Monday, April 30, 2018

Dakotas road trip

Earlier this year, my best friendCarol received a new stripe on her Air Force uniform.
I attended the promotion ceremony because Carol is my person, and we always attend each others things. It never occurred to me, however, that this particular thing was going to have a profound affect on the next three years of my life.
Carol dropped the bomb a few later while we were enjoying happy hour at our favorite restaurant. 
"I''m interviewing for a three year assignment in Germany," she told me. "I don't think I'll get it, but wouldn't it be wonderful if I did?"

I was horrified. 

"That would not be wonderful." I told her. "You're not allowed to leave me."

That should have been the end of that, but Carol went to the interview anyway. Even worse, she got the job.
Her departure date is in June, so now we are trying to do all the things before she leaves. 
Number one on our list was a road trip to South Dakota. 
We left the Thursday after Rocky Mountain Spring Fling and spent four days and three nights in both South and North Dakota.
We did all the usual touristy things...
but we also did some family things, too.
And, as usual, we managed to find a couple (!) horses, both real...
and not-so-real, along the way.
This was perhaps the most perfect road trip ever.
I still can't believe Carol's leaving me, but who knows? Maybe our next road trip will be in Europe.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

I save the day

Anne Field is an accomplished performance shower. She doesn't need anyone to save her.
She is perfectly capable of winning at the highest levels, as she proved this weekend at Quabbin Valley Performance Open (QVPO) in Spencer, Massachusetts.
That said, even the best showers need to lean on their friends sometimes. In this case, Anne was trying to get a few more NAN cards to qualify her Loping Leggs resin, Mocha Latte for a NAMHSA merit award. To that end, she asked me if I could make her a vaulting surcingle, and could I do it before the show. The first question was an easy yes. The second was a little harder, mostly because I waited until the very last minute to start on her tack. Still, I got it done and delivered just in the nick of time. Hurray! 
I also lent her my awesome dragon costume by Tiffany Purdy, and that helped her secure the NAN cards she needed for her award. Double hurray!
Congratulations, Anne. I had so much fun being part of your team!

Sunday funday

Some of the best parts of Rocky Mountain Spring Fling didn't happen in the show hall. Instead, the took place the day after the show when Heather treated her visiting staff and friends to a tour of some of Denver's local attractions. The day started with brunch at the Denver Biscuit Company at the Stanley Martketplace.
After our meal, the group split into three smaller groups. Lesli and Alan drove to Boulder, Erin and Jackie went to Wash Park and Heather, Stephanie, Barb, Liz and I headed up to the high country.
Our first stop was Dillon Reservoir.
We got out and took pictures.
 Lots...
 and lots of pictures.
This one is my favorite.
Then we climbed back into the cars and drove up Loveland Pass.
There were lots of stops... 
and lots more pictures. 
The scenery was breathtaking. 
I never get tired of this. 
Finally, we reached the summit.
We took still more pictures...
then headed back down the mountain to Casa Bonita.
The campy charms of this shabby Denver landmark were initially lost on some of the out of towners...
but eventually they came around.
Remember, Liz, no one goes there for the food!
 These are great people and this was a wonderful day.
Thank you for a really super weekend, Heather. I can't wait to do it again in 2020!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

RMSP performance wrap up

Tempting as it is, I'm not going to write a post about every single one of my performance entries at Rocky Mountain Spring Fling. Suffice it to say, most of them were well planned and well executed set-ups that I was proud to put on the table.
A few, however, deserve a little extra mention, if only so I can remember how to recreate them later.  
One of these was my Liberty entry in the combined Showmanship/Liberty class. Olivia wore her "fast" mane and I used a little stand under her hoof to add extra animation to her gait. The handler doll held a whip with a plastic bag attached to the end and an Arabian show halter. 
Another entry that turned out extra nice was my Versatility Challenge set-up in Other Performance.
This isn't the first time I've depicted a Versatility Challenge, but it is the first time I did so with a great, big wheelbarrow. Thank you, Enterprise Props, for the fun new addition.
I used my rubber chicken from Austin in English Arena Trail, which was very satisfying... 
and I absolutely loved my Father/Daughter Pairs Class entry in Other English Performance.
Historically, I've treated cattle classes a lot like scene classes. I know Lu and Sandy are going to beat me, so why bother? I tried harder this time, which was not reflected in my Roping entry, but I was very pleased with my well documented Ranch Cutting set-up...
and my Steer Undecorating entry in Other Stockwork. 
All in all, it was a very good day for me, but I simply can't close this post without mentioning the awesomeness that was Sandy's jumping horse.
She put him in everything... 
and... 
I...
do...
mean...
everything...
 and all of it was amazing.
I never would have guessed that a jumping horse could be that versatile. Congratulations, Sandy. That was a performance tour de force!
Thank you again to Heather Malone for hosting Rocky Mountain Spring Fling and to Erin Corbett for judging the performance classes. It was a real privilege having a show of this caliber so close to home. I can't wait for the 2020 edition!