Sunday, October 20, 2013

Teke Trek 2013

It's been a whirlwind month so far.  I spent a good portion of it traveling, mostly horse related stuff, so it's all good.

I started by heading to Minnesota for the 2013 ATAA Conference and 2nd HorseFlicks filming on Thursday, October 3rd.  I met up with Jas Shearer-McMahon at the Minnesota airport and we headed out to the hotel where the Conference was.  We got there around 7 pm or so and found out they had no food at the hotel!  There is a restaurant, but it seemed to operate in a very limited fashion.  So, we ordered a pizza and had it delivered.  Then we went and soaked in the hot tub and did some catching up.  (We had stopped for alcohol on the way to the hotel, so it was all good). 

Friday morning we got up at 0 dark 30 to head to the barn where the HorseFlicks filming was to be held.  Jon had asked for an 8 am start.  The directions said it was 38 miles away, so we figured we'd give ourselves plenty of time.  Well....I don't know if it was the directions, us, the lack of coffee or what, but it took us almost 2 1/2 hours to find the barn.  Several people who came later said "Oh, I just used my GPS..."  Yes, I WILL get GPS on my rental car next time.  We arrived right around 8 am and Jon (Jon Mays, the HorseFlicks film maker) was already there.  We got to do some catching up as we waited for people to arrive.  By around 9, we had our first horse in the arena filming.  Unfortunately, the weather did NOT cooperate.  It was rainy and drizzly, so we filmed in the indoor.  We had Terri Fender's stallion Jack start us off.  He looked great and his rider, Staci, did a great job.  Next was Araghan, under western tack with a rider whose name I was told and then promptly forgot.  Sorry!  He did a nice job and has some western showing in his future.  Then, Jas rode The Akhal-Teke Stud's stallion Goblet, who is with Terri on lease.  As she had never ridden him, she warmed him up outside.  He was willing, but seemed a bit rusty.  We later found out he hadn't been ridden in quite some time.  They ended up doing a lovely job and I think Goblet slept quite well that night!  Then we had Staci riding Eramay, who had come from Texas for this filming and was then heading on to the Kentucky Horse Park for the next showing.  Staci did a great job and I think there was some lovely footage.  Then, Tiffany Dietchler rode her gelding Ivan over some jumps and Brad Sherman showed off his stallion (an Astrachan son!) Thor at liberty.  Jon did some interviews and we were pretty much done by 2 pm.  Terri, Brad and Vicki (and maybe another person?) provided lunch for us and coffee and sodas, and it was greatly appreciated.  We all got to mingle a bit, meet the people we had only talked to via email and then we all headed back to the hotel.  This time it took us a lot less time (more caffeine and better directions!). 
Jas and Goblet

Eramay and Staci
We met up at the bar for our ATAA Board meeting around 6 pm and then the Meet and Greet was around 7 pm.  We all hung out and chatted for a few hours until it was time to hot tub again. (at least for Jas and I!)

Saturday morning was our General Membership Meeting.  We didn't have a huge turnout, but everyone that came had great suggestions.  There were a couple of "Duh" moments for me, when someone suggested a simpler, easier way to accomplish something.  That was wonderful!  We have quite a few plans for the next year and will start working on those soon.  It was so great to have such a motivated, enthusiastic bunch that owned their ideas.  I think the next few years will be amazing. 

Then, it was a break until the Awards Banquet.  Catrina Quantrell and Betsy Wandler did a great job with the awards.  My only sniffle was that I wasn't eligible for any of the discipline awards as I didn't compete this past year.  And those awards were NICE.  They also did Achievement awards and gave out some lovely coffee mugs that had original drawings of our horses on them.  I did win 2 of those - very nice!  Those mugs are safely in my trophy case now, so no one actually USES them and possibly breaks them.  Then, I gave out awards to the Board members.  Terri and I had come up with the idea of nice photo frames with photos of the person and their horse in them.  I found the frames, but unfortunately, my printer wasn't working, so the photos will have to be added later.  Several people did find that their original drawing (we were given the original drawing that went on our mugs) fit perfectly.  I put my drawing of Galen in my frame.

Winners of the Silent Auction items were also announced.  I ended up bringing a bunch of stuff home that will get sent out soon (as soon as the checks arrive, lol)

Sunday we drove up to Terri Fender's farm, through lovely 'Seattle' weather.  It was rainy, cold and windy, not the best photo taking op!  But, we got to meet all her horses and she provided lunch.  Jas and I had to leave pretty much as everyone else arrived, to make it to the airport for our flights. 

The next stop on my journey was Upper Michigan to visit my parents.  I grew up in Houghton (not Houghton Lake, HOUGHTON, home of Michigan Tech University).  My mom and I did lots of yard work, bagged up lots of leaves, took off screens, and did some hedge trimming.  We also went out to several favorite local restaurants (yum Tostada pizza from The Ambassador!) and visited some of my nieces and their families.  We also went to visit my dad twice at the home were he is living (Alzheimer's).  It was a very nice visit and then early (really early) Friday morning I flew to Lexington, KY, home of the Kentucky Horse Park, where our third HorseFlicks filming was to take place.

Now, I absolutely love the Horse Park.  It is the horsey version of Disneyland.  If someone gave me a choice between the KHP and Disneyland, I'd take the KHP in a heartbeat.  It is gorgeous, perfectly groomed, the horses are all well taken care of and happy and there are about 1200 (I read somewhere) acres there, all dedicated to horses.  What isn't to love?  I think this is my 4th time there now and I'd be happy to go back many more times.  We were participating in a 'Breeds Weekend' as the guest breed, so we had 4 shows we had to do over two days.  The Breeds Barn has a rotating show twice daily that showcases different breeds.  Their program said they have at least 40 different breeds at the KHP, so there is a lot of rotation that can be done.  Our bit came after their program when we were announced as a guest breed.  We had 11 horses come, so to make sure everyone got a chance to be in the film, we did some brainstorming.  Our filming was only to take place on Saturday, so we wanted to showcase the most advanced horses, but everyone was to get a shot out there.  Also, we had 8 stallions, 2 mares and a gelding, so there was a little working around that to make sure everyone kept their minds on the job.  Our first filming of the day came around 11:15, and we started with Gidasp and Adamek doing dressage and then I think it was Garpun, in his search and rescue gear. Then we had Adamek and Zak jumping, then  we finished with the mares Mari and Guli in costume along with the gelding Ki being led.  I think that was the order of go...anyway, it went off very well, the horses and riders did a great job and then several of them waited for after the presentation when the public was invited to come and pet the horses and talk to their riders.  We did another one in the afternoon, this time with Eramay and Grygy in western gear and Goklen in costume.

                                                           Keven and Grygy getting ready

Goklen and Eron meeting people on the lawn after a presentation.
Eron also rode Gidasp in a third level dressage test (there was a big dressage show going on that weekend) on Saturday and then another one on Sunday.    I don't know which tests they were, but I can safely say that the one above was the most photographed test of the day - we had at least 4 cameras going, along with Jon with his video camera.
We went to the local Cracker Barrel that evening and I tried some southern cooking - interesting.  I always try something local(ish) when I'm in a new place.  We had a nice time chatting with pretty much everyone that had been at the Park that day.  I was staying with Cindy Sither, so we headed off to her house. 
Sunday was more of the same.  We didn't have Jon there to film, so we mixed things up a bit.  After we finished the 2 pm showing, I headed out to the airport and flew home. 
It was a really wonderful 10 days and I'm really glad I went, but I'm STILL catching up.  Oh well, gotta pay to play!