Friday, September 12, 2008

The Open House - Sunday Morning

Sunday morning Dave and I got up promptly at 6 planning to head to the barn to pick up the other 3 Arabian horses. However, it was too dark to be going anywhere without any running lights on the horse trailer so instead we went out to feed the horses hoping it would be light enough to leave by the time we were done.

The whole time I felt like I could hear the clock ticking away the minutes in my ear. Colleen and her crew were supposed to be at the farm by 8 to help get all the last minute things in order. Yet the way things were going I wasn't even sure we would be back from the barn by that time.

As soon as the day broke enough for us to not need running lights we headed off to pick up the last 3 horses from the other barn. On the way over I began thinking about all the things we yet had to do. Making my list and checking it twice wishing it was half this size.

Once at the barn Dave and I both went to retrieve horses from their stalls. They hadn't had blankets on the night before but all 3 looked like they'd come through the night pretty clean. That was a relief.

Then as I began to load the horses, my schedule briefly flashed before my eyes as each horse in turn hesitated about getting on that horse trailer. Of these horses only Louie had taken more than one trailer ride in his life. Expecting them to "just load" was probably a bit much.........but thankfully, not one of them hesitated for more than a minute or two. It certainly could have been a lot worse!

We weren't back at the farm long when Colleen and Rachel arrived along with my grandson, Chris, and 2 of Rachel's friends. I set Colleen and Rachel off clipping horses while the 2 girls worked on brushing out manes and tails and doing a last minute clipping of whiskers.

This task has always been something that I have done. With the thick manes and tails of my horses, it's easy to miss hidden mats on the underside. Since those mats just love to show themselves when the horses are running and playing, I have never really trusted anyone other than me to do this job the way it needs to be done.

This day I found myself in the position I had no other choice but to trust it would get done the way it needed to be. There were still all kinds of things to be done and I needed to spend my energy being the "designator."

I think it was about 9:30 when I realized that the chairs had not even been picked up yet. Not only did we needed to retrieve them from Colleens mother-in-laws house but they would need to be washed as well. With only 3 1/2 hours until "show time" I felt like things were beginning to unravel. If people showed up at 12 instead of 1 as in years past we were dead.

Dave and Lindsay were still busy cleaning stalls so I pulled Colleen off of ear clipping duty to send her with my grandson, Chris, off to get the chairs. One of the girls on brushing detail was moved over to finish up ear clipping. At this point 4 horses were done with 2 to go.

It turns out the other girl wasn't feeling all that comfortable dealing with the horses on her own so the brushing stopped there. By the time I discovered that, I had people free to help with the task but the fact this girl was one of only 2 grooms that were coming, I had a problem. It wasn't likely a girl that was too worried to brush out manes and tails was going to be able to groom horses all by herself. My mind began racing to find solutions.

About this time my friend, Wendy, and her sister, Candy arrived. They were going to help with the food. Last year we had all of the fruit and veggies prepared ahead of time but this year I was so far behind we had been unable to get that done. So it was off to the kitchen to show them them the everything they would need to know to get the BBQ off and running.........while there, I actually grabbed a quick bite of breakfast.

When I went back outside, Crystal Baker had arrived to help with the horses. After telling her I suspected that I was short a handler, she began calling her husband, Mike, to come help. Poor Mike had just gotten home from work that morning..............thankfully when Crystal did reach him he was willing to come and be my second pair of hands to run horses to the ring.

Colleen's friend from work, Trina, also showed up to help out. (She had been a whiz with helping on baths the day before.) That meant I had more help with grooming so I could relax a little about the girl who was unsure about dealing with "strange" horses.

By this time, Colleen's husband, Ray, had arrived with my other grandson, Kyle. They helped out getting the chairs cleaned and placed in their proper places as well as taking care of any bees nests we had missed. Kyle and Chris also worked on getting the presentation ring in order. There was more rock picking and some hand watering to keep the dust down.

By the time 11 o'clock rolled around I actually found myself with the time to take a quick shower and wash my really gross hair. Dave was off to the store to get balloons for the road signs and Lindsay was doing last minute sweeping in the barns.

Once out of the shower, I did another check in the kitchen to see if I was needed there. Then it was back outside to get all my flower pots moved out to the barns and make sure that the stall signs and directional signs were all in place.

Looking around there were lots of little things that I prefer to have done that just weren't going to happen. This open house wasn't going to be perfection but it was going to happen regardless of whether things were perfect or not so I might just as well let go of that expectation. It was getting close to the time to put a smile on my face and get this show on the road.....................I couldn't wait 'til it was over!

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

The Open House Begins

I think this picture probably reflects how the horses feel about this whole open house thing and my insistance on perfection. What do you think?

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  1. Well I had a really bad day today, so came here to 'hear the rest of the story' lol and... Well, as you know you are the Queen of suspense. :)

    Did you get my emails? I hope so, I'm still sitting on my hands here until you reach a point where I can throw in my 2 cents. :)

  2. Oh my! I am tired just reading all that you had to do to get ready for your open house. What a lot of work! Wish I lived closer and could have helped as I'm sure all your other blogging buddies wish as well!

  3. I am catching up again.

    LOL this horse definitely looks like it feels it is in a class of its own and that is pretty darn great.