Sunday, May 30, 2010
Yesterday was DD's first horse show. She rode a darling little pony called "Strawberry Shortcake." For her first show she did well; she came home with 5 ribbons and a smile a mile wide.
"Cowboy up" is a term used in horse circles. I heard it often yesterday. It can mean a number of things, used in a number of ways. If a rider falls off their horse but gets back up and rides out of the ring you would hear "way to cowboy up." It basically means carrying on inspite of poor circumstances or a disappointing turn out. It means being tough and persevering.
I am slightly annoyed at the use of the term. Here's what I noticed yesterday. There were several "cowBOYS" (men) at the show. For the most part they looked after their own horses and cheered on their offspring when they were in the ring. The folks doing the "cowboy upping" all day long were the moms It was the moms who were at the stables at 7am and stayed all day at the show, then drove back to the stables to unload horses and tack at 7pm. It was the mom's who sponged off horses and told the kids to sit in the shade when it was 29 degrees out. It's moms who packed lunches and snacks and then gobbled a few bites hastily between events. It was moms that stood ringside in the dust to get the best pictures. It was moms that scooped up great loads of horse dung from around trailers, and hauled water to thirsty horses. Kids helped, of course, but the truth is the horses and kids couldn't have done it without the mom "ranch hands."
I am not complaining. Some of the best lessons in my life came from my horse days as a teenager. My horse kept me out of trouble, taught me responsibility, about winning and losing, about the importance of getting back up when you've fallen, and about unconditional loyalty. I hope DD takes in those same lessons. So, I will continue to "cowMOM" up, even though I still have dust in my nose hairs and a wicked sunburn on my shoulders.