Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Much Ado About Nothing

So. Pretty much what the title says.

Not much has been happening on the Comedic Eventing front since I bought the trailer. I haven't seen it since yet, since it's living about an hour away from me and it's not as if I really need to go SEE it.

Dante was doing very well, but had a set back when the farrier rasped his feet too short in mid-October. The farrier had been doing a good job until this point, but suddenly quit/retired without warning to any of his clients shortly after doing Dante. When Dr. Newton came out a couple days later to look at him, he was lame in all four feet with 30% less foot than he had had before.

Le sigh.

In terms of setbacks, it could be worse, really. It's an easy fix, just wait for his foot to grow out. Again.

When Dr. Newton looked at him a few weeks ago, he was 90% back to where he was before. He said at that time we could put shoes on and see how the horse was, or be conservative and wait a couple more weeks. I figured I'd waited this long, might as well let the horse be 100%. He'll be out to look at Dante again on Friday, and hopefully we'll move ahead on shoes.

We updated Dante's FEI passport as well. This is so important to keep updated, even if your horse is currently being a pasture puff. The officials can give you the hairy eyeball if there's a gap in your horse's vaccinations, and possibly eliminate you. We had a scary incident last spring where almost half the kids at the barn were almost retroactively eliminated at an FEI competition after dressage due to a secretarial clerical error on their passports that said the horses had been vaccinated less than seven days before the show. This wasn't the case and they were allowed to complete after much hoopla, but there were a lot of tears and heartbreak before the whole mess was sorted out. Moral of the story, keep your FEI horses religiously updated on their vaccines!

I haven't looked at a single barn yet. Since Dante had a setback, it's likely he won't arrive until late January now. I can't quite bring myself to go look at barns until I know for sure he's coming, or at least until he gets shoes.

I've been running quite a bit, trying to stay in shape. The hills of Middleburg are kicking my butt! It's hard to stay motivated during the week though, when I arrived home and it's already completely dark and cold. I'm looking into buying a P90X or similar program, that I could do inside.

I've been traveling too, went to Vegas for a high school friend's wedding, and up to NJ over Thanksgiving to be with my SO for the holiday. I managed to run my two miles on both occasions!

(The most awesome window display ever in Vegas.)

In October I was lucky enough to score some tickets to the Puissance at the Washington International Horse show. It was quite entertaining to take a subway to get to a horse show, not to mention all the stalls in the middle of the street. This weekend I am excited to witness the Middleburg Christmas Parade, something that apparently can draw over 10,000 people! Thankfully I automatically have parking at my house! So I'm finding ways to fulfill my horsey fix. Hopefully the wait will be over soon.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Getting Mobile (Or, How Hurricane Sandy Messed with My Head)

After a mildly obsessive search that included cross-referenced Excel spreadsheets, daily repetitive searches on the usual websites, and maybe $100 worth of fuel costs, Comedic Eventing is finally mobile!

I liked to joke earlier this year that I may have been the only Advanced Level eventer in the entire country to have neither a truck nor a trailer. Now obviously, that is a completely wild guess, but most people at that level at least have one or the other.

In June, I partially rectified the matter and made the first big purchase of my adult life, obtaining my truck. I was halfway to freedom.

On Saturday, I kissed goodbye to my savings account and bought a 2004 Hawk two horse straight load, one of the brands and models I had been lusting after. It has almost everything I wanted: a rear ramp, dressing room, gooseneck hitch, water tank, fan in the horse area, extra space in the horse area, and above all, a side ramp. (You see, Dante has never quite gotten the hang of backing down a rear ramp with any sort of coordination. Every time I remove him from the trailer backwards, I live in fear of him being an absolute ding-dong and injuring himself somehow. Hence, the side ramp.)

(Look at the shiny! Or rather, the matte aluminum skin...)

As a bonus, there's also a large gate in the center that I can shift between two positions, so I can haul two horses in the rear, with the gate shut and equipment or hay in the front. I can also shift the gate back a couple of feet and haul one horse loose in a box stall configuration in the front and haul equipment and hay in the back. Or I can remove the gate all together if I like, or even remove all of the gates and hardware to form one giant box. (I'll never have to rent another Uhaul trailer for moving ever again!) Another bonus was the ability to plug the trailer into a hookup and get power for two outlets.

So on Saturday, I bought the trailer (name still pending, and yes it needs a name, I name everything), and took it to its temporary parking place out in Poolesville, MD. Then, mindful of the impending inclement weather (Some of you might have heard of Sandy?) I tried to get it insured on Sunday.

Turns out the insurance companies stopped binding all policies on Friday due to the expectation of a hurricane.

Lesson learned. Never, ever make a big purchase that must be outside two days prior to a hurricane arriving. You will spend the entire storm obsessively checking the hourly weather where said purchase is located and hoping that the wind gusts aren't strong enough to knock over any trees and toss them onto your trailer.

Well, you'll be checking obsessively until you lose power, of course.

Luckily, for those of us in NoVA, the wind and rain was not too bad, and although there was some damage due to downed trees and power did go out mostly overnight and some on Tuesday, we largely escaped Sandy unscathed. I got the report that my trailer was fine, and I breathed a sigh of relief. And promptly on Wednesday, got the thing insured.