Brian and I had a fantastic weekend! I got home Wednesday evening, went to work on Thursday, then we left Friday morning for Franklin, TN for Road to the Horse.
Our journey on the way there was fun. We stopped in Metropolis, IL to visit superman. Actually we were going to hunt for a letterbox, but the park that we think it was hidden in was closed due to downed trees and big branches. There were crews out there working.
So we headed into town:
IT'S A BIRD...IT'S A PLANE...NO! IT'S SUPERMAN AND SUPER CHICK!
This is a neat town!
Okay, the sign made us laugh!
I did not get any pictures of the actual competition - my little camera just could not work from that distance. We pick our seats at the top of the row in the center so we can see everything.
This year was great! Richard Winters won, and honestly, I would have been
happy with any of them winning. I think Richard was more consistent with his little horse, and he was the first one to ride his horse thru the obstacle course wearing the halter and lead. He said if he was at home he would ride the first few times with the halter, and he was doing it the same here. I did not realize he was the first one to ride the course bitless - I read it today. :-)
Tommy Garland picked a tough horse! That horse had a lot more 'go' than Tommy had time, but let me tell ya, he still rode that horse, and the horse did great for him! Tommy ended up buying him and said he is going to keep his web site updated on the training progress. He is also going to let the people suggest names, then they will pick one. He bought his horse last year too, and his little boy told him that the horse looked like Spirit (that is his name now). Tommy says that is one
horse that will grow old on his place...a forever home!
John Lyons picked a horse that I thought was very bold. John touched him real quick, but the horse was in John's space, but John went with the flow. On day two the horse got sticky feet and just did not want to move. But in the end, they did very well! John talks a lot - he explains everything he is doing and things he thinks the horse is responding to, etc (which is fine for me).....they had 35 minutes to get their horse saddled, get their requirements done, do the obstacle course, then a free style. He was jabbering away, and Rick Lamb was reminding him that he only had 11 minutes left and still needed to do the obstacle course. John was very calm and let us all know that he had plenty of time. He was not too excited about it. At about the 8 minute mark, John decided to
do the obstacle course, and by golly, he just zipped right thru it! He really did pleasantly surprise me!
I enjoyed all three trainers, and even tho they did some things I was not sure about, they were all great and very entertaining. I think this year was better than last year - don't know why, it just was.
Before the competition each trainer comes out and rides their horse for a few minutes. Tommy came out on Spirit and he had ape hanger handlebars (the tall kind) on his saddle with the reins wrapped up on the handles. He was dressed like a biker, and he gave a great performance! Then he announced that he had not practiced that - that this was the first time they did that routine. Wow! Can't wait for the DVD to come out!
Richard rode some reining moves, and John had fun with his horse Preacher, and he rode and drove him. He also took his wife Jodi on a date in front of 6000 people! It was a real neat performance...very romantic!
The Battle of the Bling was alright. Not as big a deal as I was hoping. Mark and his mustang went up against a QH - they did a reining pattern.
Then another QH and Wylie with her mustang did a short obstacle course. She rode
bareback - that girl can ride! She started out way ahead, then got
behind on the figure 8 around some poles. They had a surprise under some bales of shavings - it was a live chicken! She had to dismount, then get back on again (Mark helped her back on) and carry the live chicken to the finish line! It was so darn funny! All I could think about was how great her horse handled it! Tripp would have had a coronary if I was carrying a chicken....they did give me an idea for another thing to get him used to! I have plenty of chickens to practice with. Hee hee!
The best part is the mustangs still won! Everyone had to text their votes in, and I think the mustang people did not give up and they were voting just like it was American Idol! They voted A LOT! Ha ha!
A lady beside me voted for RTTH and she just voted once! I kept my mouth shut and kept on a dialing!
There were a lot of vendors, and a lady who builds driftwood horses had a horse there. There were supposed to be two of them, but we never saw the other one. In fact, I didn't think this was the one that was supposed to be here.... doesn't matter tho, it was beautiful! Inside the horse, around it's withers, you could see a real fiddle inside! I missed it the first time, and the security guy told us about it. Sure enough...it was there!
Full body shot.
Brian and I had no idea that we would meet up with our EMM stall neighbors! Stephanie (not in the picture) and her two sons who are trainers were there. Kris (not the tall one...ha ha) and Nik Kokal(the tall one) and I getting our picture taken. It was great to see them!
Here is a neat story...one of the top 10 horses in the Idols division was adopted by someone close to the place that adopted one of their EMM horses. Nik had been hired to work with this horse! Nik said the horse was great for arena work, but the people wanted to trail ride, etc., and the horse would have none of it! So the adopters have been flying the Kokal's to Texas once a month to work with the horse! How cool is that?!
There were several EMM trainers at RTTH - and several of us joined in for a photo op. Brian was the photographer for this picture - Patti Colbert had her own photographer who had stood up on a chair and got a few shots angled down. I can't wait to see them. It was fun to see some of the trainers again and catch up with what everyone is doing.
It was a great weekend! They did not announce trainers for next years event...wonder what is going on with that. Maybe a new format? I will have to be patient....
Until later...Karen and Tripp who missed me while I was gone! :-D