21. Favorite classes to watch
Easy, FEI freestyles! Even in Indiana we get a couple of FEI rides at each show, and occasionally even freestyles. Seeing these from competitors I'm familiar with makes them much more approachable. Plus, the quality of the ride, gaits, and connection are so much more evident in person. It really makes you think about how much work a freestyle or even just FEI (ha, just FEI!) ride really is. It's so far beyond my ability right now, I just get glimpses of how fast a rider has to think and how much they have to hold in their head for each movement. Whew!
22. What’s in your cooler at horse shows?
Well, Jen outted me! I like to pack three things for a horse show.
1) Water, frozen with mint leaves in it. And a lot of it.
2) Wine or beer for celebrating, or commiserating, or just general friend-making.
3) LICORICE! (You guys knew this was coming, right?)
I wish more shows were closer. The United States is at such a disadvantage. We are so huge, and our shows are so spread out. It's hard to make it to many without blowing most of your savings on filling up your rig's gas tank. I'd love to go to Europe and experience what it's like to have a show in your backyard almost every weekend. That is so amazing.
24. Your ringside crew:
Always? Me. While I'm lucky to usually have an entourage of supporters (my mom lives just 30 minutes from my main show facility, and I tend to make friends volunteering and from my childhood in the area), I can't always depend on having anyone ringside who can help me out. Having a strict plan on getting ready, and enlisting someone to read for me are my biggest goals. That and chowing down on enough licorice to keep me chugging forward!
25. Best prizes:
Ha, I have to say that some of the prizes at my local and rated shows can be pretty good. However, my favorite show winnings have come from either volunteering or from shows when I was younger. I just retired a dandy brush I won as an 8 year old at a Dan Hobyn Stables schooling show, and I adore my Harmony in the Park baseball hat. A shoulder sling backpack I won at IHSA was another favorite. The day I win cash will be the best day...