Monday, September 21, 2015

Whirlwind Part II

After my arrival in Raleigh, my main objective was finding a place to sleep.

I had been up extremely early that morning, worked a full day, nearly missed a flight, and sleep seemed like the thing to do.  My husband was confused why I wasn't doing backflips on his plan to surprise me in Raleigh.  I was surprised and pleased of course.  I was just more tired.  Poor guy.  :(

Next morning, important things came first: search for caffeine.  The hotel ran out of coffee.  What kind of hotel runs out of coffee?

So, we went through the drive-through next to the hotel and got the obligatory-almost-fall drink: pumpkin spice latte.  OK, I am now matching 95% of college aged girls out there drinking coffee this morning.

An awesome internet horse gal who lives in Raleigh messaged me and planned to meet me at the showgrounds.  Awesome.  I can have photographic proof of my epic fails in life.  Just kidding.  I was trying to stay positive.

The Raleigh show grounds are pretty condensed.  There were a lot of horses in a very small space.  I was just showing one class in-hand, so we had Thunder, the horse I was showing, all prepped and then was told that the judges were taking a break.

I almost look like a normal person here. 


So we went back to lazing around.  I went and bought an obligatory show t-shirt since I couldn't bring myself to pay $78 for a hoodie that another vendor wanted.  Seriously?  Good grief.

Back to showing.  The sport-horse in hand class is basically set up like many warmblood inspections.  There's two triangles.  There's a smaller triangle and a larger one connected to it.

The smaller triangle is for the walk away, across the top, and towards the judges and the trot triangle is the same, but a longer distance for trotting.

The horse is stood up before and after the class at the apex of the triangle.

After much anxiety, it was finally my turn to show.  My friend handled him first in the open class and he was pretty well behaved.  She just warmed him up for me.  Or so she said.

Thunder loves one thing most in the world after hanging out in his stall with his young stallion buddy: liberty.

Sorry dude, not liberty time. 

He was fine.  A little unhappy about me nitpicking him while standing him up for the judges, but one was very picky.  "One foot forward."  "Another foot forward please."  "Wait there."

Or that's what I'm imagining she said.  I couldn't really hear most of it due to being hard-of-hearing, but that's the gist I got of it.  But at least, I did get a cursory nod to walk the horse.

Thunder decided that walking was for the birds on part of the long side.  He did a wonderful passage though.  Oops.

But when it came time to trot, he really did have a great time.  He loves to trot.  And I love to run the trot with him.

Photos taken 10 years apart.  Top photo was me last week.  Bottom photo is not me.  :)

I was really anxious when I left the ring.  Anxiety is pretty normal thing for me though.  I really didn't think we would place well because of Thunder's exuberance.

But we knew we had a National Top 10 title, so after endless waiting, I took Thunder into the ring and waited some more.  They announced the top 10 winners and had the top 10 winners photos taken.

More waiting.

Then while I was standing there on the rail, I heard Thunder's name mentioned.  I, of course, never heard my name, but dang am I attuned to the name of a horse, I don't even own!

I was absolutely stunned.  Too bad, photographers didn't catch my jaw on the floor.

Ten years apart, Thunder managed to win two reserve national champion titles.  Very cool!  

So thank you Thunder.  You made an incredibly crazy less-than-24 hour trip to Raleigh worth it.  Even though, I almost managed to miss flights on the way home too. 

Maybe it's time to stay out of airports for a little while.


  1. That's amazing -- 10 years apart! Very cool

  2. Woohoo congrats!
    He is such a handsome boy! ♡♡♡♡

  3. Congrats!!!!!!

    Haha I just realized you meant your husband and your best friend surprised you and not your best friend and her husband surprised you! I fail at reading sometimes. I'm glad your husband and best friend were able to surprise you! :D

    Thunder is gorgeous! Wow! What a trot!

    I have a huge problem with anxiety (to the point where it's "normal" for me too haha). It sucks... I'm hard of hearing too! We have a lot in common LOL!


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