Over the last few months, there’s been a lot of discussion about the problems with American show hunters: they’re too slow, they’re all drugged up, they are prepped and lunged to death, there are too many divisions and too many horse shows. And critics say that all of this combines to create awful animal welfare situations and terrible riders! I’m not here to refute every point, in fact some of it I wholeheartedly agree with. But some of these points fall far from the mark, and I’m here to defend “dumbing down” show hunters.
Finally, finally this weekend began to feel like spring is truly here (and hopefully to stay!). The weather was gorgeous on Saturday, and while it rained on Sunday, it was still warm enough to be at the barn in just a t-shirt. I took advantage of a commitment-free weekend and spent the entire thing at the barn. It was heaven on Earth,
At this point in the year I’m usually really sick of the cold, grey days of winter and frantically trying to get ready for show season. However, my usual sense of urgency is no where to be found. Perhaps it was the mild winter or lack of big riding goals; maybe it’s been all the change in my life and the lessons I’ve learned. Whatever it is, I’ve embraced this calmer, less worried attitude… which is probably why you haven’t seen much about riding on the blog.
One of the best things I ever did for myself was take a step back from riding during college. It was a good thing for me, because I needed time to mature and figure out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. I’m forever grateful for that time, because it allowed me to come back to horses on my own and be 110% committed to being an equestrian for the rest of my life. As a fresh college graduate, this is not always easy — there are a lot of demands on your time and finances, and the only way to include horses in the equation is to be dedicated to making it work. However, this time away from the horse world also had a huge impact on my riding… and it wasn’t for the better.