First Times

Lauren receiving her second place ribbon before taking her first victory gallop.


There’s a first time for everything or so they say, and Lauren and I had counted up four-first time experiences over the last couple of weeks.  It is kind of a tie for which of the top two were more traumatic, but I will lead-off with one of Lauren’s first time experiences in sequential order.

Lauren and two of our boarders, Lisa and Libby, headed down to San Antonio a couple of weeks ago for a horse show.  Nothing unusual about this, but all three headed to the show without a trainer along for guidance.  Riders, like most athletes, do better with a trainer along.  It is hard see beyond your own biases and shortcomings to perform at a high level without professional guidance.  Some might even call it a waste of time and money.

But these ladies have been in the saddle awhile and thought a little weekend show away would be a fun activity.  Feather, due to a series of events beyond our control, has not been in the show ring this year.  It was a chance to get her back in the ring and see how she was faring.  I bid them good bye and good luck as they left on Friday morning.

Feather took the trip totally in stride.  In fact, she was so quiet and fluid, the hunter ring would have welcomed her.  I was proud of Lauren making her own decisions on what classes to enter, figuring out her own path through the posted course and coming out of her first class with a second place ribbon.

 Later, instead of wasting Feather’s energy in regular classes, Lauren waited for the higher fences in the Jumper Classic. There was more money on the line in this class as well. Remember fastest horse through the course with the fewest faults wins. Lauren, as her own trainer, thought she and Feather should make a quick, inside turn that would have cut seconds off her time. Lauren, the rider, got a little freaked out by the speed she was going when she should have made the inside turn. They went the long route and lost by two seconds. 

Still, a good first outing and good return to the ring for Feather. 

Lauren with beautiful Feather

Before the girls got loaded to leave Sam Antonio, they managed to break the latch of the slant (divider) of my almost new trailer. 

This sets up first time number two. Once back from San Antonio, Lauren took the trailer to our local trailer repair shop.  They took one look and said the amount of damage to trailer was more than they handled and advised we head back to the dealer. 

One a side note, I was thinking this little party to SA to show – despite Lauren’s winnings, was starting to have cost me a lot!!

Anyway, we called the dealer who was 100+ miles away in Seguin, Texas, verified they had the parts and headed off to spend more money. Of course, then we blew a tire on the trailer and ended up on the side of highway with no one to help us for 50 miles in any direction. Lauren got Blake on the phone and he walked her through the change the tire process. 

So, for the first time ever, Lauren changed a tire. It was terrifying!  We were sitting on the side of the road on I-10, one of the busiest interstates in the US, changing our first tire.  The big semis would roll by and the whole trailer would shake. 


Years ago our friend Gaylyn gave us the yellow tire holder upper thing. Never used it before. But we were very glad we had it now. And fortunately we had a good spare. Lauren got the old tire off, the new tire on and off we went.  I was super glad no horses were in the trailer!  And super glad my daughter had just successfully changed her first tire. 

When we got to the dealership we dropped off the trailer and headed to the little local tire store to buy a new spare. The one new spare cost me what two similar tires would have cost in Houston. I was really starting to wish the trailer had never gone to SA in the first place. 

Anyway, my first takes place next! Sunday we were doing chores around the barn and Lauren started screaming. Only one thing gets her going like that-SNAKES!!  


It was a fairly good sized water moccasin that apparently had been living under the horse’s water trough. Not good. We were lucky they, the dogs and all of us were safe. 

My vet Lynn was there working on a horse and her husband, Klaus, assisted me in the snake kill. I had maybe killed smaller snakes before but this was my first time to kill a venomous one. I already had my tall riding boots on- I was ready!



The snake tried to slither away. I slammed the shovel down to kill him. But caught him too far back in his body. I had to wait for Klaus to get another shovel and successfully cut off his head before the killing was over.  I was glad the Klaus was there as Lauren certainly wouldn’t have helped me.


The last “first” of this update was Lauren voted in her very first election. Regardless of how awful our choices are, get out and vote!

————–

I heard news on several friends this week who are battling very severe illnesses and injuries. I am praying for them and praying for all of you that need help, love or just a little strength. 

As always thanks for riding along!

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