everything was fun and nobody had diarrhea

I truly thought that three horse shows in a row, two weeks apart, would be a good idea. (Great idea. Just the best idea. Never met a better idea.) As usual, my ambition exceeded my time management and it started stressfully and ended stressfully and was wet af in the middle. But oh well! I got lucky and the weather was on my side. All that rain meant the farm could get by with minimal attention, and I only had to dip out of one horse show to get home and spray some trees.

by Kayla Norene Photography

Hopefully I have enough memories to do a deep dive on each show (for posterity as much as anything!) but the big picture overview is: this horse rocks.

I never get to see Speedy lying down so was delighted by his constant napping at Inavale

I wasn’t really present for my dressage or stadium rides at our first show (Equestrians Institute). I mean, obviously I was there and I rode the horse. But other than generally piloting and directing, I certainly wasn’t making any actual riding decisions. When we got out on cross country Speedy fell into this easy, rhythmic, relaxed canter. As we cruised around the course jumping everything like we’d done it a hundred times before my brain finally caught up with how much fun Speedy and the rest of my body were having.

behold: the lifeless dressage zombie (by Kayla Norene Photography)

And then the fun just kept funning. At Aspen (show two), it was pouring rain from Thursday through Saturday afternoon. Think half an inch of accumulation overnight. Sure, that’s not a lot for some parts of the country, but in June in Washington, that’s a shitload of water. Everything was wet. I was soaked all day Thursday and most of Friday. Speedy was complaining about the footing in our warmup on Thursday so I studded for dressage Friday. He jumped puddles in the warmup. I squelched my way through the cross country course walk. And it was still fun.

everything is wet (by Lee Schaber)

Inavale (show three) was a rough one — tense dressage, drove home to go tend to trees, stop in stadium, hot as balls for all rides. And still I scored one of my best dressage scores ever and then turned it around for a confidence-building cross country run. It went from a bit rough to pretty rough to really good, and Speedy and I did it together.

No Inavale photos yet, so here’s another cute one from Aspen. I bought all the photo packages. (by Cortney Drake Photography)

I can’t say enough good things about this horse.

I knew riding was fun. And I knew horse shows were fun. But I had no idea they were this much fun. In the cold, in the rain, when my truck breaks down, when I have to go home to do work. When my trainer has to warm me up early then zip off to another rider, when I’m putting in a solo prep ride or hacking around to stretch Speedy’s legs. There’s no part of it where I’ve thought “man I wish this was going some other way right now”. There’s no time when I want it to just be over and finished with so I can stop stressing about it. I can eat, I can drink, and I don’t get stress colitis.

by Cortney Drake Photography

I have the coolest horse. I am so lucky.