had the magic touch when it came to clipping horses. They would fall asleep with Dad as the barber. I also think it helped that at 6'2", he's tall enough that most horses can't put their heads out of reach (unlike 5'6" me). Though I did have to watch that he didn't over-do it. I still remember the time he gave my QH a bridlepath more suited to an Arab. I was about 15 and thought I would absolutely DIE from embarassment.

                    Proudly owned by 2 chestnut mares
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                    Mighty Rehabbers Clique


                    • #11
                      My Dad loved coming to horse shows. His pre-ride routine was to walk me down to the ingate, take the horse by both cheek pieces, look her square in the eyes, and say "Think Glue." I'd roll my eyes and go in the ring, mortally embarrased by my fathe implying that horse would go to glue factory. Now it's one of my favorite memories.
                      "Beware the hobby that eats."
                      Benjamin Franklin


                      • #12
                        My dad was. My mom only came to my first few shows when I was a kid; after that, my dad and I went to the pony shows together. Neither of my parents was horsey at all, but my mom was kinda scared of the "large animal" (12.2h pony!) although she did braid his mane and tail for me one time, standing very cautiously near him. She also didn't really like being outside with the dust and flies and such. My dad never had or rode horses, but he grew up on a chicken farm, and around lots of animals. He was a computer guy who I think enjoyed the chance to put on his cowboy hat on the weekends, drive the truck and trailer, and drink a few beers with the other pony show dads and hang out outdoors all day. He also taught me how to drive with the horse trailer when I was old enough. Thank you, dad!
                        Visit the County Island, home of Whiskey the ranch horse: http://countyisland.wordpress.com
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                        • #13
                          Dad grew up with horses. However he had no plans for any of his children to do horses. I changed all of that! He was the one who saddled my horse when I couldn't. Held the "rag heads" when I was switching classes and saved me from more than one raunchy horse. We bought and sold horses when I was a child and then as a teen and earned a really good reputation at most of the auctions and rodeos. Now he's trying to be enthusiastic with DD's dressage and the pony. After watching me chase cans, run around with a fire breathing arab, sort and pen cattle watching DD walk and trot patterns is not as exciting. He has fallen asleep watching me do WP though! Mom was usually there holding her breath and praying I didn't fall off or get trampled. I knew what the sacrifices were they made for me to be able to do what I did and be as successful as I was. I will never forget getting to handle some of the top horses of the sport as a child and knowing my parents worked so much to give it to me.
                          Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
                          Originally Posted by alicen:
                          What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.


                          • #14
                            I wanted a pony from the time I could talk. My father bought me the best pony in the whole world! I had him up until last year.

                            My pony was notorious for escaping, and one time he did, I went to get the bucket of feed and and his halter then wait for my dad at the car so he could drive me to go get him.....he came around the corner with a chain saw I asked him what he was doing with that...he told me that Chico will never run away again with three legs!!!! I was nine at the time and I prayed that Chico ran really, really far away! LoL.....

                            Another time at the barn my dad thought it was hilarious to post this sign on the bulletin board:

                            WANTED: Horses
                            All Types
                            Call: Al Sask Meat Processors

                            My dad did many things for me and my pony!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JumpWithPanache View Post
                              My Dad loved coming to horse shows. His pre-ride routine was to walk me down to the ingate, take the horse by both cheek pieces, look her square in the eyes, and say "Think Glue." I'd roll my eyes and go in the ring, mortally embarrased by my fathe implying that horse would go to glue factory. Now it's one of my favorite memories.
                              Ha!! My dad would tell my pony that his nose would make a really nice pair of mitts! Love it!

                              Of course this was the same dad that would buy pony boxes of sugar cubes! "make sure Cheeky gets these"


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by BlueEyedSorrel View Post
                                I still remember the time he gave my QH a bridlepath more suited to an Arab. I was about 15 and thought I would absolutely DIE from embarassment.




                                • #17
                                  I had two very supportive parents...but my dad was the horse show parent for sure. My mom very rarely missed a show, even if it ment meeting us at the show grounds after working 7a to 7p at the hospital (she would nap in the car during breaks, we would say she was on "Mar's Time"). My dad rode western growing up and gave me riding lessons for my 7th birthday...including rubber tall boots and my own helmet! I ended up getting him back in to horses soon there after and within a few years we both had horses. He would trailer all of us to horse shows and was always super supportive. Especially when I got my OTTB when I was 12...we needed lots of support! After we started doing dressage shows I think he was forever ruined for the hunter shows. We got spoiled with the whole ride time thing. lol. He was involved in my 4-H club, became president of our local Riding and Driving club. He taught me how to drive a trailer, was financially supportive of my horse while I was in college, put the down payment on our farm and is overall a super supportive horsie dad! He got out of riding when I left for college in '02 but now has 2 belgians that he drives. I look forward to him retiring in the next few years and moving down south to our farm with his 2 big boys...plus it will be nice to have some extra help down here!

                                  ETA- My OTTB and I were kind of a mess for a while and at one particular show he was especially naughty. I was in the ring for my hunter pleasure class and this woman standing next to my dad said "there is that #9 horse (me), he scares me." As I trotted by my dad said to me "looks good, Hil, just smile and relax" I guess the woman turned to him with a look of horror and embarressment and moved to the other side of the arena. Dad still get a kick out of that story. lol
                                  Last edited by Unprovoked92; Sep. 7, 2010, 03:28 PM. Reason: remember funny story
                                  Brae Mont Farm


                                  • #18
                                    My father was such an amazing horse show dad, driving me all over the place to weekend shows and always enthusiastic about getting up at 4am on his day off. He knew nothing about horses. We went to every horse show with a freshly washed and waxed truck and trailer. My father was so proud of our rig.

                                    My favorite memory of these times was hearing my father swap brags with other horse show parents who were equally clueless. Once I heard him and a horse show mom in conversation ringside, and they were proudly comparing stories about how well their kids could "post the canter diagonal."


                                    • #19
                                      My Dad rarely did the horse show Dad thing, it was usually Mum.

                                      One weekend my Dad decided he would be the horse show Dad and took me and my horse to a show 8 hours away. It was my first show with this horse, who was going to be my BIG horse to move up the levels with, and I was SO excited.

                                      First my Dad parked the trailer away from my friends and backed into a bank beside the road. We had to pull forward to get the horse out. Then he backed it again, so the whole weekend was spent tacking up etc. on this weird slope with this huge bank behind my horse. I don't even remember where we slept (I think I had a tent?), but again, this was not the ideal parking spot.

                                      Next, my Dad was not that interested in helping me (I was annoying, I'll admit) but he said he would visit his friends at the show and promised to video my rides. I came to my stall and found him feeding my horse chocolate chip cookies. What the??? I got mad at him because 1) he should know better, 2) who knows what will make a horse colic, and 3) I'd heard there is caffeine in chocolate and did not want a positive drug test on my new, BIG horse! In hindsight this was not really a worry at the level I was competing...

                                      Dressage went well. I had a good test, and watched it on video. Then for XC - again I was really excited and had a blast on my new horse. Finally it was SJ, unfortunately we had a rail but ended the weekend in 2nd place. This was just the crowning glory for my 15-year old self. I couldn't wait to watch the video when we got home.

                                      About that video... My Dad taped my entire XC round and SJ round... without a tape in the camera. He told me that he meant to put a brand new tape in, to make sure my rounds wouldn't get cut off!

                                      It's so funny now in hindsight, but at the time I couldn't believe it! The only thing he had to do was tape my rides, no grooming or feeding me or anything, but all he did all weekend was feed my horse contraband cookies!

                                      Of course I now appreciate that he spent his entire long weekend driving me to & from this show, setting up tents, paying for food (and probably my entry fee!) and probably listening to my 15-year old self blabber about my perfect horse the entire time!

                                      Now he has his own horse and I haven't been to a show in 3 years but have been cheering him on, taking pictures, and even braiding for him sometimes. However sometimes he has to bribe me not to let anyone see these pictures... GM would be horrified!

                                      You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng