Off my merry troupe went to the Region 1 Adult Team Championships this weekend. This is the grown-up version of the kid show from two weeks ago, and the kids lucked out on weather and facility. Commonwealth Park in Culpeper has not changed much since the 1970s, apparently, including some pretty gnarly stabling, so we showed out of the trailer. That’s something I don’t have a lot of experience with—I always either had multiple horses or multiple riders at the same show, so we bit the bullet and got stalls.
I was a little concerned about how the two horses from my barn, my mom’s wonderful and perfect Andalusian, Tres, and a client’s superstar Thoroughbred, Snappy, would behave, but they were absolute gems and didn’t bat an eye. And almost all of the other horses on the two teams I put together are eventers, so they can handle pretty much everything.
It was obscenely hot, but we made it through the day. Some really great rides—one of my riders took his WB/QH cross who, a year ago, was about as supple as a big stick and who lengthened in trot like a Jack Russell Terrier on linoleum, and got a 65 percent at first level, test 4; another earned a whopper 75 percent on training 4 in the teeny weenie 20 x 40 arena. And a few, let us say, lapses of brilliance.
The part I loved, though, was the camaraderie. Few of my riders knew each other before the show, but everyone coordinated, brought tents and food and drinks, and we had an absolute blast!
Everyone also took really good care of their horses and themselves. Everyone, of course, but me.
Somehow, in the midst of warming up seven riders for 14 rides from 8 am to 4 pm, I only put sunscreen on the top half of my exposed body. Hey, we’re riders—our legs never see the sun, and so I’ve never gotten so much as a tan on my legs, EVER. So why put sunscreen on?
Well. Apparently my inner lobster needed to come out, and I earned myself some wicked sunburn, and what may have been sun poisoning—I was pretty much flat out yesterday, and I’m still a little puny today. (I’ll live. Doing everything but taking aloe intravenously, got my anti-inflammatories; as one of the whitest girls on the planet, I’m no stranger to bad sunburn.)
Red legs aside, my riders kicked some serious butt: First Level Team took Reserve Team honors, and my Training Level team won their division, the Individual Reserve High Score ribbon, AND was named the Overall High Score team, resulting in the winning of something called the Edgar Hotz Trophy which is, as I understand, a Big Freaking Deal. Woohoo! The trophy itself was too precious to be used in photographs (bummer!), but you all will just have to take my word for it that it is EXTREMELY big and shiny, and we’re all very excited.
Now, it’s a blissful three-weekend break from the show ring. We’ll have our weekly Fix-A-Test events, (which need a better name, because Fix-A-Test abbreviates as FAT, and that’s no good). Ella, Midge and my mom with her Tres will do a very local recognized show here the weekend of August 22-23, and then it’s back to the grindstone again for another two months or so. The timing is perfect—the high today is 92 degrees. Yuck! Maybe some horsey swimming is in order…