Monday, October 13, 2008

Have Parka, Will Judge

Here I am, in non-parka mode, posing with Kristin. She served as my announcer once she finished showing in the other arena.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Just when I thought I was finished judging horse shows for the year, I got a call to fill in for another judge who had to bow out of her assignment. I had nothing on my social calendar (ha!) for Sunday, so I accepted. And why not? First, it was at a showground not all that far from my home. Second, I know the management crew and they're a very competent, fun bunch. And third, Wally's orchard grass/alfalfa hay mix is about $22.00 a bale. As I've mentioned before, I equate every little job with how many bales of hay I can buy with the paycheck. I wasn't about to turn down the gig! The only drawback to this particular judging duty was that a brisk, cold wind started blowing the night before. By early morning it was howling! All I could think of was, "Well, I wouldn't be sending any of my little lesson kids to a horse show in this kind of weather." I truly thought the show would be cancelled. But since I hadn't received a phone call by 7:00 a.m., I snuggled into my down parka (for the first time since last February) and headed to the show. Guess what? The wind there was reduced to nothing more than a breeze. The temperature was a bit nippy until the afternoon--- well, nippy by Southern California standards-- but overall it was very pleasant weather.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For most of the day I was teamed up with Kristin, a congenial young woman who served as my announcer. I'd worked with her before. Kristin is a kindergarten teacher, and I used to teach school, so during any lulls in the action (like while the arena was being watered) we'd share anecdotes about the classroom. I always find it interesting that schoolteachers, in general, are very verbally expressive. We like to chat! Plus we're very positive by nature, forever acting as cheerleaders for our students. I think that's how I approach judging: I truly want the riders to put in a good performance. I'd like everyone to get an "A".

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kristin had competed earlier in the day in the other arena, under the other judge, who happened to be Meg Schulman. She is a USEF "R" (large R) judge, which is a testament to her skill, training and experience. In the past I've interviewed Meg for Horse Illustrated, so naturally I had to make use of this time together and get some interesting quotes and insights from her for future use in the magazine and on Horse Channel. Meg is a genuinely nice lady. She is also expressive and articulate. She probably would've made a wonderful schoolteacher!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Click on "comments" below to share your thoughts!


4 comments:

Horse Lover said...

Sounds fun:)!

Horse Lover

Gwen said...

Sounds like a great way to earn $ for the Wally fund!

Ann said...

At least you have some fun! and it goes toward the wonderful hay fund!

Cindy Hale said...

Ha! Absolutely: Any money earned goes to the Hay Fund for Wally. Although lately it's been the Re-Shoeing Fund for Wally. *sigh* During this last spate of wind I put him in his covered pen and he promptly got a HIND SHOE stuck in the wire and yanked it off! So guess what I'm doing today? Pulling out all the wire.