South Farm – Can’t Get There From Here (at least not if you are me)

This is in no way a rant directed at South Farm. South Farm is an outstanding venue with a great cross country horse but for some reason I am cursed when it comes to getting there or getting home from there. I don’t mean once or twice, I mean every stinking time. For ten years. Okay, let’s be honest – for 13 years. Most of it can be blamed on the nonstop road maintenance and Ohio’ s lack of concern for accurate signs or warnings about detours or the detours on the detours. Once it was due to my sleeping through a turn (I was not driving) and waking up in front of Mike Tyson’s house (sold since). By the way Mike Tyson’s old house is completely NOT on our way home. This time the problems on the way out were due to my thinking I had emailed the directions to myself but I had not. On the way home, all was going great until that ominous POP! noise that is invariably a blown tire. Thankfully it was on the trailer and not on the truck. Flynn’s owner was along for the weekend and is pretty handy in a difficult situation. We pulled over on the divided highway and I (in an act worthy of an Oscar) grabbed the boards I carry in the back of the truck (for just such an emergency), the tire iron and the owner’s manual and proceeded to the blown tire. I have never changed a tire in my life (have I mentioned I have a very handy husband who has been either a friend/boyfriend/spouse the entire time I have been driving – no excuse I know) and Sunday was not going to change that. I had no idea how to get the tire iron to fit around the lug nut cover thingies. So we called a roadside service and proceeded to wait. As a side note, Kingsview Roadside Service did a great job and got us back on the road exactly one hour after we called them for a reasonable rate. Watching what was required – there was no way I or Flynn’s owner were changing that tire. Bless Tas and Ries for being calm and unflappable. The impact gun barely upset them at all. While I love South Farm I may be throwing in the towel on that venue for a bit.

The horses were great. Tas could not be sweeter and Ries is a total saint. We both finished on less-than-stellar dressage scores and both ponies rocked stadium and cross country. Tas went starter with his 12 year old rider and I took Ries Novice. Both horses should move up a level for their next event. Cos’ owner went along to hang out so we had four people and two horses. We spent a lot of time chatting and laughing.

One of the laughs of the weekend was Cos’ mom’s human mother evidently joked about me and my crew of “eventing poodles”. I have fine stick straight unexciting hair. On the bright side I graduated in the mid-90’s and it doesn’t matter how many yearbook photos you scour through you will never be able to find a picture of me with big ’80’s hair. However, I am usually coaching people who have long thick curly hair. Seriously, other than me, my barn looks like a Pantene commercial could be shot at any moment.  Eventing Poodles

Mind you this is after a day of pony tails and hats that were only removed for the photo op.


After successfully schooling a partial cross country course (much was roped off to preserve footing), we proceeded to clean tack and get ready for the next day. Ries was ready for business and thought that schooling the cross country course was pointless and was ready to rock minus a “Oh Hell No!” moment at the bank. On the bright side, on Sunday he rocked the banks.


Tas was his usual enthusiastic self. He is the Morgan over achiever stereotype. He loves life, loves people, loves dressage and now knows that he loves cross country. Sometimes we think his ears will pop off his head. This was his first cross country school and he was brilliant with all of it.


We also learned that Ries loves Honey Wheat Pretzel Twists and discovered that we keep them in the trailer tackroom. If this horse could be any more personable, well behaved, hard working and sweet I am not certain how it would be possible.


I couldn’t get the camera out in time to get the picture of him standing in the doorway with his head twisted upside down which is the begging posture that Ries came off the track with. (He came from very good owners/trainers)

Due to a very busy day, we were all ready for bed at 7:30 but made ourselves wait for 8:30. The girls thought the air nozzle was not in the pack for the air mattress so that made filling the air mattress a bit of a challenge. There was a lot of laughing and giggling involved but that is pretty standard teenager evidently. Eventually enough bedding was put down and we thought it was going to be an early night.



To be continued




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