May 28 2014
This weekend Jazz competed in his first horse show. That alone, was noteworthy.
But my competition in the ring?
My own kid.
This was the first time — in Hadley’s very short career — that she has competed against me. At the same horse show. In the exact same classes.
And maybe you’re wondering: how’s that fair? A 40-something going head-to-head against a kindergartner?
Well, this was a lightly-attended local show, and our division offered minuscule, unimposing jumps intended for green horses and riders. Hadley was paired with a veteran pony who’s only a few years younger than I am. And I was the veteran to Jazz, who’s just a year behind Had. It was a level playing field.
And I figured that Hadley would suceed, since I was piloting the wildcard — the Thoroughbred who might suffer a racetrack flashback and be overcome with post-parade jitters. Fortunately, Jazz quelled his nerves and held it together.
Martin came to help and watch, as did Brynn. She perched rail-side and cupped her hands around her mouth, shouting words of encouragement while the class was quietly underway.
“JAZZ! YOU ARE DOING GREAT! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! OK, JAZZ?”
It was nice to receive such enthusiastic and audible coaching, especially when we faced obstacles that barely constituted “jumps.”
In the end, Hadley beat me in one class, which was way cool. It was her first blue ribbon.
Perhaps it was a sign of things to come — Hadley succeeding me in the showring.
And if not Hadley there’s always that other one, coming up from the minors…