Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Egg n Spoon

My morning started with a fab egg sandwich. I grabbed a spoon and yogurt as I left the hotel. It's nice to have the free breakfast with my room, but I confess the coffee is not the best and I swung by Starbucks for a latte as I headed for Miller.

Stall 17.  B is ready for breakfast and cool water!
Everyone got hay and clean water when I arrived. Then I set up chairs and iced down the waters in the cooler. Stalls were cleaned. The regular chores completed. I spent the rest of the morning riding bourbon and diva in the arena. After lunch Halo would ride. He was getting a loose shoe attended to first. So Katie and I pulled out the crystals and hot fixed a bunch of them to the collar of the shirt she'd show in this evening while we waited.

When Hannah came around the corner with Halo in tow, we all jumped up and followed her out to the sand pen on the west side of the grounds. She hooked him up and began to lunge him.  It was nice to finally see him move. You could tell he was young and still figuring it out. But in between you could see him stride, shake and lift in front. He lost a few months of training this summer due to a hairline fracture on his leg. So we lost time on his progress  A dissapointment for sure, but we're very happy it was a minor setback that will easily be overcome. Whew!

Halo in the cross ties before
our practice ride. 
We then all headed into the arena. It was a busy beehive of activity. Horses riding the first way AND the second way of the ring.  Some doing circles and others lunging yearlings while others were leading colts around. Oh boy, was all I could think and I didn't envy Hannah having to ride halo in this commotion. Especially with it being his first show experience. What a way to start. But when she got in the saddle and headed off, I was pleasantly surprised that he looked calm and focused on the task at hand. Here you could see him truly move and those flashes of pure talent between the learning was evident. He's very tall and leggy. He is high in the chest and uses his front shoulders very well. The back legs have the perfect bent to really get underneath himself as he walks. And he seems to simply float effortlessly forward. Carlan stood there with me and whispers that he looks real good.  And as I look at her, her smile reassures me even more. I think that's when I finally started to breath again.  Round and round she rode H, and you could see her train him and him improve with every lap.  Eventually he started to get more consistent and settled.

Then Hannah surprised me and parked in by us, and jumped off. Okay, give him a try, she indicated to me. I couldn't believe it. But I couldn't wait either and climbed up. Oooooo, he's tall. Maybe even taller than B.  However, as I threw my leg over him and settled into the saddle, I was reminded he was not B in girth. It was like balancing on a 2x4 - the narrow way!  As we pulled out, all the memories of D as a 2yo, and B as a yearling came over me. He felt young and inconsistent, but trying.  Like riding jello. Lol. But I think we had a few moments when we got it together. And Hannah tried to talk me through it. All too soon they started to clear the arena to ready for the evening classes, so we had to leave. But I got to take the memory of my ride with me. Now it's just a matter of time and training. We have the raw materials for a good one.

Wisconsin represents!  Scott, me, Eileen, Gale, Bruce, Mick
all pose by the WWHA sign we put up to promote our club.
As I left the arena, I bumped into Gale. Yeah, they finally arrived. I helped them unpack and hang fans.  It was so cool to see more folks from Wisconsin make this trip. They brought two horses - both 2yo. Hot Diamond and Remarkable Journey. They got settled in and will ride tomorrow for a practice round in the arena. I'm so excited for them as I know how awesome the first year here is, and I hope they enjoy the experience as much as I did, and continue to do.

Next up on the agenda were the fun classes. Katie and Emily are getting ready to show. And for Katie, this is her first ever international. So chico, their little spotted saddle horse, was being spit shined and tacked up.  Waterglass class was first, and resulted in a reserve win for Katie!  What a way to start and set the bar high. She did better in ribbon placement than her older sister. Next up was egg and spoon. And when the 11 and under class began, 2 little girls lost their eggs before they even got out on the rail, 2 more were out within the next ten steps, and 2-3 more as they made the first curve. But Katie was still on her game and heading down the straightaway at the far side. And then the last 2 girls lost their eggs., and I heard a scream. It was me.  Every girl had already lost their eggs, But not miss Katie,  she was focused and confused when the
Katie's first international - and she gets the
BLUE medallion for her outstanding egg
and spoon ride on Chico!  AWESOME!!!
announcer called for the line up. She had no idea that she had won already.   They called her number and she headed for the winners circle. She had to remove her helmet so that they could put her medallion around her neck. It hung to her waist. Then they gave her an egg on a spoon and made her do her victory lap with it. She did not dissapointment. She rode the entire way, all around the ring, and kept it on the entire way. And mind you, the victory lap was longer than the whole class. Lol.   Pictures in the winners circle with all of us. We all agreed we won't be able to live with her this week. But the smiles were worth it. 

So I started and ended my day with egg n spoon. Who knew.  Tomorrow will be my first class. It will be with Diva in western. Can't wait!

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