As the sun sets on the ides of August, I bring you one of the most annoying things that can happen at a horse show: the open in-gate. An open in-gate is exactly what it sounds like…the entrance to the arena is empty. Everyone is waiting for the next competitor. The judge is annoyed. The other competitors are cooling their jets trying to quash their nerves, worried that their trainer is going to put them in out of order. There is gossip about the inexperienced trainer who is somewhere else, holding up the show.
In the end, the trainer arrives, the competitor enters the arena–the show goes on. Everyone is polite, an apology is offered, a laugh is shared.
I’m holding up the show, keeping the in-gate open. When I come back, ready to actually post, I will tell you how to enjoy a hunter/jumper horse show. Now may be a good time to hit the porta-potty or get a snack. Just remember, the horse world is very small. If you say something about this missed commitment, it will get back to me and I’ll tell everyone about how you jumped that oxer backwards in the warm-up ring.