Hiliary sent a note to me on Facebook asking if I wanted to go to horse show. It was being held at the show grounds where she won season high point one year- about 20 years ago. Her old 4-H club, Sunset Riders, sponsored the show. I was only vaguely aware that Sunset Riders was still around.
A couple of years ago, I would have declined the offer and suggested that we go to Barnes & Noble instead. But now, as I prepare to celebrate my first anniversary as an equestrian, horse shows are more interesting to me. I wanted to see if everyone was keeping their heels down. They were.
I expected that after 20 years everything would be different. There would be different kinds of people, different kinds of horses, and different kinds of classes. And just a whole different feeling.
Here is what was different: nothing.
I take that back. The tow vehicles are bigger and better. So are the trailers.
The horses and riders look pretty much the same.
The parents and other by-standers look the same.
The dads and brothers are still doing what they’ve always done.
Even the 4-H leader was the same: Shirley Thompson. And Shirley hasn’t changed a bit. It was as if she had been plucked out of 1992 and set right in front of us. And she was still in her Octopus Mode, doing eight things at once.
I guessed that she had been at this for 50 years. She said it was more like 35. Well, good enough.
She remembered both Jamie and Hiliary. Considering the hundreds of kids and parents she has dealt with over the years, I thought this was pretty remarkable.
We stayed for several hours. Hiliary tried to explain to me how to tell when someone is on the wrong lead. And I tried to listen.
The day brought back a lot of memories. And Hiliary was bitten by the bug again – big time.
This will make my job as Equestrian Grandpa so much easier.