Karin’s 4-H club, Blaze With Grace, was at the Barry County Youth Fair last week. Fair is kind of like the Super Bowl event for local 4-H horse clubs and the kids look forward to it all year. Karin’s club has a pretty involved group of parents and some even stay on site during Fair.
I went out for the morning on Tuesday. For some reason, I thought showmanship was on Monday. Which is why I went on Tuesday.
I wanted to see some Speed or at least watch some Ride in Circles classes. But just like the old days, when Jamie and Hiliary showed horses, showmanship found me. That’s all they did Tuesday morning.
I have to admit, it was kind of fun watching Karin’s kids with horses I knew and I got some good pics. But after they were done, I lost my rooting interest. And finally, all of my interest.
Don’t get me wrong. I would never say showmanship isn’t important. I don’t know why it’s important, but I would never say that it’s not. Because it actually upsets some people when you say that. So curious.
But, you can say that showmanship is dull. Everyone says it at one time or another. Usually that time is when it’s someone else’s kid’s turn. Sometimes even when it’s your kid’s turn. Sometimes even when it’s you.
One time it took so long, that Hiliary actually sat down on ground right in the ring. She just got tired of waiting for that glacier jockey of a judge to get done checking the rest of the class. No one else in our group dared shout for her to stand up for fear of alerting the judge. I didn’t shout either because I was too busy beaming with fatherly pride. Yep, that’s my girl! I kick myself now for missing that photo op.
I’m not suggesting there is no action in showmanship whatsoever. You just have to open to it. For example, on Tuesday I took this pic…
…then, I used my Veteran Horse Show Dad experience to kill some time. It’s an art.
I took a walk to the restroom, then wandered around reading signs…
…checked the work schedule to make sure no one snuck my name on it like they used to…
…caught Karin red-handed with a bulging bag right by where all the parents and kids keep their stuff (if anyone is missing anything, let me know) …
… met a show dad who was also a Lions’ fan brother and was gracious enough to show me his tattoo…
…checked the inside this can and confirmed that the sign was accurate…
….then returned to see how it was going in the ring:
Note that in the second photo, the young lady in front of the line turned her head 90 degrees. To appreciate showmanship, you just have to be open to the action it offers.
While we were all waiting, it started to rain.
Yes: it rained on showmanship at the Barry County 4-H Youth Fair. Most people headed for the first structure with a roof. They halted the class for brief period when the rain became a downpoor, then hustled everyone back when it slowed again.
While some folks ventured back out into the light rain, others – including myself – clung to the narrow dry area between the out facing stalls and the wet ground. A mother standing next to me told her party of people: “We’ll just watch her from her…” Our view:
Following that class the same mother told her daughter, “You did a great job!” As if she actually knew.
As I leaned against one of the stalls, I started dozing off. Sleeping while leaning up against something is an old Horse Dad trick. Then, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that I wasn’t alone. Right behind me, a gelding named Duncan was taking in all the action right along with me and feeding off my energy:
Duncan is one of the most kindly looking horses I’ve ever met. I felt an instant bond.