Arrive at showgrounds, get exhibitor numbers from office, try to organize riders and schedule for the day.
Have advil and coffee for breakfast.
Where are my riders?
Find riders for warm-up hunter class. School riders. Holler same three instructions fifteen times. Each.
Realize this is day one of five-day show. Enthusiasm wanes.
Get to in gate. 27 people ahead of you. Go to kiddy ring to school riders for crossbar class. Chew off what’s left of your fingernails praying nobody gets killed.
Go back to hunter ring. 29 people ahead of you now. Don’t ask how this happened.
Pop more advil and one of those little white pills that you hoard. Say silent prayer of thanks that they only drug test horses, not trainers.
Pass porta potty for the 18th time. Make mental note to stop next time.
Have 22nd cup of coffee. Look at watch. It’s 9am. Resolve to stop looking at watch.
School equitation riders. Realize your feet are starting to hurt.
While watching rider in equitation ring, hear announcement that hunter ring is holding gate for you and your rider. Run like hell to ring. Make rider jump two fences in warm-up area and send her in for her round.
Rider goes off course.
Bang head against railing. Spook pony next to you. Apologize. Pony rider’s trainer gives you understanding, sympathetic smile.
Great, now your head hurts too. Pop more advil.
Did I pee yet?
Bad news: Wind speed measured at 45 mph. Good news: nature’s facelift.
Run to horse show office to put rider in class she forgot to enter. Pain from aching feet beginning to eclipse headache.
Frantically attempt to be in three places at once. Fail miserably.
Stop at beer tent. Who cares if it’s 10am?
Run back to barn to organize riders for medal class. In a spastic fit of poor judgment, tell 15-year old rider she can braid her own horse. Feet are now killing you.
Make mad dash for pony arena.
Say… that’s a nice bike.
Ride bike to ring to school pony riders. Discover your pony rider has painted her pony’s hooves with purple glitter.
Attempt to find solvent capable of removing purple glitter.
Kid who braided her own horse shows up at in-gate.
Attempt to find braider to re-braid horse.
Finally get to use porta potty. Pop more advil and check to make sure your breath doesn’t smell like alcohol.
Ignore loudspeaker announcement re: missing bicycle
Head back to hunter ring to watch rider in adult amateur class. Try to maintain composure while Run Dobbin, Run! plays out in front of you.
Attempt to explain to pasty-faced amateur who hasn’t two brain cells to rub together why it was NOT a good idea to leave a stride out of the outside line.
Covet thy neighbor’s beer.
Make panicked attempt to locate rider called back for medal class workoff. Find her in photographer’s tent watching video of World Cup Finals.
Run to jumper ring to school rider for jumper class.
Thank your mother, your teachers, the Academy, and God. Reaffirm your confidence as a horse trainer.
Run to hunter ring to school kid for children’s hunter class.
Explain for the fifteenth time why purple and pink saddle pads are NOT a good idea for hunter classes.
Watch rider chip all 8 fences.
Make mental list of occupations you could still go to school for.
Get to exhibitor barbeque late. They inform you they are out of barbeque.
Must. Control. Fist. Of. Death.
Go back to beer tent and drink dinner.
Return “borrowed” bicycle.
Go back to barn, make sure horses get legs wrapped and are fed and blanketed for the night.
Look at watch and are horrified at time. Make mistake of mentally calculating how many hours sleep you will get. Make bigger mistake of mentally calculating how much you actually make per hour.
Resolve to check out your options next time Starbucks has a ‘help wanted’ sign in the window.
Spend half an hour looking for car keys in barn office.
Find car keys in coat pocket.
Get home after midnight.
Repeat above scenario for 4 more days.
Realize that this is only the first horse show out of 8 this summer.
Take more pills, drink more beer, yank alarm clock out of wall, threaten husband and children with bodily harm if they wake you, and go to bed.
Resolve to look into witness protection program on Monday.