Sorry I am a little behind with this post but things in our neck of the woods have been pretty crazy since our return home. Lots of changes happening here and although transformation is good, the process can be uncomfortable. But let's go back to the fantastic experience we had in California attending the LA Preview. This year we had the opportunity to take two ponies from Archway and were entrusted with two girls from Thumbs Up Farm and Red Gate Farm to form what we tagged the NW Pony Team!!
We begin our journey on Saturday when our extended pony group arrived here at the farm to spend the night for early departure. Ricardo and I had already packed all our equipment in the front of our 15 horse semi and as Buddy and Ellie arrived with their ensemble poor Ricardo had to pack and re pack to fit everything, including a refrigerator, into the truck. So as the sun rose on Sunday morning and all the ponies were loaded into their box stalls with all the luxuries of home, I waved goodbye from the porch as the truck pulled out. We were LA bound!
As we were making plans we decided to waive hiring a groom this show, we wanted to create a truly memorable experience by doing all the work ourselves. Yes, that includes all the stall cleaning, four daily feedings and in addition the grooming and coaching. Mind you, all of this is fine but add to that list having two clients fly down to try horses and you have created quite a menagerie. WHAT WERE WE THINKING!!
This is what a typical day for Corey and I went:
4:30- alarm, get dressed, check emails
5:30 - out the door heading towards the closest Starbucks (Grandes needed)
6:00- feed water and begin stall cleaning( I changed into my muck boots and barn chore coat)
6:30 - groom and hack or hand walk ponies
8:00- pony madness begins and goes on until dark!
now in between all this we had Leslie and Madeleine fly down to try 8 horses, CONTROLLED CHAOS ... on Saturday Corey and I did not sit down the entire day, CRAZY
6:00 pm- bathe ponies, feed, clean stalls and tack; wrap, blanket and lock up
8:30 check email and fall into bed exhausted and happy
And so it went.........Brandan was there on vacation and found himself pulled into the madness with us, it is an insanity that can only be experienced. We could not have done it without you, Brandan!
Let's talk about the performances. Payton with Serendipity and Gummi Bear, Samantha with Ella Enchanted and Becca with Paint the Town clearly demonstrated what dedication and hard work can create. From beginning to end they exhibited an unwavering focus and excitement to the task at hand. They all felt a little overwhelmed heading into that first jumping round but they gained confidence with every fence they jumped. The ponies were true champions and gave their best each day. How we love the ponies!! This was an emotional show for all three girls as they were coming to the end of a long time partnership and preparing to move on to new experiences. They pushed through all of these obstacles to create some of the best performances of their young careers. The NW pony team (including parents) cheered each other on and stood by to nourish(water) and support (groom/hugs)the team through the long hours. There were many ribbons won, championships awarded and an overwhelming feeling of pride and success as the show week came to a close.
As we all packed our trunks in preparation for our flight home, we were content with the feeling of having done the very best that was available to us that week. I would like to express thanks to everyone who helped create one of the highlights of my coaching career, you girls and ponies ROCK!!
We left LA knowing we had entrusted our ponies in the capable hands of Ricardo as he prepared the Archway Truck for the long drive north. GOOD TIMES!!