Relentless wind, deep mud, a great show at Reins of Life


Early morning spectators are bundled up against the wind--thank goodness for a few rays of sun.

white horse

A lovely white horse, soon to be a lovely brown horse, waits for the whistle to enter the dressage ring.


Here's the reason for the brown horse--although as the day progressed the mud situation did improve somewhat.


This is the first time I've had a chalkboard as a backdrop for my booth--but what the heck, all the people who stopped by didn't seem to notice or care.

Yesterday Reins of Life, a therapeutic riding center in South Bend, Indiana, held its first benefit dressage show. The show director had invited me to set up my booth in their activity room, and it turned out to be a very heavily trafficked area with lots of interested folks stopping by. The facility itself is just wonderful–indoor and outdoor rings, roomy stalls and huge paddock areas for all the horses, a children’s fully-equipped play area in the activity room where they can be supervised and entertained while their siblings are riding. Fortunately for me, breakfast and snacks were being served in this same room, which of course drew in all that wonderful people traffic.

The weather could have been a little more cooperative.  It was a truly blustery day, and of course some of the horses over-reacted to that. It had been raining for a couple days before the event, and the mud situation in the ring had some of the greenies stymied. I had to laugh–while feeling totally sympathetic–at one horse who entered, trotted up for the halt and salute, then realized he had halted right in front of a huge puddle. The poor rider spent probably a good thirty seconds attempting to maneuver the horse through the water before he finally gave in and went forward. I’m sure the horse felt like he was being asked to swim across Lake Michigan…

Despite all this, the classes were full, hardly anybody scratched due to the weather and ring conditions, and the cheerfulness and can-do attitudes of all those involved in this charity benefit were outstanding. It’s just so pleasant to attend a large event like this and hear not even one little complaint. In fact, the day was full of absolute enthusiasm and cooperation. What a treat!

About Alli Farkas

Equine and landscape artist specializing in rural Americana
This entry was posted in charity event, exhibit booth, horses and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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