Congratulations! Today is your day!
You’re o; to a horse show, let’s blow them away!
You have brains in your helmet, and feet in your boots,
Your horse is all clipped, and her braids are so cute!
Your trainer has taught, and you’ve got this, you know,
You’ve learned all your courses, you’re ready to go!
You’ll head to the schooling ring, walk and then trot,
A canter, a clean change, you’re such a hot shot!
Head through the timers, you’re galloping fast,
You know for a fact you’ll be winning your class!
But sometimes you’ll fail. And not just pull a rail.
Sometimes the gray mare will Swish her gray tail.
Her head will shoot up, she’ll be sour and mad.
You’ll head to jump one. This is going to be bad.
She’ll stop in her tracks, the buzzer will sound.
You’ll leave the ring wond’ring what happened
Round two she’ll buck and she’ll
kick and she’ll rear,
And you won’t believe this is
Here at the show! Where people
In this super-expensive show class
Your third refusal will feel
Wasn’t it last night you were the
Nailing your rollbacks and
swapping your leads?
Does she hate her new pad?
Did someone switch her feed?
Or was it the fact that you
showed up too early?
Or maybe too late? That
made her so surly.
Are you just not as good as you thought
that you were?
Is she just the wrong horse? Is it you?
Is it her?
Back home with your trainer you’ll soon work it out!
Except now, you are caught in a web of self-doubt.
Doubt you can stay on. Doubt you can jump.
My friend, you are caught in a post bad-ride slump.
There’ll be tears and self-loathing.
Your confidence? Gone!
A deer in the headlights—more like it, a fawn.
You don’t trust your horse. You’re not getting along.
From flatwork to groundwork, it’s all going wrong.
What happened to all the work you two have done?
Suddenly lessons aren’t seeming so fun.
You’ll come to a place where you’ll start to berate you,
And feel like your mare has started to hate you.
But no! That’s not you! You’re better than this!
Resent’s not the way to work back to horse bliss.
Stop feeling so grumpy and start giving scratches,
Love goes a long way to burying hatchets!
It’s not about you or your pride in the least,
It’s about being friends with this magical beast,
One highly embarrassing, public bad show
Doesn’t get to erase the last six months, you know!
So maybe it’s time for some nice loose-reined rides,
Some pats and some cuddles and stroking of hides,
And suddenly her ears are perking a bit—
When she sees you walk up, she throws a glad fit.
It’s always a gamble when we mount to ride,
From bad falls to bad rounds, we take it in stride.
Horses are horses and they have bad days
(Especially mares, and especially grays).
It happened to me! So cut yourself slack.
With mints and some love, you’ll soon be back
What matters the most is your love’s bona fide,
Your pony is waiting … so … get out there
and ride! HI
EMILY BOGENSCHUTZ lives in Texas and is a
freelance writer, recent hunter-turned-jumper, and
professional sneaker of saddle pads into the washing
machine. Follow her on Twitter @EJBog
With a tip
of the hat
to Dr. Seuss,
is its own
HORSING AROUND » BY EMILY BOGENSCHUTZ
To The Horse
Show You’ll Go!