When I arrived at El Sueno, the breeze was softly blowing, and there was a scattering of fluffy clouds overhead. The daytime highs for the weekend were predicted to be 81℉. Bakersfield’s low has been warmer than that this past few weeks. Weather like that makes showing so much more fun.
The drive over took a little longer than I had anticipated; I took a different route, but it was worth it as it was a much gentler route. I need to start taking Blue Truck’s age into mind when I plan my trips. You know how those senior citizens can be!
The California Dressage Society’s Regional Adult Amateur Competition will be held at El Sueno in two weeks, which is one of the reasons I wanted to go to this show. They’re turning some of the temporary barns into permanent stalls, but they are bringing in a new section of portable stalls for the RAAC. For those who know the facility, the new stalls will probably be next to the fence in the derby field. I am glad I got a heads up from the show manager as I park in the derby field. I may have to move my rig back a little bit which would be a bummer as I’ve had a luxurious spot under the big oak tree.
I got Speedy settled in quickly and then unpacked all of my own stuff. I may gripe and moan about that gray pony, but he is an absolute rock star at shows. There’s no fussing or worrying or screaming his head off (like the mare who was camped next door). As long as he has his hay and water along with an occasional beet pulp mash, he is (mostly) quite happy to stand and wait for me. I check in on him frequently so he knows where I am, but I totally dig his got this vibe.
It was the best warm up we’ve ever had. He was practically floating. He felt almost jaunty! El Sueno has these wonderfully large, clean mirrors that really let you check yourself out as you ride. I used the mirrors to check on my rein length and shortened them just a bit when I realized his nose was poking out too far. But from what I could see, his frame looked perfectly acceptable for a training level horse. He was tracking up nicely and was moving forward with good energy.
As a side note, mirrors also let you see the spare tire that has formed around your waist. Sitting deeply forces butt fat up and belly fat down. All that fat then meets around your middle. I tried really hard to look at my arms and back, but my eye was invariably drawn to the ball of fat rising out of my saddle. Each time I passed a mirror I asked myself who the middle aged lady was riding Speedy. Your forties are a wonderful decade full of awesome experiences, but be prepared for a sharp reality check.