Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hunter Princess Blog Hop - A Hunter Princess Stereotype You Break

I'm late to the party on this one, but I liked everyone's answers so much I'm joining in.

I think the easy answer is "I don't have a made horse."  It seems like a popular one, and certainly one that's easy to empathize with, but I'm also pretty sure that even the people spending $250,000 on a derby finalist could swear that they aren't buying a made horse either.

So I'm skipping that one (for the moment) and moving on to a few others. 

I think probably the biggest thing that sets me apart at this point is that I prefer to do as much of my own care as possible.  I enjoy grooming my own horses, I enjoy wrapping them myself, hauling them myself and being involved with as many decisions as possible.

I fully recognize that there are plenty of DQ's out there who enjoy full service facilities and full service showing, but I think the Hunter Jumper circuit probably has the highest percentage of competitors coming from full training barns with full setups and full grooming.  There are plenty of exceptions and I totally see those folks too (we're usually commiserating with each other in the wash racks at the end of the day) but I still think they are the minority.

So, that makes me weird.  I did dabble with having a full groom at one show, and while it was really relaxing in some ways (your tack being magically cleaned was kinda cool, so was someone to hold your horse while you pee), it was stressful in other ways too (not having my hands on the mare's legs, not getting a sense of her mood as we tacked up... not knowing what to do with myself while someone else cooled her out..).

I'm not saying I won't ever hire a groom again, but I think I have my most fun when I'm scurrying around trying to get everything organized and The Boy is chasing after us with a rag in hand to clean us up at the back gate. 
Back Gate Crew
I also pretty much always wear full seat breeches.  I don't wear them when I show obviously, but still, schooling in them seems to really be odd in the Hunter Ring.

Though they are all Pikeurs... so I'm not sure that counts against the whole "princess" thing.

There are definite things that throw me into the princess category, which I don't mind.  I thoroughly enjoy hemorrhaging cash on tack and pretty things for the ponies (like my truck and trailer). But I like to think that I get so much enjoyment out of using it all and cleaning it all that maybe I'm not obnoxious about it.

My horse is also fancy, though she was totally a nitwit when I bought her and couldn't execute a balanced canter transition to save her life, does that exclude her from the HP stereotype? I guess I'm not sure.
(not quite "made" lol)
The only HP's that irritate me are the ones who seem to be bratty about bad rounds or treat their parents/grooms/trainers with disrespect.  I think it's all too easy to point at the most polished pair in the ring as assume their path has been paved with gold.  It takes little to no effort to think that whatever level of "help" I have (be that training, turnout, grooms, equipment, etc) is "totally legit and earned" but anyone with an ounce more of anything is cheating.  It's that whole intrinsic/extrinsic thing - we won because we're awesome, we lost because the referees suck.  So easy to take credit for the good.... :)

I hope I'm smart enough to know the lady on the $50k horse is probably having just as difficult a time as I am.  Or that the one paying for a groom for the day might have cash burning a hole in her pocket, or maybe hiring a groom is what lets her still work an evening shift, or take care of her kids or whatever.

I do sorta wish that more people camped out at the H/J shows.  I miss that from evening.  Though it's a little easier to rough it for 3 days as opposed to a 5 week circuit in the desert.  haha.


  1. If you mean we can rough it in the Desert with a pool I am down, but seriously I have gone actual camping down Thermal way and its just not fun (well I went in summer because I am crazy, winter is probably a bit easier.)

  2. Love your answers, especially riding in full seats all the time :) I think it's obvious from reading your blog for a while that Prair is a really nice mare, but she is that way because 50% good breeding and 50% the work you've put into her.

  3. I can definitely relate to a lot of your answers. I never make comments about the placings unless it's to congratulate another rider on their round. I believe modeling good sportsmanship might counteract some of that negativity. Probably not, but at least I don't contribute to it. Sure, there have been times when I don't agree with the placings. In that case I just focus on how my horse went.

    Love the back gate crew photo!


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