Now that I’m home (yay) and back to work (boo) I finally have time to write about the Georgia trip. As with all road trips and horsey adventures there was plenty of stuff happening to write about, but I’ll try to keep it as short as possible.
Monday: I worked a half day then went straight to airport to make my 2:00 flight. I landed in Altanta around 5 and my friend Michelle (who is leasing my mare Sadie) met me at the airport. She is basically the whole reason I was there… she bought a broodmare and a foal from Rising Star Farm and had driven down there to haul them home to Texas. I had to fly in since I couldn’t miss work on Monday morning, but she didn’t want to make the return trip alone with two horses. So – Michelle picked me up from the airport and off we headed toward Rome to RSF. The super fun part was getting her giant truck and trailer out of the airport parking lot. Pretty sure it was the highlight of all the parking attendants’ day. We arrived at RSF within a couple hours, petted a few ponies, then settled in for the night.
Tuesday: We were down at the barn by mid morning, ready to ride. First I hopped on Encore, an RSF sale horse by Figaro B. He’s a super cool greenie with nice gaits and a huge step. Then I got on Valentino, which y’all already saw pictures of. Pretty much made my
day week month. Michelle rode him a bit as well and instantly fell in love too… Valentino definitely gained another member of his fan club. It’s really hard not to love that boy. Then we headed out for lunch and came back to start getting the trailer ready to haul a mare and baby. The configuration made it a bit tough but after a couple hours of tinkering around we finally came up with something that would work.
Wednesday: Up and at ’em early, getting things ready for the sBs inspection. The Belgian judges arrived at the farm around 9am to start doing paperwork, then the inspection began around 10. There were a few mares and several babies to inspect. Somehow I got roped into handling all of RSF’s mares, which I did not really have appropriate footwear for. But we got it done, got the babies branded, and had Mare and Baby (should say here – Baby did not belong to Mare so that added a level of difficulty to the whole thing) in the trailer by 2pm. Baby had never been in a trailer before so we were just trying to get going and get on the road ASAP to make it to our layover location in Mississippi before dark. There was no time for lunch so when we stopped for gas in Alabama we loaded up on armfulls of crap and just went to town in the most unhealthy of manners. Side note: when you stop at a random truck stop in Alabama, you see a pretty epic mullet.
We ended up missing a turn and it took a while (and a lot of masterful driving skills by Michelle) to get turned around, so we made it to our layover spot just after dark. Luckily the horses were relatively happy and in good shape, so they came off the trailer and settled into their stalls with little fuss. Baby was a bit perturbed at first but came around after a few minutes and was great. Poor thing had a pretty rough day. We fed the horses, cleaned out the trailer, and trudged wearily into the house (thank god for horsey bed and breakfasts, especially adorable ones) to collapse in bed.
Thursday: This was our biggest day of driving, with about 525 miles on the docket. We were a little worried about getting baby back in the trailer but she’s a champion and walked right on with only a little hesitation/bribery. We were on the road by 6:50. Not sure if any of you have ever driven I-20 across MS and LA, but man… those roads are awful. Poor baby probably got her brains rattled out. As soon as we crossed into TX the road smoothed out and we stopped in Tyler around noon to give them water, more hay, and grab lunch. By now it was pretty hot so we also sponged water on them and gave them cookies.
We didn’t get very far outside of Tyler before the sky got awfully black and then opened up with pretty spectacular force. It was raining so hard that it was difficult to see too far in front of us. We plugged slowly along to Buffalo then stopped for gas and checked on the horses. They seemed pretty content, and the rain let up a bit while we were stopped, so we continued on our way. Again we didn’t get too far before it opened up on us again. The entire rest of the way to Austin was on and off storms with periods of super heavy rain. At one point in the town of Hearne we couldn’t even drive in the right hand lane because it was under so much water. Boating, anyone?
There was a brief reprieve for about half an hour, but the closer we got to Austin the darker and more ominous it looked. We were about half an hour away from my barn (their next layover location) when we hit another crazy wall of rain. There was standing water everywhere. Slowly but surely we made our way through it and somehow managed to time it so that we made it to the barn and unloaded the horses before the next wave hit. Baby was a little more upset and wide eyed as the storm came rolling in but again she handled it pretty darn well, all things considered. Mare of course just seemed thrilled to be eyeball deep in hay with lots of cookies and a nice dry stall, so she didn’t much care about the rest of it.
I had to go back to work this morning so Michelle is on her own to make the 6ish hour trek back to where she lives. I think by now Mare and Baby are ready to be home! We had a good time though and she’s got a super nice new broodmare and filly to add to her breeding program. Extra congrats to Baby’s daddy Diabolo D’Esquelmes who has made it into round 3 of the 5yo YJC Midwestern League Finals this weekend in KY with two-for-two clear rounds so far! Go DD go!
Michelle got tons of inspection pictures with her nice camera so hopefully I’ll have lots of pretty mare and baby pictures for y’all sometime next week. Happy Friday!