Is it an illness…. a disease? Are we mentally unstable at birth, or does the smell of horse manure over the years somehow disable the normal brain function we should have had? I have asked myself this question all day long.
It began late last night as I listened to the sleet bounce off of my bedroom window. Lying in my bed, I wondered just how bad the roads were going to be and whether or not I’d be able to get my horse trailer out of my driveway in the morning.
By morning the roads were covered in ice. At 9am I called Majestic Farm to see if their parking lot was functioning as a skating rink or a parking lot. The man who answered the phone assured me that the parking lot had been salted and everything was good. The salt he thinks he put on the parking lot may have in fact been “imaginary salt”, but that will come later.
The horse trailers, which we were smart enough to park up by the road, were also covered in ice. After a few hours of chipping ice, heating trucks, and hauling stuff up to the trailers, we were ready to load the horses. Luckily we didn’t have to leave until 12:30pm, giving the “imaginary salt” plenty of time to work.
We made it to the farm with almost no incident….maybe a few wrong turns and missed exits….but whatever.
It was what we found when we got there that was the most disturbing. We pulled our caravan of 2 trailers and 2 cars into the multi-million dollar facility to find that the “imaginary salt” had not actually been working. The parking lot was a sheet of ice. I almost fell as I stepped out of my car onto the gravel. Jeff could not stop our truck and kept circling and circling the parking lot trying to find a place to park where he wouldn’t get stuck. Great. When he did finally stop, we realized that our horses were now stuck in the trailer. We couldn’t safely back them out onto a sheet of ice. More circling, more circling, more circling….until I finally told Jeff just to drive them into their yard so that we could unload on the crunchy grass. Perfect. The horses unloaded fine, and they tip toed their way along the skinny path of sand from the parking lot to the stalls. Jeff went to move the truck and realized that it was officially stuck. Nice. I made my way to the secretary’s office to pitch a fit about the unsafe parking lot and to pick up numbers.
Elizabeth had 15 minutes or less to warm her horse up for her first test. Despite the chaos that preceded it, the test was very nice. Quinn was fancy and cute, and she ended up with a 61%. The judges loved her, and made some really nice comments about her movement.
Her next ride wasn’t until 6:00pm, so we ended up at Panera for a long lunch and a chance to warm up.
The truck was still stuck when we got back. Several of us tried to rock the truck while Jeff tried to unstick it. During that time, Kelli was making her way up to the arena. No one saw her and Cavalier coming, no one heard her yelling, no one saw him rear because he was afraid of the loud spinning noises of the truck. We just happen to look up and see him running across the ice covered parking lot with his reins down by his legs. Luckily, Emily heard the commotion and was able to step in front of him. I think Cavalier realized that running on the ice….though thoroughly treated with “imaginary salt”…..could be a really bad idea. He stopped and Emily grabbed him. Cavalier went on to prove why it is that we absolutely love him, and put in two fantastic tests. The pair earned two 2nd place ribbons. Congratulations, Kelli! Not too bad for a girl who has been out injured for the last 3 months!
Quinn put in a somewhat crazy second test. Though still looking cute, she had decided that perhaps she was done with the dressage and ready to move onto something more exciting. When that exciting thing didn’t happen, she made her own excitement. The pair did really well overall, and we are looking forward to getting the consistency in her work for spring. According to the judges, when she gets a bit more submissive in the bridle her scores will be great (something we are working on daily with the Little Miss!).
Somewhere during the late evening, the management of the Majestic Farm Ice Skating Rink decided to use “real salt” on the parking lot. Much to their amazement it actually worked. The parking lot became less icy!!!! Jeff even managed to get the truck unstuck and park it on a downhill slope for our mass exodus later that night. He and Wade were finally able to head home. Thanks, Jeff !!!!
Celine was, as usual, nearly perfect. She was a champ about the ice, the dark walk back to the barns, and the riding. She and Jacqui put in 2 fantastic tests! Celine was relaxed and forward, and Jacqui rode her very well in both tests. They ended up with great scores and a 4th place ribbon in her first test and a pretty blue ribbon in her 2nd test! Congratulations, Jacqui!
Mckinley was an angel from the beginning to the end of the day. We weren’t quite sure what to expect from this young TB that just came off of the track in August, but we were very pleasantly surprised. He loaded and unloaded well. He hung out in his stall quietly. He made his way from the barn to the arena in the dark. And though he was really nervous at first in the warm-up ring, he settled in nicely. Emily’s first test was a first test. He held his head in the air like a giraffe. He looked at everything. He even stopped a few times during his test to check out the beautiful horse in the mirror that seemed to be following him. I believe he got a score of 49% in his first test, but he completed it with no major explosions. I told Emily to expect more out of him for the second test. The pair did a fantastic second test, earning a third place ribbon, a score of 65% and some really nice comments from the judges. I was really proud of them. I’m looking forward to seeing what this horse will be become in a few years! Great job, Emily!
We collected ribbons and headed back out in the dark to load up. Our horses tip toed back across the ice to the trailers, and we were out of there…..finally. We got home at nearly midnight.
We had plans to go back to Majestic for another show in February, but now I’m remembering why it is that we don’t normally do winter shows in Ohio.