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Redneck Dressage – Part Sept – Gossip

Bill McFadden

Welcome to a look at the world of horseback riding in the SBC… Dressage to be exact. Every sport has it’s foibles and it’s day to day funnies. Dressage is no different! I hope you enjoy the view as I give you a sneak peek into my world of horses:)

Redneck Dressage – Open
Redneck Dressage – Part Deux
Redneck Dressage – Part Trois – Trail Riding
Redneck Dressage – Part Quatre – 50 Shades
Redneck Dressage – Part Cinq – Work
Redneck Dressage – Extra The Stupidest Woman to Buy a Horse – Ann Switalski
Redneck Dressage – Part Six – Qualifying

My husband picks on me about horse drama. I pick on him about softball drama. We get a good laugh out of it once in a while. Well, what had happened was, apparently, I’ve been a victim of horse drama/gossip! I guess that means I’m ‘someone’ now in the horse community. Hot damn!

Dressage is a sport populated by women and you know what happens when you throw a lot of women in the mix, right? Yep, at some point you’re going to get some petty backstabbing and gossip. I know this takes place in practically every sport and/or hobby, but horse people have it down. It’s not that horse lovers are malicious, because they’re not. Most are kind-hearted people and I treasure my horsey friends. We just love to hear the latest on Karen O’Connor and her return to riding after a nasty fall and did ‘Alicia’ ever figure out what that farrier did to screw up her horse’s angles? When you’re passionate about something, you like to talk about it. It’s human nature… and sometimes, it can get ugly. We’re all guilty of it, including myself, but I think you’ll find the following account the height of idiocy. I mean seriously, you have to be pretty crappy to have someone make excuses for you to place 4th! I never claimed to be any good, but this is just plain mean! Good thing I have a sense of humor. Not everyone is a perpetrator of horse drama, but sooner or later, rest assured, you will be a victim! BWAHAHAHAHA! (That’s my version of an evil laugh)

Now, I’ve always been of the opinion that if someone’s talking about you, it’s because you’ve either shown your ass at some point (acted a fool) or they think you have something they don’t. When you really think about it, it can be a compliment. I’m mean, gosh! I can’t believe you’d devote so much of you life to little old me!?! ;)

Apparently, I placed better than expected at a show earlier this year. It was our training level debut and I was really excited. Paisano and I worked hard over the winter to move up to a more difficult division of competition.

Now before I go any further, there is no shortage of excuses riders give themselves for not doing as well as they would have liked or reasons other riders give to commiserate. Been there, done that! Standard reasons can range from the competition having a better horse, competitors being mistakenly entered as an amateur instead of as a pro, freak accidents, panties in a wad, etc…

I’d also like to point out that we didn’t even place that high in either of the two classes we entered. We were 4th out of 10 in one class and 4th out of 14 in another. Overall, it was respectable, but it’s not like we blew away the competition. However, we were quite happy with the results considering this was a new level of competition. Let’s also keep in mind we’re talking about a local schooling show here. (Read  = not that heavy)

I guess it makes sense that the only reason a crappy rider such as myself would place a whopping 4th place would be because I spent 20+K on a ‘made’ horse, right? Yep, that’s what was said. Of course I’d spend more than most people spend on a CAR to purchase an aged ex-jumper. (There really should be a sarcasm font!) I guess because he was a successful jumper, that would automatically make him an accomplished dressage horse??? Have MERCY! Clearly, my sinister goal is to take out the entire local dressage circuit with my dastardly and not so secret plan!

Apparently, for me to place an earth shattering 4th place is a concept so outlandish, it must be explained away.  First, who would honestly think I’d pay that much? What makes you think I have that kind of money? What makes it any of your business? You’re talking about the same girl who had been rolling up with her (amazingly cute) OTTB in a stock trailer not too long before. Second, he was a jumper you nitwits, not a dressage horse. Third, if anyone actually believes ANYONE (not just me) would spend that kind of money for an aged horse, no matter his previous experience, as an amateur, on the local schooling show level, then I’ve got a really nice investment for you to take a look at.

I’ve determined I’m going to take this as a compliment. I strive to be a glass half full kind of girl. I love my horse. He IS pretty cool and I’m flattered that at 18 years young, some think Paisano’s worth the average amount of student loan debt in the U.S. Seriously, that’s like 64,000 bananas… Or nearly 4,000 burritos from Chipotle. (I love Chipotle, I wish someone would build one here… I know! I can invest that extra 20+K I have laying around and build my own!) So, in short, I think my man is pretty special… and clearly so do a few other haters… Even with the tongue issue. (See Redneck Dressage – Part Deux) Plus, anyone who’s actually ridden him knows he’s not an easy ride…  (Props to me!) He makes you work for everything, but hey, when you’re talking about people, who stops to check out the facts first?

In short, my hope is for horseback riding in general, to become a kinder sport. You win some and you lose some. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t. There are no guarantees. That’s just one reason why horses (IMHO) inspire such passion. They are their own unique selves. Each of us connect to them in different and special ways. No two days are the same and neither are any two horses, riders or judges. So next time things don’t turn out the way you envisioned them, be a good sport. It doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to be disappointed… You do. Just don’t tear down other people in the process. Your momma taught you better. Now, can’t we just open a bottle of wine (or a box?) and have some fun?

 

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