Sunday, January 3, 2010

Another New Year....Another Show Season


There is only a few months before the show season starts, before the trails are open, before the Poker Rides start up, before the...the...the...sigh. Yes, here in the NORTH we await the spring thaw anxiously. The farmers hope for a good mix of sun and rain, while us riders hope for longer cool days to practice, school and refine!

The farmers await the spring lambs and calves. Some horse people are awaiting the birth of a long awaited foal. Spring is the very best time of year!

Yes, Spring is just around the corner! Winter officially started just over two weeks ago, why are we trying to blow past it?? I still keep hoping for the right snow to come, but all we have gotten is powder or slush.....neither of which the runners on the sleigh will work with. I need some packed snow and a bit of fluff on top of it for the sleigh to work correctly and not be a drag! (haha!)

I really shouldn't complain though, it has been a very mild winter so far. Only twice now has it dipped below the 12 degree mark and both times were very short cold snaps! For the most part, we should be riding everyday if you look at our weather, but the ice buildup is incredibly dangerous. Any spot with standing water is now an ice rink!

Those of us die-hard riders in the north will haul to where we can ride. That is an adventure all it's own! But one must do what one has to do to be ready for the upcoming spring show season!

Spring Showing is half dismay and half hilarity! The dismay comes from not being totally ready and the hilarity comes from not being totally ready! When you get to work your horse over winter, he will stay in shape and learn about cues, moves and new stuff. You don't always get the chance to ride in an arena with 15 other horses, which is where the hilarity usually comes in. If you have ever been to a spring show where horses are rearing, bunny hopping or just plain "askeered"....that is dismay and hilarity. The poor owner/rider and the horse have probably worked very hard over winter to perfect their transitions, but the mind plays tricks with the horse in that first Spring Show! Sometimes it is the rider who is more nervous than the horse and that just feeds the horse. Whatever the cause, a Spring Show is bound to have some sort of "entertainment".

Usually by the end of spring all the kinks are worked out and serious showing can be done. It is very important to attend the Spring Shows, just so you and your horse can see, feel and absorb all the jitters felt by everyone else.

Oh, and the things we forget in the spring. All winter we have been riding with our long johns, sweatshirts, paddock boots and whatever else is comfortable and warm. We forget we need our stock pins, our hair up, our nice helmet, our jacket, clean breeches and polished boots. We forget we need to use the plain saddle pad and not our tie dyed one. We forget the schooling equipment we have come to depend upon must be put away.

Yes...Spring Shows are full of fun, surprises, hilarity and dismay. But those of us addicted to horse showing must go through the rites of spring, to get to the satisfaction of summer ribbons!

Share your spring show experience....I bet it was funny to look back on even if it wasn't so funny at the time!!

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