Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Foto Friday: Interstate Images

Lesson: Switching from binocular vision to a two-dimensional photo changes clouds from dramatic to mildly interesting.

This is what happens when one spends most of the daylight hours on a Saturday driving around the state of Tennessee. Taken from the passenger seat.

Process notes: Dragged out the big camera. Yay! Could not get it to take the picture I wanted. Switched to A. Boo!

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Rodney’s Dubious Future as a Dressage Horse

We did not have a dressage lesson in July. Sniffle.

Mr. E. has made it clear that he wants to see Rodney in a better ring. He has a point. Our riding space is small and often slippy.

What is not clear is how we will haul Rodney to another barn. When we took him to Stepping Stone for proof of concept [Recap], he had trouble wedging his enormous self into the standard space in our slantload. We knew it would not work for long rides, say to the AEC, but we thought it would be okay to go around the corner.

Not so much.

Over was fine, once we got him stuffed in. When we got home, he was covered with sweat and had torn the side matting. The theory is that he didn’t have enough space to brace himself.

Second try. We removed the partition to give him more room. Essentially turned the space into a stock trailer. I’ve shipped dozens of horses in stock trailers. They usually prefer it to regular trailers.

Rodney, not so much.

First, he was reluctant to load. A sign of having had a bad ride previously. Once we got him on and secured, something happened. We don’t know what. He freaked, broke loose, and crashed into the butt bar. He blew up his ankle and sprained his ass.

We probably need a Warmblood-sized trailer. I don’t want to buy a trailer for a pasture ornament. He can’t become more than a pasture ornament until we have a trailer to take him places.


Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

7 Ways To Dodge Nostalgia


In planning for the CAA Carriage Festival, there was one question on everyone’s mind. How would I handle it? In the end, the weekend didn’t turn out so bad. [Show Report, Show Photos]

Looking Back
I wasn’t nostalgic because … I already held the pity party.

“The sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home.” Where I stayed. New owners. Still gorgeous.

For over a decade, I would spend the week of the then-Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event running around the Kentucky Horse Park. I’ve mentioned it once or twice [Peregrinatio in Stabilitate 2012]. When I left WEG on the last day, I made a point of stopping and looking back at the arena, knowing it would be a while before I came back. It was seven years. [Kentucky Memories 2013]

I wasn’t nostalgic because … everything looked different.

I’ve seen Iron Works Pike often, but never from this angle.

The CAA Festival was in the Alltech arena, which was built for WEG in 2010. It stands off to the side behind the maintenance area. So we were on a completely different patch of turf. The trailers were parked in a section of KHP that I didn’t even know existed.

We did not go near the big arena all weekend. I only saw it in the distance. We were specifically told NOT to take the carriages down Nina Bonnie Boulevard, so that we didn’t spook the exhibitors at the Arabian show and they didn’t spook us. When I walked up to see the show, I went through the barns, something I could never do when they were fenced off as FEI stabling. Instead of a trade fair, the covered arena held classes that looked a lot like an ASB show.

Even cross-country looked different. Obviously, the white ropes and flowers were not there. Seeing unbarricaded, naked jumps was odd. Plus the jumps themselves have changed. Now it’s all portables, skinnies, and angled lines. Difficult, but not the heart-stopping impossibility of a broken bridge.

Lexington has changed, as cities do over time. deSha’s is gone, which seems unreal, Herald-Leader: It’s closing time for deSha’s restaurant in downtown Lexington.

DeSha’s corner is to the left. I refuse to take a picture of the global brand that now occupies the space.

OTOH, we discovered North Lime Coffee & Donuts which produced a pastry product that tested my loyalty to Dunkin’ Donuts. We would have gone back every day had their hours been more horse show friendly.

Looking Around
I wasn’t nostalgic because … I was busy.
No princessing permitted [Reign of the Swan Princess, Show Report]. If something needed to be done to the horses, one of the four of us had to do it. I loved it. IRL, I’m horrible barn help. I do good work but I’m too slow to be a professional. However, for the handful of days at a show, I am an awesome groom: perky, organized, obsessive. Everything one would want in a minion.

Taking care of what’s important.

Didn’t get to Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Didn’t get to Commotion to try on schooling jods. Didn’t get to Freedmans to drool over leather goods. Did get to Old Kentucky Chocolates.

I wasn’t nostalgic because … I have new friends.

The Lexington Junior League Charity Horse Show takes place the week after CAA. Stepping Stone Farm came up to represent in the Adult Eq division, Upton Claims Back-to-Back USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final Titles. Despite all that time in Lexington. I had never seen the Red Mile. Heard of, yes. Driven past, sure. Gone to see? No. Now that I had a reason, we stopped on the way home out to check out the showgrounds.

Sunday morning during our doughnut run, I texted Coach Courtney.

Sunday afternoon, she texted back.

Photo by Courtney Huguley

Missed ’em by that much.

Looking Forward
I wasn’t nostalgic because … the carriages will be back.
Will we go to CAA next year? Depends what horse Greg is driving. On one hand, it’s hunterland in a cart. On the other hand, we do not suffer an overabundance of driving competition opportunities. Plus, half of the classes were speed classes, even if one does have to do them in fancy dress.

I wasn’t nostalgic because … the Saddlebreds will be back.
In 2018, the Junior League show is moving to KHP, in the big arena no less. I’ve read what they said publicly in the Special Junior League of Lexington Announcement. Since it is the horse world, I have to imagine an element of drama accompanied that decision. One reason given was the all-weather footing. Remember, show Saddlebreds do not consider themselves to be all-terrain vehicles.

Memories of #thelastmile, Red Mile 2017.
Photos by Courtney Huguley

I wonder if I could start a movement for an Adult Leadline class.

I wasn’t nostalgic because … I’ll be back.
Would I forego an event in Georgia that was closer to me or drive right past a hunter/jumper show in Tennessee just to compete at the Kentucky Horse Park? Absolutely.

Rolex in Rodney’s Saga over the years [list of posts].

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Show Photos: CAA Carriage Festival 2017

CAA Carriage Festival
Alltech Arena
Kentucky Horse Park
Lexington KY, USA
June 30-July 2, 2017
[Show Report]

Bliss is revved up from winning the timed obstacle class.

On a Sunday drive through the Kentucky Horse Park.

The Sunday drive as seen from the back seat.

Jewel and Kate behind the Alltech arena

Kate’s phancy phaeton earns a gold certificate in the carriage judging.

Carriage closeup.

Whip Hand Farm photos by Kate Bushman and Kevin Smith.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

What I Love About Lexington

Saddle Seat Wednesday

Gotta love a town that advertises a horse show on a billboard.

Why were we in Lexington? You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out. (Unless you followed me on Instagram over the weekend, @rodneyssaga.)

Hint: It was not Saddlebreds.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Arte de la Letra: Bienvenido Verano


Letras de la playa de un lector en México.

Publicaciones anteriores de México
[Hipico Del Mar]
[Yeguas y Potros en México, Día de la Madre 2016, Fotos de la Visitante]

Traducción de Google.

Gracias por leer,
Katherine Walcott

Show Report: Dixie Cup 2017

Saddle Seat Wednesday

Timeline. The activities below occurred and were written up on Saturday before our inadvertent jump school on Sunday. Hence the mood-swing back to the dark side. IRL, I’m still basking [Jump!]. (I don’t usually write up a show immediately, but I was attempting to process.)

Show Details
Dixie Cup Horse Show

Georgia International Horse Park
Conyers, GA, USA
Saturday, May 6, 2017
With HB Whizbang
301 Academy Equitation WTC – Adult, 1st of 2
302 Academy Showmanship WTC – Adult, 2nd of 2
321 Academy WTC Championship, 4th of 5
Thank you to the Alvis family for the wonderful Mr. Whizbang.

Show Report
I decided to go at the last minute. Pro-AM was so awful [Report], it was deemed that I could use as much practice as possible.

Didn’t help.

I had some good moments. I had some bad. I ping-ponged between them like a demented pinball. Occasionally, Mr, Whizbang and I ping-ponged around the ring. The middle class was going the best, until I made an adjustment in the canter, overadjusted, and we broke into a trot. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

With apologies to Casey McBride Photography, I am not ordering a photo from the show. Again. I’m all for supporting show photographers. Part of me wants to buy one to document the horses that I show over the years. OTOH, there is no reason to own a photo when I can’t bear to look at the proofs.

I can’t win every class. Well, I’d like to, but it ain’t gonna happen. Ultimately, it’s not about how I place. I have no control over that. It’s about how well I ride. If I lay down my best trip and someone else has a better round? Fine. Go home and work harder. If I continue to make mistakes that I can’t feel and don’t know how to fix? That’s when I go home and write self-pitying blog posts.

In the not-you-it’s-me category, Mr. Whizbang had a full day. After suit equation in the morning, he did the full run of Academy in the afternoon: driving, walk-trot-canter, and walk-trot. He was Champion with his young owner. Smart Snippy!

GIHP show reports [list]. My best day at Conyers was my first [Report]. After that the wheels came off to varying degrees.

And Now For Something Completely Different
Part of my justification for going to the show was to stop in Atlanta afterwards for anniversaryesque activities [Village].

Sausage Shopping

The Spotted Trotter
A boutique butcher

Dekalb Farmers Market
Food from everywhere, shoppers ditto.

Anniversary Dinner

Yat Tuh
Eater Atlanta: The 38 Essential Atlanta Restaurants, Spring ’17

We be foodies.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott