So, it's been a week since Jackson, and as of tomorrow we're headed off to some pre-works a couple hours away for about a week, (no rest for the wicked), so I thought I should "scribble" my last thoughts down before I find myself without any time for awhile.
How to be part of the "in crowd" if you are a loper...
What you wear matters kiddos, and even more importantly than that who you wear matters more. What was "big" in the loping pen were stud vests. These are vests with stallion names that are given away as promotion for the studs. However, the vests come with some stipulations...
If you have a current and hot stud vests on, you are cool. Make sure the stud is a popular stud on the market right now and you are set. If you have a lesser stud you are still doing okay, just not as good.
You better make sure said vest and the horse you are warming up have "cat" in their name. Aka, they are the offspring of THE High Brow Cat, bonus points if you are riding/wearing an own son or daughter.
Now... if you are not wearing a stud vest, you still have a chance because your second best bet is a finalist jacket. These are jackets/vests given away to anyone that makes the finals at shows. Lopers who truly were finalists can smile smugly to themselves where as the rest of the lopers just got horses warmed up that made it into the finals. However, still shows you've been around the block - bonus points if the finals were at one of the "big" shows aka the cutting triple crown, or one of the big money mecuria or world shows.
Fnally, if all else fails have a nice shirt on - bonus points if you are ballin out with a finalist jacket, stud vest AND a nice shirt that matches the following criteria: it must walk the fine line between sparkly, boring, old fashioned and new age. Trust me - this was achieved by quite a few girls and I drooled everytime they loped by.
Where we were the "in" shirts were definitely those made by CR Ranchwear... really nice, really pretty, almost on the plain side, but everyone knows you are cool because they are also really expensive. sigh.
2. Who you are & Who you ride for
These things matter, especially if your a child of a trainer that has a big name and you, yourself, have racked in the big bucks at the non-pro events, people instantly know who you are. If you are "just" a loper, if you ride for a big time trainer and have ridden for them for awhile, everyone knows ya.
If you can't manage any of this .... well, you just aren't part of the cool kids.
&, since you're asking... did I fit in with the in-crowd? Nah, not yet. I felt like my hat was a little on the manly side and my boss even made fun of my hat band (in a joking way of course) but again, at the shows, everyone walks that fine line between old school and flash - some of those girls just looked so impeccable and had the best, most beautiful shaped feminine hats. I am now on the lookout for a hat that is a little more feminine but still gets you noticed. I also felt a little out of my element, as was to be expected, I definitely wasn't on of those impeccable girls who could still lope around with their phone hooked to their ear carrying on conversations with god knows who.
& yep... bonus points if you can do all of the above while glued to a cellphone, it was AMAZING to me how many people loped while texting, or calling others. It's almost it's own mini trend in the cutting world, I swear 75% of the time if a trainer isn't showing or turning back, they are on their phones. Same with lopers. Craziness.
How do you know if someone is a "Trainers Wife"...
The answer is pretty simple my friends, it's four little things:
Yip, Yee, Yeooo and some very short, to the beat, hand claps.
This is what you will hear instead of cheering at cutting events, and a lot of trainers wives went all out while their husbands were showing. Boss man, apparently, doesn't like his wife too, but even she let out a couple if his ride was going really well.
However, dear readers, don't fall into the prejudice that all Trainers Wives are also trophy wives, etc. I saw some of those ladies out there loping horses before dawn and way past dusk. Some of them I was honestly amazed by, they would lope all.day.long for their husbands... even if they employed lopers. Some of them clearly ran the show by organizing who was riding who, what was being brought where etc. etc. and those ladies all ran it while looking just so dosh garn good.
Basically, what I've taken from Jackson is I need to figure out how to look more stylish while working my ass off... haha, It's just not happening for me yet, but it will come with time... and mascara... and maybe the loss of 10 pounds.
What can ya do? haha.