I couldn't figure out why my photos were all blurry... my camera lens was filthy. Oops.
I woke up on Saturday to gorgeous blue skies and no snow, potholes or traffic. Heaven, in other words. In many ways, WEF is much like any other horse show, just bigger and longer. What is truly unique is the seemingly never-ending farms and farmettes in the surrounding areas, all connected by bridle paths and each more beautiful than the one before. This weekend, I was primarily walking or driving a truck, both of which I find less than ideal for inconspicuously taking photos. For the rest of the trip, I will have a golf cart, ideal for creeping.
Tucker got his first bath since October and his more obvious clipping lines miraculously disappeared with a good scrubbing. Once dolled up, we went for a stroll to the horse show which is much less than a half a mile away.
He was a really good boy until we got to the Tunnel of Doom, as it is now known. This is about a hundred yard long path that is flanked by tall hedges on both sides, and each hedge has a private ring on the other side. In other words, there are horses that can barely be seen but clearly heard on the other side of the hedges. On top of that, when nervous, Tucker *hates* to be by himself. We found ourselves alone about 20 yards into the tunnel when he had a meltdown and did his best to convince me we should go home. There were some dramatic moments on his hind legs and we were at an impasse where I refused to go his way and he refused to go my way. Thankfully a horse came in and the rider was very gracious when I asked to follow her, even asking if she could bring me to a particular ring. At the other end of the tunnel, Tucker's mind was completely blown when he realized we were at a horse show. I believe this solidified his opinion that the tunnel is some sort of bizarre portal that takes you from a trail ride to a horse show.
The shape of his tongue shows how he feels about returning to the barn
He also had a get-to-know-you ride with Paige and they got along well. That evening I went to the grand prix Monty, combining one of my favorite activities with my favorite person. On Sunday, Tucker and I did a hand-walk to the show again with much less drama.
Checking out the hunter rings
I rode him at home for just a little bit to conserve his energy, and then put on my big girl pants and went on a ride to the show with the distinct strategy of "follow someone" in mind. This worked out well on the walk over and less well on the walk home, where I had to casually circle near the tunnel's entrance until someone came along. This was made more tricky by the fact that there is an adjacent path going to other stabling areas, but soon enough someone came along to (unbeknownst to them) rescue me.
Although Tucker had been balky at a few places along the way, he did not spook at any of the tents, trucks, golf carts, flags and all of the mayhem that comes with having 12 rings going at once. He did consistently give this mailbox the hairy eye, though. Please keep in mind it is identical to all of the others on the street.
Tucker capped off his day with a sample of hydroponic home-grown barley sprouts because the barn owner truly provides phenomenal care for her horses. I had to say a sad good-bye to him and Monty for a few days while I return to the tundra and my job.
Thanks to everyone for their kind words and Allison for her link (go say hi to her and Dino at http://ponytude.blogspot.com/) . Tucker would like to tell you all to be careful near hedges and to watch out for rogue mailboxes.