I am terribly sad to say that officially, this is my last day at WEF. It has been such an amazing time, and has lived up to my every expectation (except that blue ribbon, I still want that blue ribbon). I will say, if you are a horse person, and you ever have the opportunity to come here, showing or not. DO IT. PERIOD. Don’t doubt it, just go.
Prior to heading to the barn, I headed to pick up my trailer. Earlier in the week I had dropped it off at a well-known Sundowner retailer who also specializes in refurbishment. My trailer is a 99’ model 2 horse straight load with extra-long tack room. He is beautiful, and I love him, but just like any good item, some maintenance is required. Being a 15 year old trailer (manufactured in 98), it was time for a good overhaul. Although somewhat pricey to get done, the results were amazing. It looked like I had a brand new trailer when they were finished. They did several fixes on small things here and there, but mostly the biggest impact was that I got it pressure washed, acid washed, and waxed. So shiny and pretty!
You might remember that our plan for DC was to do the light ride the day before, and then school over fences on our last day. For this school, we were heading back to Ralph’s in Grand Prix Village. I wish I could tell the tale of a horse no longer looking for the attack turtle, and a rider who having already ridden to Ralph’s clearly did not get lost, but alas, this is the tale of DC and Anna, so of course neither of those things came true. However, the saddest moment of the day was that I forgot my phone on our trek to Ralph’s, thus I have no photographic evidence of the experience.
We made it over to Ralph’s in a record setting 40 minutes. By record setting, I mean the slowest possible record. I think I could walk there on foot faster. Getting lost and looking at every bush along the way takes time. As we hacked around waiting for Matt, two young guys were schooling equally as young jumpers. I absolutely love to watch others’ lessons. I feel like I learn almost as much as I do riding myself.
DC hacked beautifully, but I have to say with all honesty, I was a bit nervous. After our semi-melt down in the ring, I didn’t know what kind of horse I would have. I am thrilled to say that scratching for the weekend was absolutely the right thing to do. His brain somehow managed to crawl back into his head (it was a long trip from being left in the middle of the WEF arena to DC’s skull, I was proud of the brain for making it) and he schooled like million bucks. The lesson of the day was to let him make his own mistakes, and don’t protect him all of the time. If he never learns to take care of himself, he’ll never be successful as I will at some point make a mistake.
Interestingly, it was a similar message to the young men schooling the jumpers when I arrived. It seems that often riders do too much in the schooling ring, protecting their mounts. You have to put them out there to learn their own lessons at some point. DC’s reckoning I guess.
Following my school, I made my way back to the barn, where I proceeded to pack all of my and DC’s things to get ready for the trip to Gulfport. It was bittersweet, as I was excited to go to Gulfport, but I did not want to leave Heaven, otherwise known as West Palm Beach. In more exciting news, DH flying to Florida to help me drive back, and I was excited to go pick him up!
That afternoon we spent some time hanging out by the pool with Suzanne, and then headed to the Key Lime house for a goodbye dinner.
|I swear this shark was making a perfect DC impression. I really wanted to ride him but Suzanne and Stephen were total killjoys.|
We topped the day off with watching the 100k WCHR hunter spectacular back at the show. DH was enthralled by all of the pretty jumping horses and amazing grace. Or he spent a lot of time at the bar, either way.
With a planned early start the next day, I said my final goodbye to WEFshowland, and headed back to the condo.