Blame it On the Hunter Show
 By Winniefield Park   •   24th Sep 2018   •   424 views   •   0 comments

You probably don’t notice anything awry, but by my schedule, this little article is late. Why? Well, first I procrastinated. And then, I went to a hunter show. Two weeks ago, my niece got a new pony. Now, this is nothing new to her as she’s always getting new ponies. In fact, the principal at her school mentioned to her mother that she was always talking about getting a new pony. For most little girls getting a new pony is a really big deal, so the principal wondered if she wasn’t telling tales. No, she wasn’t telling tales. Ponies come and go pretty quickly around here. And they usually find good new homes, being well tested by my niece.

Anyway, I knew I was running out of week and I had to sit down at my computer and get some work done. But then I found out that a local fair was on and my niece would be showing on both Saturday and Sunday. And my husband wanted to go and watch her. The first day was a pony show, with games and toddlers being held on their ponies by hovering parents and a costume class. My niece took her own pony, one she’s had for over a year now, into all the games, won a fist full of ribbons and loot and had a blast. My husband however, who has suddenly taken an interest in jumping, was disappointed he didn’t get to see her jump. So, over breakfast on Sunday, he mentioned that he’d like to go back for the hunter show. I was hesitant. I knew I had work to do. And, I almost froze to death the day before.

But, we decided just to go for an hour or so, watch a couple classes and come home in plenty of time to get things done. I garbed myself against the frigid wind blowing in across the bay. And we were out the door and arrived at the show by 11AM, which should have been just right to watch my niece’s flat classes before the jumping.

But, clearly, as the first flat classes continued, we were going to have to wait awhile. Oh well, when you’re at a fall fair, you eat fall fair food, so we had lots of time to fill up on poutine (for those of you not familiar with this, it’s French fried potatoes covered with cheese curds and gravy) and ice tea, watch some entertainment, the heavy horse show and stroll back to the English show ring where... the flat classes continued.... and then it hit me. We’re at a hunter show. Nothing moves fast at a hunter show.

Now I am not complaining, but observing. Hunter shows are very popular. They can be a lot of fun and are a great learning experience. They’re also a bit safer than jumpers or eventers. But, where I am from the pacing of the show is so slow you could easily have a nap between your rides. One rider who is originally from Europe mentioned when she showed jumpers there were shows where 80 horses were put through the ring in two hours. If you missed your go time, you had to beg to get back in the line up and if things were lagging, you might not get to ride at all. But in hunters they’ll call you to be on deck multiple times and it seems like you can take all the time in the world to get to the gate. For someone who is very attached to being on time and on deadline, I couldn’t help feeling like they could hurry things up just a bit.

Finally, about 2PM, my niece rode hack classes. The pony which she’d had for about two weeks was a gem and she came out of the pleasure, show and road hack with ribbons. We waited another hour and a half for her first schooling go over fences. And another hour before her first class over fences. The pony again was so good, and again she pinned in both over fences classes.

My husband later said that it was relaxing just sitting and watching all the horses and ponies going around. Almost meditative. It made me glad my daughter got into a dressage, where you ride at your appointed time, and then are home in time for a nap. Or, if you’re into the higher levels, you don’t have to wake up in the wee hours of the night. We ended up not getting home until past suppertime. And this article ended up late even though there were six other days of the week. I’ll blame it on the hunter show.
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