Monday, April 2, 2012

Cavalor Champagne & Chocolates in California!

Sometimes "real" work gets in the way of horses. Other times, the unexpected happens and they blend wonderfully! Last week, bitter and disgruntled, I boarded a plane to California for a 4-day business trip. When I left my job with the Department of Defense (with lots of travel to some great places!), I just wanted to stay home. I miss the cat. I miss the horse. I miss training, practicing, and teaching. I miss home. This being only my second business trip in almost 4 years, I guess I really can't complain, but ugh, I didn't want to go.

And so when I finished up with work mid-afternoon on Friday, I collected my mom from the hotel (she'd come up from San Diego to enjoy a free resort hotel stay!) - did we head to the beach? to the mall? out on a boat to see dolphins? NOPE! We hit the nearest horse show we could find!! Unfortunately, Galway Downs CIC was just a bit too far away, so we settled on a dressage show. Which turned out to be quite a dressage show... and hunter show... and jumper show... and SHOPPING!

We arrived just a few minutes late to catch the Dressage Olympic Trials, but we got to see the awards ceremony - Steffen Peters, Jan Ebling, and Guenter Siedel - and lets just say those horses were acting more like crazy event horses than dressage horses, so that was fun to watch!

Steffen & Legolas accept the award for winning the first day of the Olympic Trials class.

And then we stumbled upon even more fun - Cavalor Champagne and Chocolates - and a free sample feed bag for Katchi. It just so happened to be his 11th birthday on Friday, so I enjoyed a glass of champagne in his honor! My mom enjoyed the chocolates - imported from Belgium. And I snagged a mini-bag of grain for the birthday boy! Thank you Cavalor - we love you!!!

There must have been at least 7 show rings and shopping that almost rivaled Rolex - what a perfect warm-up for the end of April!! Although the weather was less than California lovely, the grass was green and the mountains beautiful - and the horses stunning! Not a bad business trip after all!

We enjoyed our quick trip to the show on Friday afternoon so much that I made my poor mother get up at the crack of dawn so that we could go back for a few more hours Saturday morning before I had to catch my flight back to the East Coast. If for no other reason, it was worth it to meet this little pink snorting creature in sparkles who belonged to one of the vendors! And, oh by the way, that pink sweater... it has a skull embroidered on the back. Wow.

As a side note, on Saturday morning - March 31 - one day before the new USEF helmet rule went into place on April 1 for all hunter/jumper shows... I was pretty stunned to see so many folks schooling horses without helmets on. Long blond pony tails flapping in the wind above immaculately groomed horses in the schooling rings - it just looked weird. I do wonder how it all went down on April 1. Was there a fuss? Did everyone know about the new rule? Was Saturday a final hurrah to no helmets?!

Anyhow, I'm back home now and the horses are in full swing this week! Tomorrow, I've got 7 riders schooling XC at Morven Park. Friday, I was "voluntold" to design and set the course for the Marlborough Horse Trials 2nd and final Jumper Derby for 2012 on Saturday April 7 - are you going??? And on Saturday and Sunday - Katchi and I are headed to Morven Park for the VADA/NOVA dressage show. I entered with Dr. Allen's blessing, so long as Katchi keeps looking good - and by the way he was bucking and bolting on the lunge today, I'd say he's doing good. Unfortunately, we're still limited to about 15 minutes of trot/canter, and a dressage test is about 5 minutes. So, that leaves 8 minutes for warm-up, 2 minutes outside the ring, and 5 minutes in the test. And I haven't had a lesson since December. Oh yea, and I couldn't bring myself to enter a lower level, so Katchi is making his second attempt at Second Level (after a very successful debut last June!). Perhaps I didn't fully think through this plan when I sent in the entries! If you're in the neighborhood, here are out ride times (Katchi and I will be the ones WALKING AND WALKING AND WALKING in the warm-up ring with all those dressage horses cantering circles around us!):

Saturday 11:37 (Indoor ring) - Second Level 1

Sunday 10:06 (Davis ring) - Second Level 2

Kerry will also be making her First Level debut with Atticus - so wish us both luck this weekend!

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