Friday, April 25, 2014

New Beginnings

Finally visited Quillins.  Got Linday and Carly hooked; there are halters in their futures.  :)

I really enjoyed the dressage I watched today; not only did I get to see Phillip Dutton have a great test, I watched Kim Severson make the best of things on her new ride, Lauren Kieffer show off Veronica, William Fox-Pitt put in a text book test on Bay My Hero, Buck Davidson do a great job with Ballynoe Castle, and I also saw the first place ride that Allison Springer gave Arthur.  THAT was worth getting wet for earlier in the day!

Really brought home today how hot/wired some of these horses are.  A lot of really good riders had to either tone down their rides (I think Buck and Kim both did this), or quell things that were bubbling over.

Several of the women rode with canary gloves/shirts, and a few even had saddle pads to match.  I thought it was STYLIN'!

William Fox-Pitt actually rode with black gloves.  Hmmm...

Once again, all the men wore high hats (not sure if Buck or William Fox-Pitt's is the highest....or just what, exactly that MEANS.....), but many (most?) of the women wore helmets  Women really must care more about their brains.  Men are too busy worrying about their top hats.

I stumbled upon a course walk with Lainey Ashker today, and at first I was a bit....well, uncomfortable.  She seemed knowledgable enough, but she kept letting people into the galloping lanes, offering them opportunities to walk the line, see the distance, line up flags, etc.  We're not supposed to be on the galloping lanes, let alone around the jumps!  Initially, I thought she was being precocious and a little bit cocky, and I wasn't sure if I liked that.  But I stuck with it, because it was a good way to see the course, and she did have interesting things to say.  

So as we went on, and she made an attempt to speak to everyone in the group, I realized that she had taken ownership/responsibility for us--HER group--and she was going to make sure we had the best walk she was able to give us.  And that might mean coming inside the ropes so that we can really understand what she's talking about.

By the end of the course, I was a fan.  She gave us some good advice (turn with legs, not hands...don't pick before fences.....give more direction from seat and legs than reins....etc.  all things we'd heard before, but things that, in the context of those jumps, really meant something huge).  So thanks to Lainey Ashker (and her mother and Stella) for giving us a wonderful experience.

Walking to the 5:00 briefing, I ran into my old grad school buddy, Danvers "Bob" Child, the man who passed on a glorious future in Rhet/Comp to become a farrier (and a dang good one--he's "official" here, sponsored by Smartpak...he's even got his own Dubarrys!).  I only saw him briefly, but he looks mighty crusty.  I looked at myself, and I realize he's not the only one.  How the H*$@ did that happen?!?

I attended the fence judge briefing (joined by the indefatigable Catherine Texter Baker and my Fence Judge Buddy Nancy Their).  I hope I get to catch up more with both of them tomorrow.

I'll be at Fence 16 tomorrow!

After the judging, we ran to catch the end of Ellen Doughty's wedding at the head of the lake. She and Allistar Hume are not legally wed!  Ellen rode in on Obie, then dismounted to say her vows.  We had a reception at the Governer's tent, and it was nothing short of dreamy.  David O'Connor and several other riders were in attendance.....they were all glowing.  I'm really sorry that Ellen didn't get to ride this weekend, but this was a nice "consolation prize"!!

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