Well, I told you about carrying a horse to the Andalusian National Show in Houston, then a week later taking a Peruvian horse to Fort Worth to do a cow horse demonstration at the Peruvian Horse National Show. Turns out that the same show photographer was employed at both places. in Fort Worth I rode out the back gate of the arena to take a breather. He was out there doing respiratory therapy with a Marlboro. He looked up and recognized me, saying something about his surprise at my being involved in such widely different disciplines. I answered that earlier in the year I’d ridden in a dressage show. Then in a few weeks I’d be roping and dragging calves to the branding fire on the ranch.
He felt that kind of ecumenism is pretty rare among the different horse shows he had observed. He said that if you rode Western, you didn’t understand English and vice versa. I’ve seen this as well. I’ve roped, ridden dressage, ridden gaited horses, driven carriages, done western reining, working cowhorse, and cutting. I’ve even ridden dressed like a Greek warrior on a Lusitano stallion, and garbed up like a Spanish vaquero on an Andalusian. In each case my part was to make a connection with my horse. It turns out that was the easy part. It was making connections with the people at the show or other function that was the tough part. Horses themselves are pretty ecumenical I’ll say one thing, don’t try walking down the aisle at a big dressage show wearing chaps, a big sombrero, and big-roweled drop shank spurs, unless you have an iron clad self esteem! Or for that matter, you’d best not walk into a reining wearing lollipop pants, silk top hat, and high top shiny black boots!