I’ve been friends with Lynn for decades and her enthusiasm for horses has never waned. I tagged along with her when she rode in various horse shows during our high school years. I had to keep my green-eyed-monster in check as I watched her perform; desperately wishing to be in the saddle, too. I was better suited for a hobby horse, but a girl can dream, right?
We were recently honored and delighted to join her, and her husband, in Thomson, Georgia for the Advanced-Pine-Top-Horse-Trials, in which her 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood was competing.
Kaballero (‘Kipper’ to his friends) is an exceedingly handsome horse with a white blaze, long neck, powerful hindquarters and a winning spirit. He is young, enthusiastic, vigorous and just recently began competing at the Preliminary Level. His spunkiness paid off during Cross Country and Show Jumping, where he had ample opportunity to showcase his desire to be airborne. He is a natural acrobat who prefers hurdles to ballroom dancing. His dressage score suffered a bit because of his reluctance to methodically tap dance for the judges. He sees himself as Edwin Moses, not as Fred Astaire. “I don’t want to do the Too-Slow-Two Step“, he whinnied in protestation a few too many times. It’s all a learning experience, and I have little doubt, that his very capable trainer, Fylicia Barr will have him doing a more peaceful polka in the dressage ring in no time.
Even when he is naughty, he is a noble beast.
Pine Top offered an amazing setting. It is a spacious and beautiful farm. The cross country course was huge, challenging, and well laid out. There were plentiful barns, fields and relief stations. The concession stand, run for the benefit of the local high school band, offered a few chortles of comic relief. A very nice, but exceedingly OCD supervisor was giving precise instruction for food preparation to high school volunteers. The ‘Sandwich-Czar’ made sure that each PB&J sandwich was made in the exact same way; a certain, measured amount of peanut butter on one side, spread with a particular knife, then jelly was to be spread only on the clean piece of bread, never on top of the peanut butter. Each sandwich took 10 minutes to make. It turns out that I’ve been doing it all wrong for the past half-century, but I can whip up a PB&J less than a minute. When it comes to peanut butter, it is function over form for me.
Because our RV (Big Bertha) was hooked up and level, 225 miles South of the horse trial venue, we opted to stay one night at the same pet-friendly hotel/motel at which our friends had made a reservation. They warned us, after their arrival, that it was a far cry from a 5-star hotel. In fact, they cautioned us that if we chose to proceed, we would be doing so at our own risk. We make some crazy sacrifices for our pets, and this was one of them. It was the sole establishment in the area that would allow for our furry friends. The hotel was worn and dated, and falling apart at the seams. There were cracked floors, missing lightbulbs, threadbare carpeting, a broken phone and even a water outage. Still, it takes more than a seedy motel to keep us from enjoying time spent with good friends.
“There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.”
Thank goodness for Hogie Joe’s Grill. We were able to avoid our rooms and spend the evening with comfortable outdoor seating, a cold beer and a tasty meal. Good company + Good food = Good times
Next Up… Our Golf Outing… It’s not pretty.