Wednesday 7 December 2011

The Breakfast Club / Pretty In Pink - Dressage Edition

Some of you out there must be of approximately the same vintage as I am.

Remember all of those terrible Molly Ringwald movies that our dates took us to in high school?  The ones where although Molly KNEW Judd, when she ran into him out in the real world, he pretended she didn't exist, or had better things to do, or whatever?  Or how she would have rather burned in hell than date Jon Cryer?

This might be some amalgamation of the plotlines, kind of like Pretty in Breakfast.  I get them all mixed up, probably because we really only went to the movies so we had a dark place with comfortable seats to make out and drink a mickey, and I wasn't actually paying attention.  But regardless, there was an theme present in any Molly Ringwald movie, whereby the cool kids totally ignored the losers and pretended they didn't know them, even though they had been french kissing at the prom just last Wednesday or whatever. 

(Well, not the made for TV Stephen King one. It was kind of an outlier. Remember how disappointed we all were when she  didn't die of the plague?)

Trust me.  If I knew they were going to cast her,  I would have written in a plague inspired fiery car crash.  Or something.

I find the dressage world to be kind of the same way.

I have run into Frau Trainerin many times since the days of the Platypus, and every time I have said hello with a big sunny smile on my face, she has stared back at me blankly like I am some sort of deranged mutant.  And this was long before I began writing the blog (at least now she will have good reason).  I have even had a friend ask her about me and she insists she has no recollection of my existence.  Well...ok.

It is bizarre really. But not uncommon in the horse world. Amnesia does seem to run rampant. I better go check Psychology today to gain some insight.

Now, I have at times in my career had jobs that involved meeting a lot of people, and having no hope of remembering who the hell they all are. It doesn't matter - if any of them walk by and say hello and smile as if you are friends - well, then you might as well be friends.  You say hello and smile back.

That is called - not being an asshole.

Now I am not talking only about the Frau here... but in a general sense.  If you have met me... if there is some vague inkling of recollection somewhere back there in the cobwebs of your brain of once talking to someone who looked like me... or what the hell, even if there isn't - why not smile and say HI.  We are all in this together.  

While trapped in line beside each other waiting to pay $7.00 for an egg on a bun at Palgrave because we just don't have time to go someplace that doesn't rip us off - admittedly neither of us are in high spirits, but should we not at least make idle chit chat?  Don't you feel stupid standing six inches from someone you know, or at least have a lot in common with, without acknowledging the relationship?

Or, while standing at the table in the pavillion at 6:00 pm on Sunday as the world's slowest score-adding-up people finish doing their thing so we can get our depressing list of judges comments and fat envelopes of prize money (ha ha, just kidding), shove our horses in the trailers and go home - why don't we joke around about it a bit?  (Do they do the adding manually?  Is an Abacus involved? How does it possibly take so long?)

Or if I am volunteering at a high power Bronze schooling show and you come to get your number or whatever, even if you DON'T know me - shouldn't you be polite, smile, say something witty - do anything other than act like a dour faced entitled jerk? I know I am not "in with the in crowd" in your fancy little Cadora clique, but seriously, it won't hurt a bit.... (And people wonder sometimes why I don't volunteer at horse shows anymore...) 

We were supposed to go to the Prom together, Blane!  (No wait, wait... that was Molly, not me, wasn't it).

Not that the Jumper world is any better.  A good friend of mine and her ex sponsored a top jumper rider's Grand Prix horse for several years - I have been introduced to the woman on a few occasions now, but must have been sporting my invisibility cloak each time. She felt no need to make any eye contact with me or acknowledge my presence whatsoever during any of our meetings. I guess she is afraid swarms of paparazzi will attack her like she is Lady Gaga if she doesn't stay under the radar.  Best to be safe...

Well helll-ooo to you too, bitch!  When I win 6-49, I am sponsoring someone else just to spite her. She is going to be so fricking sorry.  


  1. I had someone who would snub me on my own property. She was a haul-in student for a trainer I was letting use my arena. Mind you I didn't even charge a fee for use of my property. Yet, she would turn her back if I said hi or give me a very cold-reluctant hi. Anyway, she eventually emailed me after several months and asked if she could use my arena for stadium jumping. I very happily said, "NO!"

  2. It is funny, but I have noticed similar behavior. I am an older beginner, and some people will talk to me some days and other days just walk right by without catching my eye or even acknowleging my existance. Do I have a "plague" mark right of the middle of my forehead? Is there some kind of hierachy going on in the horse world where begining riders are not supposed to speak to the more experienced riders? Oh well, I just keep on smiling and saying Hi to people anyway....and there has been some turnover in the barn and people are more friendly than they used to be.

  3. What you encounter happens everywhere, I come from Germany and it does happen there as well.
    One reason why I quit competitive Dressage.
    You are not alone:-)

  4. Firstly, I love the blog. :) Secondly, as someone who volunteered in the booth for a local club's string of summer shows, you'd be surprised how difficult it is to add up those numbers at the end of the day to figure out high point/reserve high point for each division, even if it is only adding up five or six scores per rider. The brain just ceases to function, you end up losing your place in the tally if the bouncer at the door doesn't do his job to keep the riders at bay, and everything starts to look like you're solving an equation for string theory before too long. :) Honestly, if it wasn't for the bonus of getting to watch people ride/learn from their rides while in the booth without having to focus strictly on myself, I think I'd rather compete. There's a bit more down time as a rider.

  5. Kel, I am sorry, I didn't mean to knock volunteers, but just to say if we all just had some fun with the "horse show experience" that it would be more pleasant for everyone involved.

    Including you.

    Maybe the bouncer could hand out tequila shots and appetizers, that would help to get the conversation started. Just a thought. And if he is hot, perhaps if he sported nothing but a bow-tie that might help too. No idea is bad one, right?

  6. LMAO! I'm sorry to say we don't have a glut of Chippendale horse show Dads to draw from for our bouncer pool. Complete bummer! :)

    I am with you on the "spread good cheer and be a good sport," don't get me wrong. And I certainly do try to be nice. Thankfully the ones that toss their Coggins/rabies papers at you in disgust that you even asked for them at sign up are few and far between.

    It definitely helps to mold the mentality when the riders are young. The kids at the barn where I ride are all very good about encouraging/congratulating one another (even us silly adults) and it follows them when they ride at other barns/shows.