I'd love to be telling you that I had so much fun watching the Paint show and that I am all excited to show there next summer. But alas, I am not going to tell you that because lying is bad.
I missed the showmanship classes (the 33 halter classes took less time than I expected) and got there right when yearling lunge line was starting, then saw pleasure driving. I picked the winners in all three classes so I felt smart. Then they opened up the ring for riding warm up. It made me sick. Of course there were some very nice horses with nice movement, but the volume of crank-n-yankers, gadgets, backing as punishment, and diagonal cantering were making me sick. I'm sorry, but if the OUTSIDE rear hoof is striking the ground further inside the arena than BOTH of your front hooves you're doin' it WRONG. I don't care WHO you are. That is NOT a natural way of going, especially while you have the poor thing's chin touching it's chest and it's mouth is gaping open with a twisted wire snaffle in it. There is nothing pretty or "pleasure"able about that. Nothing. And I'm not talking about a hip-in exercise I'm talkin' the whole way around the arena spurs jabbing the whole way. And if I heard one more "trainer" tell a rider their drugged looking horse needed to "walk slower" I was going to scream.
I'm NOT saying that all breed show people are like that. I'm NOT saying that shit doesn't also happen at the open shows I go to, too, because I have seen it there, just not as much. I'm just reporting what I saw and what I do NOT want to be a part of.
I decided to stay for the first few riding classes up until Novice Amateur Hunter Under Saddle since that's probably what I would show in if I were to go to this show next year. The one horse in 2yo HUS was okay and the two kids in the walk trot and novice youth HUS (respectively) were okay. Nov. Am. HUS had 7 nice looking, consistent and forward moving well framed-up horses. If I had been in the ring I would have been very last place even on our best day. This fact does not upset me. I love my pony. He is what he is and I love him more than I love blue ribbons. I love him more than showing at all. I never had ambitions to show breed and I'm glad that I still don't! I think we could do breed shows if we were in training with someone (like KAT) getting consistent lessons AND trainer rides, but I'm not all that interested in that.
So I left and went to Home Depot and bought stain and poly so I can finish my pretty tack box for my wonderful pony. I would have stayed longer if I had a friend to make quiet snarky comments with, but I'd rather go play with my own pony anyhow.
We can stick to open shows. They're WAY better on the pocketbook anyway. I did the math. YIKES. They sure tack on the fees! APHA membership, Nov. Am. card, judges fees, class fees, AND APHA show fees.
I'm glad I went to investigate. I'd be pissed OFF if I'd decided to show there without doing a little re-con first.
So back to our normal lives.
I love how he's looking me in the face in this picture:
Junior: "Really? No, seriously, WTF are you doing to me?"