Happy Weekend! Am just working on notes from a great weekend with 4-legged athletes carrying 2-legged athletes!!! Lendon Gray's 2014 Youth Dressage Festival!! What great sport, and great friends.
I know many riders may find this post so I need to come back and tell the story... all in good time.
There is a time when even a life of adventure gets into s rut... sort of feel like you are droning on from event to event, highway to back road... it's still enjoyable, but an interruption or diversion can be a good thing. (as shown in the movie In Search of Bobby Fisher...) This weekend I returned to Saugerties, NY and the HITS horse show grounds to announce one last time at Lendon Gray's Youth Dressage Festival.
Daughter Mackenzie's riding got us involved with the show long ago.. perhaps 10 years. Then we heard that Lendon needed a new Website Guy and I volunteered and pulled it from disrepair into an (at the time) more interactive and current status. She also agreed that year to start doing an email newsletter. That put the WEP (Weekend Educational Program) over 2,00 in attendance for the first time.
Not long after that I read the minutes of a committee meeting and discovered that they did not have a permanent announcer... My antennae went right up!!! My favorite social thing to do!! This year, even though Mackenzie didn't attend, was about the 5th time that I ran the rings from the announcer's booth and have a wonderful time of it. Struggling with names of horses that are somewhere between mythical, cartoon characters (like I haven't seen kids TV in 10 years...) and now a biblical name that I completely missed!!! Malaki. I looked at the word and guessed that it was some person out of Harry Potter... ma-LA-ki... Sunday the owner's mom came by and pointed to the page and said, "Biblical name, MA-la-ki" duhhh... It always brings chuckles from the grand stand... at least.
Nothing is more exciting for me than to watch a young rider (some as young as 4 years old) head down the center-line on their chosen pony into the dressage ring with a look on their face of determination in the eye of the public and trembling hands as they fret of a mistake... but they all hear their name announced over the arena sound system every time they begin. At the HUGE world-famous show grounds, just as the top riders of the world were announced many weekend in the past. So personally rewarding to be able to provide that moment for them.
(more pics to be added as I find them)
With more than 200 riders and associated families, between 5 to 7 show rings going for two days... and wine with friends at the end of each day... Was a great way to break my string of travels with something completely different.
Sunday when I finished good-byes and headed down Kraut Road toward town I put on my motorcycle mind and let the day fade into the distance for a few hours. Not being in a rush to miss a perfect 80-degree-sunny-skies afternoon, I turned right instead of left and headed toward Woodstock and Hunter Mountain instead of the traditional (mindless bumper-to-bumper traffic) trip south on the NY Thruway.
My thought was to met the Where-Does-That-Road-Go mind set guide me west and south until I reached something that looked like PA. Rt 28A filled the bill with winding wooded roads, a careening firetruck (do those guys every get any driving practice?) and the occasional local car show. My mind went from the non-stop "#421, Susie Smith is entering ring 5 riding Tinkerbell" to smelling the pines, feeling the pockets of cold air in the valleys and vigilantly scanning the road sides for deer, dogs and distracted drivers. I eventually welcomed the last 100 miles on Rts 84 and 81 to crank the Beamer up to 75 and rocket into PA, Scranton and finally 924 into sleepy little Brandonville. Beer instead of wine, rice instead of whatever and reflections of the weekend experience... all good.
I hope you horse friends that may now find the blog also find a world without horse shoes nor judges. Come follow me any time!
In the words of Mackenzie Kurtz from her early high school comments on Facebook, "Comming soon to a town near you!:
Meanwhile, ride safe, and smile often~!