Here we are at the PVDA Ride for Life, and oh. my. lord. This is a big freaking deal!
The venue is called the Prince Georges Equestrian Center, and it is a big, beautiful place with fine stabling and fine outdoor arenas and whatever, but DANG the indoor coliseum! It’s huge! It’s lit! It’s air conditioned! We aren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto!
Actually, my first thought on walking in there? Holy snap, it’s like the World Cup. Beautiful live plants around the arena, sponsor banners everywhere. Very, VERY cool. The program is going to be awesome— quite a list of dignitaries riding in the performance, I’m tickled to just be here—and it sounds like it’s going to be a good time for everyone, not just the horsily inclined. So if you’re in the Mid Atlantic, come on out. It’s a FABULOUS cause.
We arrived plenty early to get settled, and then each of the riders got 20 minutes to school in the ring last night. Cleo was awfully well-mannered, considering the mood lighting (that they were still tinkering with, resulting in the occasional Very Scary Shadow) and general chaos of a dress rehearsal. And I’m quite thrilled about the AC—it’s feeling a lot like summer in the Mid Atlantic this weekend, and Cleo’s going to be a lot happier about piaffing in the air conditioning than out! The music works awfully well for her, considering it wasn’t written for her, and no matter what happens we’re going to have a LOT of fun!
Got up this morning and hacked around early before it got really hot, and now I’m going back to the grounds to putter for oh, I dunno, the next eight hours or so. Cleo is nice and clean and white, and I’ve gathered what I hope will be a sufficient amount of pinkness to support the cause, but not go overboard. Browband, saddle pad, stock tie, plenty of glitter, and my favorite part: pink fishnets. Seriously. Worry not, Aunt Esther; I’ve sliced a pair into four leg-warmer-size tubes, which slide over white polos, and look suprisingly non-trashy. I hope.
One little screeching-fan-girl moment: last night checking into the hotel I ran into Debbie McDonald, who is the featured guest here for the show. She is SO nice, and I’m sure she’s nice to everyone, but she was all like, “Hey, what’s up, how’s your horse, great to see you!” And I was all like, WHOA! Debbie McDonald knows me! Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. (Managed to keep those feelings on the inside, though. Now I can just look like an idiot on the Internet, instead of in person. Whew!)