We picked up Absolut from his Horse Hotel on Friday morning and headed North, making our way to I-10 and East into Louisiana, then to Covington at the same layover barn, “Tanglewood“. More fluffy shavings and clear water waiting.
Loaded him again on Sat morning for another 12 hr day back to Sarasota. We had just entered Florida and saw the Welcome center, decided it was a great spot to get out, stretch and get out the fancy little carrots Lynn had sent with us for Abo’s trip home. The typical rest area set up….Trucks and trailers one way…cars and busses the other. The truck and trailers were a bit of a walk from the rest area, so I pulled in to the Busses area much closer for Bud to make the walk.
While I was sitting there, waiting for Bud, a trooper pulled up next to me (there was plenty of parking…we definitely were not taking up too much space!) he asked me “you know what you did, right?”. Of course I did, I went on to say something about the parking, and he barked at me….”Get your license and meet me at the back of the trailer!” Zheesh…
Well, when I got out of the truck and went to the back of the trailer…it was an Agriculture guy getting the info on the trailer. Turns out, there are 2 Ag stations on I-10 East bound, and only 1 West bound at about mile marker 300!!!!!! Florida is very, very strict about stopping at the Ag stations to make sure Coggins test is current and Health Certificate is in order. Brings back memories of when Julie and I were heading back from a Foxtrotter show in GA, and were so busy gabbing, that we passed the I-75 Ag station…lights flashing, sirens a going….we were getting chased down like we had just robbed a bank!! .
I have always make sure to stop after that....
He wasn’t impressed that I thought there was only 1 Ag Staion on I-10 each way at about mile marker 300. He said “Obviously I was not very good at reading signs, due to where I had parked the “truck and trailer” in the bus area”. He was not having a good day (turns out, neither was I!). He then went on to tell me that he did not realize I had pulled into the welcome station (this now makes me giggle), and as he was zipping about to get back to me - a car pulled over way too fast in front of another to get out of his way and just about caused a nasty wreck.
IF YOU ARE EVER IN FLORIDA BE SURE YOU STOP AT EACH AND EVERY AG STATION…..DO YOU RESEARCH TO FIND OUT WHERE THEY ARE!
I knew I was getting a ticket, no 2 ways about this one. Then…………a written warning…..Bless his heart, really!!!!
Pulled out of the Ag station and had eyes peeled for the other station coming up in less then 300 miles. I was certain they would be on the look out for us! At about mile marker 209, a nice lady pulled up next to us and pointed at our tire.
Pulled over….flat tire, that eventually went completely flat when we stopped. Called US Rider (If you don’t have this service…look them up…they are fantastic!). It was the front left tire, right next to the traffic on 10. Bud wanted to change the tire and go on our way. I was not about to let him wrestle with that tire on the edge of traffic….we needed a professional to risk his life!
They arrived just as the rain did. Nice guy, it was his first experience with that wonderful pulley rig thing they have with heavy duty trucks having the spare tire way up in the under carriage of the truck.
It was like we were all suddenly involved in a scavenger hunt to find all the things we needed to get the darn tire down.
Tire changed, another US Rider save (they have saved me plenty of times!). We were on our way, through the storm…with a newly mounted spare, thank Goodness Bud was at the wheel…..
I dramatically pointed out the Ag Station sign at three hundred and something….The guy asked where we were coming from (Texas), then asked if we has stopped at the earlier entry Ag station….we’ll, sorta… He walked out, checked the paperwork and sent us on our way.
We made it home in 15 hours or so. Abo was looking for more of those sweet little carrots, unfazed by the long journey, but very excited to have his own stall in sight!! Little squeals of delight as I lead him past his Buddies in the barn. Nancy had his “room” all fluffed with new shavings and his supper waiting. He had the best roll ever (with a mouthfull of hay, of course) and let out a huge sigh of releif to be home…….me too!!!
What an adventure……………to be continued!!
3rd day of filming. Freestyle on the Obstacle Garden (......yesterday....).
And speaking of the Garden, Bud reminded me of one of the Obstacles from the day before that I forgot to mention! After the stop and before going back to the creek to cross back over, they had a back up - uphill. Steep uphill with rocks, leaves and a root on one side.......slippery and scary. Abo again put his complete trust in me and continued to blindly find his footing backwards, avoiding the root...... and backed completely to the top line. We were at such an incline, I swear I felt my pony tail hitting his rump!!!
The folks at ACTHA reversed the order of go from the day before. Our time of go would be 1:10, Abo could have a lesiurely morning, munching hay in his paddock at the Ranch and visiting with his paint horse gelding paddock buddy.
Texas has been in a draught since last year. Things are brown and dry...my Mother said she had read the last time they received any good amount of rainfall was August. Yesterday morning, drinking coffee at 6 am....going through my freestyle plan again in my head... and watching the weather forecast, we were in for more 10 -20 mph winds and a 30 % chance of rain and thunder storms..........to start around noon-time! I have kept my full length slicker tied to the back of my saddle, little did I realize there would be a chance to wear it. Thank goodness I brought the black, slightly stylish slicker (as stylish as a riding slicker can be......).
That morning, I had a chance to have a seat on the hill and watch some of the riders perform their 2 minute freestyle routine. The clnicians were seated at the bottom of the course where they could all watch the riders. After their 2 minute time was called, the riders went over to the clinicians, where the next clinician in line would go over to the rider, give critique, feedback, advice, etc.
I've got to tell you that all of the clinicans really seemed to be enjoying them selves as much as the riders! Never were they quick or made you feel hurried. I bet they would have taken all the time they needed to answer as many questions that any rider would have had for them. They were all so sincere and genuinely took an interest in each rider they worked with.
The performances were fantastic!! Some showed off their horses talent......anywhere from reining horses doing amazing spins and sliding stops, dressage horses exhibiting effortless flying lead changes all incorporated with their obstacle work. Some were comical, some were emotional, some left you in awe with their speed and agility. Noon time was growing close. The clouds lingered all morning but the wind did not seem as bad as the day before, only gusts every now and then. Still no rain. The freestyle routines took longer than the day before with a set pattern. The film crew people and ACTHA volunteers (such great people!!!) let everyone go to a starting point where they wanted the timer to start. Then allowed them time to take a safe route back from where their time ran out. We were running behind time, but fortunately they were going by rider numbers counting down. We had about 60 horses before us.............time to settle my nerves and go prepare Abo.
OK..........planning out my freestyle the day before to take 3 minutes. What does my horse do that really sets him apart from the rest I asked myself...............FOXTROT! All the previous obstacles taken for film footage had not a spot for him to show off the gait that this breed is named after. I would (as Bob Crafton says) "Enter at a Foxtrot" (........Lookie Here Now!!......). I planned to Foxtrot accross the length of the other side of the creek - then start my obstacle work to show the partnership of give and take, trust, feel and respect on both the horse and riders part, that makes a great trail horse. Moves that may be needed to navigate around tricky trail situations.
Remember, I had mentioned that morning they shortened our times to 2 minutes......a very good call due to the amount of extra time it took for the freestyle day. But, totally thew all of us into a panic what to eliminate in that minutes time!! Especially, without being able to walk the course at our horses speed to try to map it out.
My Foxtrot would stay. I knew it would eat up time........but, what better way to comfortably and stylishly move on down the trail.
I modified it in my head the best I could to figure on 2 minutes......going over and over the decision while tacking him up. Where did Bud put the TUMS?!?
We made our way over to the Garden area. So many horses, riders, volunteers, HRTV people, ACTHA people, vehicles....more activity than any horse show Abo had ever been to. I really do think he was enjoying himself...so curious, totally calm with lots of content sighs. The had a ACTHA Volunteer at every point, so organized....this event ran so smooth. An amazing thing with this many horses and people and props....and being the first attemp at AFTH.
The volunteer spotted me, came over with the clipboard and asked where my start point would be. Where I'd be working so the camera men would have a heads up. Then my number was hollard out...............get in place. "The Holding Tank" between the 2 big blue flappy things heading to the creek. She told me to cross over and get ready. I was suprisingly calm...we crossed the rock bridge from yesterday....Abo knew this now, and placed his feet so nice and bravely walked accross.
I would have to signal when to start the timer. 1st camera man yelled 235....then the other one down the line yelled it out....then the third....then..."GO!!!" I put Abo into his Foxtrot, hit our mark and nodded to start.
By the time I was on my second manuver, the reality hit me and my hands were actually shaking.. Through our back up move I had a quick talk with myself...this is all about me and Abo...enjoy the ride!
My final move was to cross the creek on the far side...go down a little further and jump up a high bank to the finish. My time ran out as we were entering the creek. * "Shoulda-coulda-woulda" *
Shoula shortened my Foxtrot - Coulda walked faster down the hill - Woulda........done nothing different.
He gave me 100% Even the freestyle obstacle Bud was a bit worried about (which involed stairs up to the residence). He Foxtrotted like a dream...I could not ask for more. Plus.....jumping up the high bank was not as easy as I had pictured in my mind....Everything happens for a reason!
We were done...we did it! I went over to the clinician line up, and the one up next came on over, it was Collen Kelly...she is such a hoot! I had sat in on one of her lectures...she had me chuckling and giggling the whole time on her witty style, but addressed some things that brought a much clearer picture to me on positioning.
She asked me in her fantastic accent how I thought it went...I told her I had a good time with it and thought he did well. She agreed, smiled big as she does and then went on about his Foxtrot :)
Then she says she saw me approching the stairs, she says to her self "Oh nooooo....not the stairs!" And said some really great things about my little Abo's abilities.
I don't remember how I got from there to the 20 second interview spot with Mark & Dusty....next thing I knew, we were positioning and doing a sound check. Mark told me what he would ask...then "rolling"! He asked me what was so special about my horse (20 seconds......really? I need about 20 hours for this!). After each take the camera man would shake his head and give the time. MArk said...leave out this part...shorten it up, I'll ask again......again, the camera man shook his head. It took 4 or 5 takes, Abo really starting to think Dusty was pretty good-looking.....Bud making suprised expressions...me telling them I usually don't talk that much...Bud did not back me up on that one!
Julie was there with Manny, we posed for some pictures...then swapped horses! We foxtrotted off on one another's horses and could not get back to the trailers without admirers asking again "what breed is this?"
What an experience, fantastic promtion for our little-known-breed, fantastic people - each and everyone of the 100's we have had the pleasure to meet on this trip. A lifetime experience.
Truly cannot thank the people enough who made it possible for me to bring my golden Foxtrotter to the AFTH filiming, and introduce him and do our part in exposing the Foxtrotter breed to America.
This morning came...........along with a storm that shut this part of Texas down!! Rain...rain...rain...Thunder, tornados, hail. All moving East along the I-10 route, with many accidents and road closing on hte news that morning. We would not pull our trailer out in that storm.
Texas had their rain.....Abo, Bud and I had a days rest to get ready tor our 2 day trip home.
We will be Louisiana bound in the morning!
OMG! I really want to tell you about today..............but I am a day behind due to the Texas CTC kicking my butt.
So ....AFTH 3rd day...actually 2nd full day of filming.
The Obstacle Garden. A very fancy, beautiful trail course, complete with map for us to study...and a time frame for it to be completed in. Each rider had an estimated time of go, to be at the Garden with plenty of time to spare before their actual time to keep things flowing. My time was 10:04, great.....get it over with before my nerves ate me up completely.
This was a whole different deal then the CTC. One at a time....all eyes, all clinicians and all cameras on you. 5 movie cameras I think....and many still photographers. No "strength in numbers" type of support from the riders around you as with the CTC.....but....there were cheers for all from the other side of the creek with each riders turn.
We were not allowed to set hoof upon the Garden, but could walk it on foot. Many, many times the day before and the morning of. Then the whole look of the course changed when filming began. Flowers, flowers, trees, shrubs......Coyotes, snakes....another unidentified by me type of varmit (all stuffed or taxidermied...I don't know..) Totally changed the look of the course......still, so beautiful...the colors of the flowers, the snarl of the unidentifued varmit......
Ok - back to when we arrived that morning. Wind gusts 10 to 20 mph expected all day. Along with the beautiful setting of the Garden, was all of the sponsors banners hung between trees.............oh my....
Abo was a bit "Refreshed " with all the wind whipping about when I first hopped on the saddle to warm him up. Let's just say that the stories Bud has told about the barrel racers bras getting hooked on the saddle horn.....I can now totally relate. Thank goodness for that fantastic elastic in sports bras!!!!
Got my self resituated and headed over to the Garden area to wait on our time to "GO".
First obstacle was to cross the creek to the other side over 3 flat boulder slabs that had loose rubble and rocks packed between them. We had the option to take the alternate route through the creek if our horses would not cross the rock-bridge. We could also dismount and lead our horse accross any way we had too. There were a few horses that did not cross and did not get the chance to work the rest of the obstacles in the Garden. My heart totally sunk for them.
My number 325...once ...twice...."GO!" Down the hill to the rock-bridge. Abo did so well with the rock formation on the CTC, I felt pretty confident he would cross it. He did not like the look of the pattern at all. Did not trust the loose rubble between the firm slabs. I let him drop his head to investigate (30 seconds, I remembered...that's all we had to complete each obstacle). No time to dilly dally! I nudged him with my spurs for encouragement "It's OK....trust me". I was feeling more like, Just do it!..I trust you to figure this thing out! He got that part...and with another bump of my spurs, took matters into his own hands and tip toed, then leaped (felt really big!) accross that whole rock nonsense.
Whew, we were accross! The next obstacle was to pick up a canter and jump a totally flowered covered jump. I'm not sure if it was the leap over to the other side, or the visual flower covered jump that had me rattled...But I did not take my time to set him up to canter. He did a funky 4 beat legs-going-everywhere type of gait that was quite new to me and him (but smooth!), made it to the jump and over with a pretty good take off spot....landed and continued with his newly found funky gait. Fortunately we did not have to go long before our stop mark.
Then back down to the creek, a bit milder crossing with smaller rocks scattered about (whoo-hoo). Abo is so curious and I think really enjoys his new job status. He dropped his head to check the creek, picked his way delicately and headed up the bank. On to the trot over poles. 6 hairy logs, unevenly spaced and uneven heights. I gave him his head, asked him to trot...trusted him to pick his way. Straight and center...not a clink of a hoof!
Then the final obstacle to continue at a trot/gait to a ground pole to stradle and sidepass right (away from the snake) to complete the course...........Then the clinicians would go over your ride, ask you what you thought and then gave their advice, support and suggestions.
The clinicians would rotate throughout the day. Along with the critique group after your go, about 5 of them would be on the "Critique Panel". Sitting at a table with big fuzzy microphones to capture every word. I was able to get close a few times to listen. They would banter back and forth between eachother...very funny stuff...while they commented and critiqued each rider as they went throught the course, and discussed their different opinions of each riders handling of each obstacle.
Their is every breed, every color, every riding style from just about every state represented. All here to celebrate the amazing relationship that is built upon the trust of horse and rider when on new trails and in new situations.
The next day is the Freestyle performance in the Garden (I hate this part...just give me a course to follow!). What started as just picking 3 obstacles to perform, changed to anything goes within the camera's view on the obstacle course using whatever was over there to work with. We had 3 minutes to perform. Lots of people walking the Garden that evening...scratching their heads...timing out the routines on foot (complete with human trotting, cantering, lead changes!)
I was disappointed with our initial creek crossing and where-in-the world-did-our-canter-go this first day in the Garden.......but the rest of the course I was so proud of what Abo gave me. This morning as we met at 8 for our breifing about what to expect for the day ahead of us, they have a movie screen at the end of the buiding that has a slide show every morning of the pictures taken the day before. The pictures I saw of my boy in action recharged my faith that he can handle anything I present to him...trust and patience goes a long way in the end.
PS - this morning they told us they shortened the Freestyle to 2 minutes. Frantic resorting in everyones heads....
Yesterday was the 6 mile competitve trail ride. 100 horses sent out in groups of 20. Yep, I was a bit nervous about the crowd and Abo. We arrived about 15 minutes before our group was scheduled to go out..........they sent us out in smaller groups as we checked in. Went out with about 7 horses in the last spot.....fantastic!
The first obstacle was the jump. Everyone had figured and planned for a back up of horses at the first obstacle...they were right. However, the scenery and old rustic looking cabin things...and great conversation with all the people from all over this nation had made the back up situation definately a plus. Time to ease the nerves and all take delight that we all were actually here! And the amazing and refreshing thing about this type of competition is that everyone is for everyone. With each rider at each obstacle, the ones waiting...strangers that came together for the love of their horse, all cheered and applauded as each one completed the obstacle challenge.
The film crew had a bout 2 - 3 cameras at each obstacle. When it was your time up...one guy yelled your number...then another down the way...thena third yelled it to someone else.....then he said..."OK.GO!!!"
Abo picked up his canter, centered the pretty good size log....picked his perfect take off spot ...and jumped prettier than I had ever felt him before. At each obstacle their were the Celebrity Clinicians to give us critique and coach us. The fist set was Lynn Palm, who has the training facility in Ocala with awesome trail course training...which I had kept trying to get to, but could never mange it...and another clinician. I stopped him after our jump thrilled with what I had just felt. The gentleman with Lynn got up out of his chair (I wanted Lynn's crituque!!) and came over to give me the critique. He was walking over pointing at me (oh no....) and said........"No critique!" then went on to ask about the breed, praise Abo's performance............it was MONTY ROBERTS. He later gave a talk that afternoon at the hall that brought me to tears. He is the original Man Who Listens To Horses. What a life. His stories reminded me of Sampson.....the feelings that man expressed towards horses and humans....really, totally moving.
The scenery was spectacular and changes with every turn. The next obstacle was the creek. By then I had hooked up with 2 other ladies with a TWH spotted gelding - she does search and rescue with him...a super horse. Also a sweet sensitive pretty QH mare. Abo was in love....but the TWH kept between us claiming her as his own :)
We had to go down an incline...to the creek bed...down another incline into the creek.....walk down the center of the creek over knee high for a good stretch, then climb up the bank to follow the orange flags down the trail. No back up at the creek. It really spread us out. Another clinician (they were all so genuine...friendly ..and very helpful), asking "What breed". Abo did me so proud this whole ride. He was really getting into the splashing effect walking down the creek and lowered his head to enjoy the feeling. We hoped out of the creek and were recieving our positive feedback (with big smile so proud of my horse), when he realized his new heard of 2 were no where in sight. We boogied up the hill, turned right at the orange flag and had a whole stretch of wide open space in front of us...without any horses in sight. Abo showed me another one of his talents...cantering sideways, eloquently...but forcefully to catch up with his heard. High elevated pretty show canter, at a side pass for a good strect of the way......................and................no movie cameras to catch this move!!!!!
Finally the orange flags lead us to our next obstacle where we met up with handsome spotted TWH and gorgeous QH. Abo gave a big sigh of relief, he could protect them again (I'll let him think this....no need to embarras him....). The obsatacle was a pile of slabs of rock, sorta stepping block like thing. They yelled our number (2...3..then... GO!), He walked cooley to the formation and walked on, up and over...a couple of clinks and loose rubble. This clinician was funny....he said Abo is totally confidant and good with his feet - but he looked at the camera left....then right (such a HAM), that he clinked the rubble. He gave me good advice to keep him focused while still letting him pick his own way.
I let my new trail buddies know of our impressive side pass canter through the open range......they waited for the boy after the rest of the obstacles. I truley love this organization and the freindly, sincere atmosphere it promotes!
Obstacles 4, 5, 6 were all fantastic too, with great feedback and advice. At obstacle 5, I met the music artist, Mary Ann Kennedy, who is also a FOSH supporter. She asked is Abo had been advertised within the FOSH assoc... Sampson... Went on about how little Abo is Sam's baby Uncle.
What a ride. Wild deer bolted out in front of us.....nothing like Saddle Creek Deer. Theese things were big and fast. Abo puffed up just about as big as Sam when they went by....then tucked his head and gave me the best flat-foot-I-wasn't-scared-type of cover up. Love him....
We had a cow, a calf.....cactus....every imaginable type of terrain. Texas changes with every turn. Long uphills and long downhills with unfamiliar footing to us. The breifing before the ride warned of ratlesnakes and prickly things. I had Kowboy's jumping Pegasus sport boots on the trailer still.....Thank Goodness...Abo wore them proudly in the ride.
4 hours (the last hour felt like 3 to me....Texas trails whoped this Florida gir)l. We checked in with the line up of ACTHA volunteers and the group of people waiting for their freinds and family to finish. While I was walking away....I was getting hollard at. Some of them noticed a "rock" in one of Abo's hooves. By now the two new love of his life's had gone on and he was ready to go too. I asked front (shod) or back (unshod) hoping for back....it would come loose by the time we got back to our lower camping ground. The said front and started towards us. I hopped off, and a Gentleman from Paris, KY who had 2 horse and rders out on the trail asked to pick up his foot. He not only had a "rock" in his foot....I was a small boulder that was lodged within his shoe! The man was great assesing the situation. The boulder was so tight, if pryed out, the shoe would spring. Then, another ACTHA volunteer had a hammer. They went to wark hammering the boulder out of his foot!!!!!!! My jaw was still hanging when it popped loose and rolled away from us. The casually kicked it aside. I said ....Oh no, let me have that! A souvinier. They said, Don't you have rocks in Florida.................seriously, this was a boulder. I have it in my saddle bags to show you all. Great...great...people. Thank You!!
Made it back to our lower camping area where our portable corrals were set up. Julie and JW were in later groups and still out on the trail. I untacked Abo, gave him delicious hay, apple and topped off his water. Went back to the trailer...spread out our bagged shavings in the first two stalls to resenble a cot, puy my sweat shirt under my head and went to sleep for over an hour. Woke up to the sound of Julie and Manny untacking and going over theri exciting, wonderful ride.
By the time I got back to the hotel I was seriously beat. Felt like I had been out on the trail with John Wayne for about a week.
So today I am telling you about yesterday....tommorrow I will tell you about today..............oh my.............another exciting, emotional day.
Wish you all were here!!!!!!!!!!!
Today was move in day at the Franklin Family Ranch. We picked up Abo at his Horse Hotel, and met up with Julie and her FT Manny, there. We drove the 8 miles to the ranch...twisty, curvey, round and round...fianlly got there. Bud trimmed a few trees on the way with our trailer......
We were able to arrive there pretty early since we checked in our hotels last night. They have day pens for the horses not staying at the ranch, set up under the most beautiful shady spot. Huge live oaks with acres of shade.
We signed in at The Lodge...Wow......The kitchen is as big as most of our house. If I had a kitchen like that...I might actually learn how to cook! They gave us our packets with all of the AFTH info. Horse's number to wear on bridle - dressage style (I like our number!)...order and time of go all 3 days. Tommorrow is the Competitive trail ride over 6 miles. 5 groups of 20 horses....oh my. I should have taken Abo on Delores's ride to prep him for this many horses! Celebrity clinicians at each obstacle to JUDGE US.
Got the horses settled and went into town for lunch with Julie and her team, Waylon & Lynn.............The bust burger I have had in since I don't know when! Such an historic town square...county seat with court house and a few restuarants ( I now have my favorite!), a step back in time...very western...very small town TX. Bud loves it.
Julie an I headed back to the ranch to ride!! Finally! So many more trailers, horses, RV's...people had arrived. With all the exciting activity...Abo decided to display his excitement too when I saddled up and hopped on. I thought someone had switched horses on me!! He did all those fancy moves purely for show off value to impress all around (definately not me). Wow.....gald it did not last long...also glad I had my deerskin grippers on :)
Then met up with JW and his FT Jack. We all had a great ride around some of the grounds, showed off all of our 3 fine FT's qualities.........., they are all so unique....I love this breed!!! It amazes me that so many people still do not know what a FT is!! JW, Julie and I had fun showing off when the questions were asked about our breed :)
Really a beautiful place (Abo climbed his first rock hill!). All of the riders were interviewed and filmed at random. The Obstacle Garden promises to be challenging............that is set for Tues and Wed.....ugh...better not think about that now....
Bud says, "If you've ever watched an ol' black and white Western Movie, then you've seen this country".
Pictures coming soon!!!!
Hot bath coming up now..........I jumped in the pool at the Hotel
OK, more like a 13 hour trip!!!!! Not all Highway driving. Beautiful hilly towns....with many, many traffic lights. Most were red by the time we got to them...and at the bottom of the hill....with a heavy load to get back up the hill....
Really beautiful country, breathtaking views.....so looking forward to riding in the hills. We will trailer over, check in and register with the folks at ACTHA tommorrow afternoon at the Franklin Family Ranch. We'll get a better idea what is instore for us the next few days :)
Abo traveled great. He whinnied this morning at the Covington stables...so glad to see us.....not realizing that another long day in the trailer was in store for him. Thankfully no rain over all of those LA bridges.....so many bridges! He totally loved every fuel and rest room stops where he was able to stick his head out (eat a few carrots) and check things out.
The stable where he is staying in Blanco is between the Ranch and our hotel (a very beautiful hotel in a very Ava-esque setting), all about 5 minutes from eachother....very handy! She has stallions on the left and mares and geldings on the right. A WHOLE row of stallions! Abo was the first "boy" there. After we checked in to hotel and went back....a whole lot of testosterone going on. A gorgeous paint moved in next to him - he is in love.....totally. Fortunately the 11 yr old paint has seen his type before and totally ignored him. Abo decided hay was more attractive....... eventually.
We'll see what tommorrow brings!
Close to a 12 hour drive today. Brought Abo to his horse hotel in Covington. A 12 x 24 fully fluffed with shavings with a full view of new friends. He dropped and rolled before I could get the leadrope off. Totally content with his supper waiting.... nibblenet full, hay feeder in stall full and random piles of hay to keep him happy throughout the night. Also, a 20 gal crystal clear water tank in stall. Lucked out with finding this place :)
We are whooped, in our room and ordering pizza!
Should be a 7 hour drive tommorrow to Blanco. We'll have an early day hopefully to get some rest before the festivities at the Ranch start on Sunday at 11.
Can't beleive we are on our way!
The countdown has started - we are leaving Florida on Friday!