There can be a lot of negativity in the horse world: younger riders are 'entitled', dressage riders should only show if they are perfect, etc, etc. I'm not naive enough to believe that horse world is all sunshine and people holding hands singing 'kumbaya'; but the truth is that there are a million acts of kindness in the horse world that goes largely unnoticed. This post coalesced for me at the show last weekend and I think I'm ready to put it down in writing.
When my friend Paula first floated the idea of Carmen and I going to the show I was hesitant. I explained that it would require me to get a hotel room which makes the show even more expensive. Next thing I know she has messaged me that she has a tent and it's in her trailer for me to use. Julia loaned me a sleeping bag and next think I knew I was going to the show and camping!
|my home for the weekend, it worked pretty good- well once I figured out how to stop it from|
collapsing (which I figured out at midnight.....)
Tanya was also camping and made a lovely little set up outside her trailer and was giving out yoghurt in the mornings and beer in the afternoon (seriously- always stay near Tanya, that's what I learned!).
I give both horses a magnesium supplement and the only place I can find that carries it is in the same town as the show. I called ahead and arranged for them to have the bag ready for me on Saturday morning so at 8 a.m. I was there bright and early to get it. Unfortunately, no one could find it's special hiding spot and I had to get back to the grounds. No problem, one of the workers was going to the show on sundae to help a friend and would bring it with him. Sure enough on Sunday there he was with the bag and a nice smile. Huge shout out to Clarence Feeds in Truro. It's a great store with excellent customer service!
During the show I saw many other competitors helping each other: reapplying fly spray, reading tests last minute, wiping rain off of boots. I both received and gave this help and it made everything so much easier. One young woman went back to the show committee because she thought that they had given her an award that she didn't earn.
Around the barn and in the warm up ring you could hear:
I picked out your stall.
THANK YOU so much
I can feed him in the morning
Do you need some fly spray?
Here, have a drink of water
On Sunday Paula was riding her mare in the ring when she gave a huge leap and bolted across the ring. It was very scary to watch. I leaped up out of my chair. I don't know what I thought I was going to do (here Paula I will catch you!) but the instinct was there. In what can only be described as excellent and gutsy riding skills Paula got her mare back under control, headed back to where she went off track and completed her test. I returned to the barn and then saw her limping in with Susan (her coach) leading her mare. Paula had been hurt in the bolt and had to scratch her second test. She was in a lot of pain and I could see that Sue was torn between Paula and her other student who was needing her help. 'here give her to me and I will look after her'. With a grateful look, Sue handed the mare to me and I took care to hose her off and cool her down carefully. I brought her back and Paula was feeling much better. (FYI, Paula won her class which tells you how gutsy and good a rider she is!)
After the show I was packing up to go home when Sue pulled up beside me in her truck.
Thank you she said
For what? I asked, genuinely confused.
For the help you gave earlier
Oh, that! I shrugged it's what we do.
Sue gave me a long look, then nodded. yes, it is was all she said and then drove away.
Helping each other, it's what we do.