Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween horse costumes circa 1985

On this date in 1985, I spent my day working at a Halloween themed schooling show at Eaton Canyon Riding Club in Pasadena, California.  I was sixteen years old and "employed" as a working student for Roxanne Tallman Training Stables which was based at ECRC.  On most days my duties included feeding, blanketing, lunging and teaching beginner lessons.  At the  show, I held horses, set jumps and helped the younger students get ready for the ring.  In this  picture I'm adjusting Breanna's stirrups.  It's hard to be certain from this angle, but I think the horse is Brandy.
The two riders in this photo were twin sisters and some of Roxanne's most accomplished students.
Amy's horse was named Coming Home, but around the barn he was known simply as Red.  This pair had a lot of success in the 12-14 Junior Hunter classes on the Los Angeles Horse Show Association's B Circuit.
Beth's horse Splash was just as fancy.  You can't tell from this picture, but he was a minimally marked Appaloosa.
This is Simone on Night Cap, who was better known as Scotty.  It's not obvious from the photo, but this was another one of the stable's top show horses. 
Like the children of most trainers, Roxanne's daughters started riding early.  This is Amanda on Jet, who was one of the school horses.  
This picture shows two more of the regulars--Nicole (princess) on Patrick and Amy (Indian) on Fancy.
Last but not least, it's Allison on Benson.  They are dressed as a salad, with Benson going as the lettuce and Allison as the tomato!  This was my favorite costume of the day.
Isn't it funny how horse people always remember horses?  Even after twenty six years, the names and biographies of these horses remain crystal clear in my memory.  If only I was as good at remembering people!


  1. I still remember most of the horses at the riding school I went to. Sadly, most have since been sold on, or passed away, but that's not really too surprising, many of them were in their thirties, or older, when I knew them, so if they were still farting around today, most of them would be nearing 50, some nearing 70. All of them were slightly pudgy, but not unhealthily so, and good proof that old horses don't have to be skin and bones.

    Thanks for inspiring my own trip down memory lane. I'm going to have to get cracking on customs of some of the equine loves of my life. They deserve that much at least. Pip, and Smokey, Percy and Pepsi, Hedja, Duke, and dear old Raz, the 50 year old pony who acted like a six year old! Objectively, the prettiest had to be Pepsi, but the best was definitely Percy. He got sold to a girl who took him to jumping competitions, where he really excelled. It broke my heart when they said he'd been sold. He was sold to the little girl I competed with in school competitions.

    I was very sad when I started riding a new school horse every week. I never made the same bond after that, but I know I helped some of those younger horses progress to being excellent all-round riding horses, so I'm also glad I got the opportunity to help ensure they had a good long future ahead of them.

  2. I was just laughing with my husband about your comment regarding remembering horses names. I can remember all the horses in my life, can't say the same about some of the people!!!What does that say about me!!

  3. I ID people with their horses first and then learn the names...


  4. Benson is so tolerant! My horse would NEVER let me put a bowl on his head! Hah!

  5. Oh yeah, tell me your animal's name, whether it be dog, cat or horse, and I've got it, but yours? Not so much... Uh, you're the "Nice Next Door Neighbor Who's Lived There For Two Years." :-) (Sadly, 100% true)

    That salad costume is a hoot! I've never gotten to participate in an equine costume contest but I'd love to. I have dressed up dogs and guinea pigs, though. One of the latter actually won something (he was a magician with a little pointy hat and a cape).

    (Also - you rocked those lovely jeans... LOL)

    That was a nice-looking bunch of horses at your barn, schoolies and boarders alike. They look very well cared-for. You were lucky to have that job!

  6. Every Saturday I take Darcy to a dog socialization class at Petco. When I come home, I will often tell my husband about the event and everyone is referred to as "Porshe's Father" or "Bailey's Mother." It drives my husband crazy. He always wants to know why I know all the dogs' names and none of the people's!

    Anna--I'm glad you pointed that out because Benson really was the sweetest, most tolerant horse. He was also quite young and relatively green. And HUGE. His owner was nearly six feet tall and all leg so he was selected for size as much as anything else. This was back in the days before there were so many Warmbloods, so probably he was just 17 hands or so, but that really did seem big. Anyway, you could tell that he really did not like having a metal salad bowl tied to his head. Still, he put up with it at least long enough to have his picture taken!

  7. That's so funny about remembering horses for so long. I was checking out a barn once and saw a horse that I knew from years ago. He was not uniquely marked or anything, just a large grey pony, but I KNEW it was Harley despite the greying out. The manager confirmed that's what his name was. Crazy.

    And this one is even weirder. A horse - plain bay mare, again nothing unusual - I had put some training into looooong long ago was sold. Several years later I was asked to evaluate and help train a horse one of my sisters' friends had just gotten. Turns out it was the same mare. But that's not all! Several years LATER a plain bay mare appeared at my barn. I didn't actually know it was Magic from sight (though I had a feeling it was) but when I got on her I was positive.

    I don't think I'd recognize a single person I ever gave lessons to, ha ha. 'Course when everyone is dressed up in breeches, a polo and a helmet, that does increase the difficulty a touch!