As equestrians, we have a LOT of things to be grateful for: the chance to ride another day, wonderful friends, family and trainers who support us, and, of course, the horses who carry us around. But as I made my way back to the barn last weekend after a brilliant show jumping round I found myself thinking about all of the other people or things I sometimes overlook when saying “thank you.”
Thank you to the photographers who sit in the sun all day to capture that one brilliant shot that will bring tears to our eyes.
Photo by Shelby Smith Photography
Thank you to the jump crew who tirelessly picks up after our mistakes and sets us back up for our next round.
Thank you to the strangers walking down the barn aisles who possess a smile or share a heartfelt, “good luck,” as we make our way to the ring. The support of strangers means more then you will ever know!
Thank you to the show staff and volunteers who put on these events we attend. Without you, we wouldn’t get the chance to spend time in the ring with our best friends!
Thank you to the vendors who always seem to have that one thing we forgot at home! (And the countless other things that we do not REALLY need, but somehow wind up buying anyway… oops!)
Thank you to the weather for cooperating, or maybe not cooperating, but giving us the chance to ride through the rain and see what we are really made of.
Thank you to the pony kids who remind us to pat our ponies and always keep carrots on hand.
Photo by Meagan DeLisle
Thank you to these venues for letting us grace their beautiful grounds!
Thank you to the horse show dads for their witty humor and willingness to lend a helping hand.
And, of course, thank you to the horse show moms who help us with picture-perfect braids and bows, pristine wrapping skills or for just being ready ringside with a cool bottle of water when we need it most.
Thank you to the young professionals for reminding us to be scrappy and never quit trying.
Thank you to the seasoned pros for showing us where our hard work can lead to.
Thank you to the adult ammys for proving that NOTHING can get in our way if we try hard enough.
Thank you to the on-call farriers for helping us out in a pinch and getting us back in the ring as quickly as possible!
Photo by Alissa King / JN
Thank you to the announcers for keeping us on time, informed and for trying their hardest to pronounce even the most difficult of names.
Thank you to the course designers for testing us, and for setting us up to succeed while still gently pushing us out of our comfort zone.
And, last but definitely not least, thank you to every spectator who comes out to support us. No matter who you are here for, your cheers and clapping for each rider truly makes our day.
Photo by Alissa King / JN
What else should we be thankful for?