Sunday, July 8, 2012

4th of July weekend

For those of you following my blog, I have been remiss to keep daily updates this trip.  But I will do one summary of this 4th of July holiday weekend.  I am convinced this journaling is more for me than anyone else who may be reading...and one day I'll be sitting in my rocking chair reminiscing.  So I am trying to stay vigil on the blog.   Come what may.

Frequent Flyer Points gets me
to Nashville. (my western hat box)
I went down a few days early for this trip, so that I could get in more practice and bonding time with B, instead of just tossing ourselves into the ring.  This was a good idea, and we had rides Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before showing Friday night and Saturday afternoon.  I felt like I was getting the hang of him, and my practic ride on Thursday was my best ever. Plus I was lucky to have Carlan with me that day to do some videotaping, so I not only could feel the good ride, I have it to watch as well.  And I think he was really good..the best I've felt with him so far.  Yeah!
Boomer - resting after the
"garbage incident"

This trip I stayed at Jane's, but sans Jane.  She went home to Illinois to visit, and so I was kept busy feeding her horses, little calf Joy and dog Boomer, and keeping her newly planted trees watered in this heat and drought.  The first day I think it took me two hours....but I was a quick study, and by the last day could multitask and be wrapped up within an hour.  That part of my trip all went without a hitch, until the last night.  I tied up the trash before the horse show in preparation of a quick early departure the next day, and wouldn't ya know Boomer got into it!  LOL. I can laugh now, as Boomer seemed to be no worse for wear. And, I guess if it would have all gone perfect, then there would be no story to tell here.  My chance luck was that another friend of Jane's had the night shift and ended up with cleanup duty.  I guess Boomer had done an outstanding job of sorting the trash all over the kitchen!  (Sorry Easy).
A practice ride on Bourbon at Main Gate Farms arena
and Hannah Pulvers Stables

The week was hot hot hot.  And we would literally melt in the arena at Hannah's.  I learned the importance of Gatorade on my second day, when I didn't keep hydrated and almost didn't feel well enough to ride. But I rode fine and it was good to get me up there, even if just for a few minutes.  I hung out a while longer that day to get myself back to normal, and ended up spending some time with Ed who owns the Main Gate Farm where B stays. What a great guy, and I learned all about his early days with Hewlett Packard and his wizardry salesmanship. Although he wasn't so wise on the digital computer study where he had advised HP that it would never take off.  I laughed at that story, and then we both checked our text msgs and email, before continuing our conversation! LOL. I also learned his secret recipe for BBQ tri-tip and brisket, which he treated us all to on Friday afternoon for lunch!   And it was really really good!  I told him if he made us BBQ I would make my coconut cupcakes with buttercream frosting.  He did, and I did...and the cookout was delicious, a good chance to meet some of Hannah's other customers and hot. Plus Terre and Wally were in town and came to watch B that day with friends....and stayed for the BBQ too.  Terre and I had met Ed a few years earlier, ironically on the same holiday weekend at the Woodbury show.  We had sat next to him and, well struck up a conversation.  I know, so unlike me and Terre.  How small of a world, to now have B at his barn, huh?

Bourbon leans down to get a much deserved
pat from Katie after the workout.
The weekend also brought my first eye witness of a USDA visit at a show!  On Thursday night at Tony Rice, they were there.  It was like a three ring circus. And I think perhaps more folks were in the bleachers surrounding the DQP pen, then we're sitting in the rain watching the few horses in the classes outside.  The man they all call EJ or Ed Johnson was there. And they say he is the strictest one of all. I'm not really sure that's even his name, but certainly the man is not appreciated by this crowd at large.  And not but a few horses made his grade.  The pleasure classes and weanling and yearling classes were huge, but the balance brought 1 or 2, if any horses.  When we were out watching the country pleasure class every once in a while you would hear a big cheer from inside, that we soon learned meant one made it through the DQP. The cheers were far and few between. The DQP would check and then someone from USDA would check the horse. Some exams took several minutes, and even back and forth multiple times per hoof.  There was even a side pen where some horses were held for up to 15 mins and then checked again.  And although I did not see it, I heard they might have been doing swab testing and drawing blood on some.  Of course all around the pen there were remarks, photos, videos, and heated conversations going on about it all.  My thought, it's just all a shame from every angle.

The famous Bell Buckle Cafe - where I find out I am
 "pretty".  A small detail that Emily will not let me forget.
Enjoying lunch at the Bell Buckle Cafe.
Me, Emily, Carlan and Katie. (L to R)
At the same time, we also had excitement in the ring in the country pleasure class.  Within the first few minutes a gentleman lost a rein, and his horse got out of control, bumping into a few other horses before he was able to get a handle on things.  And then just as the class got back underway, out of nowhere comes a horse over the rail, fully tacked up, bucking, running, and kicking. At first I thought it had dumped its rider, but then we came to realize it was from outside the ring from the warmup area.  Well, they called the riders to the center ring, men were diving for it, people were jumping in from ringside to help, a real mass hysteria. And it was bad. He was a stallion on top of it all, and heck bent on visiting every inch of that ring himself. Kicking out at those trying to catch him. Poor thing finally got caught, but not before giving everyone quite a heart attack....and me another good story to tell...with a safe, no one hurt type of ending. Thank goodness.  And, that boy came back in the trail class, this time with its rider and tied a Reserve shortly after. Lol.

So, to keep this fairly succinct, the daily accounts are as follows..
- Tuesday, flew in, rode B, picked up some ribbon and shoes for Diva, and had pizza with Carlan and Katie.
Roger, me and Ed -
hanging the hammock.
- Wednesday, got dehydrated and sickly, rode B, hung a hammock for Hannah with Ed and Roger, did a little grocery shopping (for gatorade) and then made cupcakes and homemade frosting  with Carlan and her girls at night. (I think they liked that!) And their visit was a surprise, they had stopped by Bobby's to see Lil Wayne and Vegas, which is just across the street from Jane's.  So they stopped in to wish me a happy 4th!
- Thursday, drank tons of Gatorade, rode B on my most fabulous of rides on him while Carlan caught it all on tape, then we shopped until we dropped for horsey stuff, went to lunch at the Bell Buckle Cafe where a man came up to me and told me I was pretty (I do not lie!), and then shopped some more, and then went over to the Tony Rice show to watch....where the USDA showed that show was short and sweet.
Following horse "semi's" to
the horse show!
- Friday, rode B, Terre and Wally came to watch, enjoyed Ed's famous BBQ (yummy), headed back to Jane's to catnap, and then showed at the Money Tree Classic at the Ag center, where it rained, umm I mean poured on our which B got tied 8th in the Junior trail class.  (see class photo of B at following link: )  Darn, but we learn more every time were out there.  Plus, I'm pretty sure my wool hat may be ruined...maybe they can reshape it.  ;)
-Saturday, slept in, headed out to Woodbury for the afternoon pleasure classes and showed  B...unfortunately no placement, but this was an aged trail class. And while we had a few good moments, we also tripped twice for the judges (we do that so well, we did it twice) and I lost my hat in the wind as I entered the ring.  Geez.
In the shade!
-Sunday, fed my last bottle to baby calf Joy, gave Boomer a hug goodbye (plus I shook my
 finger at him about the garbage, and he wagged his tail), tossed a hay bail to the four amigos in the paddock, and headed for the airport.  And that's where I am now, typing on the plane.  And all my flights were onetime this time. Double yippee.

This weekend certainly brought much disappointment in the show arena for me and B, but it brought new learnings and closer friendships.  And I was once again amazed that at a moment when you are feeling low, a small comment or action comes from a totally unexpected place, and you realize you have folks pulling for you, and encouraging you to keep on trying. And, so you shake it off, and you brush off those knees and you get right back up in that saddle (literally), and ready for the next time.
Flag horse at Woodbury.
Game World - WGC '11.

Now I can't wait for what The International has in store for me in a few weeks. Plus, Bourbon rides in the Futurity just before that. Much to look forward to yet this month.   Stay tuned.

Until then, keep on trying whatever YOU are striving for my friends. It's worth it, on so many different levels.  And you will be amazed who around you cheers you on! Just watch. Maybe it's someone you didn't know was watching you, maybe its a 7 and 3/4 year old little girl (the 3/4ths part is important), it may be a mother, a new friend, or someone back at home routing for you or checking the webstream of your class. And you'll realize, as I do, how lucky you actually are, even with no ribbon.

No comments:

Post a Comment