Today's post is going to be short, but sweet. This is essentially my big pet peeve, so bear with me. I may appear to be on the verge of a rant or two!!
If you're like me, there is nothing more fun or more exciting than winning a blue ribbon at a horse show. Shows are places where someone who's highly educated in the art of horsemanship will score or place horses based on a number of factors, not the least of which is their performance. Judges are important people in our world, they can make or break your career. Which is why I've always taken my responsibility when judging very seriously.
Being pinned first in a class deep with high-quality horses is the pinnacle of competition. To be honest though, I'd rather be placed third behind two incredible horses than win a class full of lower quality animals. But by far, the worst is competing in a one horse class. Sure, you get the ribbon and trophy, and you won it honestly. I just can't bring myself to get the least bit excited about that whole scenario.
Then we've got some folks who actually call themselves professional trainers and brag about such wins! Okay, being proud of a good performance from a tough horse is one thing. Bringing along a horse that no one believed in, or that was a little difficult to deal with might rate a smile (or a sense of relief...). I can even think of a few times I might be tempted to be happy just to get through a class with certain horses. But you're never going to hear or see me shouting from the rooftops about winning a single horse class.
My proudest moment in this entire lengthy career -- spanning four decades of showing horses -- was being pinned 5th and an English Pleasure Novice horse class at a Class A Arabian show in Del Mar Circa 1980. I was still competing in the 13 and under age division, I was showing a lone Huntseat horse in a world of Saddleseat horses, and every other entrant in the class in question was a long time, well known and well respected trainer. That PINK ribbon I'd gladly brag about!!
Don't over exaggerate your record. Be proud of what you've accomplished, but temper your pride enough to know when enough is enough. That's all folks. :)