Chatt Day 1, aka the longest day in the history of the world

Y’all… did you know that it’s possible for one day to be 41 hours long? It’s true. That was my Tuwednesday.

After a long, busy day at work on Tuesday, I went home and packed my stuff, then went to the barn and packed Henry’s stuff. Then I spent a really long time saying bye to Presto (I MISS HIM ALREADY 😩), loaded Henry in the trailer, and drove south to rendezvous with my actual ride to Chatt. We unpacked everything from my truck, loaded it into theirs, got all the horses in, and were on our way out of Austin by 10pm, with the goal of meeting up with the rest of our caravan at 1:30am, south of Houston.

I thought maybe I’d be able to doze a bit in the car but yeah no. Apparently when you start to get old, things don’t bend the same way anymore. My back couldn’t take the weird positions that are required for car sleeping, so I didn’t get so much as even a wink.

We stopped again at 4:15 in Louisiana, at which point I took over driving from Trainer. That’s pretty close to when I normally wake up anyway, so I was starting to feel perkier right as she was starting to crash. I drove on across Louisiana through sunrise, and then bam – shredded tire. I pulled off the highway into a parking lot and trainer acted like she was auditioning for NASCAR pitcrew or something… she had that thing changed in like 10 minutes. It was quite impressive. I wish I had videoed it.

After that, everything started blurring together. The cities, the states, the hours… omg. By 11am or so I think delirium was starting to set in, but I wasn’t feeling particularly tired. It’s like my body went “well I guess sleep isn’t a thing we’re doing” and moved on to the next day. Like Europe jet lag but way more boring.

We weren’t actually going straight to Chatt since the show isn’t til this weekend. Instead we’re spending a few days at a really nice farm outside of Birmingham, so the horses can relax and enjoy some turnout after their long trip. We’ve got a covered, a dressage arena, a jumping arena, trails, and some XC jumps. The barn is GORGEOUS. And since it’s for sale, it’s currently empty, meaning we have the entire place to ourselves.

All the horses unloaded great, and after a few minutes in their stalls to settle and drink some water, we turned them out in the nice grassy paddocks. Henny took one look at that grass and was like “bye Felicia”. 14 hours in a trailer will do that, I suppose.

We got ourselves organized in the barn, and then everyone else left to go to the house they’re staying in (about half an hour away) to shower and relax for a bit. I’m staying in the apartment above the barn (because 1. I am the anti-social grump of the group, 2. I’m always up really early anyway, so it makes sense for me to stay here and feed the horses in the mornings.) which is really nice. I took a shower, sat on the couch, and immediately felt myself falling asleep. I didn’t want to nap for too long so I set an alarm on my phone for 45 minutes later, closed my eyes, and I was out like a light.

Twenty minutes in, a distant rumble jolted me out of my nap. I was so discombobulated when I woke up that it took me a minute to remember where the heck I even was, and then I heard a rumble again, but louder this time. I opened my weather app, swore loudly, and leaped for my shoes, slamming my feet into them as I took off down the stairs. Some storms had popped up out of nowhere and were coming fast.

I bolted out to the paddocks, grabbing Henry and the horse next to him. I ran back up the hill with them, threw them in their stalls, and turned to run back out. Right then the sky lit up like the 4th of July. I haven’t seen a lightning show that impressive in a long time. I stopped in my tracks. I still had 6 more horses out, but there was so much lightning that I couldn’t even find a break in it to make a mad dash.

I paced the barn aisle for a few minutes, waiting for a lull, and finally got enough of one. I sprinted like I don’t think I’ve ever sprinted before, grabbing both of Trainer’s horses and running back up the hill with them. Then I had to wait for another lull, dashing back out and grabbing the draft cross and the pony and running THEM in. Now I was sweating, soaked, and freaked out. I hate lightning. A lot.

The two horses left out were down at the bottom of the hill, sort of behind some other paddocks. I bolted down there, leaping over a fallen board and landing ankle deep in mud. When I kept running I realized I was missing a shoe. Screech to a stop. Run back. Grab shoe. Jam bare muddy foot back in and keep running. I wrangled the last two horses (who had little interest in my urgency) and dragged them up the, by now, very long never-ending hill into the barn.

My freaking god. It was like a warrior dash or spartan race or something. I was soaked, muddy, and it felt like I sprained basically everything from the waist down. I do not recommend any of this when you’re running on literally 20 minutes of sleep in the past 36+ hours.

By the time I got the horses in and settled, everyone else arrived to help. We fed, tucked the horses in, I had a very glamorous dinner of cheese and crackers, and then I basically collapsed and died.

So ya know… day 1. Never a dull moment.

17 thoughts on “Chatt Day 1, aka the longest day in the history of the world

  1. so funny you are only like 3-4 hours from me in Birmingham( Yes i looked) and we have had none of those storms. UGH. it is dry dry dry here…..

    Plus i totally know what you mean about the mind numbingness of driving for a long day. Like I was doing the driving fine but my brain was like so sloggy I wasnt sure HOW i was driving (this was on the Saturday I arrived in town when I was on the road for 14 hours. I don’t know how you all did it. UGH. Glad Trainer was there to change tire. That was my fear driving south i would have something like that happen. I bought US Rider just to cover my ass and didnt need it yay me.

    AND i have to laugh at your spartan mudder warrior dash. GOD to have that on film. I hate lightning too. UGH I had to take the dogs out at the apt early morning the other week and omg i just knew i was going to die.

    Hope you have a better day today 🙂 And Presto is going feral right now. I feel it 🙂 HA HA HA

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  2. 1. Send that rain to Texas, please!
    2. Why you hate lightening so much? I mean, I know it’s dangerous, but I think it’s SO pretty.
    3. 41 hours of no sleep is no joke. I don’t envy you, but it’s so worth it.

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  3. I’ve been running on a max of 4-6 hours a night of sleep for the past two months. Which is a lot more than zero hours in 41 hours, but it’s pretty much the same delirium at this point. I feel you. Glad you got all the horses in safe, and I hope you can catch up on some sleep today!
    That barn is amazing, I can’t believe it’s empty!

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  4. That barn! Gorgeous!

    We had a storm rolling in on my lesson day last week, so of course I sprinted like a fool because they let the mare’s out early and just about died before I got to her because it was SO incredibly muggy for here. And then on the way back sprinting with her, she almost fell down and then I tripped in a hole. So much fun – not. And to top it off? Storm took an other hour to get over the barn.

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  5. I don’t want to laugh because I know it’s freaking scary, but uh… welcome to Alabama!!!
    I swear my mom needed to be medicated to watch the weather when I lived there.

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  6. Yeah I’m thinking now I should have warned you about the ever present afternoon thunderstorms when you asked what weather was like in here. Oops! Glad you are most of the way though. 😀

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