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When D was about 5 I took her to a ‘showing clinic’ at ‘a famous showing womans’ yard – it was a two day thing, my friend wanted to do it on her cob and because people had told me I should show D i thought why not lets give it a go!

There were about 12 of us at the clinic.  All shapes and sizes, plus a couple of ‘the famous showing womans’ own liveries.  Day one in the morning was about ‘ring craft’ so we were split into two groups and had to ride around as if we were at a show.

Now at this stage D was very green.  We walked and trotted with everyone else, eyes on stalks, about 100hh.  Then came the canter and we refused to canter, we bucked a lot and did an amazing extended trot but wouldnt canter.  Within the first hour ‘the famous showing woman’ had labelled us ‘special needs’.  Nice.

Our ‘individual show’ consisted of napping back to the line, running backwards, and bucking but no cantering.  ‘Very special needs horse, well tried by the rider’.

We were given a lecture in her stable complex about plaiting etc.  D was convinced that everyone was there to see her and banged her door throughout.  You guessed it ‘special needs’.

Day Two, full of positivity started with tack and turnout lecture.  No word of a lie everyone had all the gear.  I had a black grakle bridle and a wintec jump saddle.  Yep special needs again.  We practised trotting our horse up in hand.  We wouldnt trot.  SN – yep, again.

Last part of day two was get ready for a mock show, they brought an ‘outside’ judge in.  So i got slated on tack and turnout, slated on my plaiting (gave up on thread, too tedious), slated because she was covered with poo, slated because i only had front shoes on, slated because my ebay jacket didnt fit and i had the wrong boots, slated because I didnt wear spurs at the time etc etc.  I entered the ridden part full of confidence and on a high as you can imagine.  We walked and trotted round with the others, call for canter, we bolted, everyone else had to be pulled to a halt whilst we lapped the arena (to be honest i was proud we got canter at all and didn’t blame D after all the insults!).  Eventually stopped her.  Individual show refused to leave the line up. 🙂

We came last, surprisingly ‘famous showing womans’ two cobs came first and second (shock horror).  As I left I was told once again my horse and myself were special needs.  I saw ‘famous showing woman’ at a show a couple of weeks later and she scoffed and made some comment about ‘hoping I hadnt brought my nightmare nag with me’ I just laughed and said no.  Inside i wanted to deck her!

From that day forward I have been determined to one day prove her wrong and show that D can do showing – I ruddy hate showing its so subjective, so ruddy boring, all that faff cleaning and washing and trying to look presentable (I have NO eye for detail) and yet D seems to do ok at it.  In our first two shows we have got a 3rd and a 4th, maybe I am going to have to keep going at it, just to prove that ‘famous showing person’ wrong!!?


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