It looks like a big chunk of the barn's show team is heading off to Valinor this weekend, including me and the princess. We're already organizing cars, equipment, and times for course walks. It's quite an experience to travel with a big group. I like the camaraderie, but oh boy, can it be a circus by the time you add in all of the entourage members. Moms, dads, siblings, even the occasional boyfriend or husband.
The spectators range in expertise from 'so what are you all doing in that arena?' to 'the trot work was great, I'm sure you got under 40'. My husband is actually closer to the second group, but he has learned to avoid me at horse shows. I either take his head off in warm up (I'm a bit tough to manage right before going in the ring) or he ends up holding my horse all day.
I find that there are more moms than any other type of family member in the entourages. The infamous show moms. Just today we were joking around the barn about some of the moms we've seen or known. Some moms know nothing about horses and we generally herd them out of the way so they don't get stepped on or put equipment where it doesn't belong. Some moms try to help, and know what's going on, but instead of making things easier they just make the riders crazy. These aren't what I consider show moms.
Show moms are ones like my own mom. The ones that know how to braid, where all the tack goes, what the deal is with getting to the ring and warming up on time, and they always carry a towel to wipe off boots on the way into the ring. These are the invaluable women that are usually tired, hauling equipment, and cheering for some little girl on a shiny pony regardless of how the ride actually went. These are the moms that know how to fix a braid at the last minute, when to stuff a sandwich in a cranky rider, and when to walk away and let the trainer deal with it.
A lot of teenagers fuss about their moms. They argue, they get under each others' feet, and generally drive each other crazy. On the one hand, I have to laugh and appreciate the fact that I do have my own car, my own driver's license, and no curfew. Those three things seem to trigger most of the fights.
On the other hand, I know one day those teenagers will be at a show as an adult, look over their shoulder, and really wish their mom was there. I know I sure as heck do. It would be a bit of a commute, as my mom lives over a thousand miles away, but I really do miss having her at my shows. Aside from knowing the timing for stuffing food in me so that I don't get shaky and I don't get sick from my nerves, it's always nice to have complete, unconditional support during a competition. And she's my mom, who doesn't want their mom around when they've got big things going on?
And someone to hold my horse when I forget my armband. Again.
I don't know if my mom would want to be an eventer show mom, since it's a bit more harrowing than watching the hunter ring. But maybe, one day, we'll work out the timing and she can take a crack at it.