A Horse of a Different Color
My son says they all look alike. He is a professional photographer and has photographed me in the last 6 horse shows.
He made that comment when I told him we would get new pictures this year because I will be competing on a different horse in my seventh horse show.
I rode Waverly in the first three shows. He is a tall, solid brown horse with a white spot on his nose. He retired in 2016.
I started riding Tinkerbell after he retired. She is much smaller, and is what is known as a paint horse for her white patches that look like they are painted on her brown body.
I find I grow very accustomed to whatever quirks the horse I ride has. Waverly was near perfect, and it took me a while to get used to Tinkerbell who made me work much harder to get her to trot.
Last year she decided to stop to snack on the mums on a barrel we were supposed to trot around in the show. I later learned this was a “Tink thing”. I wasn’t the only rider who had that problem in the show that year. It threw me off mentally and I screwed up the remainder of the course.
In a recent lesson I was put on Dorito , who is narrower than Tink with tan, white and black markings. I always get nervous on a new horse, but he was so easy to ride I quickly became comfortable. My instructor told me I would be riding him in this year’s show.
I didn’t get much chance to practice on Dorito with only three classes on him. For my most recent class, I was back on Tinkerbell. My instructor informed me this was how it will be now with my horse assignments for classes not necessarily being consistent.
I voiced some concern about how getting different horses makes me nervous. My instructor asked me why that would be. She knows I have been riding the last 20 years since I had a stroke.
I don’t think there will be a surprise horse assignment in tomorrow’s show. I plan to have the same confidence without regard for which horse it is. They do not all look alike, nor do they have similar dispositions.
© Victoria Ponte 2020