I hauled up Saturday afternoon, early evening and I got Bali all settled into the amazing barn at the USET Foundation’s headquarters in Gladstone, NJ. I only had one flat tire…and it was only out of air, it didn’t appear to have any defects and has held to 70 psi since I aired it up. The great puzzle is how did it go flat in 5 hours? At least it was a dually tire…and the outside one.
Since it was getting late after I got everything set up, I only took a couple of pictures.
This is the aisle of the lower level of the barn. The upstairs stalls look pretty much the same, but this level was more wind proof and with Hurricane Sandy bearing down on us, Christy at USET had wisely opted to put all the horses downstairs. You could barely notice it was raining outside, much less a hurricane on Monday night!
Bali approved of her comfy stall.
I went to stay with some kind friends on Saturday, since my hotel reservation wasn’t until Sunday, and then Sunday morning I wanted to get Bali out for a ride. There is no turnout at all, and so I wanted to make sure she got some exercise in.
I had to take a “through the ears” picture of the barn, from the main arena. The indoor is off to my right, but as the rain hadn’t started up yet, I was able to get a nice ride in outside.
I was also able to get into the indoor a bit, make sure it wasn’t too scary, Jane’s Newsletter with video clips of other riders and all was well. Bali was totally ok with it. No drama.
On Monday though…we rode right after lunch, Suzy had walked Bali for me in the morning and warned me that she was going to be full of herself, and Bali looked exceptionally bright eyed and bushy tailed, then the hurricane rolled in with great gusto…about 1:30pm. I did NOT use earplugs for the first ride. It was lively.
I also discovered that Bali likes music!!! I am inspired to start seriously thinking about a freestyle, because when Jane had everyone dance in the arena and played loud rock, Bali loved it!!! She was forward and felt amazing….and then they turned off the music and BAM…we were in a metal indoor, under trees, with a hurricane raging. There were several squeals, multiple spins, and a lot of Tigger like behavior. (Bouncy bouncy bouncy).
Bali amuses me though, so I laughed at her antics, I did lose a stirrup once.
No pictures of the rides, but it was a great experience and I learned a lot. Many of the other demo riders opted out of coming, due to the storm, which was probably the more prudent decision, so I offered to ride twice. Bali is fit, but she was definitely tired from all the extra bouncing she put in, just tired.
I really liked Jane’s explanation of the aids for flying changes. I was not the demo rider for that, but I’ve been practicing those on my treadmill.
We lost power at the hotel sometime in the night Monday and it took a few different attempted routes to get back to USET on Tuesday morning (and another route on Monday night when we went to do a night check), but USET has generators, the caterers still brought food, we delayed the start an hour on Tuesday, then powered though, with a thinner crowd. There were some who could not find open roads.
My trailer had gotten blown off its block that I put the jack on…moved a few feet sideways! ACK!
I did think to get a picture, right before we left. My rig is not tiny, but it looks like a toy next to the barn.
Jane is a super teacher. I am really enjoying the book Dressage 101 that came with the class. I need to go through all my notes, but that will have to be another night.