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April 4, 2011

Home, No Foolin'

Photo by Lauren Sprieser.

I had this swell plan for an absurd April Fool's Day blog post, something where I decided on my drive home to give up dressage to raise alpacas, or to adopt a baby from Nigeria, or something else harebrained.

Instead, I've had a few distractions over the last few days.

First, I realized in packing the trailer that I'd forgotten hay bags. So off to the store I go, where my only options are haynets. My trailer's just not easily set up for haynets, so I end up jerry-rigging them up, complete with bailing twine and duct tape.

After that I go to take Midge out and learn he's thrown a shoe. In his stall. Is that talent or what? Fortunately, one of my farrier's assistants can come out to tack it back on, but seriously. We are 15 hours away from our departure, and Ding-A-Ling is removing his shoes.

It should go without saying, of course, that an 86-year-record drought in south Florida decided to break just as I'm trying to pack up and go.

But I got all my stuff together, got the horses quietly and obediently on the trailer at 6 a.m., and was on the road by 6:30. The drive was totally uneventful Wednesday, and we overnighted in South Carolina at Jack Belew's farm, which specializes in overnight stays. They have a sign in the barn that asks that guests not to take the farm's buckets, as they're rigged to explode a mile off the property. I love the Carolinian sense of humor!

Thursday I can't sleep, so I'm up early, and we're on the road by 5:30 a.m. And I zip along, making great time. I drop off some sound equipment I volunteered to schlep up for professional announcer Brian O'Connor, who is The Voice of just about every dressage show and event of consequence on the Eastern Seaboard. And I arrive at the farm, where it is 45 degrees, in comparison to the 90s we'd experienced on Tuesday in Florida. 

But they're fine, and I'm feeling like I've been hit by a bus, but I'm fine. And I decide to go to the grocery store… but my car won't start, even after a jump. Great.

So it gets towed to the shop Friday morning, and all the horses are good but WILD on Friday. (Except Fender, who appears to be missing some body parts, so if anyone heading up 95 finds some hind legs on the side of the road, grab 'em for me? Thanks.) I ride six horses instead of the three I've been riding for the last few months so today, Saturday, I am a little bit sore.

But I'm home. The grass is greening up. I can walk around my apartment barefoot, instead of having to wear flip-flops everywhere because of Florida's persistent grossness. I don't have to take sunscreen intravenously (yet). The water in my shower actually makes my hair feel clean; the washing machine actually works. And I've got a whole barn full of great horses and even better people.

It's great to be home! And that's no April Fool's joke!