Holy cow that was a fun week. I am exhausted what from all the driving and heat and etc. etc. but yay! It was so great to see Austin again and Amanda and meet Henry and catch up with other friends.
So I flew out Saturday evening and got into Austin about 830. Grabbed my car (wow Austin Airport shuts down EARLY!) and headed to I35. OMG. People drive nuts in Texas, y’all! I am sorry but Northeast you have NOTHING on Texans. I was driving 90 and people were passing me. And I had a tiny Corolla. It was vibrating! And my face was pretty much like this:
I know Mark would have been in a fetal ball if he had been along. ANYWAY, I drove up to about Georgetown (north of Austin) and found a Holiday Inn Express about 930 or so. I was tired, it was dark, and there were those demon tractor trailers on the road. I had enough. Plus I knew I was driving into no man’s land to get to Amanda’s show. I prefer my thrills to be when the sun was out.
Oh btw! Doesn’t everyone pack their paddock boots for their work trip? I do! HA I knew Amanda wanted me to ride and I had no room for regular shoes (I had flip flops, sandals and these!).
I got up so early at the hotel it was still dark outside. Breakfast at HI was not till 7. When I checked out the guy was like don’t you want breakfast, I was like nope need to get moving! SO I stopped at my first nostalgic stop of the week.
We don’t have Whataburger, Jack in the Box, or kolaches in the Northeast. They are all missed by us! Anyway a quick stop for a big ass ice tea and a taquito and I was on my way to Henry!!
When I say I was going into BFE I was going into BFE!! I swear, it was almost Deliverance out there I heard banjos in my head. But I ran across a Starbucks in Marlin so stopped for a quick potty break and an iced coffee (Yeah caffeine was my friend in Texas) and grabbed a lunch pack since I just realized I might need food at the show. I KNOW Amanda’s limitations and her actually having snacks well…I doubted that (They did have food at the show but I had my fruit and cheese from Starbucks while Amanda mooched off Merritt’s team per normal).
I was getting close so I stopped and got ice for Henry’s ice boots (I AM THE BEST I KNOW). I texted Amanda to tell her I was close and she reminded me NOT to follow the GPS to get there (She had pinned her arrival the day before so I would find her). AND FOUND HER I DID! (Though I almost went past the facility. Seriously it was all crammed on like an acre lot the stabling and the trailers etc.) The rest of the facility fanned out behind some trees but if there hadn’t been a horse trailer pulling in ahead of me I might still be in Texas looking for it!
She had told me her stall number but what do you know?? I DID not need it. Why do you ask? Cause this is what I saw. IMMEDIATELY. I was like hmm I KNOW that horse.
So I knew I was at the right place, Amanda was in the shade with the group and as I pulled up to drop the ice off, i flipped her the bird and she flipped back. Guys, this is the stuff poetry is made from. Love stories I tell you!
I gave her the ice and went to park by her truck and trailer. And then I met Henry! Who is a grumpy mare like she says but so cute who cares. Amanda had just finished up her dressage not long ago so I was thrilled to have missed the boring part.
Of course the minute I got there, Merritt and her team threw Amanda under a bus telling me that the maniac forgot her saddles. I about died right there laughing (yes it saved her but still, MS ORGANIZED I AM PACKING THREE DAYS EARLY? FORGOT HER DAMN SADDLES. What an idiot 🙂 HA!) They had a great spot in the shade and some serious tailgating. Great group of people. And since they pick on Amanda so much I loved them INSTANTLY!
So we had a bit of time to chat and shoot the breeze, though she wanted to go walk the course. Being the good friend I am I went with her. It makes me happy I do not need to ever jump things that big. Cause people. They were big. Gulp.
Since she already covered the course walk etc with you guys on her blog I will not bore you (or scare you whichever works). That Trakehner was gross and I literally averted my eyes. And it was a long long course. A lot of meandering considering the time was so tight. Better her than me!!
When she said she missed a few photos of jumps, do not let her blame me. We were not talking nonstop. Not us! But maybe. It could have happened!
Then we walked the stadium course. Which made no sense to me. Like the first three jumps were a bending 1 to 2 to a rollback to 3. Umm…okay? And the ring was tight. Again I thanked my stars I DIDN’T have to do it.
We tacked the beast up and Amanda piled seven zillion things for me to carry over there to the ring. AGAIN Friend of the EFFING YEAR!
Merritt (whose whole bunch of kids and adults were hilarious along with herself who is ready to pop an infant out any day, they had me in stitches) and I decided to stand in the shade until Amanda had to go into stadium. That warm up ring. Ummm good to know they are global the craziness that are warm up rings. Always raises my blood pressure watching. Jeez. Anyway, Amanda and Henry schooled a bit (Henry still looked tired and sleepy even though there were jumps here). Once Amanda started RIDING it all worked out a bit. (Love ya Amanda!)
We walked over to watch her do stadium. And I videoed it and mentioned that my sound effects were free (OH SHIT, OH MY, HMMM, OH SHIT). HA. A professional I am not. But they got clear (that rail had super glue on it seriously cause it rattled. HARD). She must have sacrificed something to the Gods for sure. SO she was clean. Which was great.
But then we had to sponge Henry (Henry hot, Henry tired, Henry huffing and puffing) and get Amanda wrangled into her gear. Which went about like you can imagine, I made Amanda and Merritt do all the hard stuff. I sponged Henry! I can handle that!
And off they went to CC! And me being the AWESOME FRIEND AGAIN, offered to video what I could. So I found this small tree (shade please!) and stood under it and waited for Henry to come thru the woods. And waited. And waited. And worried. And waited some more. (I didn’t know of the slippage nor did I know when she went out of the start box since I could not see it where I was). I was by the water jump and the corner table and the bank etc. SO when he came out of the woods I was like GO HENRY GO.
He went. He was flying. But a lot of the horses competing were pounders. Henry is pretty light on his feet so he was stealthy. As he went thru the water and came by me I screamed GO Henry GO. And he went again. I couldn’t even get a shot of the two brush jumps and then I ran my ass back to the finish line. AND they beat me there. (Guys it was getting hot by then!). WHEW.
We started getting Henry cooled off. My man was huffing and puffing big time. But he cooled off great once we got all the crap off him and hosed him. It was really amazing, how quickly he cooled off and got chilled out. CLEAR CLEAR CLEAR. YAY.
Amanda moved up to 2nd after all that so we kind of waited and watched others go. I am here to say the Beginner Novice jumps were NOT big at all. They were more like Intro. And for me to say that. IS HUGE. It was great seeing all the different horses go and just kind of enjoy a show without hyperventilating that it was my time to compete! We started packing up and got Amanda’s ugly ass ribbon (Sorry 2nd should be red!) and then we were heading back to Austin. It was getting hot by then and I was not upset getting into the Corolla and turning the air on high. It was a great day (and I was following Amanda back to the barn and then to her house so more to come…)
Two more things for this blog post. One there was a Remus look alike there. That cracked me up he was taller but the same horse otherwise. See below.
Oh and I missed sunblock on the back of legs. Um.. OUCH. The good thing was I got no other sunburn in Texas. But it still hurts LOL