Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm Alive, Really! (WEG catchup)

I have been an absolutely horrible blogger these days. I left you guys on a huge cliff hanger with WEG and then fell off the face of the Earth. I am still here though, I promise! Things have just been super hectic lately with school, the horse, work, etc, etc etc.

WEG was absolutely AMAZING. Best experience of my life. If you remember I was going down with my Standardbred friends who would be giving several breed demos. My friend E from Maine drove down with her mare and her friend T on the Thursday and we all spent the night at H's. Early the next morning we loaded E's mare Dreamy and H's horse boyfriend on the trailer and started the trek to Lexington. It was quite the road trip to say the least. We expected it to take about 12 hours pulling the trailer and it took 14! We left in the dark and pouring rain. Luckily the rain let up within the first hour or two and was done by the time we made our way into PA. The next problem was when we drove through West VA because it is full of hills and mountains causing us to have to drive very slowly with a large rig. To make West VA even more fun E accidently locked the keys in the truck when we stopped for lunch. Luckily she has Onstar though so we were back in in a matter of minutes. It may have taken a while but we made it to our friend L's house about 20 minutes outside of Lexington about 8 pm without any major incidents. Both horses traveled well and settled in nicely in L's barn.

The Harbour Inn as we referred to L's place would be our home away from home for the next week but the horses would only spend two nights there before going to WEG. We found waiting for us a hot, home cooked meal, hot shower, and warm beds, just what we needed. The next morning we got the horses all cleaned up and ready to go to the Red Mile, a harness racing track, where we would have the first and only team practice. First we all went to lunch at a nearby restaurant and got to meet the rest of the demo team who had traveled form FLA, CA, PA, and another friend from NJ. We headed back to the barns were the horses were outfitted with the halters and blankets provided by Finn Tack for a photoshoot which was turned over to me to run by the USTA rep heading up the demo team. We took group and individual shots then got ready for the practice run in the in field. Practice went pretty well and we headed back to the harbour inn to get ourselves and the horses bedded down for the night.

The next morning we rose early for move in to WEG. This was a long and physically straining process, but we got everything in and the horses settled into their stalls for the next few days. That night our demo was 5:30 so we then had some time to explore the grounds and enjoy WEG. L, T, and I discovered in our search for a bathroom that our passes that allowed us access to the barn, also allowed us access into the stadium for the show jumping! We got a great view of some of the famous show jumpers in the world. I also got some great pictures! The first demo went well though due to rainy weather and the late time there was not much of a crowd. That night the Harbour Inn was hosting a bbq for all the STB team members. It was a nice gathering with good food though we were all tired.

The next day we took the opporutnity to sleep in a bit since our demo was even later at 6 pm. L took us to Walmart because 1) we were all freezing and wanted to buy gloves and hats and 2) they sold WEG apparel there. We then made our way to the Park and spent the afternoon exploring more of WEG and doing some shopping. The demo again went smoothly though still no crowd due to the late start.

Tuesday was my last day at WEG since I had to return to classes. We got there early and did some more exploring and of course a little more shopping. We took a pic of the Fab 5 as we called ourselves with the Secretariat statue and dressed in Swedish gear at the Swana booth because you know everyone wants to be Swedish! We also watched a great Clinton Anderson clinic after T and I had talked to him not even knowing it was him! We had been walking the barns that morning because our horses were stabled right next to Lynn Palm's Rugged Painted Lark, Clinton Anderson's horses, John Lyon's barn and all the great clinicians, so we wanted to explore. During our walk we saw John Lyons just sitting on a bench grazing his horse and walked past a man leading a horse who said good morning to us wearing A Down Under Horsemanship jacket, Anderson's company. We just assumed it was someone who worked for him, but found out later it was the man himself! The demo that day was slightly earlier at 4pm which brought out some more people including our friend Lella from home who was in Lexington. As soon as the demo ended T and I rushed to the car to get me off to the airport. We couldnt find the car for almost 20 minutes but luckily it was smooth sailing from there and we made it to the small Bluegrass airport with time to spare. My flight went well and I arrived home late that evening.

So suffice to say I had the time of my life and am so glad I had the opportunity to go.

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