A relaxed, easy morning ride.
Elizabeth onboard Lilith (San Juan Capistrano, Jun 2014)
With many smiles and much laughter, last evening, Team Rustler had its annual end-of-season BBQ. The riders shared their tales of the just-concluded season. After dinner, the club presented its awards. Many of the riders had, including Deborah and Tara, believed Elizabeth would repeat her sweep of the top three awards. Not this year. While the extra recognition and winning ribbons are nice, riding and the company of horses is the best award in their estimation. Most unexpectedly, Elizabeth’s palomino, Ed, won the club’s Horse of The Year award. Quietly, they had a solid season.
On occasion, an idyllic scene may be hidden among the high brush. Or, not much of anything.
What may be hiding in the brush?
Behind the brush, possibly a path or a long forgotten road. The shadows were very long. Fallen tree limbs and branches were strewn about. While curiosity called, the “DANGER – NO TRESPASSING” sign and a few strands of barbed wire was enough to stay away.
What lay ahead in the shadows? Definitely, the unknown.
“Savor the moment.”
During our equestrian trip to San Juan Capistrano, an afternoon side trip to the beach in Dana Point was made. While surfers and beachgoers can be regularly found at the Strands or Salt Creek, we largely had the beach to ourselves. May be it was the marine layer and the cool temperatures, which lingered through most of the day, kept visitors away. Walking the beach, the girls swished their bare feet in the water and sand. When it came, they paused to watch the sunset – savoring every second.
A good end to a day off.
For the more adventurous, Elisa Ruland showcased a hike to a different beach here.
The centerpiece of their 2013 equestrian season, for my daughters, was the HMI Classic at the Sonoma Horse Park in Petaluma, CA. Much of their training, last summer, was focused in preparation for this horse show and another at Pebble Beach. Unfortunately, the Pebble Beach event was cancelled in January 2013 as the resort ownership had decided to redevelop the century-old equestrian park for other events. The change in plan, though, allowed them to focus their attention on the HMI Classic. Elizabeth used the additional training time to work with Lilith, who was making her (Lilith) competition debut. Tara was torn on whether to bring Brie or Cameron, before finally settling on Cameron.
A few scenes from the HMI Classic …
on the road in Nevada, Tara kisses Comet on a water break
Cameron after a drizzly morning practice ride at Sonoma
Elizabeth lining up Mr. Ed for their photo after winning a class ride
Tara and Cameron in the $40,000 Grand Prix (Sonoma – July 2013)
One of the best glimpses, behind the scenes, at an equestrian event was captured by professional photographer Tricia Booker in this post. Tricia, who specializes in equine sports, is an amazing photographer in capturing horses, and their riders, in motion. Her site has become a favorite of my daughters.