Just a quick blog note to keep the hommies happy (Joanne I am speaking of you!). Everytime I travel for an event, I think that there is nothing to report about, but then I get admonished by friends and clients left back at home that I didn’t keep everyone informed and entertained! So, here it goes.
This year’s roster is:
Taylor (aka “Super T”) working student from Alaska, coming along to groom for me. She is helping me with Archie, who is at Preliminary level, but soon to move up to CIC* or Intermediate. I haven’t decided which yet. I also brought Cochlear, the horse with a story. And his story is getting more chapters, but more on that later.
Birch, is a coming 5 year old warmblood owned by Tara De Nicholas. His trope is the wide-eyed, inexperienced youngster who is along to grow up and see the world.
Lanie (aka “L-dog”) and her new horse, Kleary’s Foolish Heart, lovingly called Flo. This will be their first season together and they are starting at Novice level.
And finally, Sophie (aka “Hopi”) and Serian who are the equivalent of the old married couple who have a decade of experience together. They might know each other a little too well as they break old habits at Training level and learn new ones to succeed at Prelimiary level.
In a separate vehicle, Cindi arrived a few days later with her two horses JJ and Roz. JJ is her solid citizen at Novice level and she is using this trip to learn more about her new mare, Roz. I can say now that she is also having a shakedown on the amount of work it takes to do two horses when traveling! But, it’s a learning curve that she will get dialed in by summer.
We loaded the horses up on April 2nd in the SNOW at 4 am! Which, I guess that is not a complete red herring, but it sure feels surreal to be heading for the sun, and dodging the snow behind us as we do it. As usual, I try to travel long distances with 5 or less horses, because then the girls can walk back and check on them as we are driving. This saves me a lot of worry because you can see their eyes and personality, check if they are thirsty, feed carrots etc… anything possible to make sure that we are keeping the travel risk to a minimum. I love to travel with my horses but it’s also a source of huge stress and concern for their health, and of course, the fear of engine trouble is always lurking in the back of your mind.
Our plan was to travel down Hwy 97, on the east side of the Cascades, first because it is an awesome road and beautiful, but two because it is a quieter and straighter drive for the horses with no mountain passes. But Snoqualmie pass was closed that morning because of the huge amount of snow that fell with the storm, so we were forced to drive boring I-5 with all its traffic and twisty, relentlessly up and down Siskiyou passes. Thank goodness we did! Because around Albany, Oregon I saw my air tank pressure relief valve go off as the pressure in the tank climbed to 150 psi. I immediately thought, “oh no, I’m driving a bomb!” and pulled off as soon as I could with my heart racing. It turns out we were a mere 3 miles from an International truck repair shop! (that would not have happened if we were on Hwy 97!) They changed the air tank governor in about 45 minutes, checked the rest of the system and sent us on our way for a well worthwhile $127. I could not have been more relieved!
We spent the first night in a horse hotel in Red Bluff and then drove the remaining 7 hours to Paso Robles Horse Park. Where we will remain for the week and compete at a schooling jumper show over the weekend.