This piece is written by Jim Figures, my horse husband extraordinaire.
His introduction to horses and showing was a true baptism by fire, having never been around horses until we married.
The first show he came to with me, everything went wrong. With little to do but take care of me and my students, he grew tired of the whole thing. That is… until he took up the reins of keeping us happy by feeding us well. Now, it’s an entire production for him and one that all of us really look forward to at every show. Here’s why… ~ Cheryl
“This is what we do for fun!”
If I had a dollar every time I’ve told myself this, I’d be one very wealthy guy. As a veteran of many horse shows, these are words to live by. Pre-planning and organization is the key to enjoying show day.
Unfortunately, we always seem to fall into scramble mode. Work and everyday life seems to unravel all plans. Trucks break down, trailer light fail, trips to tack stores, scoring a place to stay, horses that won’t load. All these lead to repeating my mantra at least 200 times “This is what we do for fun.”
I have a passion for cooking, and take this out on anyone in my vicinity. Horse shows have become my favorite stage. As we all know, horse show mornings start very early and the team NEEDS their gourmet coffee.
I fresh-ground and French-press each cup. We are lucky to have a dairy farm by the house, so I get real fresh cream for those that prefer the beige version and I do mix my cream with a tad of fresh vanilla bean.
Now of course, the start to a good day is with great food.
Bloody Mary’s are a must, both leaded and not.
Got to get the proper nutrients in the group, to keep their energy levels up for the long day ahead. A proper Bloody Mary offers a super charge of Vitamin and Minerals. Of course, I refuse to use canned juice. Nothing but fresh for my group.
Next, comes my special omelet station. Talk about a way to impress the masses! Don’t tell anyone… it’s the easiest thing I pull off all day. My top seller is spinach, sundried tomatoes and goat cheese.
After a morning of being the combination groom, tack repair person, chief cook, bottle washer and personal shrink, it’s time for lunch.
My wife’s standard tradition was the ever-awful egg salad on white bread :(. Why? No one can recall… but she said that that was what she ate on horse show days as a kid. So that is what she tried to feed our group. Thank goodness I took over! Brats, burgers and grilled veggies go over so much better. Easy to cook and transport.
With any luck at all, nothing went wrong during the show. Although this has never happened, it’s a good dream. Horses flip out, tack needs repair, apparel melt downs, all lead to quite a few more “This is what we do for fun.”
Pulled Pork is my favorite thing to serve, as it can be smoked days ahead of time and reheated on show day. Toss up some crisp coleslaw, baked beans I had been stewing all day long in the crocker and a “BOX-O-Wine”. Everyone is tired and hungry and it easily impresses.
At the end of the day, I’m the hero. All is good and I tell myself “This is what we do for fun.”