Colorado day 1 is really Colorado day 1 + Vegas day 1. If you follow my blog, I’ve mentioned before that I may or may not have over committed myself for the first week of Colorado. To recap:
- Drive to Colorado
- Fly to Vegas
- Fly back to Colorado
- Attend a wedding in Vail
- Show again
- Drive home.
We are currently sitting at #2.
But of course, instead of just taking the easy route and packing up my stuff and heading to Vegas, I had PLENTY of time (read 4 hours) to head to the show, check on my boys, do a hack, then catch a flight. Plenty of time. So I did.
When I got there, the guys were doing all of the show set up. If I thought I required a lot of stuff for a show, I’ve got nothing on a 20 horse operation and full show set up. Although I didn’t take any pictures of the chaos, I probably should have.
First I did a quick check on TJ. Matt’s assistant Meghan arrived from Dallas the evening before at around 7pm and reported that he was up and talkative (good sign, he’s a big time talker). Matt himself arrived around 11pm and also reported that he was “fine.” They are so good at feeding my neediness. As confirmed the night before, TJ seemed back to his normal self, so I chose to hack him first.
A few things about Tj.
- He is huge. I mean really huge. 17.2 in height, enormous head and just about the length of an elephant. I wish I could impart the level of enormity of him in description, but I will just simply say that the braider texted me no fewer than 3 times stating “that horse is HUGE.”
- He’s black. Ok this goes without saying, but so many people are impressed with my huge black horse, it leaves me a bit mystified.
- He’s a gentle giant. Seriously, this is one of the most kind, quietest, gentle horses you’ll ever meet.
- He’s stoic. You really have to know TJ well to understand how he’s feeling. He hardly shows any emotion to anyone.
- He’s got a lot of bravado. TJ acts like he’s going to make a big deal about something, but actually doesn’t.
Funny enough, all of these attributes are noted by everyone that he meets. It’s usually something like “wow he’s big, and so black! But so sweet, and what a great personality. He’s so impressive.” Our first experience in colorado was no different. Two separate people stopped me when I was out with him and made similar comments. If nothing else, he definitely stands out.
As we made our way to the hunter rings for a light hack, his bravado was showing its face. He was 100% ears pricked, snorty, with huge giant impressive steps of being so awesome. Thankfully he was just simply the so awesome part and we had a lovely light hack. TJ is the epitome of long and low and can really turn it on when moving out.
After hosing off TJ’s legs and setting him up to dry, I got his Grayness out for a hack as well. I often say that DC is TJ’s yang to his own yin. I love them both dearly but their personalities couldn’t be more opposite.
- He’s tall but 100% refined. Refined bone, cob sized head, long slender legs.
- He’s gray. Again obvious, but just as much as people love black, they love gray. (I’m more of a chestnut person myself, which is why I have a black and a gray.)
- He’s all about being in your pocket. Me me me me me me me me me hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi is DC’s daily mantra. Think Lab personality in a horse body.
- He’s ALL personality. Whatever he thinks or feels, you know about all the time, every day, every minute.
- It’s all about reaction. He’s all about doing first, thinking second. All the time.
Typical DC he was fascinated by the bunny in the ring, wanted to say hi to every one as we walked to the ring, and was pretty happy and distracted for our hack. I can’t say we reached the goal of long and low, but certainly we had improvement.
When I finished my rides and got the boys cooled off and dry, I finally decided that they were going to be just fine without me and headed back to the hotel. At this point I was only running 30 minutes late, which as a horse person, I find this to be very impressive. My saving grace was that my flight was delayed an hour, and thus I was able to get ready and get to the airport with time to spare. At least that is what would have happened had I not also chosen to get a mani/pedi “on the way.” This may or may not have lead to us getting to the airport only 45 min before our flight, late checking our bags, and then having to wait in the Las Vegas airport for them to arrive with the next flight.
Sometimes my decisions are questionable, but never ever boring.