I had such a great time at the CDE this weekend. HOLY COW!!!! I am still reeling from the excitement, the fun, the compliments, the fun, the awesome people involved- both organizing and competing, the fun, the food and the fun... Did I mention this was A. LOT. OF. F.U.N!!!????
The last couple of weeks, everything has been up in the air, but coming together too in an alternating sort of way. A few moments of AW CRAP! I need this, I have to have one of those... and the list was endless at times. Adding to my nerves as I scrambled to order stuff, figure out how to pay for it (???), where to find it, would it be here in time if I ordered it???? Can I make one of those instead??? AAAAAaaaaaccckkkk! Then things would happen, stuff was ordered, stuff was made and I found a few seconds to breathe before the next wave of Aw Crap! would hit.
Last weekend I worked on my outfit. I needed to sew my apron, a shirt, new buttons on the coat, a hatband to tie everything together, something to add a bit of flair on the hat, a little something to dress up the shirt... and a big Hooray for the store JoAnn's! In one fell swoop, I bought everything needed for under $35. Add in the cost of the hat and coat- the turnout was less than $100 total. SCORE!
I will get a picture or two of it all put together and on after I wash it, or if I can find the show photographers website, I will post a link! Some of the reviews I got for all of this was- Stunning, Smashing, Elegant, Beautiful and so on. I felt 'all put together' with it on. When some of the other competitors learned I had made it- they were quite impressed. Yay!
Beyond that, there was a lot of people impressed with Kat. He ROCKED! Our dressage test was MUCH improved from last months ADT test and although he started the day as a fretting little monster, our 'pep talk' in the warm up area seemed to work, as did working him and letting him blow off some steam. He was very forward and I thought he did brilliantly. Our scores from the two judges put us in 3rd for starters. There were 5 entries in our division. I was thrilled with that! The judges were Hardy Zantke from Germany and Pauline Scott from England.
There were a lot of folks I wanted to watch their 'go' in the ring and some of the big names in driving were there too, like Frank Luetz, a German trainer and International level competitor. He had a gorgeous four-in-hand of bay German Riding Ponies. Ooooh were they awesome to watch! I got to briefly talk with Frank and he is a wonderful man. Very kind, down to earth and just really a nice person to be around. I would have LOVED to have been able to stay and have a lesson with him today, but it just wasn't happening. DAMN!
Gary and Allen who presented the clinic back in November were there and both won their divisions. Drew Callahan who is the trainer for a friend of mine and fellow blogger Liz's horse, won with her mare and also won with another client horse in another division. Melanie that I met online recently through a Yahoo group was there and won the training division with her pony... Way to go! and besides all of them, I got to meet a lot of the other competitors and people who were volunteering, watching and helping or hanging out.
One of the competitors- Diane, was in a wheelchair unless she was on her carriage. She drove a pair of handsome bay geldings, both Section D Welsh Cobs in the Advanced Pairs division. This was awesome to watch as she guided them around the dressage ring, marathon course and through the cones. Her competition in that division was Walt with a pair of 17.1 hand horses. Man were they cool to watch too!
And what show is complete without Food? Oh yeah. I may have skipped breakfast every day, but lunch and dinners? The people providing their food service were great. Good food and reasonable prices. How can that be bad?
The main thing I noticed was everyone was beaming with a lot of positive energy. They were helping each other out, offering tips and suggestions, and the big question everyone seemed to open with- "How did you do out there today?" Sunday as things wrapped up, everyone was asking how it went? "Did you have a great time?", wishing each other a safe trip home and looking forward to the next one... I know I am! Now that I have all the necessary stuff, it should go a lot more smoothly the week or two before. Grass Ridge in Sonoita in October.... Oh yeah!