Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nationals- here we come

In the truck- Kate in the foreground and Connie next to her

At 11am on Wednesday night, we woke our horses and loaded up for the epic trip to the South Island. We ended up parked at the dock for quite a while but set sail at 2.25am on Thursday. I ended up sleeping for that crossing on the ground between a row of chairs. I can sleep anywhere so it wasn't so bad but I know the others battled a bit more. Still I woke up very cold and a bit stiff and I was glad to get back into the truck. McD's for breakfast- treating our bodies like the athletes we are-before heading on to Blenheim. Apparently getting straight on the road after being on the boat helps the horses recover from their sea legs. They all unloaded at the racecourse feeling hale and hearty, Connie especially was full of beans. Kate happily stuffed her face and the horses had a full hour of walking around and grazing before we continued on for Christchurch, a trip of about 4 hours I guess? I was very asleep for the prettiest part of the trip to be honest.

Restng at Blenhiem Racecourse at 6am.

So we got well lost in Christchurch but eventually found where we needed to be, though the tank on the truck was well below E so how we did, I actually have no idea. I had a very good elegant moment when I went to get out of the cab of the truck and caught my toe, falling all the way to the ground and landing on my hands and knees. Not cool! Unloading and setting up is one of the worst jobs of the show (Almost as bad as packing up) but it was soon done and I took Connie for a wee ride and she was very very hot to ride. I left her tied in her yard and rode Kate. I had a good ride on Kate, though Connie in this time had dug a pretty big hole. I wasn't until I was washing Kate that Connie really threw her toys out of the cot. She was digging frantically and trying to crawl out under the fence. Then she tried to jump and got her leg hung up. At this point I went and rescued her. She hadn't taken much skin off but in the morning she would have a fat knee. Suddenly the option of sending her to Gore for slaughter at $1.80 a pound was looking really appealing. She was like a little kid that gets over tired and just absolutely loses it.

Scooby Doo the trip mascot

Still I finally got everything done, my gear cleaned and my horses fed and feel into bed for a very very deep sleep before the days competing the next day. We really should have come down earlier but it was such a last minute adventure as it was. The weather in Christchurch was weird too, one minute your in a singlet and the next you are in a jacket. Very hard to keep up with.


  1. McD's is the ultimate food for the long road trips when competing, though i've never driven so far as the other island for a competition..

    Christchurch is beautiful, looking forward to hearing how the rest of your trip was :)

  2. I used to threaten a horse I rode with alpo cans. It did help, though I suspect it was more because I was angry and rode aggressively than because he really thought I would follow through. Good luck!

  3. Sounds like you had a pretty good trip there! It can be pretty stressful traveling long distances with horses.
    Hope the rest of your trip went really great, can't wait to hear about it....