A Day at the Park

    The Near Side - A Day at the Park
    Snoopy thought the jumper ring was way more interesting than the ring he was in. Photo: Lesley Ward

    On Saturday, Snoopy and I attended the Kentucky Equine Humane Center benefit show here in Lexington. The show was held at a fabulous nearby park with an extensive equestrian center. There are fields and hills and several different riding rings, plus lots of cross-country obstacles. If I had my own truck and trailer, Snoopy and I would be there every weekend. But as it is, I drive an economobile that probably would have trouble towing a shoebox, so this was our first trip to the park.

    For me, this was the ideal show. It was casual and laid-back, so I didn’t have to braid. They had stalls available, so I didn’t have to leave Snoopy tied to the trailer all day. The location was perfect, close to home and at a lovely venue where I could ride around the fields a bit in between classes. There was plenty of space for me to bring Snoopy out to graze before we showed. Even the weather was perfect. Plus, we managed to snag a couple of blue ribbons! And to top it all off, the show was to benefit a great organization, so even if everything had gone wrong, I’d still feel pretty good about my entry fees going to a good cause.

    This show had dressage and jumper classes in addition to the open show. There seemed to be a pretty good turnout for the sport horses, but it was kind of lonely in the pleasure classes. I’m not sure why that is. This kind of show is perfect for bringing out greenies (horse or rider) because it’s low-pressure and inexpensive. Show attire wasn’t even necessary, so it would be great for a new rider’s first show. It was a good fit for me and Snoopy since he’s more lawnmower than show horse these days, and it gives us a chance to get off the farm and do something fun without having to compete with the big time show horses.

    So where was everyone?

    Maybe this type of show is better suited to the early part of the season when everyone’s still getting legged up. Maybe it’s just that everyone’s recession-weary and show entries are down across the board. It’s hard to say.

    My experience is part of the inspiration for this week’s poll question (left side of your screen.) Feel free to elaborate in the comments here. If you compete, what draws you to a show? Do you chase points on a specific circuit? Do you only attend shows that offer a certain division? Or do you just go wherever your barnmates are going?

    I enjoyed my day at the park, and I think Snoopy did, too (he thinks the park is delicious!) As long as we’re still hitting the shows, I think we’ll keep this one on our schedule.

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