So a LOT happened this weekend. SO MUCH that I am going to have to break these up I am afraid. Let’s start with the nonstop rain we had on Friday still…it finally tapered off by Friday afternoon but due to the mud I decided to lock Remus up for the night (and let Tate go in and out of his stall, let’s call him PigPen shall we?). If I had my choice, I prefer a nice night out for Remus with dry conditions as he tends to stay cleaner. And his latest choice is sleeping in the field which keeps him cleaner than the stall or paddock. But not Friday night, he was locked up tight. So I was out at 7 pm cleaning him up finally. ‘Trimmed his bridle path and went ehh on the mane no one would notice it wasn’t completely pulled, it was better than it was. Then I attempted to scrape the mud off his legs and hooves. He had had a sheet on all day so had stayed relatively clean. Night, nite, lights out, and inside the house I went.
I proceeded to go thru my dressage test all night in my head and go through my brain about all the stuff I had packed in my truck already and had to pack still, all night long. So that does a really good job of making sure you get very little sleep. I was up at 530 to start the day. It is very, very dark at 530 by the way. OF course all three stalls were disgusting (I had left two open for Tate he proceeded to use both of them, thanks). I moved Remus to the third stall which has the door which we still haven’t fixed that it won’t close but I kind of jammed it shut and fed Remus in there. If you are following along and know Remus you know where we are going with this.
I finished cleaning Remus up while he ate his (piddling amount of )ration balancer and then I went inside to shower and get ready. (I DID GIVE HIM HAY TO EAT HE DID NOT NEED TO DO THIS). When I went back out (STILL DARK) I had this feeling, did he push that door open? Sure enough that stall door was wide open and Remus was nowhere to be seen. Which means he went through the mud and muck and etc. to get out in the field. I had to go back up to the house to get a flashlight and shined it out and there he was.
So I had a mini-meltdown. A) I was sure he had rolled cause I had left his sheet off for five minutes B) I knew I had to walk through said mud and muck to get him then walk back again because if I called him and shook grain he would run and get more mud on him C) I wasn’t sure if he would come to me because once he is out he likes to be out. A) He hadn’t rolled B) I had to hose my boots off but we made it and C) OF COURSE HE CAME RIGHT UP TO ME BECAUSE, FOOD LADY. Anyway crisis adverted, I was getting late now. I needed to get on the road.
Mark helped me finish loading (It was getting light out). Remus got mad at me before I put him on the trailer because I hosed his legs off (TOUGH COOKIE, you get dirty you get hosed) but then while Tate was screaming, Remus self loaded and gave Tate the middle finger saying SEE YA WOULDN’T WANT TO BE YA (He was on an adventure). I swear there was a gleam in Remus’s eye, he was ready to go. Off we went.
I left Tate in the stall and told Mark to let him out after I was gone a while. I didn’t want the turd to run thru the fence or something else stupid. (he didn’t).
Heading out, it was pretty exciting to be going to a show again. It has been so long since Remus and I have gone anywhere fun. I had never been to this venue before and that made me so nervous that I barely managed to get a granola bar down while driving. HA. I also had a mini-heart attack when I thought my times were earlier than they were. I lucked out and they were not. Whew.
It only took me about an hour or so to get to the show (It was in Mississippi so I got to visit a new state too). I had a moment’s panic that the maps app had sent me the wrong way when i turned onto a dead end road and it looked like it ended a few houses away (Then a big horse trailer pulled into the road behind me and I was like this has to be right and it was). It was a nice property but it was not as big as I thought it would be.
I found a place to park and then went to get my numbers and then went over to see Stephanie and her friend, Cassie who had earlier start times. By the time I got back to my trailer, another trailer was beside me with Haflingers. I met new friends, yay. The only issue at first was they were parked close. I had parked right by the flags and they were right up against me and I had nowhere to tie Remus. In fact when I unloaded I had to walk him around their trailer to get to the front of my truck to get my stuff. It all worked out because I always just put Remus back on trailer for breaks but still.. But they turned out to be two cute kids on Haflingers and a nice mom/aunt. We even exchanged numbers and they belong to the hunt club down there and want me to come hunting (it sounds pretty low key which is good). The mom/aunt even wanted to make Remus an honorary Haflinger! She loved him.
I had about twenty minutes to walk the course. I am SO glad I did. OMG I would have gotten so lost (I still got lost). The course is in mostly the woods with a few clearings to go through to. It may be 2-3 acres for the course total. It was totally tight and the footing was a bit sketchy from all the rain. The good thing about this type of course is it is good for Fatties like Remus, Fair Hill kills him with all those rolling hills and field. But the turns were TIGHT. But I knew we would be okay as I wasn’t planning on more than a trot! But jeez the Beginner Novice was really tight with 15 jumps I think.
I did a quick run around and saw that the jumps in my level were tiny mostly but they were very very spooky. I texted Amanda and Sarah and told them I was pretty sure I was going to die (they both talked me out of my panic). I think Amanda texted KICK ON and Sarah texted TAKE A CROP. Both made me laugh. There was a lot of machinery around and the start box was literally right by the house behind the shed by the woodpile (as they always are? ha) Spooky! Also I did not find fence 8 (there was an empty space by BN and N, and the other jumps. Thank goodness for the older kid who was trailered beside me. She was like OHHH It is there and proceeded to tell me where it was. If she had not told me I am sure as shit I would have gone off course. As it was I got lost a few times but didn’t go off course barely.
Remus was very chill considering he hadn’t been off property since he arrived in July to Tennessee. I lunged him at first and he had about five people who stopped to watch him (the dapples, they are blinded by dapples I say). I then started to get ready for dressage. After tacking him the rest of the way I finally got on him (he stood perfect at the mounting block REMEMBER THIS, it did not happen for Cross Country). We walked through the tiniest gate to get to the dressage area. I was worried we wouldn’t fit (Remus is WIDE duh). But we got through then we walked around the warmup area. Which was a zoo even with so few horses. It was on grass, the actual dressage area next to it was a good footing but it was WET and MUCKY. UGH Remus’s less favorite footing. But we got this right?? I kept thinking how you all were so confident how we had this. So I mavericked up!
Anyway we warmed up a bit trotting….FINALLY TROTTING IN an almost ring. He was really good going around at the trot and walk. Like really good. Which I kind was hmm…But there were HUGE fire ant hills everywhere though and I was a bit worried we were going to trot through one. It did feel wonderful riding my horse again in civilization!!
Remus was already fussing swishing his tail so I was worried the flies were going to get bad. (I realized right away that he probably had to pee. Sigh….). But he was pretty well behaved so I stopped to take a look at the ring.
AND THEN I DID A MICHELE. Yeah I completely blanked on my test. I started cold sweating. LOL. I had myself convinced I was turning the wrong way at C AND I ALSO FORGOT I had to stop at x in the beginning as well as the end. Um. Okay? So I stopped warming up and went and stood and watched people go (Not my division) to just get the letters in my brain again. I finally remembered to breathe and remembered the test. I need help really.
And they did a bit check. At a schooling show in Mississippi? Really? I have never had a bit check done in my life at all the starters I have been to. This was a combined test? It was no problem but I was kind of like really? ANYWAY it was finally our turn so we got on the outskirts of the ring and started to walk. The footing was solid but squishy and mucky. Again not Remus’s fave. Or mine. I knew I had two choices. Play it safe and not get a great trot. OR PUSH REMUS forward and piss him off. Dear Readers, I wussed out and played it safe. Even going around the outside the minute I asked for the trot I had a supple, listening horse who was even going on the bit and not beyond the vertical. He was so good. We just weren’t forward enough and I knew this but I was like I like this so this is what we are doing. I trotted and I waited for the bell (It took forever so I walked again) Finally she rang it and in we went. And the rest will be on tomorrow’s blog!