Guess what, everybody! It’s horse show season! Yaaay, right?
Oh...you're getting paged for a fake meeting? Okay cool.
For those of you still here, you’re in luck! Because I've answered some of the most common/dumb/adorable horse-show related questions I’ve gotten over the years right here. So you’ll soon have knowledge about my obscure hobby that could literally SAVE YOUR LIFE. If you’re ever in a life-or-death game of Jeopardy, where the topic is "Horse Shows."
Giddyup! (Nobody actually says that while riding a horse, BTW.)
Q: DON'T GIRLS OUTGROW BEING HORSE CRAZY? A: Nope. Once it’s in your blood, you never get over it. It’s like a really fun kind of malaria.
Q: DO YOU RACE? A: No. Only jockeys race. And jockeys are toddler-sized humans made entirely of brass balls and muscle fiber. I am not that. Also, Thoroughbred racehorses cost approximately a billion dollars, and people voluntarily pay real money to go watch them. That also doesn’t apply to me.
Q: DO YOU JUMP? A: No. It’s exciting and fun to watch, but my horse isn’t trained to do that. I did it when I was younger and bounced better.
Q: SO, WHAT IS SHOWING? A: Showing is competing. Either in an arena or on a course. It means you pay an entry fee to ride in front of a judge who will rate you and your horse based on a set of very specific, objective criteria. And whether or not they like the color of your riding pants.
Q: DO YOU WEAR THE LITTLE OUTFITS? A: If by “little outfits,” you mean larger versions of the riding clothes your daughter puts on her American Girl doll, pretty much yes.
Q: DO YOU WEAR CHAPS AND A COWBOY HAT, LIKE A COWBOY?
A: If you ride Western, yes. I ride English, so I wear English-style riding clothes.
Q: SO YOU WEAR TIGHT PANTS AND TALL BOOTS? A: Yes. And the pants are called “breeches.”
Q: WHEN YOU WEAR THE TIGHT PANTS AND TALL BOOTS AND GLOVES, DO YOU EVER CARRY A LEATHER WHIP AND SLAP YOUR PALM WITH IT? A: You're a perv.
Q: SO YOU JUST SIT UP THERE AND THE HORSE KNOWS WHAT TO DO? A: Um no. Imagine you control your car with only your hands, voice, and tiny movements of specific muscles. Also, imagine your car is afraid of mountain lions, plastic bags and the occasional light breeze. Sometimes, your car doesn’t get along with other cars on the road, and sometimes it’s tired and really just wants to go back to the garage. So you have to convince your car to do exactly what you want and not run into other cars, using cues that are undetectable to the human eye. All while a person with a clipboard watches you like you might be shoplifting. It’s kinda like that.
Q: YOU MUST BE REALLY STRONG. A: Riding is more about finesse than strength. But I could crush you with my inner thighs if I had to.
Q: DOES IT COST A LOT? A: It can. But so do boats, time-share condos in Aruba, and Microdermabrasion. And none of those things whinny at you when you walk in the barn.
Q: DO YOU EVER WIN MONEY? A: Sometimes, but usually only enough to cover some entry fees and a small bag of Peanut M&Ms from the concession stand.
Q: DO YOU EVER WIN STUFF? A: Yes! Ribbons, trophies, coffee mugs, large, decorative keys. Even the occasional silver-plated tea set. It’s like going to an expensive, time-consuming garage sale.
Q: SO WAIT...WHY DO YOU DO IT? A: Because I love it. Because it’s hard work. Because the sense of accomplishment is great and the friendships are greater. Because I’d choose horse shit on my boots over red soles on my designer stilettos any day. Because winning always feels great, but winning with a 1000+ pound partner (who could just as easily freak out and trample the photographer) is like nothing else.
Q: ARE HORSE PEOPLE CRAZY? A: You have no idea.
Q: CAN I COME WATCH YOU SHOW? A: Just kidding! Nobody ever asks this.