Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shepherd Ranch Horse Trials - Part 1

Finally, after all these years of riding together, Carolyn, Nahmi and I are getting to do our first show with everyone on board their horses.  Miracle of miracles (knocking on wood here) all four boys – Simon, Sparky, Reese and Junior – are sound, we’re sound (of body anyway), and ready to have a really great weekend. 

Getting up at obnoxious o’clock in the morning after a late night finishing up some work I’d been putting off (shocking!) should have been tough, but I think I was so excited that getting up early was easy.  And that’s without coffee!  (‘cause I wasn’t up early enough to actually make some and Starbucks has not succumbed to my brilliant idea that they deliver at 5:30 am :D)

Loading was great with everyone – including the sometimes sticky Junior – just marching right on.  Could it be that the babies are growing up?  With a little bit of teamwork we left Goldspirit Farm and were on the road by 6:28, two minutes ahead of schedule. 

Susan’s trailer arrived at Shepherd Ranch slightly ahead of Nahmi and me because – be prepared to be shocked – they had to stop to go to the bathroom and Nahmi and I didn’t!  I know that only people who have gone to shows with us before will get that, but usually Nahmi and I have the smallest bladders of the gang.  The one stop combined with the bigger truck and possibly heavier foot J got them there in time to stake out the best parking spot and find our stalls before our arrival.  After that, we moved together with the precision of a Swiss watch to get the stall guards up, waters filled and ponies fed. 

Ahhh, time to relax… for about two minutes.  Isn’t that the way horse shows always go?   We should have had hours to go tack shopping and unwind but before you knew it, it was time to get ready for the practice test we all signed up for. 

The practice dressage got off to a bit of an exciting start as Junior bolted on the lunge line, slipped, fell and skidded around the arena on his ass.  The cool part is that he got his brain back in gear and Carolyn rode a very respectable test with no bucks, running backwards or balking.  Simon and Reese put in respectable tests as well, and everyone got some good coaching from the judge.  If you have the opportunity to do a practice test the day before, I highly recommend it.  Seasoned vet that he is, Sparky got to sit this out and relax in his stall.   

Tomorrow – the real thing!