Recently my better half has decided that she needs more saddle time and get her 11 (going on 4) year old OTTB some more exposure to jumps in a show environment. So, we pack up the trailer and head off to a local hunter show.
For those who do not know me, I was indoctrinated into horses and the world of eventing about 11 years ago and have actually taken a vested interest in eventing. I mean, it has action, big jumps the size of truck, and a general camaraderie amongst the entire community.
Let me just tell you: this “Hunter Land”… is a little different.
Let’s start with the issue of ride times, or the entire lack of them. Gentlemen, if you are like me and participating as a supportive husband, boyfriend or dad, bring adult refreshments because who knows what time she will ride (except the grumpy lady with the microphone at EVERY hunter show — I think she knows everything).
This does not, however, present an opportunity to sleep in on horse show day because you thought that her classes would be later in the day. If you go on this theory, you will be wrong, trust me. Most recently, it was a mad fury to brush the horse (who, remember, is 11 going on 4)and get tacked up to not miss out on the first class when we arrived at what we thought was an appropriate time. Now, to be fair to Mrs. Rolex Husband, “Hunter Land” is a new thing to her as well.
Speaking of classes, let’s talk about a few:
- Under Saddle — on the flat: I got nothing. I have no idea what this is all about other than your horse had better do what the grumpy lady with the microphone says. I somewhat understand dressage, but I couldn’t pick a winner in this class if you paid me $100.
- Working Hunter: Wait, what? So the rest of these folks don’t “work”? I would be insulted if I entered any other class.
- Medal Classes: Well … aren’t we special now.
- Children’s Hunters: I totally get this. However, you try to pick out a “winner” from a bunch of cute little kids riding their ponies around the ring having really no idea what is going on. While this is possibly the most entertaining group of classes, I cannot imagine the wrath laid down from “horse moms” when little “Maddie” is not chosen the winner. Good thing grumpy lady with the microphone is who she is (I get it now).
And let’s talk about fashion.I consider myself stylish in my hat, jeans, Redback boots (Aussie, Aussie, Aussie …), and T-shirt, but these ladies in Hunter Land are in a different league. Eventers, to me, are “scrappers” — get the job done and do what it takes.
AC/DC could provide an appropriate theme song for any given event, but Mozart is only suitable for a hunter show. Between blush and eye-liner, Tailored Sportsman britche, and “bling,” hunter shows are quite the spectacle. Now the “bling” is nowhere near that of a western show, but we will talk about that another time.
Lastly, let’s not forget the prizes. I think eventers have it wrong. Mrs. Rolex Husband so happened to win her division (of two people — but who is counting) this past weekend, and we got a sponge as well as a gift certificate to a tack store, which was much appreciated. So there are definitely some perks in this Hunter Land.
Don’t get me wrong. I think all horse people are slightly insane but lovely human beings, and “Hunter Land” folks are no exception. Also, show organizers and the grumpy ladies with microphones all put in an extraordinary effort to put on these shows. I just am ignorant and don’t understand, but maybe one day I will!