Frolicking Fashions

by kpmautner

Couple of days’ worth of grousing about fashion idiocies.

When I rode professionally, I wore what I was supposed to wear. When someone else is footing the bill for you to show their horse, you play by the rules. In the jumpers and eventing, we could get away with some creativity, but in the hunters, especially in the big classes, you wore what you were supposed to wear. I used to find the Corinthian classes a real challenge because you were actually inspected – everything had to be “just so” or you lost points in the line-up. Fortunately, the groom who worked with me for the woman I rode for was a master of details and could be trusted to make sure that I went in with everything I needed precisely placed.

When I rode hunters long ago (except in the Corinthian classes, of course) I tended to get a bit lazy about “just so”. Then Cameo and I started working with one particular trainer. His notion was that if it wasn’t charcoal pinstripe, it wasn’t going to happen.

And there was no way that a horse under his care went to a show with any display of whiskers. When I first came to him, I was still intending to event with the young horse I’d just acquired. We were getting ready to leave for a dressage show (not with trainer) and the colt was braided nicely and his socks and tail were spotlessly clean. His ears and whiskers were event-horse fashion a trifle shaggy. As I unclipped and got ready to load, trainer stops me. “Are you planning on going like that?” he asks. “Yes,” I reply. “Are you really planning on going like that?” he repeats. He hands me the clippers, and stands over me until muzzle, chin, ears and bridle path are smooth as a baby’s bottom before he lets me go.

Hunters.