flat out

Flat out both describes the hours I was working in the week leading up to our first one-day this year, and my status post-show (as in flat out in bed). This show was hectic.

how many jump standards can you fit in a nissan versa? eight. eight is the answer.

Some unforseen equipment failures made it such that we couldn’t start working on the new tracks until way too late. I mean, a broken mower will do that to you. We also had a very lofty list of fence improvements, and were somewhat unwilling to compromise on what we would sacrifice to make sure it got done in time for Saturday.

So we got it all done.

we made a prelim-sized piece of chocolate cake! sprinkles tba

This meant three straight days of 6-8 work at Stallion Station by me and the course builder, and a ton of hours put in by the owner and a whole host of other volunteers. But it looked BALLER and it rode EVEN BETTER.

every level got a rainbow!!

There were also 35mph winds (with gusts up to 45mph) on Friday which made prepping SO MUCH FREAKING FUN.

6/8 warmup standards in one gust! Well played, wind. Well played.

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I love working this show, but I’m glad my life will be getting back to normal for a while. It really takes it out of you. Plus being forced to watch and not getting to show is definitely a bummer.

That and I haven’t laid eyes on my horse in…. 11 days.

We found this HUUUGE gravid female Western Pond Turtle on course while setting up. It was crazy!! Behind those oak trees to the left, Cache Creek runs through. I think Mrs. Turtle got confused looking for a nest site in the intense wind and came up much further than she needed to.

There’s no regularly schedule of riding in my life any more, but this week should be a nice one. Not too much on the schedule, so plenty of time for the pony.



smells like team spirit

The May one day is over!! Phew.

This year we ran like a well oiled machine, compared to last year’s steaming hot mess.  Holy crap we were a mess last May.  We were still decorating cross country at 9 PM on Friday night, and I didn’t even print out orders of go until 5 AM that morning.  What a difference a year (and several more shows’ worth) of experience makes.

when in doubt, add shrubbery

I’ve adopted cross country course decorations as my own personal mission.  It means I get to make the fences juuuust how I like them — which means lots of fun fences for BN/N.  It seems like a lot of effort gets put in to Training and Prelim fences, for safety reasons as much as appearances, and the intro fences at WSS always get a lot of attention because they are basically just a series of logs of slightly different heights, shapes, and textures.  So to keep it interesting we theme them.  But then BN and Novice seem to get a bit neglected… so I like to make some of their fences really fun.

flower stand!

It’s pretty emotional to watch those first few horses go out on course.  Especially since we run from Prelim down, to see those horses charging out and eating up the course… well, it definitely brought a tear to my eye.  As did watching a few friends at their first event with new baby horses.

Just beeswax, peppermint oil, and probably a little horse hair….

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The other cool thing about working the events is getting to cozy up to officials!  I’m only half joking here.  There’s a ton to learn from eventing officials, and it’s so much fun to start to recognize them when you go places!  I’ve already learned a lot about how to make a fence easier to read or scarier just by the way we add flowers, as well as some little tidbits about measurement (did you know they measure jumps from 6ft out? so a fence can be shorter or taller than the height for the level at the base, as long as at 6 feet out it’s an appropriate height based on the level of the ground).  We also use a big ass drill to get those flowers in the ground.  It’s one of the best parts of flowering the course.

baby rolex jump for the BN course

And of course we can’t do it without the volunteers!  We’d literally be lost without them.  Hug your volunteers — you wouldn’t ever get out on course without them!