I flew to North Carolina last Thursday. This was complicated by the fact that I did not plan my packing ahead. So about 2 hours before I was to go to the airport I realized that I didn’t own enough decent t-shirts to go away for a weekend. I own plenty of t-shirts but most can not be worn out in public without a bit of an apology. My particular favorite says, “Buck Off.” I bought it when I was having that exact problem with Prize. But it was not the professional image I’m supposed to project.

So it was off to Wal-mart for me. (Don’t hate me for the Wal-mart stop. If you want a t-shirt in this town that is your only choice.) I grabbed 3 t-shirts in assorted colors and raced back to pack up the suitcase and get to the airport.

I flew to Asheville. The Asheville airport has rocking chairs in the waiting areas. That is seriously cool. I was met by a person that I had never met. I am continously amazed that no one ever has a sign so I can pick them out. I watch movies. I know that’s how it works in the movies. In my life I have to guess. I guessed and introduced myself to the person who was staring at me. She told me that I didn’t look right. Makes a person wonder how they have been described.

The ride manager is hyper-organized (read anal). She loves her schedules. It all worked out well as long as all the planets aligned and all the people their marks at the right time.

I thought I was just judging one day but I ended up judging for 2. I had the beginner riders. There were 50 of them. Most rides are limited to 60 riders total but this was an unlimited entry ride. The ride was held at the Biltmore estate. I had never been there and I was hoping I’d have time to go in the house. But I was working too much. I did end up getting my picture taken outside the house. We were doing an obstacle not too far away and hiked over to see it. That meant of course that the real tourists could also see use and hike over to see what we were doing. At the time I was making people trot a weaving course through some trees. That was definately not on the Biltmore brochures.

The weird thing about this sport is that you meet everyone in the woods. There is absolutely none of the usual status symbols that tell you about the person’s standing in the real world. I am constantly amazed when I find out that people that would have bet lived in a cabin in the woods and only came down to town once or twice a year are in fact cardiac surgeons. (I’m not making that up.) I’m sure that if I wasn’t the person examining their horses they would never guess my day job either.

What Do You Think?

I had a good time at the horse conference. There are six clinics going on all the time from 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM for 4 days. I wasn’t thrilled with the speakers this year. There wasn’t anything I was dying to see ahead of time but it turned out better than expected.

My mom came down Thursday night. We went out on Friday to the trails that we are using for the trail ride. She got pretty freaked out by some of the trails. But she hasn’t seen some of the trails that they do in other places.

I normally don’t shop a whole lot at the trade show but someone chewed up Prize’s bridle so I had to get her a new one.

My trainer normally teaches here but this year he didn’t. Instead he rode in a cow horse clinic. The horse he was using had no idea what he was doing but got into it after a while. He’s a western pleasure horse so “run like crazy and catch that cow” wasn’t part of his vocabulary.

What Do You Think?