I’m cautiously following my glowing Mother’s Day post in praise of horse show moms (and in praise of my own horse mom and cheerleader) with a nod to the other kind of horse show mother.
Sharing the same breed characteristics as the intense hockey dad, this mom advocates fiercely for ( and rides vicariously through) her young equestrian.
As she strides to the judge’s booth, daughter in tow, my tip-off is that same forced smile deployed by the Grinch when he greeted Cindy Lou Who, while swiping her Christmas tree.
I try to divert her gaze.
“Excuse me, I wonder if you could explain why my daughter placed below other hunter riders who added strides or missed lead changes??”
I pause. How does one find diplomatic words for OUT OF CONTROL? I begin on the plus side – the round was “consistent”. (Consistently speedy from start to finish with jaw consistently clenched, restrained by a steadily tight martingale). She didn’t care for my suggestion about working toward softness, safety and slowing down.
I adopt the Grinch smile.
Another horse mom-encounter of a different kind…from my judge’s booth I’d caught a young speed event rider out of the corner of my eye “schooling” her wound-up horse to stand still by jerking and spinning in scowling frustration in the horse show warm up ring before and after each class.
I asked my ring steward to deliver the message that, if it happened again, she’d be eliminated from her classes.
The ring steward returned with the report that the rider’s mom would like to speak to me. I braced myself as the horse show mom approached the judge’s chair with furrowed brow.
“Thank–you” she said, throwing up her hands. “I’ve been trying to tell her that this entire horse show – but what does a mom know??”