Friday, October 16, 2009

Horse Show Mom

I am officially a horse show mom. Yup. I wish I could be showing right along with my daughter, but as many of you know, my accident prone mare is still on stall rest from the "chip on her shoulder." Yes--silly Krissy fractured a small piece on the scapular spine and all we can do is let it heal--time, time, time (and money)--good thing I adore that mare because she seriously always has something going on with her.

Anyway, I'm not going to talk about Miss Krissy today. Today I want to talk about being horse show mom and my kid and her pony.

Monty (our pony) is really pretty special . He seems to really understand when his little girl is up on him and what his job is. However, that doesn't mean that I don't get a little nervous when she's in the show ring or now when she is out on the cross country course. I was sort of wishing she would fall in love with dressage more-so than the jumping, but, this is not the case with either the kid or the pony. They LOVE to jump.

The passion for the jumping is also where mom's nerves get a little sketchy. Monty has been known to be quite excited at the prospect of being out there on the course. I know--I've had to use a pulley rein on him a time or two out there, and so when the decision was made a little over a week ago to let the kid and pony do a one day CT, I was like, "Hmmm...really?" Terri assured me that both the kid and pony could handle it.

To be sure we took them over to Copper Meadows (where the event was being held) for a practice run a few days before the event. As I worried, Monty got a little strong and tried a shenanigan after one of the jumps, but the kid didn't let him get away with it. She brought him back quickly and confidently, and then she got mad at him. I love that this kid doesn't get scared when he gets strong. She just gets a little irritated. So, they jumped that particular question a few more times until everyone felt good about it. And then they moved on to the next section of jumps and it all ran smoothly from there.

Now the practice is one thing, but putting it all together out on course with the kid and pony on their own out there is a whole nother level of nerves, because they are out there without Terri or mom, and all I can do is watch and pray it goes well.

So, the dressage test went well, the stadium jumping went great and then it was time to go out and do the course and I was a wreck. I am sure Terri knew I was a wreck as I said a quick prayer to St. Francis. I also took Monty's sweet face in my hands and looked him the eyes and said, "You take care of your kid out there. That's your job."

Know what? That is exactly what Monty did. They were brilliant and when they come off the course I was whooping and hollering like I'd just one the lottery. It felt like I did. It was one of the best moments of my life. Silly? Maybe. But it was.

My daughter and Monty went home with a second place ribbon and she had a huge smile on her face for the next two days. Monty got extra goodies and a big kiss on the nose from his mom and his kid. I'm pretty sure Terri gave him one, too.

How about you--any horse show moms in the group? If so, do your nerves get to you when watching your kid? Or even just watching your kids ride? Or what about you, do you get nervous when you show? If so, how do you handle it?

Have a great weekend and hug a horse!


P.S. My new website is up and I hope you'll visit it at


Anonymous said...

You just described the kind of lifestyle I want to have. I would love to be a horse show dad. great post.

A.K. Alexander said...

Thanks, Charlie Horse. It's amazing and fun. When I was a kid I didn't show all that much because of the expense. We did a ton of trail riding though, which I loved, too.

I have to hit the bestseller list so we can keep this up. It truly is a blast. Hope you get to experience it.

Andrea said...

When I was growing up and showing/riding, my mom refused to watch me jump anything above 2'6". She said it just made her too nervous (and she was my horsey parent!). Now that I'm closer to 30 than 12, I'm nervous to jump anything over 2'6" and understand my mom's point of view much more.

My dad was very much a horse show dad and even seemed to enjoy our monthly outings. The two of us would get up at like 6am and hook up the trailer and drive 45 min or so away so I could show in the local show series. I think he enjoyed our time together, even though he's not that into horses. I know they're some of my best memories, so even if it's making you scared to watch, your kid will appreciate it later!

Laura Crum said...

I'm not a horseshow mom per se, since my kid doesn't show. He's never expressed an interest in this and I've never brought it up, as, after twenty years of non-stop competing, I'm a bit burned out on the competition thing. If he ever requests it, I'll just get over my self and go, I guess.

My kid and I do trail ride together a lot and he lopes his horse all over the place, gathering the roping cattle...etc, so I'm very familiar with the heart in the throat feeling. Especially out on the trail, I always have my fingers crossed that nothing too terribly difficult will happen (see my previous post about our "Autumn Ride"). But so far (two years of our pony and two years with Henry the horse), its all been pretty smooth. Knock on wood.

I sure do sympathise with you, Michele. Just watching my little boy go scrambling up a steep trail is enough to make me nervous, let alone jumping solid fences on a pony who wants to get strong (!)

horsegenes said...

I can relate - I haven't been a horse show mom - my daughter chose competitive gymnastics instead of horses. At first it was fine, the routines were simple but she progressed rapidly and was into the elite gymnast catagory. The tricks were big with multiple rotations, blind landings and lots of speed, etc. It was nerve racking. I didn't realize it but I was holding my breathe through her entire floor or beam or bar routine. I would be exhausted by the end of a meet. It would be a good happy exhausted but exhausted none the less. You know as much as I fretting and worried it was all worth it for both of us.