This morning we loaded up Winston and headed to our show in Somis. If you've never heard of Somis, don't feel bad. I hadn't either. It's north of LA, just as you leave the hot interior valley and reach the coast. We waited to leave until late morning hoping to avoid rush hour traffic. We forgot that it is a holiday weekend so we sat on the freeway with everyone else trying to get out of town. It was a long, warm drive. Winds buffeted the trailer and gave Brett a tension headache. We arrived in the mid-afternoon, tired and dusty.
The show grounds are beautiful, nestled amongst orange and lemon groves. Winston has a huge - I mean HUGE - stall with floor mats and an automatic waterer. He has three windows with the stall door opening towards the warm up arena. He settled in nicely, despite the windy conditions. I decided not to ride him but walked him all over the place instead. He didn't care about the covered warm up arena and the dressage court didn't faze him either. There are three banks of mirrors around the court, a new thing for Winston. I walked him around the perimeter of the court and he watched himself go by in the mirrors. He flinched at the first one, and then he was bored with them.
We put him back in his stall and settled in chairs outside his stall door. Two horses arrived and were put in the stalls next door -- Winston has the end corner stall, lucky boy. The trainer with the two neighbor horses introduced herself. She brought two to the show -- a seasoned 14 yo doing 4th level and a 4 yo at his first show. She is just going to school the youngster. She came over to meet Winston, rubbed his nose, asked his name -- stood on her toes and looked into his stall so she could see him -- and gave a little squeak. She asked if I bought him near Fresno (a good five hours away). Yes, I told her. She said she saw him at the barn there when she was looking for a horse for her client -- who ended up with the (beautiful) 4 yo two doors down. She hadn't tried Winston, since he was for sale as a jumper, but she remembered him. How many Winston Churchill spotted butt appy crosses are there out there? My guess is not too many.
Lucky for me that she didn't try Winston. Because, really, who could resist him? Clearly not me.
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