First Sleep Away Show Ever: Reflections on Day 4

It's actually Sunday morning, the last day of the show, and I'm writing this while the kiddo is happily singing in the shower. The joy in her voice as she belts out whatever lyrics come to mind is the reason we did this whole away show thing. Ridiculously expensive as it it is, it's a chance for Mom and kiddo to live our passion for a little while, have some lengthy quality time with our horses, and with each other. No doubt we're gonna have our ups and downs as time goes by, Soph and I, but hopefully the good memories from this week will always be good groundwork for whatever difficult moments lie ahead.

Enough introspection, though. The day was a good one. Sug and I and our barn mates Tara and Rio moved back down to Level 1s. Tara and I both had better rounds than we did in our ill-fated Low Amateur excursions, so we both ended our HITS adventure on a positive note. I'm happy that Sug and I finished on a clear round, but more importantly, a thoughtful and well ridden round, not a rip-snorting , holy crap let's close our eyes and pray to our higher power that it all works out kind of round. My friend Libby and her boy Stratego had a successful trip in the Level 0s. So, the week ended well for the "ladies of a certain age."

Kiddo had a BLAST in the Short Stirrup division. My friends Janine and her mom Eunice came down to support Sophie; Eunie came with her big old camera in tow, so hopefully there will be some good pics to share. Soph had a great ride in the hack, but had an unlucky break in the canter -right in front of the judge, of course! Still, they placed 4th and the kiddo was over the moon!

They had 3 over fences rounds. All three were nice rounds with minor glitches; the pony is older and has a tough time getting her flying changes, so they get marked down for the occasional simple change. Cookie also gets a tad enthusiastic at time, bless her heart, and it's hard to equitate (keep your shoulders back) when you're trying to contain a very ambitious pony. In any case, Soph rode well and the pony tried hard, and when they were finished the kid was happy as a pig in mud and praising her pony to high heaven all the way from the ring back to the barn. She got a couple of funny looks from passers-by; you could tell they were wondering what major win the pony had just pulled off based on the excessive celebration/love being given her.

When the dust settled (after what seemed like a bazillion beribboned pony jocks galloped around their courses) Soph and Cookie managed to snag a 2nd and a 5th!! Lotta joy in Barn 11 last night, and then some celebrating at El Rancho with her trainer Annabel and barn mate and friend Dana.

Funny little side note. As you know, I get somewhat star struck over famous horse people and have been totally geeking out at HITS when I spot the likes of Peter Leone, Anne Kursinski, Todd Minikus, Neal Shapiro, and McLain (no last name necessary). Well, yesterday my pal Janine and I are sitting in the bar enjoying our pizzas and good conversation when this leathery brown arm reaches between us to grab a handful of potato chips. Well, hello, Mr. Chapot!! Nice to see you! We had a nice giggle with him. Just thought I'd share…

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