For those acquainted with showing horses. it can be summed up in two words – work and expense. The amount of time and energy to get your horse ready to show, is almost equal to raising children. The endless hours of schooling both you and your horse, plus the many shows it takes to season your horse, takes a commitment equal to raising children. The cost obviously compares to the above examples and out-weighs the winnings considerably.
So why do people bother to engage in this activity? It simply becomes a life style and the friendships and memories last for a lifetime. It’s nice to win but there is far more to showing than that. The judging is always a mystery unless they are timed events or knock downs involved, and everyone has an opinion on the placings, e.g. “The one that won was good, but we thought the third place finisher was better and the last horse, well, we thought he almost won!” On and on it goes with most people content just to be there and compete, enjoying the picnic like atmosphere and usually the pleasant weather.
If you are involved long enough there is bound to be some outstanding moments that stick in your memory forever. Once at a jumping show there was an elderly gentleman competing and had just finished his trip in the ring and had come to a halt in the holding area. With no fuss or commotion he tumbled gently to the ground and passed on to eternity. Quite a shock to those around but what a marvelous completion to life, doing what you enjoy and transcending this life to the next in the process.
On another occasion a four in hand team of dutch warm bloods ran away in the ring and attempted to jump the in gate with the coach and passengers attached. Breaking the harness and racing through cars, vehicles and hundreds of people and horses, two of the four were finally caught. The other two horses had already been held without injury to man or beast.
These are dramatic memories but there are many lesser ones that stand the test of time just as clearly. The first ribbon won by a new competitor, young or not so young, people that were so quick to lend you help and equipment that you forgot to pack. The rascally characters that are part of every horse show with their devil may care attitude to life. A refreshing break from the strict business world. And naturally the comradery of people with the same interests as yours.
These are just some of the reasons we find the horse world so attractive and refreshing!