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June 12, 2011

The Calm Before The Storm—Cowboys And Coffee

There was a taste of the West in Europe, as a Quarter Horse show was going on at the barn where the Luhmuhlen horses were laying over.

Breakfast isn’t served till 8 a.m. because it’s Saturday!

I got up this morning and sat outside the breakfast area of the hotel, waiting for them to open the doors, only to realize—when the other girls came down the stairs and asked why I didn’t have coffee yet—that the kitchen wouldn’t open till 8 a.m. Aaaaaaagh.

I love the quaintness of Europe, the cobbled streets, the old buildings. Oh, and the bread and pickled vegetables, too. But, at 6:30 in the morning and I don’t care what morning it is, I WANT COFFEE… It makes me realize how spoilt I have become in the States. You can find anything you want at any time, day or night, and you think nothing of it. I mean, I get irritated if a hotel doesn’t provide French Vanilla creamer, let alone not being able to get a cup of coffee! The crisis was averted, however, as the local shopping center has a bakery and serves fabulous coffee. I have no idea what I’ll do Sunday morning.

We headed on to the barn only to see a plethora of tag-along trailers and a bunch of Quarter Horses. Had the little car taken us back to America? Was I in a grog as I had only had one cup of coffee? Nope, as it happens there is a three-day Quarter Horse show at the barn where we are staying.

So, now there are plenty of cowboys and cowgirls walking around clinking their spurs on the ground and proudly wearing their Stetson hats. I always said I wanted to date a cowboy—who’d have thought I’d have to come back to Europe to find one!

Saturday was just a normal day for us. Will hand grazed Ernie and Missie while I did their stalls then went out to join him. He got on each of them to do a light flat and hack. It was great as I had a chance to video him. It is such a great aid for riders who learn visually and lets just say, Will looked like he was about to go Grand Prix on his second horse.

We then headed on down to the tack store to get some last minute things. I forgot to bring hoof oil and sadly know exactly where it is—sitting at home waiting for me to pack it—some leather oil and some other odds and ends. After that we went back and stopped to see the girls at the quaint little pub on the corner. It is covered with wall-to-wall pictures and photos of Luhmuhlen cross-country through the years. It was amazing to look at. Wow things have changed! No frangible pins or exploding vests back then.

I left them to have lunch and headed back to groom my guys. I think they still think it’s a novelty to have me all to themselves. I’m sure that by the end of next week they will be pinning their ears back and will tell me in no uncertain terms to get the hell out of their space. The riders all came back from lunch and needed a nap, so they curled up in some blankets on the floor or read their books. I went off for a run and then to take some photos, finally!

Well that’s about it really—we grazed, we fed, we left. Now we are just hanging out in our hotel room. Will is Skypeing and I obviously am writing this blog. We are thoroughly enjoying the calm before the storm of next week and I think even Will is enjoying evening quiet time.

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