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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

Our 2010 World Equestrian Games Adventure

I had an absolutely amazing time at WEG.  I was very lucky to be asked by the USTA to step up from being the jumping alternate (chosen in 2008) and actually be a part of the jumping demo.  The horse who was supposed to jump did a western pleasure demo instead, due to her navicular.  So the jumping section of our demo was performed by Dreamy and I (as the eventing horse) and my friend Helene and her horse JB (as the show jumping horse).

It was so much work to prep and plan for this event.  I had so many lists!  LOL!  Shipping my horse 1000+ miles to Kentucky was a huge undertaking as well.  I am proud that I did 99% of the driving myself, except for just a few hours at the end of the trip on the way down.  After too many hours in the driver's seat, I needed to take a break and my friend Tania stepped up to help.  Dreamy was just perfect.  With her COPD issues, I had to be super careful about where I stabled her...I ended up putting her on TriHist just while we were gone to be safe.  She had no issues, thankfully, but I felt better knowing she was on it.  Of course, I continued with her regular herbal supplement, soaked hay, and chopped forage. Overall, our trip to WEG was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime event in many ways.

Here we are leaving Maine in the rain!  LOL!


Well, I had really good intentions about blogging each day at WEG.  But I was so busy all day and then exhausted each night that there was no time at all!  LOL!  Oh well.  :D

Here I am five hours into the drive to KY, checking on the horses!  :)



Here is Dreamy getting a bath at Laura's before our team practice on Sat., Oct. 2.


We had practice at the Red Mile in Kentucky which is a gorgeous track.  



We went out to lunch beforehand (thanks USTA!)  It was a bit overwhelming to try to put the demo together, but overall it went pretty well.  We had halters and blankets donated to our demo team by Finn Tack.  Also we had several bags of shavings donated to us for use at WEG by Callaway Farms.

Here is our group showing off our halters and blankets!  :)  We all thought we were getting nylon sheets (which I would not get much use of) but instead we got super nice winter turnout blankets!  SCORE!!!  LOL!  Dreamy and I are on the far right.




Here we are during our team practice at the Red Mile....


 

This is the BEST PIC ever!  LOL!  I was being silly at the team practice......it sums up my WEG trip....I HAD SO MUCH FUN!!

 More posing....I like to pose.  LOL!



Our first demo was 5:30 PM on Sunday, Oct. 3.  It was rainy, raw, and FREEZING cold.  The audience was pretty small but it still went well.  Dreamy was unfazed by everything and had no problems.  She is a good mare, but you never know!  Nothing bothered her and she was super.  We wore our pink plaid XC gear.....

Warming up for demo #1!  Warm up is a relative term since it was SOOOO cold that day.  My teeth were chattering!


First demo at WEG!!!!!!!!!




Our second demo was even later than the first, at 6:00 PM Monday, Oct. 4.  Still raw and cold and the stands were pretty empty.  We were sort of bummed out, but what can you do?  We sported our turquoise XC gear...

Warm up...


DEMO #2!





The third demo on Tuesday, Oct. 5 was pretty darn great.  It finally warmed up a lot and the crowd was much better.  It was at 4:00 PM.  We wore our lime green XC outfit....




 
And our last demo on Wednesday, Oct. 6 was the best one.  We went at 12:30 right before the California Cowgirls which was a huge draw.  The stands were packed and people lined the edge of the ring.  It was super fun to have the crowd cheering and everything.  We did our bright fuchsia outfit!  I designed this one after finding the cute saddle pad this summer....it has stars (for Dreamy STARlet) and a jumping horse!  It was too perfect to not purchase and use for WEG!





After each demo, we went to a small "meet and greet" to the side of the arena.  Not everyone brought their horses over, but three of us went each day and stayed for quite a while.  People loved coming over to meet the horses, ask us about them, and we passed out our Standardbred brochures.  We had kids and adults who just wanted to pat horses, we had people who actually ride Standardbreds, and I had people come up and ask specifically about my horse!  :)  That was neat....one person actually asked for his photo to be taken with me and Dreamy!  LOL!  A fan!  Another woman wanted to know if STBs would be appropriate for polocrosse (she and her daughter were riding in that demo in the adjoining ring).  She thought my horse looked like she had the "right kind of brain" (as she put it) for polocrosse.  She was impressed with everyone but thought that if my horse could be that quiet and go cross country in a snaffle (she does...) that a STB might be a good choice.  She said she was tired of falling off her TBs!  LOL!!!!!

Overall, it was a very positive experience to have the eight Standardbreds at WEG.   We got great feedback and had fun.  It was tiring, of course, but sooooo worth it.  Not only did we have fun with the demos, but we had time to check out everything at WEG!  It was so insane to be at such a huge international event!  Our credentials got us into the competitions which was cool.....and of course allowed us to park and get in for free.  The trade show was amazing....I got some great deals and lots of free stuff!!


My best purchases were a black Stubben dressage bridle for $35, a pair of laced Stubben reins for $10, and a white fitted saddle pad for only $5!  Great bargains!!!  I also got WEG merchandise.....two shirts, a baseball cap, a glass, a stuffed horse, and a pin.  Funny thing was that they actually ran out of WEG merchandise at WEG!  :-O  So we hit up the local WalMart that had a bunch of stuff, all of it a bit cheaper than at WEG.  So weird to have it at WALMART of all places!  I also got a recycled racehorse shirt from New Vocations and a cute brown striped Horseware bag from Bit of Britain.  Plus, I found a little John Deere toy for my son.  :)

I scored lots of free stuff: treats, two brushes, a sweat scraper, plastic cups, pens, pads of paper, four reusable bags, lip balm (from Triple Crown! LOL), water (from USDF with their own horsey logo! LOL), another WEG pin....and of course lots of brochures and what-not.  I gave my son my free John Deere mini flag and mini flashlight.  :D


Part of the fun was the constant "slumber party" with my WEG girls: Tania, Laura, Christie, and Helene!  We had so many laughs and near pants-wetting moments....ROFL!  I had so much fun with them all.  So many great memories and funny moments. 

Here is the Fab Five at the Swedish tent! Everyone wants to be Swedish......OBVIOUSLY!!  LOL!  Oh and we got tons of free stuff at the Swedish booth....the visors we are wearing, Swedish pins. calendars, chocolate...



 And here I am trying to get something out of the gooseneck....LOL!  



 Here I am trying out the mechanical cutting horse!  WHOO!  :D


Here we are at the WEG stabling area...


Dreamy's stall:

I had four coats on that day because it was soooooo cold!!!  We actually had to buy hats and mittens at WalMart because it was soooo cold.  I never even thought to pack them!!  You can see our awesome team coats (the back has a huge pic...) and my credentials hanging around my neck.  We also got four STB team shirts...a t-shirt, two polos, and a long sleeved shirt!  They were awesome!




Dreamy posing at her grandsire Bret Hanover's grave...


Signs for WEG! 


Here is the side of the outside ring...


Here I am with Jessica from USTA doing my interview...


Posing with the USDF sign!


Helene and I pose with our pics on the USTA banner at the New Vocations booth!  :)


Posing at the Secretariat statue...


There are more photos, but I am waiting on "my photographers" to edit and upload....LOL!  One of them took 1000+ pics, so it might be a few more days.  :)

Also, more photos can be found here.  Check us out on FaceBook by searching for "WEG Standardbreds."  :)

BIG THANKS TO THE USTA and ALL OUR SUPPORTERS!  :D

Comments

  1. So. Much. Fun.

    (and so much looooooooot!)

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  2. This. Is. AMAZING!!!! I had fun just reading this!!

    And I love the pink plaid helmet cover!!!

    Gawd, and I remember the Red Mile from the two times I've been to Lexington. Just a gorgeous track, along with Keeneland!

    And I'm glad you visited the SWB booth, because they're awesome. I was asked to volunteer since I have a SWB and am with the organization, but a schedule of all college level classes would certainly not allow me even missing a day. Such is life. NBC was my best friend these past three weeks!

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  3. Wow..what an honor! LOVE the Turqouise gear too :)

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  4. I am very jealous of all your new blue gear!






    Oh, and I guess that you guys got to go to KY and have such a great time, haha. :)

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  5. Supercool!
    I was waiting for your WEG posts.
    Finn Tack is amazing. I have one halter still in usable condition after 5 years. And FinnTack/Horze outdoor rugs are also really good. They fit STBs perfectly :)

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  6. What a lucky pair you guys are! Looks like the time of your life!!!

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