Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rachel & Grandma and Arabian Horses - Salem - Move In

Part One Salem

Rachel, Grandma and the Arabian horses arrived at the fairgroudns in Salem, Oregon at about 8 o'clock that night. It had been a while since I'd shown at the facility and it turned out I didn't even know how to get into the place. The entrance to the horse section had been changed. The gates I'd used in the past were locked up tight.

I went to call Richard on my cell phone only to find my cell phone was missing. So Rachel and I went driving around the entire fairgrounds looking for some way in. I hate to say that this brought back memories of my very first trip to Salem. The only difference was I hadn't been the one driving then and we'd arrived in the middle of the night.

I think it was our second trip around before we spotted the roadway that lead inside. Looking back at our instructions, if I had followed them as written instead of thinking I knew where I was going we'd have been just fine. So much for being prepared.

Once inside we parked the rig and headed off to find a barn manager of someone who might know where we were stabled. We opened up a couple of the horses's windows so they could get some air while we tracked down their stalls.

Poor Legs....... I left his window closed because I wasn't sure how Catcher (my friend's horse) would handle being nose to nose with a stallion. Legs stood back a bit and shook his head at me. Clearly not happy he wasn't being allowed to stretch out and look around.

It didn't take long to find out we were stalled in the Pavillion and so was Wendy's horse. We dropped Catcher off first at the stalls of Mike Whelihan and then proceeded to ours. About the time we actually made it to those stalls, I heard my cell phone ring.

The ring tone was muted but it was clearly somewhere in the truck. The hunt was on......... I finally gave up looking, my hands are too big for tight places, so Rachel took over and I went to check out the horses's stall. Rachel finally located my phone under my seat.

I was relieved. The thought of staying in a tent without communication in a strange place made me just a bit nervous. Between the cell phone and my pocket knife I felt a little bit prepared anyway. So finding the cell phone gave me one less thing to worry about.

Luckily for us Richard's crew had bedded our stalls already. We put the horses into the right off and then went to unloading all the gear. Of course, the water buckets had been the first things in the trailer so they were the last things to come out. Both horses drank down over a bucket of water while we were trying to fill the darn things.

Once the horses were set, Rachel and I went off to set up our tent. It was well after 9 o'clock and beginning to get dark. I parked the trailer in the lot designated for them and then we began setting up the tent. It's a good thing that kid knows what she's doing or I'd probably still be there trying to set that tent up.

I know they're easier than the one's they used to use when I was a kid (I clearly remember many tent collapses!). But those telescoping type poles take more patience than I have to slide in their little slots. And this tent had more poles than my little two person tent. Still, I think we had the tent up, air mattress filled, sleeping blankets rolled out and my zillion extra blankets moved in in less than half an hour.

By now the adrenaline from all that stress was beginning to wane. My fanny was dragging and that bed was calling but we still had horses to school. Just because they had seen this arena before didn't mean we could count on them being comfortable. With classes starting at 8 am we had to school that night.

Heading back to the Pavillion to saddle up our horses we could hear echos throughout. We were the last people left. Why did that NOT surprise me??

I got Legs saddled before Rachel was ready so I decided that I would school the stallion first. Not knowing if he was going to be a wild child like he had been at Daffodil, I decided I would longe him first.

As I headed to the warm-up to longe, the water truck came in. From my experience as a show manager, I know that those fairground guys don't come back if they can't do their job because of exhibitors. The ground was so dusty, that water was a must so I did the right thing. I waited for the truck and I waited and I waited while they doused that arena r...e....a...l in slicker than snot!

But not knowing what to expect, I wanted to give Legs a quick turn on the longe. Walking across the wet surface, I wondered if we were going to have a repeat performance of the slick arena at Daffodil but I had to see what kind of horse I had.

I turned the stallion loose and asked him to move off. He didn't even use enough momentum to slip. I'm the one that slipped as I got myself tangled in the longe line. The horse was whooped from the hot trailer ride.

Longing definitely didn't look like it was necessary. I looked at the horse and he stopped and looked at me, reading my mind. I dropped the longe line off at the stalls and mounted up heading for the arena. Little did I know that my big brave stallion was going to turn into a big coward being by himself in this echoing old historic arena in what seemed to be the middle of the night.

To be continued...............

Night Time Schooling

For those wondering about how Patriot is doing, he's back to acting like his old self. He lost a lot of weight and looks like a rescue but is feeling quite spunky. AND today is Patriot's birthday. He is officially one year old. Happy Birthday, Patriot!


  1. Glad that Patriot made it to his first birthday, it was scary there for a bit. Gosh with you, and nuzzling muzzles pictures I think I'm going to have to get an ayrab and do western pleasure on it. It's one of my new wishes to one day ride one.

  2. So happy to hear Patriot is doing fine now. Happy Birthday little guy!
    As for the show, boy I hear you about getting somewhere late and setting up and schooling. I give you a lot of credit,now that I'm reading about your adventures, it brings back memories.I can honestly say I'm happy to be reading about it instead of doing it.(for now)

  3. Happy Birthday to Patriot and tell him I'm glad that he's feeling better. I'm also glad that you and Rachel seem to be getting along pretty well and that Rachel seems to be enjoying the show experience. I know that your relationship has been stressful in the past, so congrats to both of you for working so well together recently. It's great that you are back in the show ring. Getting those gorgeous animals of yours out there is so important. Good Luck!

  4. Happy birthday Patriot!!!! I am so glad that he is feeling better, just a few groceries and he will be as good as new LOL.

    It makes me tired just reading your posts, Larry was just saying to me okay I am getting up and we are going to ride a horse today!!! Ummmm Nope, I have about enough energy for a jelly bean. I will post on blog soon and catch you up, it was a long day yesterday.

    One good thing is that the one mare in Iowa had her baby yesterday, they run in a huge pasture with a creek running through it and Elliot goes down to give them grain every evening. She stayed away up on the ridge but he could see enough to see that it was yellow Wooohoooo I have always wanted a paly. This mare is Blue's momma and has two blue eyes and he said it looked like it had a bald (white) face so there is a chance I will have another one or two blue eyed horse. The other filly is due any day soon. So now I have another horse that I am gonna want to keep LOL, cant wait to see some pictures, she is a bit possessive so may take a few days before she will come down when he arrives to feed them.

    Dissertation over. Have a great day. (((Hugs))) Look forward to the next instalment


  5. beckz,yes, it was scary. I was really thinking that he wasn't going to make his birthday at all. So was the vet!

    I hope you get your wish to ride an Arabian some day. Some people think that western pleasure is boring but they have no idea what really goes into it. It's a real challenge to teach a horse how to do those gaits correctly and do it in a way that is good for the horse. I think the challenge is what draws me.

    grey horse, while we were going through it, I was wishing I was home. Those late hours really remind me of my age.

    katee, yes, Rachel and I are trying to work things out. I think the connection with the other kids is going to help. They are struggling with the same responsibilities so there is positive reenforcement. That helps.

    lori, most times I'm tired before I even start but I push through anyway. Then I'm really glad I did.

    I'm not sure that I understand how you didn't breed any mares but you still ended up with babies. What's the deal with that??

  6. Yeah Patriot, I had been wondering how he was doing! Happy Birthday!
    Oh my, glad you all made it okay! Awaiting the next installment!

  7. Ooooh! My ususal pins and needles, waiting for the next exerpt!

  8. What a milestone for you and Patriot...That picture... the determination is incredible.

  9. Well, I left a comment late last night and it came back today! So I am trying again, gotta love computers! LOL!
    So glad to hear about Patriot-I had been wondering how he was doing! HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!
    Glad you all are at the show! Waiting for the next post!

  10. Happy B-Day Patriot! Have a carrot from me:-)