Barbara was having some Pony Club kids over to review some of the knowledge they would need for their rating. She invited Maryann and I to listen in. The topic was tack, especially bits. The three girls were about freshmen-in-high school age. I don’t know about you, but when I was their age, I was absorbing everything that had anything to do with horses. These girls couldn’t recognize a Pelham bit from a snaffle! Maryann came to horses after her daughters gave up on them, so I could understand that she didn’t know much, but these girls had their own horses.
Maybe it was because I didn’t have my own horse growing up that I would read and watch anything that had a horse in it. Yesterday my husband was making fun of me for watching horse racing on HRTV. He kept kidding me about turning to gambling. I said “what are you talking about betting? Look at that horse’s strong hind end as he pushes away from the gate. See how this one’s back moves as he paces.” (They were showing both TB and STB racing.) It took some explaining but he finally got that I was watching the races for the horse flesh, and that I was not unique for doing so. Every Saturday afternoon when I was a kid horse racing would be on one channel or another and I would be glued to the TV. The Kentucky Derby was a big deal to me and my circle of friends, all of us who were horseless. I once got into a fight with my parents because they wouldn’t let me watch the end of the QH All-American because dinner was on the table (remember a QH race is only a quarter of a mile – what is that about 45 seconds?!)
I admire the Pony Club system because even though these girls didn’t previously know this stuff, they do now. If they continue with it, they’ll become well-rounded horsemen and not just riders. I used to be jealous of these kids for the equine opportunities they had that I didn’t. But I think now I’m catching up!