Show Time!

Awe, Spring in Ontario, Canada. One day it's freezing cold the next the temperatures are in the 20 c's. The beginning of this show season has been an amazing blending of the two. Sunshine with bitter cold wind. As the day progresses, the wind dies down and the sun takes over forcing people to shed layers like our horses are shedding their winter coats.

Green riders, green horses, veteran competitors and anxious parents. The mix is much like the weather and at times just as volatile. A day of photographing a show means a day of watching pretty much every competitor and their supporters at some point. I see the coaching styles, the parenting styles, the riders nerves (even the seasoned have tummy flip fops) and of course the horses themselves. Ponies that are point-and-shoot others that are a challenge to get to move at all. Young horses that are wondering what in God's green earth are they supposed to be doing and others that know their job inside and out - carrying their human cargo to the ribbons whether their rider is a help or hindrance.

All shapes, all sizes, all levels of experience. The tears, the tirades, the crash--n-burns, the "finally a great trip", the grandparents and parents with cameras, the coaches with their 5th cold coffee of the day.

The experience of showing teaches children and adults alike the value of hard work, practice, gracious losing as well as gracious winning. A partnership that dictates if one half isn't having a good day - chances are the team isn't having a good day. And that's okay too. Learning how to live with off days is a valuable life skill that will carry an individual a long way to a happy ending.

So as we head into the show season (#horseshowlife) ready yourself for the ups, downs, challenges and victories that come along with it. Most importantly, have fun - do it because you love to - because you love your equine partner -- and SMILE!

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