Giving Everything

GA APHA Amateur Equitation

I love to write. It helps me organize my inner-thoughts, which has a calming affect and keeps me from worrying about all the things stuck in my head. Unfortunately, there are also times when my writing inadvertently brings to the surface emotions and thoughts that are not exactly my topic of choice. One such instance occurred as I attempted to write a piece about why I prefer having a halter horse instead of a western pleasure or hunter under saddle horse. 

My article began with solid justifications such as the cost of a halter horse versus a rider. 

It’s ridiculous to me how much money it takes to own and show a riding horse. First, there is the cost of the horse (I prefer a roof over my head). Then, assuming you are into western pleasure, there is the $20,000 saddle, $1,000 plus bridle, and $2,000 outfit you only wear once because who would be caught dead in a $2,000 top twice (please note my sarcasm). That doesn’t even include training and show fees! And, you know you can’t show up to an event without a popular trainer.

Now, I admit, that last statement isn’t just for pleasure horses. There are definitely politics in the halter pen as well. From my experience, politics are in everything. Even when I showed dogs, there was a lot of “who knew whom”. But, I think halter horses are closer to the side of objectivity.  

Of course, there is the argument that it is silly to have a horse you can’t ride. Honestly, I agree. I also think all horse people are blessed with an inherent level of stupid because who in their right mind would get on a 1,200 pound animal and think, “I’m going to tell you what to do.” 

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on perspective), I too possess a high level of stupid associated with horse ownership. After writing the first few paragraphs of this article, I thought to myself, “Why do I have a horse I don’t ride??? I haul for hours to attend shows where I only go in one or two classes. By golly, I’m going to ride my horse!” So, I did. For about 4 minutes.  Continue reading “Giving Everything”

Hauling Nights

Doug Schembri Memorial Show

Summer break is over. I’ve been back in school for a week and a half, and had students all last week. The new batch of 9th graders were so excited to be in high school, and my 10th graders were as glad to see me as I was to see them. The week was great, but I was quickly reminded of the adulthood struggle between real world and weekend fun. 

The annual Doug Schembri Memorial Show was held at the Ocala Horse Park with a sharp 7:30 am start time on Saturday. From my house to Ocala, one can expect four and a half hours on the road. Not a bad drive, but we definitely had to make a Friday afternoon haul. With school in session, there is no way I can leave work before 4 o’clock. So, my dad and I planned to leave the house by 5 for a 9:30 p.m. arrival. That meant I had to have the trailer packed and loaded Thursday night. Got it. Been doing the trailer pack routine since I was 12. 

However, I wasn’t the one driving when I was 12. Now that I’m the responsible adult, I get to load the trailer, haul the trailer, set up the trailer while my dad prepares a stall. We then bathe the horse, band the horse and try to get it all done in time for a decent amount of sleep because I just don’t bounce out of bed in the mornings like I used to. Adulting sucks. 

Fortunately, the Ocala Horse Park is a nice facility with decent stalls and wash racks. The trailer hook ups could use some help, but we got it done. We even made some friends while we were getting Vixie bathed. And, we still made it to bed before 1 a.m. 

There was a very good turn out despite the Florida summer heat. Even though there wasn’t a sweat-free shirt on the grounds, everyone was in good spirits and happy to be at the appy show. That’s what I love about appaloosa shows— everyone is down with having fun. Even the judges did an excellent job of balancing a light-hearted approach with the seriousness of their job. This is how a horse show should be— as an exhibitor, I want to have fun, but I also want a return on the money it takes to attend such an event. 

Since I only show in the halter classes right now, we were done by 11 Saturday morning. Normally, we would stay for a while and enjoy the company of other exhibitors, but my dad needed to get home for an unrelated engagement. So, we packed it all up and headed back north. On, the way out of the park, I was encouraged to see all so many exhibitors working horses, hanging out, and enjoying the weekend. Most of them will be there all weekend, so the club hosted a potluck dinner Saturday evening (I was sort of disappointed we couldn’t stay to attend, but that’s life.) 

It’s probably good I have Sunday to spend as a teacher work day anyway. Even with school just starting, I already have papers to grade and assignments to build. Hopefully, I can get ahead on my lesson plans because we will do it all over again in two weeks when we haul four and a half hours the other direction to Conyers for the Southeastern Classic.