Puppies Can Whine, Riders Shouldn’t

There’s a stupid joke that made the rounds several years ago:What’s the difference between a puppy and a Dressage Queen?Answer:The puppy will stop whining in a couple months.Much as I hate that joke it keeps running through my head right now because we just brought home an 8-week-old Welsh Corgi puppy, absolutely the cutest, sweetest puppy ever born.And, the whining is already half what it was just a few days ago, accompanied by an accelerated energy level.

The puppy stops whining when she gets hold of my leather gloves, but turning them into a chew toy can make me whine.

I hear very little, if any, whining in our barn.Maybe it’s because most of us can easily qualify for the USDF Vintage Cup.When you get to ultra-senior status and you’re still riding, you just aren’t likely to be a complainer because you know how to put up with all the aches and pains, ups and downs of the sport.I guess that more properly makes us Dressage Queen Mothers.We’ve learned that laughing is a lot more fun than whining.

I just know I couldn’t tolerate being in a barn where a lot of whining goes on.My daughter heard me say “no whining” so many times as a kid that she had a shirt made for me with the word “whine” covered by a circle with a line through it.

The breeder where we found our puppy turned out to be a barrel racer, and her daughter (proudly wearing a belt buckle the size of a silver dinner plate) told me that Corgis are popular on the rodeo circuit.I know they certainly are found around a lot at dressage shows.

Which leads me to another (and slightly better) joke:How can you tell the cast of characters during winter in Wellington without a program?Dressage riders wear bright-colored breeches with full seats and have Corgis on a leash.Hunter riders wear mud-colored breeches with knee patches and have Jack Russells that run loose.

My favorite line from one of my favorite movies, “A League of Their Own,” is “There’s no crying in baseball.”I know there is crying in dressage, sometimes a lot of it.But, I like to paraphrase Tom Hanks: “There’s no whining in dressage.”






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