Shar was going to be representing her company (a printing company, including promotional products), so she needed to head over Thursday night. I also had the option of riding with Kirstin on Friday morning, but if I was going to miss work anyway, figured I'd head over Thursday night with Shar, especially since we'd be spending that night at her parents' house, and I've met them and their dogs before and liked them all. :-)
So I packed up Wednesday night, and Thursday morning I loaded up the car, fed and watered the kitties for the next few days, and went to work. Worked all day, then headed to Shar's. I beat her there by a few minutes, and it was still a bit light out, and I had a bunch of apples with me, so the horses got one. :-) Then when she got home, we loaded up her car and headed out. It was dark, but luckily the pass was only bare and wet (unlike the next morning, when a lot of Central Oregonians were driving over, from what I heard!). We stopped at the summit for dinner, and the place was inundated with teens finishing up their day of skiing at Mt. Hood. Wow. Were we ever like that?
We finished the rest of the drive uneventfully and pulled up at her parents' house. They'd already gone to bed, so we quietly did, too. In the morning, we got to chat with both her parents a bit, and I got to pet the beast Simba (huge, sweet dog with some behavior issues Shar's parents are trying to work through), then we took off for the convention. Yay!
|The traffic was not so "yay" though...|
I had told myself (and actually told Shar aloud, as well) that I didn't need any new tack, but boy is it hard to attend an event like that without buying ANYthing. There was a booth selling custom-sewn items like rump rugs (goes over the rear end of the horse while riding when it's cold out, so their muscles can warm up nicely and cool down more slowly when the horse stops exercising) and fleece helmet covers (like a hat, but large enough and shaped to go over a riding helmet). Shar bought a helmet cover, and I strongly considered buying a rump rug. They didn't have a fabric that really spoke to me, but the woman running the booth gave me the link to their fabric supplier so I could check out all the options. There were some really cute fabrics in colors that aren't "my" color, and some patterns that didn't really speak to me in colors I did like (like owls--cute, but not really my thing, especially for tack), so I ended up going with a print that looks like a photo from the Hubble telescope or something, with purple as a main color. Kind of abstract, kind of not, with some hints of purple. Whatever.
The one thing I had given myself permission to buy was new reins. The ones I currently use are lightweight rope reins (they don't have the heft and feel that some do). I like them fine, except when I fall off or otherwise have them slipping through my fingers rapidly--I've gotten rope burned from them a couple times. Plus since they don't have much weight to them, they don't have a lot of "feel." I rode in Shar's nubby reins once (very rubberized, and they have a LOT of "feel"), and loved the feel of them. But hers are yellow. I need purple, of course. :-) They had all-purple (no nubbies) reins, and they had nubby reins in a lot of colors, but not purple. They also had two kinds of nubbies, and one definitely DID not feel like what I wanted. So I custom ordered some reins with the right nubbies, and purple biothane on the ends (toward the horse's mouth). So yay! Two fun packages should be coming for me in the next few weeks!
The ONE other thing I was seriously contemplating purchasing (after I got there, not before) was this beautiful purple jacket I saw. It was lovely. And the arms were long enough, even though it was a women's jacket! (It was made for riding, by Kerrits, a riding clothing brand.) I was totally in love, but the largest size they had there at the show didn't QUITE fit me, so I asked if it came any larger from the manufacturer, and it didn't. SO bummed. I'm not sure I'll ever find a purple jacket (women's or men's) that fits me. :-(
Anyway, I won't bore you with a play-by-play of the WHOLE weekend, but it was really awesome. It was fun to hang out with friends, meet people I'd only "met" on Facebook, see folks in street clothes that you usually only see in stretch pants, a helmet, and a coating of dust. It was also really bizarre, after going to business-related trade shows and/or conferences, to be in a hotel conference room, sitting in a conference room chair, watching a PowerPoint that was not only interesting, but a relatable topic with valuable information to ME. :-) And trade show booths full of tempting goodies instead of random corporate software or (once the novelty wears off, no pun intended) literally miles upon miles of candy). So that was fun, for sure. We heard talks about nutrition and hydration, and talks about working on training, and it was all very motivating. Throughout the weekend, I was hoping we'd be home in time to do a bit of riding on Sunday.
One of the vendor demonstrations was a veterinarian and certified (veterinary) chiropractor and acupuncturist, who brought not only her also well-qualified husband, but their miniature horse. It was the funniest thing--a hotel conference room full of people who all own and ride horses, all GASPED and exclaimed "he's adorable!" "can I pet him?" "what's his name" etc. when this little guy walked in:
|Sterling, the well-behave mini|
He was TOO stinkin' cute. And very well-behaved. And so calm. Such a cutie-pie! She demoed stretches and things you can do on your horses, and showed where some acupuncture points are, etc.