I’m going back though my year and this experience was pretty funny. Brianna (my sister) was attending a horse show with Merlin, but she was unable to stay on site with her Horse (The show had a weird rule about the riders staying in athlete accommodation…) and each horse was required to have a official groom. soo… guess who volunteered to stay on site with her Horse? YUP. ME. and my ONLY condition was that we rent a travel trailer, because no way was I staying five days and four nights IN A TENT WITH NO BATHROOM. (you may think I’m weird that my main concern was a bathroom, but trust me. I’ve done horse shows with over 100 people staying on site and only ONE ROTTEN FALLING DOWN OUT HOUSE* and… the main concern was definitely a bathroom as I didn’t know what this facility’s bathrooms were like…) so we rented a Travel Trailer. and I got a bathroom. and somewhere somewhat comfy to sleep.
here’s the thing, the Horse my sister was riding is REALLY hard to look after. his name is Merlin… and he’s freakin adorable, but… he was high maintenance. I did a really short, and grammer improper, post about this show while at it… it was also 1 am in the morning when I wrote it, so… it is weird. but here it is… Me trying to write at 1 am… I will be using the same pictures as I used in that post most likely… so please excuse me for that! I was too busy to get many pictures…
*it was… bad.
*open scene at 3:27 am, my mom is still packing her suitcase while I feed the horses who will be staying home, while my dad packs the bags into to truck and Brianna and her teammate load their horses into the trailer. (mom still packing…)*
it was a FUN morning. NOT.
we drove for a good 7 hours and ended up at the show grounds around 1 pm. after filling the stalls with bedding, adding nice clean water buckets to said stalls, and hand walking the horses for 30 minutes (add in 10 minutes of Hand grazing time in the large field) it was closer to 3. Don’t ask me how that time adds up. just don’t. we were all VERY hungry, do most likely to the lack of both Breakfast AND Lunch. of course, after eating breakfast/lunch, it was time for another hand walk! :-// and after that… time to muck out the stalls! and don’t forget to freshen and refill the water buckets. oh look… its now time to soak the mash for dinner. and wow! time flys! it’s time to feed the horses Dinner. and then just the right amount of time to run and grab your dinner from whitespot before you need to do the evening hand walk and wrap the legs. and of course, this NEEDS to happen before eating the food you just got, so you end up eating a cold hamburger at 11:30. and before you go to bed… don’t forget to set the alarm for 5 am! lucky us! it was the sleep in day.
Day two. (where it starts to gets interesting)
day two was Trot up day! Brianna was still here at this point, but. she found excuses. “oh Maren! you should get him ready so that you have the practice! and so that he’s used to you.” yeah right, Sister. but I ended up feeding him, because Brianna needed to ‘get lots of rest’ sooooo… I braided Merlin. And polished his hooves. And buffed his hooves. And put baby oil on his nose/ears. And applied Cornstarch to the whites on his legs. And covered his neck/bum in show sheen (a difficult feat considering if he sees a spray bottle he panics). And I even bridled him up and walked him for 20 minutes so he would be nice and warm. I also trotted him a bit to make sure he was behaving well. after all that Brianna showed up, trotted him past the judges, and then was done. turns out my hours of getting him ready only resulted in 2 minutes of walking/trotting.
so after I had unbraided him. I had to tack him up for my sisters ride. I had gone back to the trailer in hopes of having time to eat lunch, but just as I was pulling out the stuff to make myself a sammy my phone dinged with a text from my sister…
there goes my hope of lunch.
so after my Sister had ridden, it was just a practice ride- the show started the next day, her and the rest of her team (there were four of them including her) made some matching name signs for the stalls.
while they were doing that I finely got some time off. I used it well and went to Timmys and got an iced Lemonade… So good!! we got extras for Brianna… but whatever. when we got back from town I learned that my annoying Sister hadn’t walked Merlin and was waiting for me to do it. 😦 in her defence she was packing her bag as she was going to be staying at a school for the duration of the show…? so all the Riders got in big fancy buses and drove off. I decided that I may as well get the cleaning of the tack over with. so I went to our tack stall (the first time we’ve had one…!) and started cleaning BRIANNAS tack. one of the volunteers walked by and I think I gave her a fright as she thought I was a rider and had missed my bus! I quickly explained that I was my sisters groom and then she left… after I had cleaned all the tack I thought Merlin would most likely want a walk, while on this walk my phone beeped with a text from my sister… (its in three photos because the text was so long…)
Really Brianna? first off, I know how to take care of a horse! and secondly, she’s told me all this AT LEAST five other times. well… after Merlin was walked I went back to the trailer (finely! it took so long for me to be able to rest and sit down.) I made myself a sammy, and read my book… then walked Merlin… then fed Merlin… then went back to the trailer to feed myself more sammys. then walked Merlin again, and cold hosed his legs. After they had dried, I wrapped him and gave him his mash/tossed him one more flake of hay. (note how I’m following directions about shoving hay in his face.) then headed back to the trailer… (also note how much walking I’m doing here…) set my alarm for 5 am ;-(
Day 3. (when this REALLY starts to get interesting)
Guess how I woke up?
I actually ended up waking up at 4:30… Why? because my sister was texting me.
Brianna: Hey! how’s Merlin?
Also me: its 4:30 am
Not a good way to wake up.
But I got up and got dressed. Because my alarm was set to go off soon anyways. I made myself a sandwich… (I was real sick of sammys at this point, but it was the only food we had) I was making a lot of noise apparently, because my mom woke up and was wondering what I was doing up so early. I told her where I was going, grabbed a bottle of milk from the fridge, and left to braid Merlin. at this point in time it was 5 am. Merlin was highly unimpressed with the early hour. I pulled his wraps off while I was at it and started trying to get all the poultice off his legs… I dislike poultice. its soooo hard to get off, it gets stuck on all the hair and ahh!! its so annoying. but I managed to get most of it off…
After the Merlernater (my nickname for Merl) was successfully braided and had food, I went back to the trailer for a bit. after only 5 minutes after I got to the trailer, I had to turn back and tack up Merl. Once again the showsheen. The hoof polish. The baby oil. And the cornstarch came out once more. I double checked my “groom bag” then saddled up my sisters pony. She showed up just in time to get dressed before her warm up. Merlin was a very good pony, but I was getting frantic texts from my mom who was watching Brianna’s warmup. Our coach (she was unable to be at this show) had told Brianna before hand to go for a good gallop around the ring for about 10 minutes to wake Merlin up before her test. Of course me and Brianna both knew that is was an estimate, and that it could change depending on how Merlin felt. but it seems our mom didn’t realize that as she crazily texted me…
I told her I thought it was fine… That since B was the one in the saddle she could do what she thought was best. And that no, I did not know what number was in the ring because I wasn’t by the barn… but I got back in time to do a last minute polish of Brianna’s boots, wipe the slobber from Merlins mouth, pull off his boots, offer my sister some water (she didn’t want any), and wish her good luck. I left my mom (who was franticly texting our coach) and went to stand in some shade while I waited for Brianna to enter the ring. she had a good test! Merlin was a very good pony! and got lots of treats the minute he finished. I pulled off his tack and unbraided him while walking him over towards the hose. unbraiding a horse and walking at the same time is difficult! once I got there I followed my sisters “list” and gave him a bath, made sure to get his legs, and *tried* to wash his face… it was… very hard… Brianna wasn’t much help. she was just standing there laughing her head off and taking pictures. thanks for nothing Sis!
moving on though, after Merlin was bathed he got some ice boots put on his legs, a walk and some grazing time. at this point in time Brianna was taking a nap… humph. I started to make my way back over to the stalls but got distracted by Brianna texting me.
*sigh* so I cleaned her saddle… and re-cleaned her boots (the toe was still covered in dust) and then it was time to remove the first set of ice boots, so I walked him over to the trailer and removed them, followed by a cold hose on his legs… then popped him back in his little house for a nap. I made myself a sammy. then had to go put the second set of booties on merl pony. once they had been successfully applied I made the fantastic choice to have a shower. one glitch, the grey water tank was overflowing so much that the sink would not drain… so that pulled my showering plans to a screeching halt. the rest of my day was fairly uninteresting. I walked pony a couple morse times, cold hosed him, made/ate more sammys. feed Merlin… eat a sammy for dinner… set alarm for 5:15 (SLEEP IN!!) and go to sleep.
Day 4. (getting more and more interesting!)
wake up to;
… So you can guess how my morning went. But Brianna had a good second test. And the Merlenater was once again a perfect little muffin. (speaking of which… I’d have scooped 50 stalls for some food that wasn’t a Sammy. A muffin would have been delicious) unfortunately my one pair of ice boots had melted… so I had to use the “blue ice packs with the white combi wraps” they were… very weird… first off, it’s EXTREMELY hard to basically polo an ice pack onto a moving horses leg.
Also she wouldn’t answer my text about boot cleaning soap… I think I ended up using the sweet water because it smells SO good. I cleaned all her tack, Merl had already had a bath/cold hose/walk/hand graze. So that was done for now. I tossed him more hay, and I watched some of the show jumping that was going on in the other ring. And that was fun. I also consumed more Sammys. (legit the only food we had) then pulled the ice boots off Merly pony. Merlin was getting some bumps on his side, and I think he was sensitive to the bedding in his stall. I was planning to put his fly sheet on the help protect him a bit without getting him too hot (it was mega hot there) but it seemed to be BROKEN. I ended up having to use his show sheet.
So I put that on him. Made more Sammys. Around this time it was almost dinner, and just as me, my mom, and my dad were contemplating what to get for dinner one of the show officials knocked on our trailer door. Turns out that the all the show officials had rented a motel room about 15 minutes away so that all the poor people staying on site had access to a hot shower!! And she was wondering if we wanted to key! CLEARLY we said yes. So I took Merlin for a quick hand walk,
Then… we drove off, and had a HOT SHOWER!!!! Now, the motel looked slightly… sketchy… there were people having a weird water fight in the driveway…? And it looked like it was falling down… but they had hot water! The one other down side was that there were spiders in the shower, which I did not notice until half way through my shower. And the whole place had a feel that someone was about to burst though the door…😟 but no one did! So that was clearly good. We decided, since we were already there, to watch some TV!
Unfortunately the only channels they had were REALLY weird. So that didn’t last long. After we finished with the TV we left and grabbed some Hamburgers from whitespot. SOOO YUMMY. Then headed back to the show site, it was getting pretty late, so I left my food on the table, and went to walk/wrap/feed feed Merlernater. So by the time a actually got to eat my food it was cold… still better then Sammys though! Then I set my alarm for 5. 😦
Day 5. (The Last day!)
once again wake up to:
So I got the lucky job of tacking up Merl. The show was ending early as all the riders had to leave and go attend a closing ceremony, so the show was also starting early at 7am😑 I got pony Braided, hoof polished, showsheened etc. and tacked up for 7. I felt bad for the poor grooms whose charges needed to be tacked up earlier so that the riders could get a warm up, but lucky Brianna was near the end of the Dressage riders so she just got on at 7😁 Both Merlin and Brianna did fantastic and they got a gold medal! (I like to believe that my grooming made all the difference😊) almost immediately after the awards got presented all the riders left the site in more buses, and all the grooms were left with the horses. We all had to go watch the closing ceremony which started around 2:30, so I untacked, unbraided, bathed, cold hosed, and sponges sore-no-more into Merl, after that I throw on his ice boots and took him down to the jumper field to graze.
I let him graze for awhile, after all… he’d been soooooo good!! After an hour or so however I was getting quite hungry, so I put Merl away, pulled off his ice boots, and headed back to the trailer to eat a sandwich. I also had to pack up my bedding/suitcase as the person we rented the trailer from was coming to pick it up while we were at the closing ceremony. After I was all packed up I headed over to the stabbing to take down the tack stall. We moved everything over to the trailer except a couple flakes of hay, which we fed to the horses. The fly masks, halters, and (obviously) the horses, we left in the stalls. Then we headed off to the closing ceremony. However, we were getting some interesting texts from my sister.
We didn’t actually go, we turned around and went to Starbucks, it was to hot at the closing ceremony apparently… so we got frappuccinos from Startbucks. Then we all (me, Brianna, my mom and dad, and the person who’s horse we trailed and who was getting I ride back with us again) headed back to the show site, as I said above, it was quite hot out, so we’d decided to wait to hit the road until it was cooler out, which, considering it was summer… meant we had to wait until 8:30.😣 So we got home REALLY late, it was 1:45am when we pulled in… we throw poultice on the horses legs then gave them some hay before we dived head first into bed. We all Slept in… quite late… the next morning 😂
This all happened at the end of July, and I’m just getting around to posting it now…