On top of all of the show gear I’ve been buying over the past couple of weeks, when Wednesday afternoon rolled around I had to make a stop at the Bony Pony! I dropped another $320 on water buckets, an English show pad with a set of numbers, a foam bump pad to go under Trainer M’s English saddle, an adorable pink Sleazy, etc… goodbye $$$, hello show supplies!
I woke up early on Thursday morning and rolled into the barn around 8:00. The first item on the docket was to give Ezhno a bath, so I threw him into the wash rack, gathered up my shampoos/conditioners/scrub brushes, and got to work. Once we were both thoroughly soaked, I put him under the heat lamps, tossed his cooler on him, and clipped his face.
After another brief trip to the Bony Pony to exchange an item, I loaded up the back seat of my truck with all of my clothing/tack and, with the assistance of friends at the barn, threw a few bales of hay into the back. I was just wrapping things up when the trailer pulled in to pick us up, so I filled a hay bag and loaded Ezhno up next to his buddy Shiloh.
Seven horses from our training program went down for the show, so we had an entire caravan of cars, trailers, and RVs on the drive down to Unit #1 in Tacoma. We took up almost an entire section of the Nelson barn!
Two hours of driving later, we had all of the horses settled into their stalls. We let them get their bearings while we filled water buckets, set up the tack stall, and hauled in all of our gear. Ezhno spent the whole time sucking in air through the world’s widest nostrils and staring off into the distance so that he could watch trailers pull in and unload—and whinny at all of the unfamiliar horses like the loudmouth he is, of course.
Once the tack was unloaded Trainer A gave us a thirty minute warning and we all hurried to lunge and tack up our horses for a mid afternoon warmup ride. I stripped Ezhno’s sheet/Sleazy off and put on his halter/showmanship chain (because he’s normally a bit of a bully, but he’s a downright brute when he’s distracted in a new location). I took him out of his stall with the intention of showing him around the grounds, having a quick lunge, and then saddling him up western (because “undaunted” is a misnomer and at least I’d have a horn to grab LOL).
Nelson Barn isn’t super far from the arenas, but it is a short walk down a dirt/lightly graveled lane. I was a little worried about barefoot Ezhno, but he didn’t seem to mind the gravel. What he did mind, though, was this:
Ezhno’s never really loved tiny ponies (during the first couple of weeks of owning him we were riding in the warm up ring of a barrel racing event that was being held at our stable and he tried to run away from a Sheltand) and he’s never seen a cart before, so when I looked around a bend in the lane and saw one headed towards us I knew there was going to be trouble. Unsurprisingly, he spotted it coming down the road, slammed on the breaks, threw his head in the air with a very dramatic snort, and then immediately tried to evacuate the area with some very impressive leaping/complex footwork.
We made it past the pony cart (we stepped off of the road and did our best attempt at holding still/jumping in place while it walked by, much to the amusement of the pony’s driver), then had a pretty straight forward lunge in the outdoor arena, followed by a somewhat tense (but ultimately good) ride where Ezhno and I adjusted to the new environment.
When we made it back to Nelson barn (after another attempt to convince Ezhno to quietly watch the pony carts trot around the covered warm up arena—no dice), Trainer A banded/trimmed Ezhno’s mane and did some touch up clipping on his ears. By the time she was done he was looking pretty fancy and I felt like we were ready to compete!
We all got together to have a potluck dinner at the RVs, then went separate ways for bed time. I stayed up a little late keeping an eye on the horses (Midas managed to rip an entire water bucket off the wall and get his Sleazy stuck over his head/in his mouth, LOL) and then slept in the backseat of my truck.