Today's blathering is on the topic of prizes. You know, the ones you or your spawn get if you happen to have a good day and you wind up with a $1.00 piece of blue nylon telling you, "You done GOOD!"
Coolers or silver plated whatnots (plates/frames/cups) are awesome, but a: they kids and I don't typically show at that level, and b: if we did, I'm not so sure we'd be getting those kinds of ribbons. So we play at the more local level, for the most part, and I'm really happy with the direction the prizes are going.
I mean, shows have a hard time making money, so I'm gonna say that the fact that they give prizes at all is pretty damn fantastic. Because a ribbon may fade, but a coffee cup or candy jar can go off to college with you. No joke. Both my kids will go off to college with a full set of coffee cups. I'm thinking they can use a couple for their intended use, then repurpose the others into pen holders, hair tie organizers, or flower pots. (Whatever, the last one could happen, although they better not be growing anything funky in them!)
Anyways, I've noticed that show management has gone and seen the light. Yeah, kids make up a good portion of the active show population, it's true. But if you look carefully at the folks who are sitting on top of horses, sweating from activity and nerves, and looking as if they are going to vomit, you're going to see a lot of adults. What's the connection here? The age thing.
Who is paying for the horse show? An adult. The adult who is parenting or the adult who is riding. What do adults who are paying for the whole galactic ally expensive horse thing do? They drink! They drink to exacerbate the pain of writing astronomical checks, or to alleviate nerves or because that night's lesson (or any of them in recent memory) didn't go to plan. Or just because hanging at the barn/show with the other inmates at the horse-crazy asylum and sharing an adult beverages is a good thing.
Crap, this post was not supposed to be so log. Here's the point: Horse show management is finally recognizing who pays the bills, and is tailoring the prizes to them. PREACH!!!!! Sing Hallelujah!
I offer as evidence....
|Yay! Bring on the vino!|
|Mommy's sippy cup|
One of my favorite shows is right up the road and one of the masterminds behind it is a very cool lady who actually reads this blog (Hi, Lena!!). Lena is a true genius. She has great stuff for the ponies and kiddos, but she also knows that Mom and Dad (aka The Bank) need a little recognition as well. The Child did well at one of the shows, and after she won a class Lena walked over to Sophie to hand her the blue, and on her way over she handed me the wondrous invention you see above. SWEEEEEEEETTTT! (See, I told you she read the blog!)
And to further expound upon Lena's brilliance, look at what she gave to the series Reserve Champions. A chair!! Seriously, this is great on so may levels. As a parent of a rider, you need something to sit in during the hours of "hurry up and wait" until the spawn goes in the ring for the 2-5 minutes they actually spend showing. Or, if you are the person that is showing, you need something to catch you as you slide bonelessly off your horse, as well as something that will hold you as you a: suck deeply from an oxygen tank or b: hydrate yourself with an adult beverage. (In which case, see above). And it comes in handy if you have multiple children with activities, or the equestrian child participates in other sports. The little beauty above has come in handy at several soccer/lacrosse games.
As you can imagine, I've been lobbying our trainer and barn manager to go to these shows as often as possible. You can never have too many wine glasses.