Have you seen your horse show dog in the last few hours? Do you know where he is?

Is he a few aisles over, begging for a piece of someone’s sandwich?

Is he in the groom stall of a stranger, ripping apart the bag of cookies on their middle shelf?

Has he located someone’s takeout lunch, set on a trunk for a moment while they get their plastic fork, and decided it should be for him?

In the snack shack, perhaps, begging under a table?

Is he in the manure pile, munching on poop? Or by the farrier, gnawing on pieces of hoof?

Is he bullying, beating up, or bothering the other horse show dogs? Maybe that was him I saw, pouncing on that poor Pomeranian whose owner was conscientious enough to walk on a leash.

Or is he racing around the showgrounds with his buddies, scaring the heck out of all the green horses?

Was that him, pooping on the nice mulch in that other barn’s setup?

Is he down by the rings, causing a traffic jam in the warm-up ring?

If the answer to all of these questions was “no,” congratulations! You’re either a great puppy parent, have a robot dog, or don’t have a dog at all. If it was “maybe” or “yeah, probably,” for the love of all that is good and neighborly, please consider purchasing a pen.

Some shows will round up the dogs that are running wild and administer a fine to their owners before giving them back. Personally, I think it should be a common practise. After all, it’s a horse show, not a dog park.

About the Author

When she’s not sharing hard-won #groomtruths, Brooke Nicholls works as a professional groom in Canada.