Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"Dancing With The Stars-How I Became A Fan"

Howdy Folks,

It was a number of years back; I think Dancing With The Stars was only in its second season. I was doing Endurance and Competitive Trail Riding. Many times using it to help rehabilitate the Tennessee Walking Horses Diane Sept was helping to heal. Diane suggested the sport for I had not heard of it. And by golly I'm sure glad she did. I met so many wonderful horses and people who really knew how to ride and take care of horses. I learned so much in the few short years I participated from both the people and horses. I really enjoyed every minute of it, the camaraderie, the food, the horses, conditioning, training and the competition.
River and Dutch take a cooling off break during the NJ 60 mile CTR
I never did tremendously well. Oh sure we managed to snare a few ribbons. As one ride host announced at the awards supper as she handed me my ribbon, "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then." The ribbons are in a bucket in the tack room now.

The evening gatherings around the trucks and trailers, horses in their little corrals next to us as we ate supper, chatted with friends are special memories. Especially the 2 day rides. Loved them. What a wonderful way for the former show horses to learn how much fun it was to just be a horse.

Well back to DWTS … One evening Ravishin' Robbie and I were camped next to our friend, Betty, who always did very well. Very well indeed. We were enjoying the campfire, watching the sun sink low while Betty, shared a few stories of past rides. At some point she asked if we ever watched DWTS. No we said, not sure if we'd ever heard of it, we replied. She assured us it's a wonderful show and she never misses it. Of course she explained her being a competitive ball room dancer might sway her judgment, but she encouraged us to have a look ... Ball room dancer, I thought, now I understand your grace in the saddle. And friends, Betty could sit a horse like few folks I'd ever seen. Light as a feather, she truly was part of her horse as they glided down the trail. As if they were dancing.
Robbie and I watched the show the very next week and have been DWTS fans ever since. What hooked me then and continues to today, is how everyone on that show strives to be the very best they can be, each and every week. Something so very grand about that.

The pros, tasked with not only teaching the stars, but also the choreography designed to showcase the stars' talents and yes, minimize their weaknesses. In just a few days, how incredible! The stars, how they work around schedules, pain and even injuries amazes me. The commitment to the challenge they display is so wonderfully instructive. Just do your best, don't quit and you'll go far. Reach for the stars, or mirror ball trophy. I'm not sure we hear that enough today. I must admit it's thrilling to see the professional sports players and Olympians attack it with their unique drive and zeal.

The band. Holy cow, how can they learn all those songs in a few days?! It's amazing each and every week. Such talent and the pursuit of excellence is just spectacular.

The judges. Sure they need to ham it up sometimes, but they give honest, helpful critiques and even those of us in the audience who can't manage to put our left foot in front of our right, unless we're riding our horse, can understand and learn from them.
 Tom Bergeron, what a host. Quick witted and able to keep things on track, add a little, or a lot of humor as the need might be to the moment.

Well friends, DWTS in my humble opinion is one of the few shows today where striving to be the very best you can is the focus, and the message they send each week is, reach for your goals. You can do it! I can't help but feel we could use a little more that today. And that's why I'm hooked on DWTS. Thanks Betty.

Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry


  1. Glad to see this post! I, too, am a huge DWTS fan. I love seeing the transformations that occur on the show.

    1. Thanks cbaz! ... What a show to demonstrate going for the best you can be, and as you say the transformations in the dancers, the growth of relationships ... It mirrors I think the pursuit of becoming a better horse person, rider, partner ... I saw that too in the CTR rides :)

  2. You are so right......TV is not riddled with self-esteem building shows. Thanks for sharing this story! When I was taking Dance Lessons, I realized a very big connection of people that love to Dance and love to Ride Horses. Every lesson I heard the other ladies in the room talking about their horses. That would make a great research project......what is it that connects people to dancing and riding? Anyway....have a great day Dutch!!!!! Great blog as always :)

    1. Kathryn, so you took dancing lessons... How cool! I'm doing a clinic in New York in May and a woman who teaches dance at Julliard was one of the first to sign up ... I'm pretty excited about that! ... I like your idea about asking the question about the connection of dancing and riding ... would you be interested in posting your comment on my facebook link too & see what you can get started?

  3. I would never have made the connection between DWTS and trying your best at something and striving hard, but you saw the connection and now I see it and agree with you, Dutch. Then again, you strike me as an extremely positive person, something that shines through all your posts and responses.
    Thank you for telling me about DWTS. I'll have to give it a shot.

    1. You're sweet, Patti. Thank you, I think you are a positive person, too! ... I think you'll enjoy DWTS as much as we do ... Tonight is the results show, someone will get voted off, but they do a lot of recap then too, I hope you'll have a look ... The other connection to good horsemanship is how the pros need to "listen to, and understand" their stars so they know how to teach them. ... Ah, Listening ... how important ... Thanks, Patti :)

    2. I love to dance too...just am not very good at it...I guess I am going to have to watch DWTS...Darlene

    3. Yes do watch tonight, the results show is on at 9 Eastern ... Thanks for reading the Coffee Clutch! .. Oh and tomorrow's post will be one more thought on DWTS ~ Dutch ...