Almost every year I spend my birthday at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, whether I’m showing, working or just playing. Yesterday, it was the latter, and I had a wonderful day hanging out with my friends in the rain.
Upperville, founded in 1853, is the country’s oldest show, and I’ve been regularly attending since I was riding ponies (a very long time!). Well before I moved to my home, which is about 10 minutes from the show grounds, this was my favorite horse show. I looked forward to it every year because not only did I celebrate my birthday, but it was also the official start of my summer show season, I reconnected with friends I hadn’t seen for a while and I regularly had good luck at the show.
As I finished up a project yesterday morning at the computer, I kept an eye on the weather. It was a gray and rainy day, but I saw breaks in the radar (at least I thought I did). So, I dressed in my finest rain gear and went to the show at lunchtime. It never stopped raining, but, in the end, it didn’t matter.
I had a great day watching my friends train their horses, ride and show. Sometimes a rainy day is actually more fun. Often, there’s not the same intensity in the competition. There’s more camaraderie and laughter as everyone suffers the same indignities of slippery tack, muddy horses and wet feet. Fashion takes a back seat to whatever jackets and boots will keep you the driest. Even Peter’s choice of gloves garnered a lot of giggles when he walked up to the in-gate!
Even though it wasn’t the day I’d planned for at the show, I’m glad it happened this way. I left my DSLRs at home and took my Sony RX100, which fit in my raincoat pocket. I set it to shoot monochrome images and had a blast playing around. Another lesson learned. If you’re stuck in the rain, return to the basics: wear rubber boots and shoot black-and-white!