Yesterday I sent the entry in for Presto’s first Future Event Horse class! Despite my pretty gung-go attitude earlier this year about taking him for FEH, I admit that I’ve really been waffling a bit. It took a lot of convincing and second guessing and back-and-forth on my part just to enter this one, and honestly it kind of left me wondering why I was being like that.
I love Presto. I think he’s going to be exactly the type of horse I was aiming for when I bred his dam, and I’m pleased with how he’s developing. His temperament is super, his gaits are good without being too much for an amateur to ride, he doesn’t have any major structural issues, and he’s brave and smart. That said, I have always been able to very easily see the flaws in all of my horses, and Presto is no exception to this. My eye is probably more critical than anyone else’s and I always go the imperfections first, like I have some kind of weird case of reverse barn-blindness. It’s made me hesitant to take him to FEH, although I don’t really know why, because logically it doesn’t make sense.
It’s not like he’s for sale. I don’t even put much weight on FEH scores translating to useful feedback about a horse’s potential – all they can do is evaluate confo and walk and trot on a baby horse, which are definitely not the most important things for an eventer. Not to mention that babies go through some seriously funky stages, and the judge may or not be able or willing to see through that. I tell people these things ALL THE TIME. Some babies score really well at FEH and totally flop as eventers. Some score really meh at FEH and are fabulous eventers. Line classes are really hard when it comes to predicting horses that will do well in a sport like this.
For all of those reasons, his scores don’t actually matter. At the end of the day, it’s just one person’s opinion of a horse on that day, given what they can see. I know all of this. I know it really well. But that hasn’t stopped me from being hesitant about entering him. I already know his scores will just be average (y’all, the llama phase, it is real) and I already know that it won’t matter anyway. But I was still hesitant. I just… I dunno. I’m not sure if it’s that I don’t want to take him out in public when he doesn’t look his best, or if I just don’t want someone handing me a scoresheet telling me that they think he’s gross. It’s not as though I’m not already very used to the concept of subjective judging and one person’s opinion.
After thinking about it for a while, I still don’t really know the root of my hesitation. I don’t totally understand my own psychology here, so I’m probably just being dumb as hell. But after talking it through with some people, and realizing that this next show is my last chance at getting him to a FEH class at all as a yearling, I decided to just buck up. Yeah so he’s gawky and he still hasn’t sprouted his chest and the orientation of his neck can change 100% from day to day (today: upside down). Who knows what he’ll look like the day of the show. But we’re gonna go and support the program and trot around that triangle like a real horse with no actual expectations (aside from good behavior), because why not? And if the judge doesn’t like Presto then oh well.
So Henry has a schooling show this weekend where we’re gonna play with a few new ideas and get an XC run in (we haven’t been out on XC at all since our March show, I think?), then Presto’s FEH is next weekend, and then Henry and I leave for Chatt! The next month is going to be busy.