Regardless of what is happening with the rest of the world, one of the things you can count on if you’re an Austinite equestrian is the Central Texas Hunter Jumper Summer Circuit series of horse shows. It’s a three show series that are two weeks apart, and they’re basically a beefed up version of our usual weekend shows. One extra day of showing means for lots of additional divisions and some special classes.
Despite showing in Austin for four years now, I’ve never actually taken Simon to a summer circuit show. I wanted to this year, but the circumstances are less than ideal at the moment for a variety of different reasons.
Even though I was missing out again this year, I decided to take my mom who was visiting for the weekend to the show on Saturday night so I could watch the jumper classic and take photographs. Now this isn’t a particularly exciting jumper classic (minus one round… sorry Heather ;)), but I realized that once I got to the show that it felt so normal to be there watching my friends lugging my big camera around.
I was also pleasantly surprised by realizing that I finally felt like I really belonged at a horse show here. I saw several people within 5 minutes of walking in, and got to chat with them about how their horses were doing and how the show went. Yes, most everyone knows about my situation and sure that’s a reason for people to be extra friendly… but my widowhood was in the background instead of the foreground for at least one night.
Since I started becoming interested in hunter/jumpers, I’ve always wanted to be one of those equestrians who’s at least a little in the know. Knows many of the rider & horse pairs going in the ring, knows the big trainers, knows the barns, etc. For whatever reason, I feel like I’ve built some of that community here now… and it feels really good.
Now I just have to figure out how I can get my shit together so I can be one of those riders showing in these blasted shows instead of just sitting on the sideline!