Now, there are a lot of snobs out there. The hunter/jumper world is full of these snobs; people who wear a horse more than ride a horse; it’s the image, the status, the gobs of money everyone knows you have (or at least spend) on one of your bigger accessories, the horse.
Dressage Queens definitely stand alone in their ability to be not only the most obnoxious of all “horse” people, but also the most annoying, egotistical, and often inadequate said “horse” people I have ever dealt with.
My definition of a dressage queen: A woman who owns a horse, usually a nice horse, that is too much horse for her, she has every accessory known to riding, and has every excuse, besides her inability to ride, for why her horse is not going well.
How to determine if your barn has a dressage queen:
When you show up to a barn and there is a loud voice, this is your first clue that you might be approaching a dressage queen. Once you get closer to that loud voice, look for manicured nails, the second sign of a dressage queen. Don’t listen to what the voice is saying, you might get sucked into an hour long conversation you never intended on being a part of, the third sign of a dressage queen. Look for the tack trunk the loud voice is going to, if it is filled with every color pad, matching polo wraps, at least 10 different brow bands, or basically a well stocked tack shop, that is your fourth sign of a dressage queen.
Excuses and drama are a fifth and final guaranteed sign of a dressage queen.
Next, see if she rides; you will find that if she does mount her horse, it won’t be long before she’ll screech with terror about her horse’s terrible “problem” usually associated with not moving off her seat, her leg, not being round, not coming through from behind – none of which is rider error (of course), always a problem with a) the footing b) the farrier c) the vet d) the trainer e) the turnout. Excuses and drama are a fifth and final guaranteed sign of a dressage queen.
There is no way to deal with a dressage queen. You cannot claim to speak Spanish; she knows Spanish so she can scream at the help. German won’t work either; she may have even learned so she can schmooze with the German dressage clinicians. Pretending to suddenly become deaf will not shut her up; she doesn’t actually need anyone to be listening for a reason to talk. Sympathizing with the dressage queen will only make her worse and she will end up misconstruing anything you say and spread some gossip about you throughout the entire area horse world. You can’t complain about her, even though most everyone else hates her, she probably pays more than anyone else in the barn, so she’s not getting kicked out. You basically either have to shut up and keep focused on what you are at the barn to do, or you need to find a different barn.
Don’t be afraid to leave your barn. If a dressage queen has infected your barn, know there is a barn free of evil (you might have to look VERY hard). There is no other escape but to leave. You and your horse will be better off.