Monday, September 10, 2012

King Oak Fall Horse Trials

I had every intention of taking photographs with which to illustrate this post, and...forgot. Ah well.

I scratched Tristan from the Beginner Novice, but still had friends going, and already had the day off, so I helped pack and load ponies on Friday, then drove out to King Oak. We arrived in plenty of time to do the course walk, and my heart did hurt a little bit - we could've handled it just fine.

In bed by 10pm after some pizza, and by "in bed" I mean an actual bed! For the first time in years we weren't sleeping in the truck, thanks to R.'s very generous offer of sharing her hotel room. It was lovely to have air conditioning and a proper bed and a shower. Unheard of for horse showing!

I helped clean tack and hold horses until my jump judge briefing at 8:15, and started to get a bit nervous during the briefing - the wind was picking up, and it was quite cold and cloudy. I told my jump partners that I'd walk out and meet them there, and went back to the car for my jacket.

I was sitting with two young girls and their babysitter, and so ended up doing the recording and radioing in myself, explaining eventing to the non-horsey babysitter (who was very nice and interested, and really picked up on things through the day) and answering questions for the girls. We were at a decently large Training fence for the morning, a sort of squared off stacked logs rolltop with some airy spaces in between. Fairly straightforward. It jumped just fine all morning, as it was soon after the water and usually by then horses were going.

Problems started when it started raining. Basic rain - not so much a problem. I mean, it was wet and miserable and the girls were not thrilled, but so it goes. I mostly kept my sheets dry and during a break ran to put my bag with my Kindle and cell phone in a dry car, and then resigned myself to getting soaked. The girls headed off, leaving me to judge the Beginner Novice fence with another set of jump judges, and at the end of the first BN division it started getting ugly. We heard thunder in the distance, and the wind and the rain picked up, and they called jump judges in when the radar showed a big, nasty storm cell close by.

I ran up to sit in the truck with J. and whew, the skies opened up. We waited an hour, and then they called off cross-country for the rest of the afternoon due to the forecast. I walked back up to the volunteer tent to drop off my things and stayed for a bit to help sort through forms to get them ready for tomorrow, then checked in to find that they were running BN in the morning, and R. was staying over in order to run her horse. King Oak was able to provide stabling, so huzzah for them!

I hung out at the volunteer tent and ate dinner waiting for that decision, and then was able to get back to the barn, soak Tristan's foot, wrap it up (more on the wrapping adventures later), and be home and in bed by 10:30. Whew.

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