The 2011 US Nationals is in full swing. With the start of the halter and breeding classes, all three arenas were put to use. The description of a "three ring circus" actually describes the show grounds quite accurately. Trucks, trailers, cars, golf cart, bicycles, scooters, people, dogs and of course horses are all dodging each other trying to get to where they need to be at the proper time. It's pretty comical sometimes - as long as no one gets hurt, and we've been very lucky in that regard. And in case anyone is ever wondering, horses always have the right of way!
The thing that really stood out for me today was teamwork. There is a saying, "No man is an island", and that is certainly true at this horse show. Everywhere I looked, there were people working together to achieve a common goal. It takes the efforts of a lot of people to organize and put on the US Nationals show and so far it has gone very smoothly. Every farm has its core group of people, and every person's part is critical in getting the job done - the grooms who take care of and prepare the horses, the trainers who deal with all aspects of the show and then must also find time to work their horses to make sure they are in peak performance condition. In many barns, the clients often pitch in and help out where they can and also work to support and encourage each other. You can really see - and feel - the camaraderie in these barns
Working this closely, we tend to develop strong relationships, friendships that seem to endure and grow over the years. There is also the opportunity to meet many new and interesting people from around the country and around the world. It is extremely intriguing to hear and watch people interacting - especially breeders - talking about their programs and what mares they have, the stallions whose offspring they like, the breeding of the horses in the rings. Here too, people are working together, sharing information and ideas in order to try to breed the best, most beautiful and athletic Arabian horses possible. It's funny, it seems that when we purchase the offspring of a farm's breeding program, it's like you become an extended member of a family - there is a very close bond.
Many people I have spoken to over the years share the same feeling about the Arabian horse industry - this business is all about relationships. I don't know which is more important or valuable; the relationships we have between the people we interact with or the relationships we have with our horses. However, I do know that the Arabian industry offers the opportunity to share our passion in a very unique and special way.
Enjoy these new pictures from the show - see if you find what I did in the relationships and friendships I saw at the show. Remember to check back everyday for a glimpse of what's going on around the show - outside the arena - because there is definitely a lot more going on for you to enjoy!