Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gold Coast Arabian Horse Association Show - Part 1

What and awesome long weekend it was.  I took Thursday and Friday off work, and the show was Friday through Sunday.  I’m not sure where to start, there was so much going on.

So I guess the logical thing is to start at the beginning.  Thursday.  It was a travel/setup/practice/bathe day.  Luckily the travel was uneventful.  Even though I left my house at 7:15am in prime commute time I didn’t hit ANY commute traffic.  I even drove I-80 to I-680 to 101, prime commute routes.  Someone was watching out for me I think.  I took my time, stopped a couple times along the way and arrived at the showgrounds around 11am.  Sharon went to the ranch first to pick up some things but because Todd was almost ready to head out she waited and followed him.  So while I waited for them to arrive I unloaded the camper from the truck and brought my show gear over to the barn.  We were in Barn 6 and had something like 13 stalls.  Laura and her husband John were already there with Laura’s two horses, Echo (Hunter) and Sebastian (Western Pleasure) in their stalls. 

When Todd arrived with the trailer it was time to start unloading the horses and get the barn set up.  Everyone pitched in and the work was completed fairly quickly.  First priority: Shavings put in stalls, water buckets filled in stalls, horses put in stalls.   Second priority: carpets in groom and tack stalls, tack and equipment put in the appropriate tack or groom stall, drapes hung and awning and chairs set out.  Third priority: work the horses.  Forth priority: bathe the horses.

The first load of 6 horses plus the two already there settled in nicely.  Blu was in a playful mood and was playing with the garbage can outside his stall and when that was out of reach he played with is grain bucket. 

 I wasn't able to get a picture of him lifting the garbage can but I did catch the grain bucket episode.

The tack and groom stalls set up smoothly.  Sharon and I have been identifying our “necessary” items at each show and have been slowly picking up items to make our lives easier at the shows.  We've got clothing racks that hold our show clothes (chaps and shirts mostly) blanket racks that hold the wool under pads for the saddles, hat racks for our hat boxes, oodles of bridle racks, and of course saddle racks.  We also have indoor/outdoor carpets for the groom stalls – it keeps the horses cleaner as we prep them for their classes and a carpet for the front of the barn where we set up our director’s chairs, table and awning.  It's a great place to relax between classes or at the end of the day and watch the world go by.  Most of the items are now permanent residents of the trailer and go from show to show with us.

One of our newest items are our stall signs!  My Father-In-Law is a great woodworker (he's made some beautiful side tables for our home, among other things) and he made signs for us.  We've started with one each for me, Sharon and Todd and Laura wants some for her horses now, too!

We had to put them down low because we didn't want the horses to try to eat them!

The hustle and bustle of setup day is invigorating.  It keeps you going until everything is done and then you realize you haven’t eaten and you’re starving and it’s dark.  Where did the day go?

Laura and John went home, Todd and Mike headed back to the ranch – horses to take care of there, too – and Sharon and I went to Applebee’s for dinner.  We were so tired and hungry we barely spoke until after we’d eaten.  I laughed because I could tell we were “coming around” when we started to chatter away after we’d had some food!

We went back to the camper and got organized there, too.  It’s amazing how much “stuff” two girls can generate, especially when they’re both showing horses!  My camper isn’t THAT big – it’s an 8 ½ foot Host Bachelor – and we do a pretty good job of filling it up.  But it also does a great job of having a place (somehow) for everything.

Eventually we wound down, after planning our timing for the classes the next day, and went to bed.  I think we were out in seconds!

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