We left the farm on Friday around lunch time and drove about 4 hours to the National Equestrian Center, just outside of Taupo, with six horses in the back of the truck.
This picture doesn’t do this horse van justice. It’s gigantic. As I said, six horses in the back. Plus 4 separate bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and a flat screen tv. I slept where the horses travel. It was a bit chilly, but nothing anybody from Canada can’t handle. This horse show had about 300-400 horses at it, which is pretty standard. There is also no hunters, only jumpers. There are usually about 4 rings going at once so things tend to move along quite nicely. We started at 6am, mucked out, took off blankets (the horses wear 3 at night, 2 during the day, get a fleece on after working which is then switched after they dry back to their usual 2, and when they’re at the ring they have a different blanket on- plus a heavier one if it’s raining or cold), caulked, brought one horse to the ring, video taped the round, brought it back, untacked, sponged, uncaulked, and repeat for all 6 horses. Each day consisted of lots of running back and forth from the rings to the barn to the truck to the stud barn (we had one stallion with us) and back. The barns were nothing like what you see in Canada at shows. With the exception of the stallion block, they were outdoor stables, half covered and the other half outdoor boxes, with wooden perimeters. Both the head groom (who’s last job was in the US) and I were pretty shocked. All that separated the horses was thin wooden rails that were only about waist height. Easy to jump out of and easy to break. However, there were no wrecks, and according to others who have been to this show before, there hardly ever is any trouble. The horses sometimes break a rail, and you’ll find two horses in one pen, but other then that they’re fine. And after the weekend both of us had gotten over the shock and realized that it is quite practical and a lot cheaper.
After the first day was over, we had a quick supper and then went into Taupo to watch the All Blacks vs France. I have to say, the All Blacks are fantastic to watch. And the atmosphere in the pub we were at was so cool! I have to say the biggest disappointment of the weekend was ordering the pub’s chocolate cake (which cost $12), and then waiting a good 40 minutes for it to come, getting all excited cause it looked soooo goood, and then having the waiter come out with your money and saying they ran out. Awful. I really wanted to know if that piece of cake was worth what we paid. I guess I’ll never know.
The second day was much slower, I waited at the ring with Mr. Berg (one of my favourites), who was in the 1.25 championship class. The class started late, and we were ready early so we waitied, warmed up, and then waited some more, had a clear round, waited and waited and waited for the jump off, and then went into the jump off. For some reason he refused out of the combination this time around the course, Kyle was very unhappy. After Berg’s class we were done and the rush to get home started. We got home around 6 and were done in the barn by a little after 8. I had a brilliant nap all the way home, so I wasn’t even too exhausted. I still went to bed early (I’ve been going to bed around 8:30 or 9 most nights) as I knew Monday was going to come up fast.
Speaking of which, it’s getting close to bed time here now. Below are some pictures I took driving up to Taupo, and on my walk last week. Enjoy!