......the haul in crew! I love hosting events, believe it or not it's actually fun to have the farm invaded by 300 horses and who knows how many people. BUT, my biggest complaint is the garbage left behind. I know this is a common problem for organizers and I also know from the competitor side of things there is often not enough trash cans around to accomodate the amount of trash we produce in a weekend. So hence the tidy award! What is the prize for the tidy award? Pride in the fact that I didn't have to pick up a single piece of trash from the haul in field!! While I love the fact that everyone had a good time camping, I didn't love picking up the trash left behind and climbing in the dumpster to jump up and down on it to make it all fit in, nice image I know! Around the barns? Duct tape, water bottles, twine, ice bags, shaving bags. I know most of you are great and pick up after yourselves, thank you, and I'm also sure I'm guilty of leaving the odd piece of trash behind at an event, but, I can promise you from now on I will be extra diligent to pick up after myself and my group and if not enough trash cans are provided I will pratice the pack in, pack out policy of parks. I'm hoping everyone that reads this will also make that effort, not only at Aspen Farms but at all the wonderful events we get to go to in the NW.
Ok that's my rant for the day done. On the more postive side, we had another fabulous event. Thank you to all the competitors that came and supported the event and rode so well. Thank you to the officials that were friendly and aproachable while ensuring everyone had a safe weekend and preserving the welfare of the horse. Thank you to our amazing sponsors that help make this event one that so many riders look forward to in part because of the great prizes. Thank you to our awesome course builing and designing crew that make the courses we get to jump around with big smiles on our faces. Thank you to the office crew that make it possible for me to be one of those riders! And of course, the volunteers. What would we do without the volunteers? It's my worst nightmare really, doing this without the truly dedicated group of volunteers we have here. There are so many people that play a role in making an event run as smoothly as this one did, and I'm grateful to each one of them, whether the role played was large or small.
I personally had my worst show to date on Secret (Ferngully) and so broke my winning streak! Ah well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. I was still very pleased with him overall, he and I suffered a bit from the distractions of being at home but excuses aside, I just could have ridden better. Next time...I hope. Both he and Patagonia are entered in the Championships divisions at their levels at NW in a couple weeks so hopefully we can put it all together there. In the meantime I have been having a great time introducing Lee to Eventing 101. Lee has been keeping the senior citizens of the farm company in the field for the last 6 months while putting on weight and letting down from the race track. He has now been in work for a week and I think he is very happy to have a job. He is a quick learner and seems to have a super brain. I have had high hopes for him since the first photo I saw of him and so far he is not disappointing me!!
This month brings about many changes in the faces at Aspen Farms. We said goodbye to Jane and Laramie and hello to Allie. Allie has a lovely mare she has competed training level and so far seems to fit right in. Jane and Laramie have headed back to school, though we will see Laramie back in January to prepare for the spring season. Trav has headed out east to do some building and catch up with family, and Joe leaves soon to do some travelling. They will both be back later in the fall to continue building the Advanced track. The biggest change of all will be saying goodbye to Chelsey at the end of the month when she moves to South Carolina with her fabulous boyfriend, Mike. I'm very excited for her to begin the next phase of her life but it will be a sad day for all of us here when she leaves. She has been an incredible asset to us over the years and has done everything we ask and beyond with a smile on her face. I know her amazing work ethic will serve her well as she moves forward and we truly wish her the best. She will be taking her super young horse, Nick, to show off to the east coast! We have a few weeks left to enjoy her company before she heads home to prepare for the big move.
I think that's all for now, goodnight:)