Subourbon Mom

Just A Woman In A Box
May 8, 2013, 10:53 am
Filed under: Parenting, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

This weekend, Daughter #2 was in a horse show.  For those of you who aren’t barn parents, this means:


  1. Getting up at 5:00 AM, slurping down 2 cups of coffee and braiding your sleepy child’s hair in the semi-darkness of your kitchen while trying not to wake anybody else up;
  2. Standing around in a freezing barn as your child gets their horse ready and loaded onto a trailer, which is something akin to threading a needle with a sausage;
  3. Waiting for the endless number of riders to go around the ring, jumping over flowers, brightly painted poles and other assorted items horses would never jump if there wasn’t something small and annoying latched onto their back;
  4. Chewing your nails to the quick as you watch your child guide an 800-pound animal over jumps and around ten other 800-pound animals in every class—it’s scarier than driving up I-95 on Beach Saturdays;
  5. Watching and sharing in your child’s elation or defeat as the numbers of the top six entrants are called;
  6. Futile quizzing of the trainer to determine what the judges were looking for (the judges sit by themselves across the ring in a gazebo or behind closed glass, staring at the ponies like a police line-up). The sought-after qualities are usually lumped under the murky phrase “how the pony moves;”
  7. Trying to find a way to justify having a glass of wine or a shot of something by 10:00AM;
  8. No longer trying to justify, just consuming your lubrication of choice by 10:30AM;


At every show, Daughter #2’s trainer tells the girls she doesn’t care what ribbons they get as long as they ride their best; and, all the girls nod and smile and humor her, saying that’s exactly what they will do, and they know the ribbons don’t matter.

But to the girls, they do. Big, shiny ribbons they can pin on their ponies and hang around their room are like crack to a junkie.

And, invariably, by the middle of the morning at least one or two girls have ridden well, but somehow, they didn’t get a ribbon.  Despite reassurances that they did just fine, there are sometimes tears and disappointment.

This weekend, I overheard her trainer ask one of the riders, “Did you ride your best?” The girl nodded.  “Then who cares what that judge thinks? She’s just a woman in a box.”

If only we could all remember that.

We can’t control how people see us or judge us, so just do your best. All those people who make us feel small, useless or insignificant are just “a woman in a box.”

16 Comments so far
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so enjoyed this posting, Libby!!! think your phrase “just a woman in a box” need to become part of our vocabulary 🙂

Comment by Katherine Payne

It definitely is in mine!

Comment by libbyhall

Perfect timing Lib! This is some advice I’ll take to heart today!

Comment by Lacy

I think there are way too many women in boxes these days! 🙂

Comment by libbyhall

Awesome Libby! I will defintely be using TODAY!

Comment by brenda

Glad you liked it!

Comment by libbyhall

You’re wonderful. And that trainer’s pretty hot $hit, too, eh?

Comment by Bruce Anderson

We think so! You better treat her right this weekend…she’s a mom to us all at times (especially when we make the barn messy)!

Comment by libbyhall

Thanks Libby, as usual you bring me to tears.

Comment by Kimberly Anderson

Well-deserved tears! Thanks fr all you do for our girls and us moms!

Comment by libbyhall

Just awesome and so true…really hard to know who you were referring too….haha Thank God for great trainers!!!

Comment by stephaniehudnell

I agree!

Comment by libbyhall

Wow, what a horse show Mom you have become 😀 Awesome advice, love your trainer! Wish more people were like her!

Comment by Susan

Who would’ve thought I’d be a horse show mom! I have new respect for my own mom, hauling me all around the countryside at dawn every Saturday. And yeah, our trainer is pretty awesome. Took a long time to find her, but so glad we did!

Comment by libbyhall

Libby–loved this! You are so true….I hate when as an almost 50year old I can be made to feel small by others at times. I think I will take a small box with me to school tomorrow to remind me of your post–love you! Hugs to daughter#2!!

Comment by Sara

Glad you lied it! Sometimes I have to remind myself of the same thing!

Comment by libbyhall

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