When I go visit WEF, I generally creep around with my camera. Usually I talk to no one, and just walk, watch, listen and shoot.
Of course there are exceptions, like the time that I took so many pictures of these two horses that their grooms heard my camera clicking, stood up, fixed their shirts and said “I’m ready for my closeup baby!” Oui.
So through my stalking around the horse show, I try to pick up a few things. A lot of it is tack and attire oriented, which I share on the blog through themed posts with lots of pictures. Some of it is just random though, so I thought I’d dump those random thoughts here today.
Backpacks. Every rider has a horse show backpack. Every. One. Usually something like this Grand Prix one. It’s probably because they have a zillion horses and are always moving from ring to ring, but now I want a backpack to
bring to the ring ask my husband to hold to keep my gloves, water, snacks, hair nets, etc. Do I really need one? Probably not for $100, but I do see how they can be useful.
Tears. Poor sportsmanship is not a myth. Literally within ten seconds of stepping foot at the show on Sunday, I saw a pony with a 3rd place ribbon on its bridle and a small kid on top. Said small kid was bawling and though I didn’t witness the class, I don’t think she was crying because the pony next to her in line up became rabid and bit her on the face.
Friendliness. Good sportsmanship is not a myth either. After I shot about a million photos in the big eq ring, a teenager approached me and asked who I shot for. When I replied I just did it for fun, she said how much she loved pictures and asked if I could take a photo of her and her friend by the ring. I did, and she was extremely thankful and gave me her email address. I asked if she won the class, and she laughed and said no she wished! I inquired about her eq horse’s markings so I could keep an eye out for him when I edited photos later, and she was just very friendly and appreciative of my time.
Shenanigans. If your cell phone falls out of your pocket while showing, the jump crew will pick it up for you. Now I’m not sure what kind of call you’re expecting while jumping a meter adult class… but hey, good to know.
Criticism. Trainers there aren’t always all fun and games. Winning riders mean business, and some will chew you out for doing poorly. I watched a big eq rider have a fantastic course, and then let her horse swap leads twice after the last jump. That did not go over super well with her trainer, who came up to her later and promptly asked what was she thinking?
Head gear. There were fewer GPA helmets at the show than any other brand. First time in four years that I’ve noticed this.
Excess. Again, there is so much wealth at WEF. By the big eq ring I sat next to some teenagers talking. When one was asked how many horses she had, she answered “3 at WEF. More at home but one is being bred right now, and going to Europe to shop for a few imports soon.” It was stated very matter-of-factly. Must be nice!
Grooming. Finally, know that myth about not clipping in the spring? Well when your horse is turned out for a few hours a day with a fly sheet on and also bathed daily, it doesn’t really matter. Many top barns will body clip their horses every two to three weeks even in the summer. Some of these imported warmbloods carry more coat, and since they work so hard in hot temperatures they want to keep them as cool as possible. Can you imagine… ever two to three weeks?! I think I’d die!