Thursday, June 26, 2014

Colorado Day 4 – Working, Flying, and Riding. But thankfully not at the same time!

Logistically speaking, showing out of state can be quite complicated for me.  Well I’m sure it’s quite complicated for anyone, but I can only tell you that from my perspective, it can take a lot of planning of travel time to make sure that I don’t interfere with work, am there on time for all of my needed schooling and classes, and that DH doesn’t feel like a peripheral part of my life just there as a side show to riding.  Who am I kidding, I’m sure that’s exactly what he feels like all of the time anyway. 

My flight back to Colorado from Austin was scheduled for 7:30 in the morning, with an arrival time of 8:30.  Plenty of time to land, and jump on my calls which started at 9:30 and lasted straight through to the end of the day.  I had scheduled them that way on purpose so I could

  1. Not miss any work.
  2. Get to Colorado to ride the beasties.

Wellllllll that was all fine and well until I got a call at 3:30 in the morning (yes 3:30 AM) that my flight had been cancelled.  When my alarm went off at 5 to get up for my flight, I thought to myself “hmmmm what is that strange 800 number calling me in the middle of the night, maybe I should check the voicemail.”  Ugh, the next best flight they could get me on was 11:30.  This means I had a major shuffle of my work day required so I could still

  1. Not miss any work.
  2. Get to Colorado to ride the beasties.

I was able to move most everything around, or to the next day (more on that in the next day’s blog), and happily started calls at home, all the way until I was boarding the plane.  Please imagine, “Hey guys, I’m about to go through security, can you please hold while my phone goes through the Xray?.....OK I’m back, what did I miss?”  I’m glad I work for a firm that has a lot of travelers.

I worked through my entire flight, and literally landed just in time to join yet another call.  I headed directly to the show where I concluded two more calls, and was happily greeted by these beaming faces.

I’m confident that it was me and not my treats that they were so happy to see. 
The plan was for me to school DC while Sarah rode TJ.  Since the show was still going on in the main hunter rings, we chose to ride in the lower rings so that I could get some feel for DC on a full course, and Sarah could actually school in the ring she was planning to show in. 

The lower ring was set up at 2’-2’3 for the pony/short stirrup riders.  Because the footing was better than in the lowest ring we started in there.  I will tell you, there is nothing more challenging for me than to try to put together a course around a group of ponies.  They are quick little devils and I have zero ability to climb into a pony rider’s brain to determine what devious move they plan to make next.  On top of this, DC sees ponies as his own personal play things, and likes to stare them like a dog eyes his favorite toy, and squeal when they get to close.  So imagine a giant gray squealy thing cantering around almost running in to approximately 245 ponies in a row.  Needless to say, my attempt at jumping around a course without pony rider beheading was feeble at best, and terrifying at worst. 

After about 10 minutes of this entertainment Meghan (Matt’s assistant) says to me…. “you know, maybe the footing in the lowest ring isn’t so bad after all, let’s see what we can do down there.”  Trainerspeak for “you might kill a pony at any moment, and you’re terrifying me, get out of the ring.  NOW.”

As a result we moved to the lower ring.  With only horses and not a pony in sight, DC became depressed, sad, and beautiful to ride.  We nailed two amazing courses in a row and Meghan said, “stop, just stop, you can’t get any better, and we certainly don’t want to make it worse, we’re going no further.”  From Meghan, that is a high complement. 

After Sarah finished up her school on TJ in the pony ring (which honestly was marginally better than me, she almost killed one, but not 245 ponies), we went on a lovely trail ride.  The Colorado Horse Park has 300 acres of trails, and although I have not been brave enough to go beyond the CHP proper area, someday just someday I might. 


  1. Ooooooh I want to go there.

    And yeah, my little dude has a thing for ponies too. We'd probably have even more near misses than DC!

  2. Mad schedule!
    Love the image of DC squee'ing over ponies!

  3. I suck at schooling with ponies too.