I believe most weekend warrior/Adult Amateur types are masochistic.
Seriously, what fool would take pleasure in waking up at the crack o' dawn on her weekend, bathe, braid, study random squiggles on a white board, compete against friends and stand all day watching people do the same damn thing?
This fool would.
We kicked off the season at the Snowbird III at the Kentucky Horse Park. It was a simple affair, one test (Second Level test 2), and didn't bother wearing the jacket or my top hat. The goal was light: score above 60 percent, settle into routine and clean up the left lead.
The day started off simple, woke up, showered, went to my local corporate coffee house for my breakfast. Came to the park, tossed feed, checked in, and proceeded to check out the footing making sure it didn't freeze overnight. After being less-than-satisfied with my tax dollars at work (warm up was solid and ungroomed, water not turned on at individual spigots, pot holes in stalls) I continued on.
If there is one perk about the pony, it's she's super easy to braid. No halter, no lead, no nothing, in fact, it takes me a whopping FIVE MINUTES to plate the pretty running braid and her forelock.
However, I had two charges to groom. Sinari, who takes five minutes and a fellow traveler who needed button braids.
The last time I did buttons was when I evented eons ago. Despite thinking that the braids weren't tight enough. I didn't miss a beat and got everything done well prior to the girl's first class and all of the braids were evenly spaced. Had more fun with our neighbors who were local dutch breeders, and I was in full novice breeder mode.
Flash forward a few hours, I'm on, I'm riding and ready to go in, but prior to the event I get yanked aside by the judge who is bent (at a schooling show) for everyone to be formally dressed.
While I'm all for wearing my jacket at shows, and looking the part, it's a schooling show. It's not meant to be serious, it's meant to be relaxed. While wearing your attire is encouraged, it should not be enforced. The way I also see it is since I'm riding not with the crowd (ala training and intro)-- I'm doing you the favor of having something to judge other than horses that can't go on he bit.
Which leads me to think if I go down the centerline at PSG at one of these shows, I'll wear something similar, if something worse. Haven't decided.
Aside the mellowdrama from the fashion police, the test went smooth. The medium trot just wasn't firing on all cylinders, my impression of a sitting trot was odd, but the canter work was quite nice. We scored 60 percent and change, enough to place second over a green third level horse and under a seasoned stuck-at-second level pair.
Afterword hacked about the park. First and foremost Kentucky Horse Park is a tourist attraction, so if you go or have gone, realize that the people on horses whether be competitors or staff, are the side show. Over the years I've had some pretty interesting requests that ranged from taking photos with the people, to asking to sit on the pony (that would be a no). Horse education ranges from: horses are pretty to three steps shy of DVM degree.
This time, because Sinari was clipped, she looked almost shaved, and not a whole lot of people know what a clipped pony looks like, so when the general population shows up concerned that your poor pony has issues, I can't help but laughing. A lot.
So our collective season is kicked off, good bad and otherwise.