I luckily was able to get packing completed on Wednesday (despite my puppy not being very happy with me and hoping to invite himself with) which was good because I had to leave for the airport directly after work on Thursday.
|He's pretty good at breaking my heart when he wants something he can't have like going along in my suitcase. Maybe next year :)|
First my flight was delayed because of some small repair that needed to get done. Then they got us all on the plane and promptly told us that there was a ground stop in Chicago so it was going to be half an hour. That turned into an hour and a half. I knew that flights out of Chicago were going to be delayed as well but since I only had an hour to transfer to my next flight I wasn't sure if I was going to make it and was really hoping that I wouldn't need to spend the night at the airport.
|Despite being stressful it was a beautiful flight to Chicago|
|Chicago to Lexington in a baby plane|
|One of my favorite ponies|
I was eventually able to find it and get in. I pretty much collapsed right into bed around 1:20am and was happy to sleep in the next morning.
I did eventually get myself out of bed and decided to run a few errands before heading to the show. I had chosen this AirBnB because it had a mini kitchenette and I was hoping to save some money by buying groceries and preparing most of my own food. I found a Trader Joes and bought some groceries. After getting back, putting them away, and grabbing everything I'd need for the day I headed out and got the show right around 10:30am.
|Seriously the cutest flying changes ever!|
It was actually really nice and overcast, in fact I found out later that there had been rain delay's early on, and was nice to be there without the heat and the sun. I walked around to the various rings and watched for awhile and then went to find some food at the restaurant at the KY Horse Park. I found some french fries that were vegan enough ;) and found a table. At some point I looked outside and realized that it was pouring. Apparently I have really great timing!
|This guy is the first dressage rider that I've ever seen with a full beard!|
|Adorable Buckskin in the warmup ring|
At any rate I watched some more amazing and talented ponies and their owners. I really enjoyed watching the upper level riders and ponies but what was really fun was watching the people that are closer to my level. It was amazing to watch the 1st and 2nd level ponies and see that while the ponies that were winning were amazing and nearly perfect, there were plenty of people that were doing quiet well that have many of the same bobbles that we would have at this point. Not at 2nd level of course, I can't even imagine showing at that level yet but 1st level for sure. It was really good motivation to keep at it!
It was also fun (and sometimes funny) to hear Axel Steiner's commentary. He had a few sarcastic sounding comments but mostly was very complimentary of the ponies and their riders. If you're interested you'll be able to find the archived live stream on USEF Network this year!
Then I went shopping...
|My "I probably shouldn't have bought this" face. Adorable AirBnB in the background|
I did actually have a small budget for shopping and only went slightly over what I had planned. My souvenirs seem to always be riding clothes. There is the Asmar jacket that I got in OH when I was in Cleveland for my sister's college graduation, and the Kastel Denmark sun shirt that I got last time I was in KY. The purchases for this trip were a jacket from Horze and a pair of my favorite breeches from Horze that are sold out on the website.
I've planned to get another "shell" jacket since I wear these all the time and lost my FAVORITE mountain horse jacket at some point last winter. I nearly cried over that one. I've been just wearing my Asmar jacket but it's nice to have two so that I can wash them more often. Plus it's MN, there are seriously 4-5 months of the year or more when a good light jacket makes sense. I LOVE Horze stuff as I've mentioned before but their sizing is weird. The only shirts I've ever got from them have either been too big or too small so I just don't get their tops anymore without trying them on first. In fact, this jacket was an XXS which I certainly am not but it fits great and is so adorable. The breeches are the same as the burgundy ones that I have and adore but are in a light grey with a navy blue seat.
I REALLY wanted these when they came out for my "schooling show" breeches but I hesitated and they sold out online and aren't sold anywhere locally. I saw them on a mannequin at a vendor tent on Friday and asked if what size they were. I was really sad when the shop owner said that they were a 22 which would never fit me. I let her know that I would need a 26 and she went to check to see if they had a pair in the back. She came back out with a pair but it was a 24. Since I've been losing weight and my 26s are slowly getting a little looser I decided to just try them on and although they're just slightly snug they do fit!! I thought about it a bit but did go for it and I'm so exited about finally having them!
|The Fell mare from H's barn|
I got back to the AirBnB around dinner and after making some food I went on a couple of errands to get some more drinking water and other odds and ends. The rest of the evening I caught up on blogs and watched Youtube.
|These two were so adorable! She rode upper level and the pony couldn't have been over 13.2 hands.|
|Lauren Chumley riding Grand Prix on Avatar's Jazzman|
|The Fell gelding from H's barn with his group of admirers after a great Prix St. George test!|
We all gushed over him for awhile, he'd gathered a little crowd of admirers, and then when they headed back to bathe him and get the mare ready for a breed class I left and headed back to my AirBnB. It would have been fun to stay a bit longer but I'd seen so much pony dressage and it was getting really hot and sunny and I was ready to be in the air conditioning again.
|The front of my AirBnB|
|I LOVE all the amazing historical, brick houses|