Earth Day rains bathe plantings
School book fair cashes in on Winning Bet

There was blood on the show shirt …

Our last weekend horse show reminded me of that old cowboy song, “There was blood on the saddle, and blood all around …”

Let’s just say it was a rushed morning. The list of things I wished I had remembered to do grew and grew as the pre-show minutes raced by: re-glue my show bow, organize my clothes the night before, find my show gloves, find the coffee thermos, find the checkbook, get up earlier.

In my defense, it was my first show in more than a year due to Great Recession cost-cutting.

They called the Hunt Seat Showmanship class, and as I slammed my helmet on

my head, I pinched my face in the snap and started to bleed all over the place. It didn’t hurt at all, just one of those facial wounds that bleed like crazy.

Cleverly wiping the blood on to my black gloves, I walked into the Showmanship class to learn that I’d memorized the wrong pattern. Next, my veteran gelding, who is not thrilled by Showmanship, but can at least be counted on to make the moves in his own sweet time, discovered there was a miniature horse next to him, and came completely unglued, spinning around to gawk at the little oddling.

Always smile, even when you feel like an idiot, that’s my motto. It was not until the class was over and I looked at myself in the mirror that I realized I had a nice splotch of blood all over the front of my best show shirt. I spent a wad of birthday money on this extravagance a few years ago, and it is a great shirt. Ruined now, I supposed.

Not true: Every single speck of blood came out, thanks to a healthy dousing of Shout and Tide in a cold-water wash. Go figure. The commercials told the truth!

Incidentally, the day got better. I missed out on high point by one point, losing to my daughter. Next time …

(Karin Livingston is a career 4-H horse leader and the author of the young-adult horse novel, Winning Bet, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble online, stores, and to librarians and retailers through the Ingram Book Group.)

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