We're down in AZ visiting my parents and I'm enjoying seeing so much sun. It's not very hot out because we came down about six weeks earlier than we usually do, but it is about 67 degrees on average which is much warmer than back home where it's snowing. Ok, I am bummed that we are gone the week that it actually is snowing back home! But at the same time we really needed a vacation after all the moving/extra work madness.
Yesterday my parents took my daughter and me to the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show for the day. I literally felt "all a-flutter" when we got there. Horses and horse crazy people everywhere! I enjoyed watching the dressage classes. I've never seen dressage classes in person at that level. There were two men (older than me) who were amazing, although one of them didn't even place because he was too casual and not taking things seriously enough for the judges. The other man was taking it seriously and to no surprise took first place. There was a couple sitting next to me who came down just to look at the horses and I said that's what I do at home (only not at this level) and then proceeded to talk their ear off. I told them to watch the man who came in first because he was amazing and I was proud of myself for being able to pick out the best rider. All that paying close attention while watching lessons and all the reading I've been doing is starting to pay off!
I started reading a book about "real collection" with your horse because that has baffled me and it's been hard for me to see. But this time I was able to pick out one rider (who couldn't have been much better of a rider than me - she definitely seem more intermediate than advanced enough to be riding in this show). I could actually see how she was pulling her horse's head back really hard so that his neck was curved, but that's not real collection, because she was forcing his head and he kept putting his ears back and his mouth was obviously uncomfortable. I could definitely see the difference between her "false collection" and the first place winner's "real collection". I asked my mom later how she could riding in such a fancy show because I assumed that like Westminster Dog Show you had to qualify for the fancy shows. She said she was pretty sure that as long as you paid the entry fee you could ride in this show and that Scottsdale was so full of money some people would rather pay a lot of money and not be able to keep up than ride in smaller shows. I don't understand that way of thinking.