Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bad Voju' by Rachel Dors

It all started off as any trip to Lexington, Virginia would. With Christine texting, me reading, and Nikki writing/listening to her Ipod. Christine’s mom (Barbara) was driving and my mom (Pam) was sick this didn’t stop them from cranking the radio and chatting over it. Just before we hit highway 81 my mom started singing, “On the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again…” It was part of a tradition trailering horses to shows. Then the stories flowed like rain…

BANG!!!! The trailer shook, something exploded!
“Holy Cow,” someone shouted, “I think that was the tire!” We pull over and Barbara got out to check on the trailer tires, followed by my mom. Nikki and I stopped what we’re doing and looked at each other. Next thing we know my mom and Barbara have the jack out and the tire was already changed.
“Wow, record timing mom!” I said enthusiastically.
“Look at the tire,” said Barbara, “It lost all its tread!” We all went back to our previous activities as we continued down the road, with mom singing “On the road again…”

12 miles down the road…

BANG!! “Holy schnitzel!” some one cried
“Uh My” I groaned, “we’re only 50 miles from home!!”
“We’re never going to make it,” cried Nikki (who wasn’t even showing at 4-H states, due to lack of time (1 year) in 4-H, but was willing to be my personal slave…(muh-ha-ha-ha))
“911 what’s your emergency?” asked the operator. Mom repeated the story twice. Once to the operator, and once to my father.
“What ever you do, DO NOT. I repeat, DO NOT go the left side” (the side by the highway) Commanded Barbara
Cars zoomed by as I stared incoherently out the window
“Hey, wasn’t that the policeman we passed earlier?” asked mom.
“Yeah,” agreed Nikki, “the undercover one.”
Then suddenly, like a surge the phones started ringing again, even mine.

I got 2 texts:

Hepner Tire- has # will call
From: Dad 1:45p

Tell Mom
From Dad 1:46p

“Alright, guys we’ve found a place, we just have to get there,” Barbara said climbing back into the drivers seat. The 3 miles were the scariest 3 miles in the entire trip. (except when the tires blew up, but that wasn’t 3 miles) The truck was dead silent as we were “limping” along. Christine suddenly shouts out “Look a blue Mustang! Just like the one I want, a convertible!” We were now on the back roads, and it was a gorgeous day, I felt sorry for the driver of that Mustang who was stuck behind us.
“There it is! There it is!” Nikki yelled
“Yeah!” Christine and I said in unison.
We pulled up and the jacks were already setup waiting. We were in and out, thanks to laughs. It was like being at a NASCAR pitstop! Barbara goes walking off talking on the phone and next thing I know she comes back with a piece of grass in her mouth! If that isn’t enough Barbara is saying that the guys that changed our tires are HOT, yes HOT. Just as if on queue, here comes a young guy in a truck that says UNIFORMS, and Christine goes,
“No, that guy is hot!”
“No, he’s not!” said Barbra
“Yes, he is”
“No, he’s not”
“I’m hungry,” I complained
“We have pop tarts,” said Christine
“OMG look on the box it says ‘pop tarts to the rescue’”
Mmm was all you heard for a while followed by, mom I’m thirsty!
After we found the ‘soder’ machine they all got drinks, (except me because I packed water). We learned that after 5-6 years the tires dry rot (no matter how many miles are on them), but you can’t see it when they’re inflated.
As we were leaveing we all rolled down the windows and yelled “Thank you!”
About 3 miles down the road (back on the highway) Nikki pulls out a book to read, and I gasp
“Nikki!” She had pulled out a book called Jinx,
“Really Nikki are you trying to kill us!”

About 2 more miles down the road…
“My butt’s on fire, my butt’s on fire!” said jumpy Barbara. Oh you must have hit the switch when you got in.
“Wow the window’s down!”
“The trailer window?”
“What’s all the shouting?”
It was mass chaos, for about 3 minutes then we pulled over at a truck stop and put up the trailer window and continued on our journey. There was drama, yeah there was drama, but we overcame, and we made it back (not without our own set of problems)
“On the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again…”

What happens in Lexington stays in Lexington.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Something To Talk About

Life In the Fast Lane
I have so much good news to report that I am so overwhelmed I don’t even know where to begin! I think going chronologically is probably the easiest. So after we came back from East Coast Championships I was sure I had enough points for Beauty to earn her Legion of Merit but I had to wait. On we trudged to vacation. A much-needed respite from the farm was needed by all of us. We returned rested and ready for action. Next on the docket was a two-phase day. Early in the morning on September 18 we took Sabiyana our Russian bred Arabian mare and her ’08 colt, EF Rafikki to a GOV inspection. This was a new adventure. We have never been to a warmblood inspection before. Sabi is a grey one of those white grays. After about 3 hours and a gallon of Orvis and whitening shampoo she was respectably clean looking and braided to almost perfection. This mare, I am sure, was in shock. She is 21 and hasn’t been in the show ring for many, many years. She knew what we were doing, I could see it in her eyes, but she was definitely in shock. When we were done with her we decided a comprehensive grooming and braid job on Sam was sufficient. They looked fantastic so off we went. We arrived very early as we were instructed to do. We got our paper work in order, hired handlers, and in the ring they went. Sabi got into the GOV Main Mare Book! How exciting, a 21-year-old mare was good enough to get into one of the strictest warmblood mare books we have access to. Sam got good remarks and nice compliments. He was such a good boy, so well behaved. So well behaved in fact they said he was too quiet, we should have him checked out to be sure he is ok. He is fine; he is just a good boy. Unfortunately he was the youngest colt there he was just 3 months old but he made us proud. The old lady and the little boy that could. That’s what we are calling them, yes that’s it.

4-H States, Here We Come!
That same day a few hours later we were back in the truck heading in a different direction. Barbara Schirmacher, my co-leader of the rebel Riders 4-H club, myself and three 4-Hers were heading south down 81 to Lexington to the Virginia Horse Center for the Virginia State 4-H Championship show. There was quite a bit of drama on the ride down which Rachel will write about and post at a later date. The great news is that Rachel, Christine and Nikki had a fabulous time in Lex. They learned a lot about each other, about each other’s horses and about showing on their own. You see at this particular 4-H show the parents and leaders a re not supposed to help. The kids are supposed to minimally help each other. Nikki went down to help out as moral support, gal Friday, and official horse holder, assistant groom, stall mucker and any other job that needed attending to. The girls came away with not only knowledge but some fantastic ribbons. Rachel and Christine both got blue ribbons in stable management. That award was based on tack condition and cleanliness, stall condition including cleanliness, and amount of shavings, bucket height, arrangement and cleanliness, and lastly the overall condition of the horse. They, the three of them, did it all themselves and they were richly rewarded with the blue ribbon, way to go girls! Now on to ring work. This show was Rachel’s “coming out” to dressage. She has never done a test off of the farm. She decided this summer when entries were due that she would ride Blossom to the best of her ability, not as a hunter rider, but as a budding dressage rider. She rode Training Level Test 1 and Training Level Test 4. She received a 63.38% and a 62% respectively. Those scores were good enough to put her right near the top. She is third in the state in Test 1 and second in the state in Test 4. Holy cow, second in the state. I just don’t think things can get any better for us here at the farm. Rachel also entered a dressage equitation class, which quite frankly was foreign to me. She tried her best and came out with a very respectable eighth place in that class. Showmanship, her least favorite, was her last class and she left the ring with a Danish red ribbon. Not great but it ended putting her in 11th place. All in all Rachel proved herself as a force to be reckoned with in the saddle. I am so proud of her. Christine came away with a seventh place and an eighth place. Considering most every class had over 20 entries, she too took home very respectable ribbons.

EF KKlassique Beauty++
We are now home for a few days. We are able to catch our breath and chill for a bit. Well here is the mail and here is the letter I have been waiting for. Beauty did it!! Her name is now EF KKlassique Beauty++. She is just five and she accomplished something that to me is so out there that I cannot believe it has happened. Beauty has earned herself enough points to be among the elite in the Arabian world. The elite who have proven themselves not only as beautiful creatures but also as can do horses. The first and only pointed show for her came at Nationals in ’05 where she was in the jackpot 2 year old fillies SHIH class. She went Top Ten. She finished her points off with a double reserve champion in SHIH open and amateur. So in less than 3 years she accomplished two levels of achievements. One + is for earning her points or beating many horses in all conformation and one is for a combination of conformation and performance. I am waiting for AHA to let me know how many five-year-old horses have achieved this goal. The AHA sent me a list of the awards Beauty has won during her short show career. Here it is: 1 National Title, 10 Regional Titles and countless class A wins and placings. Wow 10 Regional Titles, you’d think she was with a big time trainer or something!!