Monday, October 02, 2006

Fall Fest horse show

Fall Fest St. Paul, Minnesota

Yesterday, Ian, Lady and I came home from another horse show. This one was the Medallion Stallion/Auction Stallion and Performance Futurities … its short version name is “Fall Fest.” It’s a big show and there’s lots of solid competition. We took our new horse trailer with living quarters – our Minnesota cabin on wheels – to the MN State Fairgrounds from Wednesday afternoon through Sunday. We fed horses and people too. Three days before the show our neighbor Donna helped me cook sloppy joes, BBQ meatballs and chicken wild rice soup and then can all of it into jars so that we had enough to feed about 80 people for three days in a row. We canned it because we had no way to keep the food cold enough while we were at the show. Canning was a brilliant idea and it worked like a charm. I brought empty, dirty jars back with us to run through the dishwasher so we’ll have jars to reuse when canning food in the future.

Much to my delight my 82-year-old mother came to watch me show Trouble in the halter class for 2-year-old colts/geldings. My son Richard, his friend Jen, my brother Matthew, childhood friend Reah, girlfriend Marcia, and Ralph, our trainer’s father (who is not in the best of health) all came to lend their support. I’m pleased to report that Trouble and I did not disappoint our fans. We won a Top 10 ribbon in a class of 19 horses. I didn’t know this beforehand, but apparently the results at Fall Fest are a strong indication of what happens at the national level shows. How wonderful! Of course we got in this business a bit late and have not qualified for Regionals, which in turn qualifies us to attend U.S. Nationals. The points we are accumulating now will help us in the upcoming show season.

Ian and I are debating whether or not we should drive to Louisville later this month to watch the U.S. Nationals. We have friends from the Genesis Training Center (GTC) that are showing and we’d like to support them. The next show that we will attend is the American Royal in Kansas City, Missouri Saturday and Sunday Thanksgiving weekend. Pulling a trailer it’s a 10-hour drive down 35W. That will be our last show of the season and we’ll turn our sights to the big Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show in Arizona February 16-25, 2007. No doubt I will be looking for a break from the snow and cold then! Depending on weather and driving conditions it takes between 22-24 hours to drive from here. Needless to say the horses are bundled up well for that trip. We plan on taking Trouble and Kiss to that show. Kiss will be 9-months-old by then and have been at GTC for three months..

Things are going well at the farm. One reason not to go to Louisville is to spend time working on renovating the house and putting more stalls in the barn where some of the rotten wall has been replaced. Oh, don’t get me started on that wall and the building contractor! What an idiot! The bid we accepted said he would replace the entire north wall of the barn, which had been water damaged because a former owner who had the pole barn added on did not put flashing at the joining roofline. Anyway, we accepted the bid, put down 50% and two weeks later (ugh) his team of “Burt & Ernie” got to work. Soon it became apparent that they were only replacing one story of the north wall and not the entire wall as the bid said. We went round and round with the contractor who said he never would have bid a job of that scale so low, blah, blah, blah and basically walked off the job. Burt & Ernie finished the clean up they were doing as the screaming match went on (I was livid) and then after Jimbo left and I went in the house, they came and shook Ian’s hand saying “there are good general contractors and there are bad ones” with their nonverbals communicating that Jim was not one of the good ones. So we got the bottom part of the wall replaced, paying only 50% of what we expected too, which is fine since we only got 50% of what we anticipated, and soon we can build in three more box stalls before the snow flies.

I think we will go to Louisville, maybe for the final weekend. Soon there will be no horse shows and we can catch up on the renovations then. LOL

This coming Sunday Marcia’s cousins are coming here to slaughter 11 of our 13 geese and who knows how many chickens – all expect the three rescue chickens that we promised not to slaughter. We’ll keep the 2 grey Toulouse geese from the original gosling batch that got eaten by puppies. I suppose we’ll lend a hand, although I may bow out to prepare lunch or something. You’re welcome to come and help! I’ll send you home with a chicken or a goose – your choice! EIEIO

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