Hi, my name is Sarah and I'm hijacking Ellie's blog because well, she's too busy riding! I've been trying to get her to blog for like, everrr - and she wants to - loves the idea of it and god she has stories for you - butttt there are like 30 horses that are taking up all of her time at the moment! Trust me when I tell you - I'm her sister and I can barely get her to go to a movie never mind blog ;) SO - you have me. And she doesn't know I'm doing this! Muahahahaaa… :)
On the road…
First of all, I was so excited to be able to go to NEDA with Ellie this year. We grew up riding and taking care of horses together - every chance we have to be at events with each other as adults is very special.
I met El at the barn on Tuesday as they were loading up the last two of six horses that were traveling out to Saugerties. Piper and Greta (her barn pups) jumped in the truck we borrowed from Yvonne (thanks Yvonne!) and yay road trip!
Let me tell you what's not yay about a road trip… forgetting snacks. We drove four plus hours out to New York with nothing but a few Stop and Shop waters. 😳 I would have killed for gummy worms but it was best not to detour as four of the horses were ahead of us. We stuck to the plan! And arrived just in time for a beautiful sunset. We tucked in the horses while Rachel and Allie helped set up life for the rest of the week in Barn 11.
4am wake-ups ∙ tack cleaning ∙ boot polishing ∙ walking ∙ so much walking ∙ bikes - lots of bikes that aren't yours but you wish you brought one and you keep seeing bikes and wanting to borrow them ∙ when you finally do get to sleep, a dog is on your pillow ∙ double-fisting pumpkin lattes to keep you going ∙ that test you can only laugh at ∙ more walking ∙ making the best of everything - even when you're broken down ∙ diners ∙ heart heart diners ∙ and dinners ∙ staying warm on chilly early morning starts ∙ convincing your horse that the banner isn't going to jump off the fence and eat him ∙ neither is a flower ∙ wishing you rented a golf cart ∙ 6am braidings ∙ 2 people and 2 dogs in a double bed ∙ ahhh
Horse Show Life. It isn't glamourous but you wouldn't trade it for the world 💖
A down centerline. X halt, salute.
It's entirely possible my sister has killed me by now… but please, keep reading. The real reason we do all of the things we do - apart for our unearthly love of horses - is to perform. To set goals and work towards them. To learn. And every part of it is part of it. My goal, was to survive cold, early mornings for a week without Starbucks. El's goal was to take 4 horses who had questionable show experience and see where they were at. Also, she was coaching her client, Yvonne who was competing in the Regional Championships and her Young Rider student, Allie who was also grooming. Our days were filled with goals. Small goals, big goals. Small goals that were big goals. The daily progression of (mostly) green horses was fascinating to watch. In the background, Rachel and Allie were working hard to keep things on time - to prepare horses, walk them up, walk them down, keep the barn tidy, horses fed and things under control. Others, like my mom and I were there just to hold jackets and whips and pick up extra slack. But Ellie's job - was to see through the process of riding young and/or inexperienced horses with unwavering patience and trust. Often, we were all together - along with Becky, the owner of Linus and Bleu and Yvonne and John - Yvonne with Guinness and John who brought Guinness (or homemade Cider rather ;) We traveled as a team, we operated as a team, we celebrated as a team. Instead of giving you a play by play of tests and movements and specifics that I'll probably get not quite right, I'm going to just post some of my favorite pics from the week. I hope you enjoy them as we had a fantastic time at the NEDA Fall Festival and can't wait for next year!
With a huge thank you to NEDA volunteers,
see you next year!!
So, hopefully El hasn't killed me by now 🙏😂 but I'll take my chances because well, I'm proud of her and I want this stuff to start getting out to you. No matter what level you are, what goals you're working on, whether you're showing or not, everyone - no matter how good it looks, has their hurdles. So keep striving, keep smiling and let us know how you're doing. Speaking on behalf of all at Cloud 9, we'd love to hear from you!
And as Ellie says… Happiness, Always ~
And as Ellie says… Happiness, Always ~