Poplar Place has officially begun!
Yesterday, I boarded an American flight to Atlanta that was delayed for an hour after boarding due to mechanical. Great, that's what I want to hear right before we fly somewhere. Luckily, with no further complications, I landed in Atlanta, picked up the rental car, and drove the 90 minutes down to Hamilton. (Thank God for GPS on my phone, I never would have made it from the airport to the highway without it!)
I got to my motel, the White Columns in Pine Mountain, about 15 minutes from Poplar. White Columns is very charming (re: old). It's quite adequate though, and close and not expensive. I like all of those things!
This morning, I woke up around 8, and made my way to Poplar. I got to see the beautiful Georgia forests on the way there, something I had missed the previous night when I drove in the dark. The entrance to Poplar was quite beautiful in the morning light.
I set up Dante's stall, organized my stall front, picked up my packet, and generally hung around for a bit before getting on Dante with an 11 o'clock flat lesson. Dante was pretty wide-eyed at first, stopping a few times on the way to the ring to take it all in. He chilled out a bit and put some good work in before both he and I got tired. Once I got tired, my body collapsed and he began to get a bit tense. I really need to think of my own body as needing to be uphill in order to sit correctly. His body will follow mine.
Afterwards, Dante had a nice bath (which he is generally not a fan of), my tack got cleaned, and then we did the in-barn vet inspection. Next, I ran into Columbus with YR Jacob Fletcher, his groom Elizabeth, and Ellen Doughty of Pegasus Eventing to have lunch, where we enjoyed sandwiches at Atlanta Bread Company and ice cream from Marble Slab. Yum!
Next up was the coursewalk with Heather. I love walking the cross country course for the first time, the excitement and anticipation both dissipate and builds with every fence. The dissipation happens as the mystery of what the course will be is slowly revealed, but the building occurs as I imagine myself jumping each combination. The first cross country walk is one of my favorite parts of the weekend.
The course looks quite fun, but I'm going to talk about it tomorrow, when I take lots of pictures.
Then Dante got braided and was forced to wear his hoodie. Poor guy, embarrassed constantly by his owner. Went to dinner, again in Columbus, came back, and took him for a walk.
Then we hung out at the trailers for a bit while Jacob entertained us by playing the Yes Game. The Yes Game is where Jacob stares at you and asks you an outrageous question (dirty, toilet humor, you name it) and you have to answer yes and you cannot laugh. Quite entertaining.
Tomorrow's an early day. I ride dressage at 9:24, not too early, but early enough that I have to wake up early. Oh well, I have plenty of time to walk my course a couple more times!