Dads may not know much about horse shows but they're still the best to have around.
Let's face it, unless your dad is a horse person himself, chances are he doesn't know too much about horse showing.
Moms seem to pick that stuff up faster, learning the different classes and divisions, memorizing the rules and recognizing and sizing up your competition. Dads, well, most of the time dads barely recognize your own horse.
Even so, they are invaluable to the horse show experience, and here's why.
They can navigate to the show grounds.
It may be a generalization, but men seem to do really well with directions, and even if they do take a wrong turn they don't freak out like Mom would.
Sure, you probably can find your way to the show alone, but when you're already anxious about your upcoming class, do you really want that pressure? It's so much nicer when you can sit back, relax and let your dad do the driving.
They are good with cameras.
Still cameras or video cameras, dads tend to love technology. Not only do they often have nice equipment, but they are usually pretty good at using it.
This comes in handy whether you want a pre-show picture at the barn or someone to video your class. Just make sure you assign a friend to sit with Dad and point out which horse is yours when you come into the ring or you may end up with a video of that other bay horse, or maybe even a chestnut. It's still brown, right?
They are strong.
Equestrians are generally strong and capable, but sometimes you just need a dad. Whether you're trying to open a stubborn tin of leather polish or bottle of hoof black, or trying to get that girth one notch tighter, dads are great at coming to the rescue.
And, in an unfamiliar world like the horse show world, they generally get excited about things like loosening rusty bolts -- a task they understand.
They can (maybe) calm down your mother.
If you think you are nervous before a horse show class, multiply that by fifteen and you'll find out how nervous your mother is. But dads are easygoing, and they've had more practice calming down your mother than you have.
If you ask nicely, they may usher her away and down to the box seats instead of letting her poke and prod at your hair and fuss over your boots that are going to get dusty again anyway.
They are known to carry random spare objects.
Most of the time it seems like a silly habit, but when you just happen to need a pen or multi-tool and your dad whips one out from one of his many pockets, it seems like the best thing in the world.
Need a flashlight? No problem. Forgot your horse's comb? Got that too. Just use it quickly before Dad realizes why you asked.
They think you did great even when you completely mess up.
Dads aren't dumb, far from it, but they do generally take a more lackadaisical view about horse showing than moms do, and most of the time they're not exactly sure what they're watching.
This may be frustrating if you ask them to critique your horse's head set or extended trot the second direction, but it's really great when you mess up.
Mom will tell you if you took the wrong canter lead; but even if you did your pattern completely backwards, Dad will still think you did great.
It's clear -- dads may not quite know what's going on, but they are invaluable to the horse show experience anyway. Here's to the dads everywhere that have somehow, against all odds, become horse show dads!