Sunday, August 4, 2013

Scott's Here!!

I enjoy being with B,
while waiting for a
practice ride.
Scott arrived on Thursday....and unfortunately my blogging got put on hold for a few days.  The few solitary moments I typically had when I was alone at night or in the morning that I used to blog when I traveled alone, were filled with conversation or eating with Scott.  Now it's already Sunday and we're driving home to Wisconsin and I'm finally getting time as the passenger to catch everyone up. 
Scott gives B some
specific instructions.

So, let's rewind.  On Thursday I picked Scott up at the airport about mid afternoon. We hustled our way back to Miller Coliseum before the 4pm show set began. Tonight I would ride both Diva and Bourbon, so he'd have the opportunity to see them both perform. Upon our return I made introductions to the clients and team at Hannah's barn and other friends I've made along the way.  And he met Carlan's girls for the first time.  I oriented him to the grounds and the aisle where bourbon was located. Our first stop was to see B, of course!  When we arrived he was already in the cross ties and Scott stopped to give him a pat and start a pep talk about how he was to perform outstanding tonight. LOL.

Adding my blue and
reserve ribbons to the
HP Stables ribbon rack!
A billboard seen on my
way to the airport to
pick up Scott.  (Really!)

Tonight I plan to wear my orange day coat, since it will go well with both horse colors (black and sorrel).   Plus, we put both of my horses in orange, red and black ribbons to match my tie. Having Scott here was super for me!  He's always my rail man at home and knows how Diva goes, so he immediately gave me pointers as I warmed her up. She would be ridden first tonight.  He coached me, and said to take a bit more hold, get her head up, and ride circles to stretch her legs out. Then he gave me my pep talk and got me all ready mentally. By the time I entered the ring I was in the zone. I picked her up and she rode right into the ring and hit it right away. We had a great ride. She's so consistent. We completed clean rides both ways of the ring and it felt good as we went into the line up.  Our work was rewarded with a third place in a nice sized class - I think 12 or 14 horses.  This was the English novice country pleasure class. 
Diva in the line-up.
We were tied 3rd place
 in this class.

Next on deck was B.  Bub brought him up through DQP and then the team saddled him for me.  Hannah warmed him up and gave me a few pointers while I rode in the warmup ring.  His class would be the trail junior horse. A tough class. But once again Scott got me all revved up. And, by the time the class entered the ring I couldn't wait to show off B for him.  I rode him the best that I could. I am more comfortable in English and he has a high head and looks good that way too. Even Hannah comments how much she likes him English every time I ride this way.  So, we're going to make the most of all of this positive energy and see what we can do in this class.  As the cards are tallied I look for Scott in the stands.  He's standing with his arms folded like he does, giving me the approval nod and smile, which makes me excited for the ribbons to be called. Plus, Katie is there in the front row, right in front of me with her thumbs up and giving me the number one sign.  :)  (I need to figure out how to bottle her up. ) When they come on the mic to announce the winners.....B gets tied as the reserve! That's 2nd place for the red ribbon. I pull out of the line up and ride over to collect the ribbon from the ribbon bearer.  As she hands me the ribbon, the woman tells me she grew up in Wisconsin. What a small world. :).  As I exit the ring, many people are congratulating me and commenting on B.   I look for Scott and when our eyes connect, we both smile. He's grinning and says B looked awesome out there!  Yeah!  I'm so glad we did well and Scott was here to see a great ride and reserve win!
A double Winner's Circle Celebration!
Carlan & her girls with Lil Wayne.
Scott & I with Watchin For The Storm.

The class that followed mine was Carlan's class. Beforehand we promised that if by chance we should both win our respective classes, we'd get a photo taken together in the winners circle.  So, I watched her class while holding B's reins...and sure enough she gets tied with the blue. She smiles at me as she exits the ring, and after she gets her winners circle pictures....Scott, Bourbon and I join her, Lil Wayne and her girls for our double winner/reserve shot!  I couldn't be happier.  We were both smiling and hugging each other. I have Scott here, and my friend, and two great winning horses!  Life is good. 
Marsha Coffey and I enjoy
some time together ring-side.
Love making new friends!

Friday and Saturday were filled with readying horses, practice rides, watching the show, socializing and mostly Scott taking it all in. He was constantly evaluating the horses, the overall situation (aka "the game") and B's potential.  This was his first trip to the International, so it was good for him to see it all first hand. He commented about how good it was for him to see it for himself - and the horses, and what the judges were placing. B is big, and he moves big. Very different than the small shaky or snappy horses that typically win the big blues most of the time. So we had much discussion about him and how likely or unlikely his "big time" potential could be.  Especially going into The Celebration. But, it is certain that he's getting more notice than ever before, and climbing in the ribbon ranks. Last year he was in the ribbons....but this year he's in the high ribbons and pulling blues here and there.   This week...he collected a blue, two reserves, and a third place in the championship class. Wow!  This is his third blue of the season.  Plus, we receive many comments about him. Or have overheard someone say something positive about him.  I even had a few folks I didn't know comment to me or Scott about him..or about our ride. It all helps to get a feel for his potential. Both of us talked at length too about how much Hannah has done with him. He's come so far. He's improved so much. And the rewards for her hard work....and that of the entire HP team, is shining through. It certainly shined bright this week with our ribbons as the outcome. 
Scott gets a ring-side
view of the competition.
The saddles and pads are
stacked and ready in the
warm-up area for HP Stables.

Diva did her job too.  She started the week with a bang with her reserve ride at the TWHBEA-Futurity. Then she got a ribbon in every class she was in during the International.   A seventh in her largest class out of 26 horses - with a workout ride.   Then she climbed up the ribbons with a fifth, fourth and a few thirds.  She did as well or better in her western classes, which were our new addition and challenge this year. I'm proud of her...and it feels good that she could ride with this level competition and make good ribbons in large classes. She was tired out by Saturday - and it was noticeable when I placed her back in her stall after her last class. She slowly nickered at me as I tossed her hay and Scott filled her bucket with cool water. I pat her and told her to have a good night's rest for the long trip home tomorrow. 

Which brings us back to Sunday morning.  Scott woke at 5am and turned on the lights. He tickled my foot as I pulled the covers over my head. He said get up. I said no.  I even tried to bribe him.  "I'll pay you if I can stay in bed." He just laughed at me...really pay me, huh?  "Get up!" Arghhhh.  At this specific moment I wish he wasn't here with me. LOL. We got up, packed and then went back over to Miller to hook up the trailer and load Diva. She was so happy...I swear she knew we were finally going home and she jumped right into the trailer. I promised her pasture time once we got home. We're on the road a few hour already and making good time, and should be home around 5pm for dinner. 
Love this view from the
passenger seat!  :)

Thanks to WHOA who put on a great week of showing at The International.  Its been an amazing week...and so many folks helped out in so many ways.  From the judges, to the DQP, ribbon bearers, announcers, center ring preparers, and registration desk staff.  It must be a huge undertaking to plan and run such a huge show.  More than 1500 entries in 212 different classes. You can only imagine the orchestration that goes on behind the scenes.

And, also thanks to the team at Hannah Pulvers Stables...who not only help with the horses and tack and making sure you are ready and in the ring, but who go above and beyond for their clients by coordinating lunch and snacks, providing super nice a fan and mounting block ring-side and a stall converted into a dressing room with clothing rack to hang your suits and chaps, and dressing curtain for privacy.  Every detail, on top of the horse training, was provided - which makes it so easy to focus on making good rides.  I for one appreciated everything...and am blown away by the thought that goes into the show from my trainer and team!

And then there are all the other clients of Hannah's.  I have met so many people...from all around the country.  They are so friendly, and we help each other and provide encouragement and support.  It makes sense that someone special like Hannah would bring together such a special group of clients.  I count myself so lucky to be part of her "gang"...and have enjoyed meeting and getting to know them all better.

Next stop.....The Celebration!

No comments:

Post a Comment