Almost 2 weeks ago, Elaine and I went to see part of the Vienna Masters horse show here in Vienna. We had a great time, and I (of course) wanted to see more. I had planned to go back the next morning during the free program, but that was the day the kids and I first got sick, so that didn’t work out.
I figured I’d be feeling better after a day of rest though (which turned out to only kind of be the case) so I bought a ticket for the evening performance, while Dan watched the kids. (Which works out, because although the boys might sit through an hour of “watching the horsies”, the only way I was going to get to binge on watching show jumping was to go alone.)
It was great. Many of the top riders in the world were competing there. I got to see amazing, inspiring, edge-of-my-seat performances. I loved it. It felt good to be back in the horse world, even as a spectator, after so long away. (It was also raining. And pretty cold. Which I usually wouldn’t mind, but I don’t think sitting outside in the cold and damp for 5 hours probably did much to shorten the duration of my cold.)
I learned a few things while I was there, watching from the front row. First, horse people don’t keep quiet here when they’re watching a horse competition, any more than they do at home. We cluck, gasp, correct, encourage and groan at the horses and riders at the same moments. And, we do so with the same *exact* noises here as at home. I thought that maybe since Austrians are quieter in general, I might have to hold my tongue or be embarrassed by my involuntary outbursts. But no, I fit in just fine!
It was a lovely night. In addition to the major show jumping competitions, I got to see some show pieces, too, including a drill team with 6 horses but only 2 riders, a vaulting demonstration that included a guy who strongly reminded me of a grown-up Benjamin, and four young guys who jumped 1.8 m fences … on their own two feet. All of it impressive.
I had such a great time that even though we were all still under the weather, we took the kids over to watch part of the show on Saturday morning. They were pretty interested in the jumping, but they faded after about an hour, and we headed home, but not before Benjamin asked me if maybe he could do a horse show after we move home. (Not going to lie — that would be pretty fun.)
After a great time last year, I managed to go to the Vienna Masters a total of 3 times this year — not bad, given the weather and our collective illnesses. I’m so glad we were able to take advantage of the opportunity to see such amazing performances, especially because it was basically in our own backyard.