|Check out those RED BOOTS!|
This past weekend was my last big push to get us ready. The big thing I felt we were missing was speed work. Katchi doesn't need much, but I needed to make sure he still has his "go" button. He does. And I'm not sure who had more fun testing it. Katchi was the happiest I've seen him in months. And I was wearing a big fat grin. We were so fortunate to get access to a local private race track on the most beautiful Saturday afternoon all year. I wish I could do that day over and over and over again! Kerry and Atticus came along too - neither of whom had ever been on a track! Kerry had a grin as big as mine. Atticus not so much. He's got thoroughbred in him, and it came out in spurts. But then his warmblood part would realize how much work he was doing, and he'd just frown. Katchi and Atticus were like Tigger and Eeyore on the track. Too funny.
Thanks to Kerry, sitting atop Atticus (stamping at flies, hence the unsteady camera), we got some fun videos. I realized after I put together this montage that I probably should have cut out the first slow gallops. It's sort of funny to see Katchi loping around a track set to music that says "he's going for speed". Well, not really. Don't worry, he gets faster, eventually.
And the big prep weekend continued on Sunday, the second most beautiful day of the year, when Kerry and I headed out to Middleburg, Virginia for a jumper show at Fox Chase Farm. I didn't know what to expect of the show, but it certainly wasn't what we got. We arrived to free croissants and a free espresso bar - with a barista at our service! This show is awesome! We watched a few rounds, learned the first course, tacked up, and voila - it was time to warm up and ride! They had a white board with all the rider numbers written down so you knew exactly what was happening, and there was no waiting around for 5 hours!!! Love this show!
|Beautiful Fox Chase Farm in Middleburg, VA|
The arena was beautiful, the footing fabulous, the jumps bright, and the landscaping lush (landscaping around the jumps!) - all at a schooling show! WOW. Kerry and I both entered the two 3'3" classes. Neither one of us made it to the jump off in the first class. We're certain our horses must have heard there were 8 more jumps to do if they didn't screw anything up - so they each picked a "real scary looking" jump to embarrass us right out of the jump off. Kerry picked up a ridiculous stop at a grey wall. Katchi walked through a red/black plank fence projecting my butt right onto his neck, which somehow I managed to relocate onto the saddle to finish the course (I definitely won the award of the day for spectator entertainment! Oh, and there were spectators. Lots of them.). 14 fences on course. 13 lovely jumps. And 1 jump to humble us right out of Middleburg and back to Maryland. Thankfully, we had that second class to go - I'm starting to like jumper shows. They have a built in "do-over" (I do hate having to learn more than one course though!). Katchi jumped a lovely clear round in our second class and came home with a 3rd place ribbon - his first ribbon of 2012!!! Atticus is still figuring out how high to lift his toes, but he came home with a 6th place ribbon and a very happy rider! Awesome day!
Again, thanks to Kerry, sitting atop Atticus, for getting Katchi's second round on film:
With our competitive day complete, Kerry and I sat down to enjoy macaroni and cheese from the caterer (this was NOT your average horse show food), and ice cream from the soft serve ice cream truck (did I mention this was a schooling jumper show?! These Middleburg people know how to do horse shows). There I am, shoveling a hot fudge sundae into my mouth, when who should wander over to his "reserved" table at the front of the gazebo? Robert Duvall. Freaking Hollywood movie star Robert Duvall. We had seen a trophy with his name on it in the show office that was to be awarded later for the "$5,000 Mini Prix" but I didn't expect to see the man there himself! He was a bit incognito, but Kerry spotted him right away. And then it was all about the camera phone. In between wiping hot fudge off my face, trying to look interested in the horse in the arena and not laugh at Kerry, and appear totally NORMAL - there's me, swiping pictures of Robert Duvall on my cell phone. Yea, he totally saw me. He might have been horrified.
|OMG! It's Robert Duvall - at a schooling jumper show!!|
But, seriously, did Kerry and I have the coolest weekend ever or what???