So I haven’t had a moment to write this week. So many preparations for heading to Kentucky! Shipping has always been a big concern. As I mentioned before, I can see why some regions aren’t represented as heavily at national shows; it costs an arm a leg and a kidney to get there! It also takes so much longer to haul there and back that you miss more work; you have to have hotels along the way and have to arrive really early to have more time to recover! You are tired, your horse is tired and you haven’t even competed yet. Luckily, my new Canadian friend Colby Dodd is allowing me to ship with him to Kentucky. Interestingly they are headed out on July 4th. This startled me and all of us south of the border because that is sort of an important day around here. But as I was reminded, “It isn’t a holiday for us.” So SJ will arrive on the 7th of July with Capri.
So before shipping you have to make sure you have all the health certificates, passport updates etc. that you need. You have to calculate space for hay and feed and coordinate your shipping quantities here with what you can and want to purchase there. You have to call for early stabling and pay those fees. Then finding a place to stay for people is always a quest (interesting how we always take care of the horse details first!). Do you stay someplace cheap or does distance matter? Does staying together as a regional team matter more? Do you want to be away from everyone so you get rest? There are many concerns and problems of availability if you haven’t requested rooms early. One great option we learned from the Nommensen family was to rent a house. They officially passed on the house rental to us last year at NAJYRC; but we felt obligated to leave it to Region 9 as we moved. So we didn’t take the phone number. Then my mom was searching owner rental sites and found the same house about two months ago. So we will be staying in that same great house! I like the tradition of it; it gives me a sense of comfort. The entire Region 6 young rider team will be staying with their trainers and parents. I am planning to coordinate a thank you dinner for the Canadians for letting me ride over early with them, and an EDAP dinner for anyone who arrives early. I’ll send out the info on that as soon as I have details.
So once you have the horse delivered and a place to stay and you have a place to stay; then you have to get there! Do you fly or drive? Do you rent a car? At every stage of all of these questions you have also the considerations of budget and stress at the show. For example, one of the great things about the house is we don’t have to go out to restaurants all the time. This saves the riders and trainers from long lines, unplanned late arrivals home and boring unhealthy and repetitive meals! Once you have your transportation complete; then it is time to start packing. This begins weeks in advance. You have to coordinate team practice and jog outfits, your show clothing and tack. The pile on the floor to pack grows (particularly if you do not have a washer and dryer at your hotel!) You then have to make sure you have one of everything and then a backup! Load it all up and see what fits on the trailer; you want to try to avoid those plane luggage fees.
So once all of those details have been done and had to be redone at least three times each; then you try to remember your visualization and concentration on the riding part! You also start to get excited to see all the people you only see once or twice a year at these types of shows! I am going to go to bed tonight visualizing the golf cart parade and opening ceremonies. See everyone in my dream tonight or in a few weeks in Lexington.