The Show Down

No way!

It was an adrenaline rush I had not quite experienced before. Think, “jumping out of an airplane.” It seems like a fun experience to try, but then you find yourself at the plane’s door, about to take the leap of faith. Time to stare down possible death. It’s only afterward, once you have survived with feet on the ground, that the rush kicks in and you think it was the most fantastically frightening, yet awesome experiences.

Here I was, perched atop my horse and about to enter a show ring at an “A,” rated show with hundreds, if not thousands of horses. I have never done such a thing and then a couple of weeks ago, I was approached about giving it a try. WHY NOT? Quincy (Quite Charming) handled himself quite nicely the other week with my trainer. WHY NOT? I would do a beginner class. It would be a fun experience. And then…show time! And with any show, it’s also a lot of, “hurry up and wait”…which gave me time to think. 

Odd as it sounds, horse shows are much like pageants, specifically the hunter and equitation classes. Quincy or “Quite Charming,” has to have his hair done (professionally braided) ever so perfectly. Like most horses, he even has a tie-in tail extension for added fullness and weight. His nails (or hooves) need to be healthy and polished; Quincy’s figure (conformation) must be correct and he should look fit and athletic. Of course a horse must stand out, so he also needs to sparkle (shiny coat.) And that’s just on the outside, yet it will be judged the moment he enters the stage (ring.)

Once “on stage,” does he possess confidence and poise when facing intimidating obstacles like loud speakers, jumps, crazy horses and crowds? Is he willing to work, use manners and show quick thinking? There are MANY more important qualities that are judged which are about more than looking good. As a beginner, I am trying to understand the intricacies. But, I do know a horse does not just walk in a ring and win without a lot preparation. It takes years for many to be worthy of a win and because hunters/equitation classes are subjective to some extent, it really can come down to a judge’s preference. A different day, a different outcome!

I’m a proud mamma.

Luckily, for me, Quincy was on his game. I botched a couple of things, but we still pulled out a couple of blue ribbons and a 4th place the first day. The next day we managed to win both our division championship and the Classic. We were awarded gorgeous ribbons along with a silver bowl and huge silver plate! AND like a true pageant journey, challenging yourself to be your best and to overcome nerves is worth more than any ribbon or prize. But they sure are pretty! Now, go take that giant leap.

Be the change!

Amy Gregorio
Your Mrs. International


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