It doesn’t matter if you are barrel racers, hunter/jumpers, or breed show participants, when it comes to race/show weekends, it all starts the same way. You just know this will be the best weekend ever. Throughout the week there is a heightened sense of excitement, preparations are made, horses are cleaned, trailers are packed. As it gets closer to the time of the show, depending upon where you are going, the weather reports are scanned and analyzed with NASA-like intensity. Rain, of course, can de-rail the best of plans, especially if like my daughter and I, your ability to drive the trailer, back the trailer, and maneuver safely in high water are minimal.
So, it all goes. The schooling day begins. If the horse is perfect, you worry that he won’t maintain the edge. If he is fresh, you pray he settles in. If he is in trouble, ducking off barrels, refusing jumps, or whatever the dreaded issue is in your sport, then you seriously pray it gets better before you enter the arena for the real event. All the while, having that sinking feeling that this is not going be your weekend.
Then the actual event starts and things start to go one way or another. Everyone is a winner-everyone has great expectations until the first round goes down. Then occasionally the losers win and winners lose. But not often. It is the usual suspects at the end of the day, picking up the ribbons and the cash. Still we all show up winners and head home perhaps something less. I don’t know why we fall for it each time. Of course, there are those that pretty much always win their class but a crazy judge or unusual weather can be enough to unhinge the best of horses.
It is like the old saying-hope springs eternal. I guess it does. We pay our money. We take our best shot at getting through our appointed course. And no matter what happens, most of us, come back and do it again.
It is horse show weekend for us, just the local circuit, but the weather is already creating a challenge. Along with that, in the schooling ring, Mickey was “fresh” and Leo refused all the oxers but then came around.
Tomorrow we will set out early (before dawn) and hope for some good luck and blue ribbons. Hope springs eternal.