Alandra Halem: Thursday and Friday at Galway

Thanks to Athletux, we have several exciting guest bloggers lined up to bring all the action from Galway Downs.  Alandra Halem, a former California native, is grooming Copycat Chloe for Allison Springer and just arrived at Galway yesterday.  We’ll enjoy hearing about the West Coast’s premiere three-day event from a groom’s perspective.  Thanks to Alandra for writing, and thank you for reading.

Waiting for dressage.

From Alandra: 

After a couple of days that seemed to drag on forever, the show finally got underway. People arrived, horses started taking their humans for walks, there were schedules to keep, and the vendors opened up shop. Meanwhile, back in my area of the barns, the number of baths increased, each hair was fussed over, and tack was cleaned and polished.

First up, jog day. Allison and Chloe started out the day with a dressage lesson. Then yet another bath for Clo (with an extra scrub for her tail). Time for braiding. I ended up with two additional horses to braid, so that took care of any extra time I might have had. I usually like it better that way, as I have always been terrible at playing hurry up and wait. Chloe went for a brisk hand walk and after a couple practice jogs and some last minute primping, off to the jog lane they went. “Copycat Chloe accepted.” Always a welcome phrase. Then back to the barns to let Chloe have some chill time before a light jump school later that afternoon. Although I was only gone for about forty minutes before returning to get her ready, Chloe managed to get thoroughly disgusting, which then required a quarter bath (specifically the right rear quarter) as part of the tacking up process. Then followed by a full bath afterward.

Dressage day is here and I am faced with hurry up and wait till our 3:00pm dressage test. Cue pre-rides and additional horses to braid to occupy me. And of course, bathing. Once we finally made it to the dressage ring things got a little bit discombobulated. Allison almost went into the ring without me taking her boots off! Fortunately we managed to quickly remedy that situation without any consequences. Whew! With everyone recovered from that incident, we then hit another snag. The judges ended up taking a break before Allison’s test, thus sending Chloe back to the warm-up for about fifteen minutes. The extra time was not what Chloe needed. She managed to hold herself together though (with Allison supporting her) and put together a test that scored her a 55 and left her in sixth position going into cross-country. Good luck to all!

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