Monday, October 12, 2009
NTASHA - Part 2
My heart was racing non-stop and I was not even showing until the following day. We got the stall area set up and Kelli told me to get his tack. We were going to lunge him and I needed a practice ride. I was wearing jeans. A part of me did not want anyone to see me riding in pants...EVER...but the reality was that I had only brought my show outfits and I was not going to chance getting them dirty or torn on a practice ride!
Oliver hates to be left alone. It had taken him a while to settle down in the trailer. As you remember - the origonal plans were to trailer an additional 2 horses to this show. Once in his stall, with his hay bag full of alfalfa he looked quite content. It was a different story though when we put his cross ties on. He bounced about his stall as though he knew something exciting was about to happen.
I led him into the show arena and we walked the whole way around. I let him stop and look at anything that seemed to spook him. Then we headed down to the far end so that I could lunge him. He was quite animated and a bit distracted...but still well bahaved. When Oliver gets excited he does not like to flat walk...so we worked on EVERYTHING before I got on.
I took him into the smaller practice arena to mount. It was a draw as to who was more tense...probably me..but my nervousness transmitted through the reins and did not help Oliver either. We just walked for the longest time...until I could again BREATHE. It felt like everyone was staring at me, but fortunetly most of the people who were there were grooms and other workers, only a very few customers and trainers.
I started to trot. I could not seem to make it around the arena for 1 lap without breaking gait or stopping on purpose. Kelli started to get stern with me as she reminded me that the show arena was much larger than the practice and that I would need to go around probably 2 or more times. I knew myself though and when put under that kind of pressure where I felt like I was not only trying to make a good impression for myself, but also for the sidesaddle dicipline and even for the magazine I work for...well I would force myself to forge on!
We went into the show arena and again I started to trot. I relaxed a bit and started to get into the rythm. "YEAH" I thouht to myself. We made it around one whole time! Kelli told me to canter. I tipped his head to the rail just a bit and cued him. Oliver lifted into the canter in one step and I was flying. All of my confidence pooled back into me with each gentle rolling stride. I knew I could do this.
* * * * * * *
We were exhausted! We checked into the hotel and took all of our bags into the room. It was a Hampton Inn, one of my favorite hotels. We inserted the key card into the lock and opened the door. Walking into the room, I turned on the lights and I heard Kelli make a strange noise. On the bright white linens - was a shinny black beetle looking bug. He was crawling accross the bed.
"Ewwweee." I exclaimed. Kelli grabbed it and flushed it down the toilet. As we started to unpack, I placed my computer on the desk and down on the carpet was another one. Kelli stepped on it and we looked at each other. We were both exhausted though and we seemed to read each others mind in thinking that we each wanted to get into the shower.
I won and was first into the bathroom! I opted for a steaming hot bath and was just laying back to relax when I heard Kelli let out a yelp that made me sit straight up.
"What?" I asked her.
"We are getting another room! There are bugs in my bed!" she exclaimed as I heard her pick up the phone.
She called downstairs and they did assign us another room citing the excessive rain had caused them to have a problem with water beetles. I jumped out of the tub and gathered my things. Our new room was just down the hall, so I opted to wear my nightgown and my coat...knowing that if I saw ANYONE I would want to die!
Kelli had stripped down the room before we accepted it...and once my head hit the pillow, I was asleep inside of 15 minutes!
...to be continued...