The Calm Before the Storm

140Things are relatively quiet right now.  We have just under 30 days until the final is here and we ride down centerline for probably our last time this year.  Yikes!  I think reality and panic will set in once the calendar says October.

My entry has been submitted electronically.  Having the ability to enter online is a fabulous thing.  A wise software engineer has the site set up so that you can’t hit submit if you are missing a key piece of information.  Best of all, you don’t have to worry that your entry gets lost on the mailroom floor.  And here is a tidbit about me that lets you into my psyche…I’ve checked the USDF website umpteen times to make sure that my name is still on the qualified list.  Yes, I know, I’m a bit OCD.  Probably why I like dressage so much.  My checkbook is still recovering from the shock of the cost of the show.

I’ve started a packing list for Ike and for me.  I encouraged Ike to keep his own list, but like most 5 year olds, he really relies on Mom to take care of all the mundane details.  I’m pretty sure that it will look like we are moving out by the time I’m done packing.  Since the weather in October in the mountains of Virginia can be unpredictable, I’ve got to pack with all contingencies in mind:  a fan in case we get a warm spell, a sheet and a mid-weight blanket in case it is cold, a fleece cooler, rain gear for me since I’ve been in Lexington in the pouring rain, enough hay and feed in case we don’t leave the day of the final, and the list goes on and on and on.  I did splurge on a tack stall so that everything can be in the barn and locked up at night.  Oh, that reminds me to buy a chain and lock for the tack stall door.  Where is my shopping list?

I’m also trying to gather as much information about the Virginia Horse Center and their procedures and parking arrangements before our arrival.  Someone should put together a Newbies Guide to Attending the USDF Regional Finals.  Hmm, maybe I can tackle that project when the show is over.  The guide would need to answer questions such as: Is the main gate clearly marked?  Is the barn office easy to find?  How are the stalls numbered and the barns identified?  How close can I park to my barn to unload?  Once unloaded, where are trailers parked?  Where is the closest bathroom?!

Ike doesn’t seem to appreciate what is in his future.  He has been spending his days adjusting to his new shoes and play fighting over the fence with his brother.  Oh to be blissfully ignorant of all the minutia.

Had my first lesson yesterday since the shoes went on the hind hooves.  Rode conservatively and after a questionable start, Ike and I finished strong.  Ike’s trot stride does feel different with four shoes versus only front shoes.  I don’t recall such a feeling last year, but since basic balance was still an issue maybe it masked the subtle difference.  In any case, we are going to continue to be conservative in our work for another week or so.  I will be out of the saddle for a week, so Ms. C will take over Ike’s schooling.

Enjoy this fabulous fall weather and get outside and ride your horse!

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