I call this snapshot "Still Life of a Sweaty Judge."
Yesterday (Sunday) I judged a hunter schooling show in Pasadena, which is a lovely old town situated at the base of the foothills just outside Los Angeles. There's quite a contingent of dedicated riders in the area. In fact, this particular show ground is a stone's throw from the famous Flintridge Riding Club. That was the home of world-renowned hunter/jumper guru Jimmy Williams, for those of you from my era.
At any rate, making the day extra special was the fact that we're in the midst of a godawful heat wave. I kid you not, it's been over 100 degrees for almost a week. And it doesn't cool off much once the sun goes down. Needless to say, I sweated through much of the day at the horse show, even though I sat beneath a canopy of shade cloth and I was kept well-hydrated by the show staff. There were times when my pen wouldn't write on my scorecard. (Hmmm... Was that due to overspray from the arena sprinklers at lunchtime or due to the sweaty residue I'd inadvertently wiped across my clipboard?) At least it was a pleasant experience otherwise. The competitors were primarily novice riders mounted on good ol' school horses and well-trained packers. Since the participants were so enthusiastic, I made an effort to unstick myself from my chair and saunter out to the line-up to give a few pointers to the riders in the equitation classes. The management encouraged me to do so, and plus, it gave the faint breeze an opportunity to cool me off by evaporating the sweat that had collected at the back of my knees. I lost count of how many times I dashed off to the clubhouse's bathroom to sponge myself off with my dampened washcloth. Yes, it was that bad. Normally we all get used to this heat and live with it. But it came on so quickly that no one--- horse nor human--- had a chance to acclimate. And naturally, it's supposed to cool off and perhaps RAIN on Thursday or Friday. That's so typical of my life with horses.