Kentucky, chapter 1

It seems incredibly apropos to be sitting here on a balmy evening, drinking Kentucky bourbon on ice. I’m listening to the crickets chirp, in that loud way that we really don’t get in the Pacific Northwest.  Moxee has channeled her inner hound dog as much as possible and is sacked out in the shade most any time of the day, somewhere near enough to me to know I’m around, but not so close as to expend the effort to get up and move.

My southern drawl has made an unsurprising appearance, and I find myself talking like I live here. Not on purpose, but its what comes out of my mouth as my brain unconsciously mimics what it hears. I have always had this sort of chameleon brain, but the southern drawl is easy to replicate and oh so fun to listen to.

We are experiencing a heat wave, and we definitely were not expecting that. Thank goodness we didn’t go overboard with packing horse blankets, because those take up valuable space and we are so far from needing them.  It is 18 degrees above average for the last two weeks, and frankly, I’m not happy about it. It is well into the upper 80s for humidity, and to a Seattleite that practically is like being in a steam basket on the stove. I wouldn’t mind, except for the fact that as a nomad camping in Vanna, the outbreak of flies is really annoying.  Furthermore, some friend signed me up for The Bourbon Chase Ragnar Race and I am trying so hard to get my miles in, but its impossible in this heat! I was running better a month ago when I wasn’t even training for it!

Taylor completed her dream of the Retired Racehorse Project last week. She started working for me a year ago with that as her goal, and what a success it has been. She found a darling 3 year old gelding in California from Leigh Grey, and he has been practically perfect every step along the way. He has now gone up to Pennsylvania to be turned out and get a well deserved break for a few months. Taylor will join him in two weeks, after she helps me with Archie and Lear and their upcoming event.

We have truly been nomads for the trip. We started out arriving to a farm after the 4 day drive, only to arrive to dark, dungeon-like stalls. It felt like we were putting the horses into dog pound stalls, and they were not really safe to have stall guards up either, to get any sort of  view of the world and each other. When you drive such a long way, the horses become abnormally bonded, and they were going to go nuts with dark dungeon stalls. We both felt dejected and a little ill that our horses were so tired of traveling, and they still were not in a horse-friendly situation where they can rejuvenate.

I walked down the hill to see if Vanna could get out the next morning on a different road than we came in on, while Taylor got on social media to find a new boarding situation. Moxee got a little away from me with her over active nose and I frantically tried to get her because a car was driving up. The driver asked me, “Is it a stray?” Now that I know him better, I realize that he was about to throw open the car door and adopt her right then and there! I met Steve, the owner of the next door barn.  We chatted and I told him of my situation and he said in his oh so southernly charm, “Well darlin, stay here!” as if it were the most logical thing in the world. We had electric hook up, wifi, showers and laundry, smallish stalls (but safe) and two open paddocks to use for turnout, and our own personal guide to Keeneland.

Steve’s barn perfectly met our needs. We could still use the original barn’s hacks and arenas and jumps, but a much better boarding situation for the horses. Taylor left me after a few days to go to Kentucky Horse Park for the RRP, and I shuttled back and forth between KHP and my home to ride the horses and take care of them.

And oh yea! Aren’t I supposed to be in training??


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