Years ago, when I used to take horseback riding lessons, we often had a schooling horse show at the stable. If you wanted to ride one of the school horses, they put all the horses names in a hat and whatever name you pulled out of the hat was your entry. In one particular show, I rode in the English Pleasure Class and out of about 16 horses entered, I drew a horse nicknamed “Miss Piggy.” She had another, more formal name, but she was so badly behaved, everybody called her by her nickname. I was a pretty good rider, but I knew there was no way I was going to win the class on that bad girl. True to her name, Miss Piggy bucked, wouldn’t stay on the rail, spooked in the corners and did every bad thing she could think of. Knowing I couldn’t win, I just laughed all through the class while trying to keep Miss Piggy from running over the judge.
I WON THE RED RIBBON FOR SECOND PRIZE! When I asked the judge why I placed so highly, he said that the criteria for the Pleasure classes were that the horse was supposed to be a pleasure to ride. Even though Miss Piggy’s and my performance did not fit the technical criteria for winning the class on a well behaved pleasure horse, since I was laughing at Miss Piggy’s shenanigans and looked like I was having such a good time, I won over all the well behaved pleasure horses in the class except for one. That experience taught me that sometimes, one can expect the unexpected!