We have journeyed there and back again. Sammy was a pro and handled everything like a big boy. We loaded him in the trailer in the dark at 6am and were out the gate at 6:10am. We stopped quickly at a truck stop in Ocala to check on him and to grab some sort of breakfast. He thought that was fun and wondered why we didn't just go through the drive-through. He never made a sound. We got to Alicia's right at 9am and he backed off the trailer slowly and looked around and immediately buried his head in the grass. I could tell he thought I had brought him to a very wonderful place. Once in his stall, he got his breakfast and some hay and then he met Lynne the braider. What a fast and wonderful job she does. It's very impressive and her fingers flew so I couldn't ever study her technique. I think it's a braider's secret. She finished his mane and tail in less than an hour. Then I took him for a walk. This is when I thought he would play a little, but he didn't have time to play with so much grass to graze. Isn't that mane impressive?
As you can see he was very much bothered by being someplace new and different. He actually had to learn how to walk up and down hills. He's never seen one before. Only people from Florida can probably understand this. I think I could see him put on weight right before my eyes from all the grass he had available.
The tail was really impressive. It looked very nice with all his light hairs from underneath his tail pulled to the front in the braid. It was so beautiful that it didn't even look real.
When it came closer to our turn in the ring, we ventured down to the warm up area (after I changed my already dirty shirt). He was being a very good boy and we may have left our best in the warm-up area. :-)
He looked right at home on his daddy's farm.
We made it to the ring and he actually stood for me very well. Much better than I had expected. He and I are both looking at the cheering squad. We may be the only ones that bring their own rooting section.....wait, did we see them do the wave?
He had heard it was a show though and thought he had to show off all he had. We went to trot and he did a flying leap sideways, then cantered and finally trotted. Why didn't we get extra credit for doing extra stuff? It doesn't seem fair. And the red clay really clashes with chestnuts...we want a change of footing. We did not place well, and rightly so but, he was such a good grown up boy I am ecstatic. Besides, he looks fabulous all braided and it's much better to look good than to be good. No pictures of the hair after the braids were removed but trust me, it was very, very curly. We loaded up and got home around 6pm. It was a very long but happy day.
This is Sammy today after his big day yesterday......he's very tired.
And I'm sure he's dreaming of his next big moment in the sun.
Thanks Linda for all your pre-show help (he was sparkling and shiny) and Jinx for your sense of humor and for helping us keep it real and Anne and Chris for your moral support. And of course we could not have made it without Allison. How lucky Sammy is to have so many friends.