Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show here we come?

Spotty Horse News started as a blog about our spotty horse, Lena, and the adventures three people could have with one horse. Lena led to Calabar, a not-spotty off-track Thoroughbred and Calabar and I have had our own stories to tell. There is rumor our journey is really just beginning and may lead us all the way to Southern California next April for the Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show series.

The day of many dances
I will be down there anyway because I am lucky enough to be part of the team putting the show together, but this little voice kept nudging me to think about actually participating with Calabar. Even after the play day Halloween costume debacle. Honestly, this terrifies me enough to cause unrest in the middle of the night. "Am I crazy? There is so much that could go so very wrong with this. PEOPLE WILL LAUGH AT ME!"

Deep. Breath.

And one more just for good measure.

The funny thing is I never really wanted to show. I'm actually still not sure I do, but I very much want to improve the world for ex-racehorses and part of the way to do that is demonstrate their suitability for careers other than racing and improve their after-market value. Do Calabar and I need to be there for that? Not really. There will be plenty of good riders and well-trained horses to do that job better than we could in a lot of ways. Not to mention there is the logistical hurdle of trying to help run the show while making sure my own horse is well-tended and we are both properly attired and psychologically ready for our grand debut.

So what could we offer if we were brave enough to do this? Besides a much-needed sense of humor about all things, I'd like to think Bar and I are an example of the heart of the matter, the true point of it all--the relationship you build with a horse as you work towards a goal. An example of someone willing to try--even though they aren't the best rider and don't have aspirations of Grand Prix level riding--and willing to try with a horse off the track. Maybe even an example of horsemanship, of taking the time it takes to be a team regardless of whether you win or lose.

I guess it depends on what you want out of showing. It's not that I don't want ribbons, ribbons would be great and I'm pretty sure Calabar would like lots of them. The true prize would be walking the road to the show ring with him, learning all we can from each other along the way.

That's my own goal. Plenty of people have been very successful showing Off-Track Thoroughbreds. We even met a lot of them while we talking aftercare at Breeders' Cup--people who have been showing a long time and remember when the show rings used to be filled with Off-Track Thoroughbreds and people who took horses from the track and turned them into show horses. I know what the Thoroughbred fans say--how the warmbloods and European horses have come to dominate the show ring and the reasons that's the case--but it seems that there is still a place for OTTBs in the show world.

Even for beginners. And maybe, just maybe, that's what Calabar and I bring to the table--that there is room for rookies here and it can be fun.

Now if I can just figure out those pesky logistics--how to be in two (or three or four) places at once--we might have a plan.

1 comment:

lmel said...

You go girl! I know right where you're coming from because I think the same thing from time to time. Sure ribbons would be fun, but it would just be part of the road Harley and I travel together. I say, "Go for it!" I toyed with the idea of going to one in our neck of the woods but couldn't work out the logistics not owning a trailer. But it would have been fun, regardless. And I haven't ridden in a show in over 35 years!