Observations from CTHJA Summer Circuit I

Observations from CTHJA Summer Circuit I

The only better thing than showing at our local Summer Circuit is hanging out with barn friends and taking pictures all day. Another plus to this is that I can leave at will, and am not stuck at the Expo center for 4 days in a row.  That is a long, long time to be at the Expo center in Austin.  If you haven’t been there, you just have to take my word for it.


For some horses, there is no such thing as “too much horse show.”  For others, there is a definite off switch that happens and they politely (or not so politely) tell you “No, thanks.  I don’t want to play anymore.”  Still more never want to play at all.  If you’re lucky you have the first, and you’re still lucky with the second because you can always build on more and more good experiences.


Some combinations just have “it”.  We should all be lucky enough to get this one day.

Also, when you hang out ringside with a giant telephoto lens to take pictures of your friend’s riding… you may or may not chase the official photographer away.  Hopefully she wants to cool off in the shade for a few rounds instead of be angry at you for poaching (sorry!  just take photos of my friends, ha).


If you bring a fluffy spaniel (or any dog that is not a Jack Russel, Corgi, or Lab) to the horse show, you’re going to get a lot of attention.  This will include people riding by and asking “What kind of dog is that?!?” and many flocks of teenage girls coming to pet said fluffy spaniel.  Your spaniel will probably shake paw and do tricks until he is on the verge of a happy collapse.  If your dog needs a self esteem boost, take him to a horse show.


Riding is and will always be 75% a mental game.  Don’t let your brain ruin your day.


That being said, there is no substitute for a good trainer, consistent program, and hard work.


Corgis are endlessly adorable.  Also, they greatly enjoy chicken quesadillas.

2’0″ jumps no longer look scary.  I no longer watch a round and think that my horse will necessarily be the worst one out there.  We aren’t the best, and we aren’t the worst but we are getting better!


Fly bonnets were/are grossly underused in jumpers.  Come on people, it’s like the most amazing horse accessory ever made.  Jumpers owe this to hunters everywhere to accessorize as much as possible.  It kills me that I can’t show in my 6 fly bonnets… and yes, I do have a problem.

Summer Circuit is an intense show, and the next one is in two weeks.  Though I won’t be taking Simon to any of them, I’ll probably try to head out to Summer Circuit II to take more pictures and satisfy the horse show bug!

21 thoughts on “Observations from CTHJA Summer Circuit I

  1. Hahaha…my lab ADORES horse shows..and horses in general! She sleeps in the stall with our mini and her and Red used to sleep/play/eat together when he was at our little farm. Then again, she’s an odd one..
    Seriously, why wouldn’t anyone use ear bonnets?? Those are stinkin’ amazing.

  2. Come take pictures of me!! I think it might be cheaper to fly you here then purchase pictures form the show photographers… sadly… lol

  3. I am almost to the point of buying a new ear bonnet that actually looks cute- my current one has always been completely utilitarian and has acquired some holes over the years.. A cute green one would be fabulous for the jumper show I want to do next month!

  4. Well written post, Lauren, with wonderful pictures. Not to be a total moron, but why do you guys use the fly bonnets? I have one for Sydney when the gnats get horrible, but it is so hot here that I rarely use it. It’s been more than a year since it’s been out of my storage box. Is there an actual use for the fly bonnets, or are they mostly just an accessory? 🙂

    1. Um, I think if I were to search for a practical purpose I’d say for flies or for wind or for loud noise (it helps muffle a little)… but really they’re just an accessory. 😀

      1. I might actually have an answer!: When I asked my trainer if I should clip inside Wizard’s ears for our last event, she said technically yes, that it’s correct presentation, but not to do it unless I had a fly bonnet to keep the flies out of his ears.

        SO, maybe a man-made correction to the man-made problem we cause by clipping the hair out of their ears…?

        Wiz still has fuzzy ears though, haven’t clipped them yet… but now I have fly bonnets!

  5. Definitely one of my new favorite blogs! Gorgeous photos .

    Definitely agree about the fly bonnets – do Hunters a favor and put ’em to use when you can haha!

  6. I used to LOVE showing and the whole summer show series. I grew up as a MAJOR show hunter and jumper in Texas (Dallas area) (and by the way TOTALLY agree with your fly bonnet assessment). I got burnt out on showing when I was about 18, because the 4 day Expo Center jaunts every other week or more were exhausting. I do miss the camaraderie of it sometimes…

  7. One of my favorite things about Wiz is his ability to turn ‘it’ on at a horse show. It’s definitely the rare horse that gets to a horse show, says, oh yeah, I know what this is, and puts in an extra 150%. So, even though we may still make lots of mistakes, I always leave elated because his attitude was so right, and the technicalities can be fixed. He definitely eats up the horse show atmosphere. (Well, he just likes being the center of attention, so that makes sense… ha).

    I’m glad 2’0″ is starting to look not scary! 🙂 It’s amazing what a good horse can do to your confidence. And you’ll be seeing pictures with my boy in fly bonnets this next event in two weeks… 😉

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