I already did all the Chatt recaps of the actual horse show parts, but I feel like it deserves and needs one more little wrap-up post. Partly because it was a whole week, and a lot happened, but mostly because it was legit the most fun I’ve had a show in a long time. It was such a relaxed, chill, easy-going show, no drama, everybody happy, nobody on anybody’s nerves or complaining… it was lovely.
First and foremost, we figured out that Lex and Presto are pretty much kindred spirits. Both of them are young, cheeky, busy horses with an appetite for destruction, and I’m a little worried at what happens when they officially become friends and start to travel together. They weren’t even stabled next to each other but I swear the second they made eye contact they recognized what the other was deep down in their soul, and neighed at each other several times throughout the course of the weekend. Seeing them side by side in the warmup was quite hilarious too – one short and round little ball of Lex and one tall and skinny noodle of Presto. How will Hillary and I ever show together with those two monkeys in tow? Pray for us.
I also got to catch up with some people that I hadn’t seen in a while – Beka came to visit one day (gosh haven’t seen her in years but all the OG bloggers will remember her!)
and my brother, his wife, and my nephew came out one afternoon too. I stayed with them one night when we were there since they only live about half an hour away, and it was good to catch up. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen them. It was also kind of hilarious watching them meet Presto, as it always is with non-horse people. They got to help pull his braids out and give him carrots so they’re basically professional grooms now.
I also made BFF’s with Megan’s 6yo Prelim mare, Tenny (or as Tenny told me she’d rather be called – Tennifer). She’s known for being a little emotionally sensitive and very picky about things, but we legit bonded every morning when I was cleaning stalls. I was already pretty obsessed with her before Chatt (who wouldn’t be, she’s freaking stunning) but now she likes me back. And she doesn’t like anyone very much, so I feel special. Megan said I have to come to all of her shows to be Tenny’s emotional support animal, which is a job title I’d happily assume. Also trying to convince her that we need some Tenny embryos next year. I already have a few stallions picked out (naturally).
Aside from getting to watch Presto go, seeing Hillary and Lex boss up together was also a major highlight. Things are really clicking for them, and it’s fun having a front row seat. I’ve said this before, but at Chatt in particular they really owned it and I’m just so excited for her. He’s such a cool little horse and she’s already learned so much in such a short period of time. I’ve never seen her ride better. And they made the BN look so easy both weeks that they’re very clearly ready to move on to Novice (both Karl Slezak, who coached her week 1, and Megan agreed on that one). I’m just delighted to see her with such a nice horse and a promising partnership. The sky is the limit.
As I mentioned yesterday the trip also had it’s practical purposes, like getting to try on some more breeches, and I found a pair that I really like. I was able to figure out that I’m a 28 in most brands but for Horze the 26’s fit better. I liked the Ariat Trifactors (although I wish they were a smidge higher rise) but they only had a teal color in my size so I passed on that. I ended up with a pair of navy Horze Aubrey breeches that have silver piping and the deepest freakin pockets I’ve ever seen in my life. For real you could put a 6 month old baby in there (if you were so inclined). They’re super comfy and I like the fabric, although of course they only come in white, navy, and a very hideous shade of puke green. Kind of a bummer because I like them a lot, especially for the price, and would def buy them in more colors if they made more that I liked. But hey, at least I got to try on more breeches and come home with a pair. And I bought literally nothing else while we were there so that’s a banner achievement in and of itself, considering all the temptation (please god get the custom boot trailer the heck away from me, I’m being attacked).
I also got to pick up my long awaited and much anticipated custom breastplate that I’m super excited about. It’s kinda one of the hybrid collar type ones (like bridge meets polo?) that shapes around the neck and has a strap that goes back to the billets, but nothing between the front legs. A shoulder freedom breastcollar sort of similar to the Fairfax. A friend of mine started doing leatherwork as a hobby and I bugged her forever to try to make something like this, and she totally nailed it. It’s got tons of adjustability plus I got to pick my colors for everything – main leather, padding, hardware, and stitching. Of course I’m boring and got havana brown with navy padding, navy stitching, and stainless hardware. Was SUPER tempted to go with the rainbow hardware though, I’ll admit. It’s very classy and pretty though and fits Presto great, and I’m excited to have one of the first ones made and sold. There’s already a long line to buy them I think! He got to wear it all weekend and it worked great, plus I love how it looks. I dunno if the horses really care much about that strap between their legs or over their shoulder, but it looks more comfortable to me at least.
Most of all though, we just plain had a good freakin time at Chatt. Megan and her mom are great, super nice and thoughtful and always very appreciative to have help, which I’m equally happy to provide. We sweated our asses off and were very busy, but it still never felt at all stressful or negative in the least. Everyone helped everyone and supported each other genuinely. Plus there was pizza and Mexican food… what more does a girl need from a horse showcation? I hope there are many more shows just like this one in our future.