Monday, August 6, 2007

Day Fifteen: Hot and Cold

Day fifteen:

We got to sleep in an hour this morning: buck and I that is. The girls arrived at the barn earlier as they had to prepare the horses for their exciting cross country school and gallop today. The plan today was to cool the horses off after their gallop as if they were really in the actual recovering box after cross country in order to acclimate Jackie as well as the rest of the group to what was expected of us.

When we arrived in the barn, I could just smell a sense of competition in the air. The hustle and bustle of riders arriving and grooms preparing the horses for their days work made the barn take on a more electric atmosphere.

As soon as we arrived and prepared to mount up, the rain came down with an intrepid force. However, after about 5 minutes, the rain subsided so we took the chance and hopped on the horses, trotted around the hacking track twice, and immediatley began to jump cross country fences. We jumped a few boxes, one narrow, went through the water, and popped over a little trakhanner. Both of the boys jumped around with ease. After they jumped, dr Ober took their temps and looked them over to make sure they were dealing with the heat well enough in order to go onto the gallop track. With an exhuberant two thumbs up, we made way for the gallop track. We both trotted to the end and then buck turned around and headed back at a fast clip leaving alex feeling a bit lonely and anxious. However when we reached the end and turned around, it was our turn. Alex galloped beautifully down the track with a few spooks that kept me on my feet, or in the saddle I should say. After another stready gallop down the precisely manicured track, dr Ober took their temps and pointed towards the misting fans where we began icing the horses off with tremendous vigor. We were happy to know that both boys cooled down faster than what the vets had presumed. Not all the horses were so lucky. One horse this morning had tied up following his gallop. However, the vets acted fast and had him on fluids and hope for a 100 percent recovery before the beginning of the event. After their temps came down to a steady rate, we took them back to the barn, where they were weighed and iced and poulticed.

After, the crew and I headed to the cafeteria where we had another splendid lunch. Feeling a little lethargic, I headed back to the hotel where I took an enjoyable bath, and fell asleep for a couple hours.

When I woke up, I headed back to the venue to watch alex jog for dr Ober. Both horses jogged out very well which again, made me and buck more relaxed. Following the successful jogs, I headed back to the hotel where I met my mom and grandparents for a wonderful thai dinner in the neighboring mall. As the competition sneaks towards us, the atmosphere grows more electric un the venue. Security us growing more strict, countries keep more to themselves, the vets and farriers are becoming busier and busier. We are eager to get this party started, as buck so eloquently says! See you tomorrow.