We rolled into my farm in South Carolina around 9 p.m. last night. Three long and exciting weeks are over. My dogs went ballistic, and at this point I can’t go anywhere without a canine escort.
On our way home I stopped at Marydell Farm in Columbus, N.C., to pick up my new Hanoverian filly Dawn MF (by Don Principe, out of La Dolce Vita by Londonderry). She and Ralee were sharing hay before I even left that farm.
The last few days at the WEG were very busy. Robin worked Ralee Thursday and Friday in the big ring above the covered ring, just working on part of their freestyle. On Saturday they were allowed to practice it in one of the larger warm-up rings. At the last moment, Robin and I decided to change one part of the canter work, and I really liked how it worked out during their performance.
Right after their final ride, Robin’s husband Bill called to congratulate both of us—regrettably he could not be at the WEG to watch his wife.
Just like for the arrival, there was a departure procedure. I swear, I have learned more about rules and regulations then I ever wanted to know. Six of our team horses left on Sunday. Their riders stayed until the afternoon to participate in the closing ceremony.
The rest of the horses stayed through the night, and we all left at o’dark hundred on Monday morning.
Here are some things I learned during the WEG:
- Be sure to bring enough feed and hay to get your horse through the first night.
- Make sure you bring a variety of blankets.
- Bring at least three pairs of scissors.
- Appreciate the fact that every official has a set of rules they need to follow, and that they are trying their best.
- Bed your horse really, really deeply—it looks great and prevents injuries.
- Don’t start crying when you receive the famous USET saddle pad/cooler/blankets—just feel honored, that your horse will wear them. Remember, those items cannot be purchased; they have to be earned.
- Say “THANK YOU” to each and every volunteer you meet. Without them, none of these events would ever take place.
- Give every horse you meet a pat—without them we’d not have this sport.
- And last, but certainly not least—remember to enjoy yourself. Few of us get the chance to do this again!
Oh, and if you ever feel overwhelmed, check out this picture. It will lift your spirits, believe me!