I think everyone's first foray into a new discipline eventually comes with one of these posts--the "What the hell just happened to me?"/"Did I really survive that?" type post. Since Robert is off doing pony things by himself for several more days, you get mine right off the bat.
Fuck yeah, son.
I think hunter hair on hunter riders is lovely. I think that when you put all of your hair up under your helmet, you should certainly do it the correct hunter-y way or you end up looking like a man. I ended up looking like a man. I watched about ten different tutorials the day before my show. I practiced over and over at home, and then got to the show and tried to replicate it three different times.
My hair is long and thick without having the ability to actually hold itself in place. I'd pull it over my ears and it'd just be like, "I'm faaaalllinnnggggg....." and would consequently annoy the shit out of me so much that I'd yank it out and try it again. I probably need to invest in a new hair net to help matters.
Or just invest in new hair.
Speaking of looking like a man...
My coat is not the most flattering thing in the world. Sunday was the first time I wore it, and while there's no hiding that I have the shoulder span of a fucking Olympic swimmer--a male one at that--I didn't really enjoy the fact that the possibility of that looking sexy (if I was a man) just turned weird when the coat turned me into a fully padded linebacker.
One more outfit thing
Because fashion is what hunters are all about, right? It is if you read the COTH forum. My new helmet was "Meh", but I wasn't going to shell out the money for another CO. I learned Sunday that tan breeches do not become me. There's a reason you see me only in black pants. Although I think even my white full seats give me less of an "Are you hiding something down there?" look.
When Hubby and I first walked up to watch some of the first divisions, we heard a coach calling out instructions as the rider went around and instantly looked at each other with matching startled expressions. Hubby whispered, "Don't you get eliminated for that?!" But I was all, "Hubby. This is hunterland. That's allowed!"
Every time I heard it though, it made me get a little hairy eyed. However, I ended up taking advantage of it by asking one of the coaches to call out the handy course if it looked like I was starting to wander in the wrong direction.
You people are so nice
On the heels of that, almost everyone there was super friendly. No one seemed to mind when I asked stupid questions, and one of the coaches made sure to check in with me before every one of my classes to make sure I was on track.
That One Person
But it wouldn't be a hunter show (or really any show) without That One Person, would it? God, this girl was such a bitch. She'd loudly pull someone aside to talk about some incident while proclaiming that "This is just the surface of it. I don't want to get too heavily into details and gossip." Bitch, please. That's exactly what you're doing. I could tell you her story since I heard it at least four times, but let's just say that is unsurprisingly ended every time with, "But I beat her on the flat."
Hello, where are you going?
This same girl was the one that seemed the most entitled to canter and jump around the warm up without ever calling out her line or where the fuck she was going. It was a bit of an epidemic. Next time I'm printing out my warm up ring etiquette and hanging it at the secretary's stand.
Coaching for forward
Maybe it's just me, but I came in with the preconceived notion that hunter riders and hunter horses live to go slow. It's probably just that their rounds are so smooth and polished you don't realize they're actually cruising right along. Of all the different coaching I heard throughout the day, "Go forward!" was the most consistent thing getting called out.
How do my stirrups always change length?
What is this fucking witchcraft?? My stirrups were easily at least one hole too long for jumping, but I didn't change them out of stubbornness because I hadn't adjusted them from the last time I jumped. I swear they change themselves. I fucking swear.