Up at at it very early, Jen, R and I were out the door (oh yeah! Ransom too) by about 7:15am. A good start, with a solid drive ahead of us.
The trip there was pretty good, with one missed turn, a healthy U-turn on the highway (gotta love it), and one gas / potty stop. Jen and I want to give a "shout down boo hiss" to Buc-ees. While they did have gas, ice, and gallons of drinking water (and functioning clean overly decorated restrooms), they didn't have sunscreen. Jen had to walk across the way to WalMart, who of course had sunscreen. So Boo Hiss to Buc-ees for having every other thing under the sun an overly large gas station / mini mart, but no sunscreen. Boo Hiss!!
Before the show performance, and the details... The farm was really nice. Clean, well organized show, very peaceful & quiet place. Nice warm-up arena, decent lunging area (grassy paddock), decent parking (grassy lot, with sporadic trees - we missed the opportunity to park in the shade, unfortunately), nice washrack, clean paddocks for the horses, scenic pastures around the arenas... Can't say for the show staff, since I only spoke to two people - a fellow at the desk for checking (polite enough), and a brief conversation with the facility owner who said, "We're probably a little ahead of schedule, but don't worry about riding early. On-time is fine."
Hand-walked Ransom around the facility, to get an idea what sort of mood he was in. He looked around a little, let out some huge heavy sighs, and even did an all-over shake a few times. Good Boy! I realized that he realized this was a show, and it was time to let everybody know he was "the man".
Jen and R helped out getting hay bag hung, water bucket filled, and Ransom saddled up while I got changed. All white ... Must be a German conspiracy against Americans or something... All white.. Black boots, black gloves, black helmet, white pants, white shirt.. OI! All the white... just nonsense.
With Ransom saddled & me dressed, I headed to the lunging area, side reins on 8s. Ransom was fantastic! Almost immediately he got himself collected, and sprung into a gorgeous trot. I only lunged for about 15 minutes, realizing I had his mind, and his body. Butter in my hands... There were two other Arab-type horses bouncing around free lunging on a rope only. Goofy Goofy! Owners seemed to let them do just about whatever they wanted to, springing all over the place. Ransom glanced in one's direction, and sighed. I could about hear him, "Goofy babies... Goodness gracious.. Burning all those energy calories bucking & twisting.. don't they know there' work to be done?"
Took all the extras off, added my schooling gloves, and headed to the warm-up arena.