Today was the first day of my junior year in high school. While other classmates complain over the transition from summer to autumn, I really have nothing to regret.
On Wednesday morning I returned from the county fair riding down the road on Adam’s back. After eating five days of fair food and living in the midst of the fair in dream land, I feel thankful that I had the opportunity to spend those days with my horse.
Early Friday morning I checked, double checked, and triple checked my horse show packing list. After a fiasco involving the misplacement of my parking passes (it was no big deal, really, the fair office simply re-issued them) my parents and I loaded up the truck with my carnival-camping baggage and we drove to the stable. There the rest of my tack and horse supplies were packed. I saddled up Adam and we started the grand ride to the fairgrounds. At first Adam handled the ride according to the usual riding on the road routine. This continued until we stopped to take a break around Mammoth Park. Adam, realizing the suspicious length of the ride, whinnied back towards the stable for Madam. After becoming aware he was too far away for a reply, he suspected he was on no ordinary trip. Nevertheless he obediently (in an Adam-ly fashion) continued riding. A while later we encountered another horse and rider headed to the fairgrounds. We rode together while talking about our hopes for the fair week and horse shows associated with it. I believe Adam enjoyed meeting some company, too. Finally –just beating an approaching thunderstorm- we arrived at the fairground gates at the entrance. The veterinarian cleared Adam’s CVI and I took him to his stall.
The traditional horse barn was overbooked this year so additional stalls were set up under a huge tent next to the rabbit exhibit. Adam and I quickly befriended the other exhibitors and their horses in our row. I met an English rider and her beautiful Thoroughbred, the girl I originally met en route to the fair, and another young girl with her bay Morgan cross. Adam, an attention lover, enjoyed the presence of endless excitement and constant entertainment.
In the horse arena below the fair 4-H had their horse show. To prepare for the overwhelming (and to a horse, potentially frightening) surroundings of the fair’s open show on Sunday I saddled Adam and took him down to one of the schooling rings. At first he did not concentrate at all. His ears whipped from back and forth, from side to side listening to the foreign noises coming from the horses around him. Sometimes he tried to follow behind other horses in the ring and even attempt to imitate the gaits or patterns they were riding in! After adjusting to the practice of riding among other horses Adam and I reviewed our exercises for the horse show on Sunday. I believe he enjoyed the larger arena with softer ground compared to the arena at home. When afternoon approached (all horses had to be in their stalls by four o’ clock) I returned Adam to his stall and untacked him. Impressed, I felt that he would handle his first show on Sunday rather well.
I will save my account of the Sunday horse show to Wednesday morning for a separate post. For now, I must return to my new school-based lifestyle until more free time is available.