Monday, August 10, 2020

when it rains, it pours

Ever since doing a little rain dance a couple weeks ago, my wishes have come true and the drought conditions have finally cleared up! Even the most intense heat has more or less passed too. Like, obviously it's still hot out haha, but life is much more bearable. 

important meetings with the pony council
We've been keeping relatively active around these parts too. INCLUDING, omg, actual riding media of late -- from lessons and actually a horse show too (uh, surprise? and spoilers, it went pretttty poorly lol). That'll all come later tho. Ooh, and some epic footage from the Fair Hill 3* too!!

snuffling intently with (and possibly being nibbled by) baby Hop Along
I actually also took a little PTO last week too, mostly for a stay-cation to unplug and recharge etc. (sounds like opposites now that I write it out like that but you know what I mean).

i spy violent skies
Some of the days off ended up feeling a little bit squandered unfortunately -- like the day spent entirely locked inside bc we got hit by a friggin tropical storm -- but honestly it was desperately needed and appreciated.

Another day was more or less a wash too, when I rolled into the barn riiiiiight in time for another epic rainstorm. Like.... No way in hell was I about to hike all the way out to Charlie's pasture in that nonsense, so instead I opted to do a little spring, er, summer cleaning.
when you don't feel like scrubbing the dirt out yourself lol
Including the Husky tack trunk that lives up on top of my locker. It's so hard to reach up there that I've kinda gotten lazy about shoving stuff in willy-nilly, like sheets and liners and coolers and whatnot that needed to get put away after winter. 

Esp with quarantine going on in the spring, cleaning and organization reeeeeally wasn't high on the priority list lol.

mikey supervises my work
So the last time I shoved some stuff in the trunk, I could tell that one side of the lid didn't close fully, leaving a tiny little gap exposed. Even then, I just knew that was basically a written invitation for all the mice to move in.... But... Eh. I figured that would be a problem for Future Emma.

This week, Future Emma became Now Emma lol, with that little cleaning project perfect for a rainy day. It was also perfect bc it reminded me just how many friggin bits I have that need sold. Plus honestly a lot of stuff just had to get thrown out. Idk why I'm such a hoarder, guys. But it's a real problem.

look at this cute engraved tag charlie's supergroom got him!!!
 Lol, anyways tho.... All that to say it was pretty nice to have a quiet few days. Esp after all the lead up and busyness ahead of the horse show (which, again, more on that catastrophe later lol). I always appreciate the chance to impose a little order on the chaos, ya know?

oooh it's a mikey cat! exploring the innards of my locker lol
Besides, there was other big important upcoming calendar dates too --- like the Fair Hill 3*!!! With all the covid-related cancellations and all, I've really missed being able to go watch all our local big events. 

So many this year were cancelled or postponed.... like Fair Hill's spring international, Kentucky, Jersey Fresh... And the rest have been completely closed to spectators -- like at Loch Moy and Plantation. 

on to sunnier activities, like decorating XC fences!! omg these hedge hogs tho
But dammit, I wanted to go watch a show, ya know? So. Fine, haha, sign me up for whatever volunteer jobs can get me allowed onto the premises while still being able to haul ass all over the course on xc day to see everything ridden.

gator decked out and ready to decorate some fences!
Turns out, some of the best jobs for that include all the pre- and post-event chores, like decorating and take down. Which.... Actually, aren't volunteer roles I've done much of in the past. 

one of the intrepid volunteers thinking twice about that water depth after all the rain...
I typically don't volunteer at FEI events bc I want to be free to spectate at my leisure. And at the events I *do* volunteer at, my favorite positions are right in the thick of things where I'm immersed in the atmosphere and interacting with riders -- like in the warm up ring. 

ooooh we did fences on the 3* course too!! i tied the bow around the sheep's neck <3 scottish print in honor of course designer Ian Stark
But actually, the pre- and post-event stuff has been cool in an entirely different way. Obvi there isn't much in the way of interacting with riders, but it's a great way to meet other volunteers -- esp the folks who really understand the inner workings of individual venues and all the nitty gritty details that make an event tick.

turns out there's a real art + science to decorating these fences
In recent weeks I've learned some of the tricks and devices used to easily and quickly set up perfectly measured and squared dressage courts... 

And have gotten to learn a lot more about the intricacies of decorating upper level cross country fences. These fences aren't just dressed up to make pretty pictures (tho knowing what the photog plans to shoot is part of it too lol). 

oh man, and check out these epic stakes to anchor fences to the ground 
The decorations also act as visual cues to the horses to promote better safer efforts when the fence is jumped at speed. Like by creating contrast for the ground line, or on the corners of a spread fence to help the horse gauge width. 

The decorations can also acts as buffers - like by placing a shrub in front of any edges or overhangs on the jump. That way, if the horse runs out to that side, they'll theoretically avoid the shrub and therefore be less likely to run the rider's leg into that overhang or edge. Small but important details!

anything to keep cuties like Vermiculus safe and happy and jumping like a boss!!! 
So yea. That was all definitely pretty interesting. And even better --- As you may be aware, Fair Hill won the bid for the US's second 5* venue. This year was supposed to be the inaugural running of the Maryland 5* but... Well, y'all know. Sadly, due to covid, the event has been pushed back to 2021. 

However, they've still been hard at work building out the new track and features (including a new water complex I got to see but am not allowed to show you guys yet but OMG IT'S SO PRETTY!), and this running of the 3* was my first chance to familiarize with the new layout. 

lol and charles too <3 <3 he's sad i dressed him in pink 
Sorry if this seems like kinda a rambling update lol, I promise there's more specifics (and media!) to come later lol on all the stuff going on around here.

For now, tho, happy Monday. Anyone else feel like they've sorta been running around like crazy lately? 



    1. omg i love him too! this was my first time seeing him up close just chillin ringside, and he's got a seriously impressive demeanor and expression <3 <3

  2. Locker cleaning is the best therapy!! At least when you have organizational OCD like me. Possibly I'm the only one that feels better just from seeing pictures lol.

    1. dude it's so satisfying to get that stuff organized.... esp since i just *knew* there'd be mice nests in the trunk... tho actually it turned out to just be a single mouse who didn't even chew through any of the blankets!

  3. Very cool you got to try out a new volunteer opportunity and so awesome Maryland will have a 5* in the future at some point haha.

    Rain can be a blessing and the pits lol

    1. oh man i am SO EXCITED for the maryland 5*!!! part of me is a little sad that they've totally rebuilt the courses and tracks and everything bc in my mind the old fair hill tracks are so iconic with so much character.... the new track feels a little sterile in comparison, but then again it is still brand new and this first running of the 3* was kinda a test case anyway. it'll be exciting to see what it looks like next year!

  4. Happy Monday! Jump decorating sounds like a super fun volunteer option!

    1. it really was! i've wanted to sign up for a while now, but it's almost always on a week day haha. luckily it finally worked out!

  5. The set up position sounds really interesting and I am sure they appreciated the extra hands.

    1. it was really interesting, honestly. i feel like i only just got the most superficial crash course on what they were doing and why, bc everyone was a little rushed and under the gun (had an enormous storm the day before that delayed everything...). would love to do like a clinic or seminar on the topic tho!

  6. That sounds awesome! I too have been running around with my head cut off, but for work (and I'm avoiding something right now by checking Blogger, lol)

    1. ugh yea.... work has been some kind of special lately for me too.... what a strange year

  7. It doesn’t get better with a tack room. Today I took out everything and cleaned it all. Ugh. I’m envious of the rain though.

    1. ha in a way i'm probably lucky to not have a full tack room --- i'd 100% fill it to the brim with junk LOL


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