Twas the Night Before the Horse Show

Photo © Lauren Mauldin


Twas the night before the show, and all through the barn
The ponies were sleeping, mane braided in yarn.
The bridles all hung, each polished and shined
Each gleaming bit perfectly aligned. 

My kid was stretched out sleeping in bed,
With visions of cantering jumps in her head.
Mom needs her pocketbook, I need a nap,
This whole horse show thing just might be a trap.

When out in the barn there arose such a clatter,
I jumped from the camper to see what was the matter.
Away to the barn aisle I ran like a flash,
To find the poor braider demanding her cash.

The show grounds were quiet in anticipation 
While I wondered how this became my vacation.
Just when my eyes fell droopy and sadden,
I turned to my left and saw Beezie Madden!

Photo © Lauren Mauldin

She had a champion’s stance and poise in her stride,
And my daughter had told me how well she can ride.
She checked on her horses, inspected their tack,
Neatly folded a blanket onto its rack. 

“Now Breitling and Jiva—hey you!
Stop nibbling at dear Darry Lou,
To the top of the oxer! To the top of the wall! 
Jump away, jump away, jump away all!”

The horses sighed, content in her presence.
I began to wonder if showing was pleasant?
Our pony slept to prepare for his task,
And I knew there was something I just had to ask.

“Beezie, our hero, please help me with this one,
Can this showing thing be any fun?
It’s pricy, it’s tiring, I’m stressed all the time,
I’m out in a barn far past bedtime.”

She put up the blanket, and closed the stall door.
Sheepish, my sight fell down to the floor. 
I shouldn’t have bothered, I shouldn’t have asked.
I should have just let her go along past. 

Photo © Lauren Mauldin

She looked up at me, as kind as can be,
And I wished my daughter was there to see.
“This sport is hard, the nights are long,
Thinking it’s all too much is not wrong.”

“But horses they teach us more than we know,
And the barn will help you foster and grow.
Whether five or fifty, there are lessons to learn, 
And the trust of a horse is something we earn.”

I looked at our pony, all wrapped and tucked in,
And thought of my kid sleeping, hoping to win. 
Beezie smiled and nodded at me before leaving.
I soaked in the knowledge I was receiving. 

There’s no price on passion, no cap on drive,
Through showing, my child was starting to thrive.
Sometimes a parent can gripe about cost,
But in taking the easy way, something is lost.

So I checked on his wraps, topped off the water,
Told him to be a good little trotter.
Looked over the barn, a peaceful sight,
“Happy Horse Show to all, and to all a good night.”

About the Author: Lauren holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of California Riverside, and is a lifelong rider and writer. Beyond equestrian journalism, she explores body positivity, mental health and addiction through personal narrative. She enjoys showing on the local hunter/jumper circuit in Austin, Texas.

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