Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I wanna suck.

The thing I struggle with, is why people feel the need to thumb their noses at those who do not feel so compelled to fit within their "box".

Someone made a comment to me about the horrors of riding clubs, full of grade horses with ill-fitting saddles and young riders hanging off their backs. That there is NO WAY that a Dressage horse would ever venture down a trail, and would likely kill horse and rider in any attempt to do so.

They said this with great pride.

They also used a string of foul language to belittle the lowly volunteers, often without any knowledge or experience in dressage, unguided by the show organizers, who stupidly close the dressage ring at the wrong moment.

And we all know, how putting down that tiny white 2x4 can scare the best dressage horse out of his halt-salute.




I could only breath deeply to avoid the desire to beat my head against the nearest solid object.

Okay, so your fancy-schmansy dressage horse is scared of rocks, white fences and should we be so lucky, grass over an 1" tall.

Fine. And if that same rider believes that "Amateur" status should include those paid by the barn they own to ride and train horses, since you know, they're not being directly paid by the people, okay. I'm never getting to your FEI classes anyway, and your red ribbons are purchased on the backs of others. And since my back is covered in a discounted $8 crunchy white show shirt, I'm not going to feel much of a loss.

If you want to crank your horse's nose to his chest, pull on your spurs that resemble small Renaissance torture devices strapped to leather and beat him occasionally over the head with your whip (ensuring of course, it meets FEI regulations on length and color), you go for it.

Because I'm not going to be like you. I'm not going to belittle folks just because their not doing with their horse, what I do with mine.

You wanna run barrels? Do it. You wanna Parelli? Do it. You wanna vault, do Wessage, ride in a bitless bridle or heck, ride in a crank. Do it.

Just get off your freakin' high horse when you're doing it.


I've filled in my entry for the May Dressage show. I'm mailing it in today.

And it takes with it, all of my nerves, all of my feelings of "not being good enough", and all of my self-consciousness.

Because I had an epiphany yesterday.

A moment of insurmountable joy, where it was like the clouds parted, the sun shone through and then rainbows and butterflies burst into the air.

No, seriously.

You see, as much as I like to pretend otherwise, I've been pretty self-concious/nervous about heading into dressage show season.

I know. You'd never believe it ; )

But I have been. My riding jacket is laughable. My breeches are second hand. My helmet is NOT a GPA and therefore, not cool. I don't own a stock tie. The nicest thing I have is my boots, and they don't fit after 2 pm.

Actually, as I learned today, the nicest thing I have, is my pony.

And the best thing about us?

Is us! : )

Okay, it sounds crazy. Crazier then believing I was nervous about showing.

But you see, yesterday I met a group of people. Horse people.

One was a stellar dressage rider. Has beat riders in FEI competitions, has horses with breeding that by the way she spoke, had more impressive lineage then the queen of England. Probably more ribbons then a quartet of girls on May Day, and more training then I have public education.

The other two, were appaloosa breeders. They told me about taking their kids to horse shows, getting 1st place ribbons after 30 years out of showing and hand beading costumes.

They cheered me on when I said I was taking my boy into the ring even if we got all zeros. They chuckled when I said I'm pretty sure he'll never be a jumper...but I'll let him try everything anyways.

The other snorted at who my coach was. And belittled and mocked my Interlake Riding Club.

And the whole thing gave me my confidence back.


I'm not even joking. I'm gonna go into that ring, over and over again this summer, and ride because I LOVE IT. And because I love my horse, love what my coach has helped us achieve and LOVE that I AM DOING THIS.

And if we suck, I'm gonna be proud that we went in. Because I really, really am starting to believe that some of these clubs are the way they are because they have scared off all but the most talented, most famous, most well endowed or if we be so lucky, most blissfully unaware of their own personal suckiness.

It's time to bring the power back to the dorks, the last place winners, the chunky qh's and the second hand breech wearers.

We've gotta be out there. I can't be the only one. But I will lead the charge! I will champion the losers, cheer the ungifted and support those who are there NOT to chase red ribbons and FEI points, but rather to learn lessons, exhibit their personal successes and be proud of who and what they are.

So, riders in your clearance riding jacket, mature horse and slouching back, if you're headed to the May 12th Dressage Winnipeg Show, come find me. I'll be on the chunky brown QH named RR Moons Sox. We'll come cheer you on too.


  1. I love it!
    You and Moon will do fabulous because you two have that connection that most people envy. I surely don't envy those people who can't take their horse out of an arena!
    Who cares what you wear? Who cares if they don't like your coach? You do like her. It works for you and Moon.
    And Moon is being trained properly and slowly. He will have tons of experiences that those other horses can't even imagine. He will get to be a HORSE.
    He will be your horse forever. And you two will have fun together. He won't be all bent out of shape due to his harsh training methods that others use on their horses. Because you are doing what is best for both of you and what you love!
    Power to the dorks!!

  2. I love you for this post. Seriously. And I would join your riding club in a heartbeat. If you just moved it to Seattle, Wa.....

  3. Just found your blog thru Mona - love the post! You go girl :)

  4. LOVE THIS. I just might have to print it off and stick it on my fridge!

  5. Very well said and a great pep talk for those of us out here just like you. I too wear second hand breeches that were given to me by my friend when I was 13 years old. I am not ahem...nearly 32! I don't own a jacket and the only real nice things I have is my saddle and that is becuase my horse was impossible to fit. You go to that show and you enjoy every moment with your horse. They are why we do this!

  6. Amen sister!! I feel the exact same way! Those of us who actually teach our horses instead of force them into a frame they're terrified to come out of need to make an appearance at these shows! I hear these things a lot from people who used to show... "well, they'll laugh at my breeches" or "I can't stand to see how these people warm up their horses in the make-up arena and I won't support it". If those of us who do things the right way, and who love our horses no matter what, and who can't afford to buy all the fancy clothes don't go to these shows, the snobby, rollkur riding, expensive trainer having, yank and spurring, facny clothes wearing riders will continue to rule the day.

    I hope you kick their butts!! Go you, and go Moon! You're a great team! :)

  7. Fantastic post! I promise to be right in there with you next show season :) on my draft cross :) in my second-hand, plus sized riding gear :) and we will be awesome!