13 July 2007

Golf cart driving bourgeoisie.

Yesterday, the dogs spent a good part of the morning riding around in a golf cart. You have to hang on to small dogs in a golf cart because it is very bouncy, when bouncing across dirt paths on horse show grounds.

In terms of a dog's life, my dogs have it pretty good. They get up early. Take a stroll, many days on the shore. Where a variety of snacks await, from seaweed chunks to seal carcass. Yesterday they did a spot of agility in the sun, with a nice little breeze out, and got to eat cheese. I even gave Ruby a nice piece of rotten cheese, when she was super fast. She likes the rotten kind better than fresh. Then they got to go to a horse show before work.

Most of my students are at a horse show nearby this week. The way that we work it, my partner takes customers off to shows and I stay at home with the riders that don't go and the horses that still need riding. Horse shows are almost never close--they are down in Pebble Beach and up in Woodside and sometimes Sacramento and sometimes down in LA. This week we went to a smallish one just 2 miles down the road from the barn. And since just about every single kid that rides with me is now good enough to show, I sent all my customers away for the week. So I went out to the horse show too before going back to finish lessons and rides at work.

It's kind of hard to explain how a rated Hunter Jumper show works, let's just say it's not that dissimilar to a dog show except that it lasts for 4 or 5 days always and kind of everything on a more stressful and bigger deal. It has the same hurry up and wait kind vibe all day, where you wait and wait and wait and then Hurry Up at a moment's notice. One difference is that you do not go in the ring without your trainer schooling you and watching the course. And the rings have to hold and wait for you. And when you have kids of all levels showing in 3 rings at the same time and some parents that are used to the whole hurry up and wait concept and some that are totally Freaking Out the whole time, it's a little stressful to be the trainer at the horse show.

So that's where the golf cart comes in. And the phone. There is a lot of top secret radio transmission from me at one ring to the trainer or mom at another and then one of us jumping in a golf cart and driving very quickly down dirt paths to the next ring. And back again. And then off to get the pony measured or off to the office or back to the barn. Lots of little equestrian themed dogs in golf carts. And back to the jumper ring then back to the far schooling ring and back to the short stirrup ring again.

My dogs just fall right into the horse show pace, even though, honestly, I am hardly ever at them anymore. They just are the kind of dogs that feel right at home at the side of the ring, or sitting under some trees eating horse poop. They like to sit under slobbering horses and let the slobber fall on them. This amuses kids to no end. They let kids drag them around on their leashes and hang out in the sod back at the tackroom setup. Get little snacks from the back gate guy. And, unlike at the dog show, that's all they have to do. Never compete! I think my dogs are inherently lazy and like being waited on and driven around more to waiting their turn at a dog show. What a life. I think now they want me to move to a golf course.

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