Did you know that, at the gallop, all four of a horse's hooves are off the ground at the same time? Unlike a racetrack, you can get very close to the horses at a cross country event. You can watch them fly, literally, right past you. They devour the ground with huge strides and fly for a moment, all four hooves tucked as they sail through thin air before hitting ground and pushing off for the next stride. The riders are a talented bunch too, but it's the horses that catch your eye and steal your heart. They are athletes at the peak of fitness, putting heart and soul into their effort. Watch their faces as they gallop towards the next set of obstacles--ears are perked, eyes are bright--they soak in the cheers and applause after they've leaped an embankment and sailed over a fence with only one stride in-between. Amazing creatures with the biggest hearts...where did they come from? How did we get so lucky, we humans?
Aunt Lainey told me, "there is nothing like coming up on a fence with some trepidation about whether you can make it, and your horse just takes the bit in his mouth and tells you, essentially, 'I've got this'."
Needless to say, I had a blast at the Rolex horse show. I riddled Mindy and Aunt Lainey with a million questions about my (very near) future horsey set-up, enjoyed steeping in equine culture, and managed to purchase some cute things at the trade show.
A pretty ceramic pendant:
Some fun wellies (for Alice's sake!)
And some guy gave all three of us free pocket knives with our names engraved on them...
This item cracks me up, because it is, to me, the epitome of what I call cowgirl style--useful things that you will definitely use--all prettied up with, say, your name engraved in a scrolly font. Love it.
I finally made it back home, after finishing up a long weekend in Columbus, and everything has popped! The lilacs are blooming, the redbuds are profuse, dogwoods are coming on, and the woods are filling in with green. A light rain is falling now and will likely continue all week. The door to the study where I'm sitting is open and a cool breeze comes in here and there. It feels very good to be alive right now.