It’s always nice to have the one full day there for the horses to settle in and things just seem to take so much longer! I’m not sure if it’s because everything is such a distance…nearest tap was about 100m away or you get stuck talking to people, or just waiting to use the tap but even a quick washdown is grab your hose fittings/hose/wash bucket, wait in line, convince now cooled off horse hosing *is* a good idea and so on…
Both got verified height wise, no dramas there – it is wonderful Canberra accept SHC height certificates, makes it reasonably quick & painless…I think I only got to chat with two people before we were stamped and out of there!
Explored the trade stands, most were not setup. I did manage to pickup a pair of gorgeous Eurostar charcoal work breeches (a bigger woohoo for now knowing my size!).
It was almost eerie, by Tuesday Canberra is normally filling up, horses going every which way and the trade stands are doing a roaring trade. Not so much this year…about 60% of floats/trucks. It stayed like that for most of the show, I guess in trying to keep people from camping under the major power lines everyone has become a lot more spread out. I certainly would have our 1km walk over being stabled/camped far out the back! (The cows were right next to us…this baby was pretty cute!).
E got an early morning session from 6am-7am when the grounds were open so got a good chance to look at everything, he settled into his work well but was a bit looky at so many horses! Admittedly so was I, there is literally 100+ horses all being ridden around at once…a lot to watch, so you generally pick your line and ride it, pass people left to left…and avoid any kids on ponies or those having trouble on hot hacks.
J got a ride/lunge in the sand arena, keeping things quiet for him. He always *knock wood* performs when he gets in the ring and being so deep the sand isn’t ideal (and neither is the back work arena which is rock hard)…E comes 1st as his classes are 1st
E got another ride that afternoon, this time had a few tantrums, pent-up energy that required about 1hrs riding on the grass arena, 30mins lunging and another 1hr in the sand arena. Which had him exactly where I wanted him…tired but listening and concentrating on the work. I’m sure there are a few thinking ” is a LOT of work for a horse usually ridden 1hr a day”…Yes, it is! That is how I manage him at a royal or big show, over the next few days it means I could trust him with a warmup of the walk to marshalling & 2 laps around the marshalling trotting each direction then walking on and off in the laneways. If as planned, he would be nostrils flaring, ears pricked…but listening and responding to what was asked.
On that note, we washed, we trimmed and we had dinner…and slept!