Gambler’s Choice Pairs Fun Day – 8/24/19 – Woodstock Equestrian Center

August 26, 2019

One of our games friends has been off for military schooling for the past year at the Citadel in South Carolina. He is home briefly and to give him the chance to see his games friends and take his pony for a spin Stacey set up a one day gamblers choice pairs. Sadly on Friday Coltin was diagnosed with a couple stress fractures and could not ride. That’s a hard break.

The rest of us still had a fun day catching up with him and riding our ponies. We had two heats of O24 pairs, including myself. I was paired with Rachel – making a games come back after a several year hiatus – and in the second session I was paired with Ashtyn.

I was freshly home from the 2019 MGAA International Trip and has not been on my pony since MA4, for three full weeks. If I had been on my old pony Poe or even trusty Simon I would have known what to expect. But this is the first time since I purchased Possum he has gone without riding for anywhere near that long so I went in with nervous expectations. But I am happy to say I was very pleasantly surprised. He was fantastic. He retained all of his games training and the new calm he exhibited at MA4! He even moved out!

He even made the trip as the only pony and stood tied to the trailer for several long periods of time all on his own. This was something else he needed work on so I am very pleased I was able to give him this challenge and that he did so well at it.

The O25 riders

Now I really need to focus on the flat work to get balance and flexibility to the right and work on him carrying himself straight.

Paxton and Dexter built a volcano. She’s standing in the lava there like a champ. They were digging all day. Dexter said he would dig me a hot tub for $40 and 99cents and a pool for $100 and 99cents. Plus meals. Sounds like a deal to me!

It was a really fun day. I hope we can do some more in the future. It’s such a good opportunity to work on skills and just have fun.

Here is a very brief clip of O25. I just love the cheering and the ohhhs, and ahhhs.

The open riders

Day 14 & 15 – The End of the Trip – International Trip 2019

August 21 & 22, 2019

We woke up Wednesday morning and were bid farewell by Amy and Carys on their ponies (in the rain). They rode down from the farm to where we were parked for the night to give us all a final hug.

After some hugs we loaded up and began the trek out. But on the way out we swung by Pritchard’s. This tack store is a maze of rooms and floors with lots of neat stuff to dig through. A few gems were found and purchased this year.

Next we hit a super Tesco for some snacks for us and as gifts to take home.

Several hours later we rolled into Yate Farm for the night and were greeted by the kind staff.

This began showers, packing, cleaning, and eating as much of the food we had left as possible.

Mikayla and Abby F headed up the cooking.

Sadie took on dishes and Abby R cleaned the bathroom and swept. (I’m sitting on the bottom bunk). Jesse cleaned out the cabinets and then the fridge. Abby F assisted and everyone showed appreciation for her taking on cleaning the fridge.

And we made friends with the camp cat and named him Sebastian.

Everyone worked really hard to get everything cleaned up and ready.

(I snuck this clip of them all singing)

It’s the last night together and the team is goofier than ever. They are piling on top of each other and singing songs together. When the lights went out they all five climbed into one bed together and giggled until after I had fallen asleep.

Today is the day we drop off our camper, and then take three trains and a plane to get home.

This team has been amazing. They have all pulled their share of the weight and jumped in and helped each other in all activities. They have cleaned up after theirselves and each other, taken on all camper chores, cooking, and cleaning, and done it all with smiles and happy conversations.

They have all gotten along and played nice the whole trip. Which is saying a lot when you live in such close quarters. They are sharing beds and have been packed into a tiny camper literally stepping over each other.

And most importantly they have all been respectful and polite at all times to each other, to me and Carly, and to everyone we have met. They have been fun and enjoyable and just wonderful people to travel with.

I’ve enjoyed each team that has taken on this adventure over the years, but this year’s team has really worked out as a real team.

I am so proud of them.

Day 13 – Black Mountain Activities – International Trip 2019

August 20, 2019

Here are our views out of the camper this morning.

This morning we had a lovely wake up greeting from Amy, who oh so kindly collected a few items of clothing for us that desperately needed a washing. She recommended the little cafe across the street for breakfast so we hopped over and indulged.

Oh boy was she right. I had the traditional Welsh breakfast. Yum.

After breakfast Amy swung by again on her way to collect Garrin, Jesse and Mikayla rode along with her. When they got to Garrin’s farm they took the 4 wheeler out to find a missing sheep.

Here are a few video clips they grabbed.

When the four of them got back we all headed off to Black Mountain Activities and did a ropes course!

On the way there we drove through Brecon – I think it was a national park, and there were sheep and welsh ponies all over the rolling mountains. It was gorgeous. On the drive back rain rolled in and it was a different kind of gorgeous.

This was the warm up. The goal was to club around the whole building without stepping off. Sadie got the closest to completing.

Warm up obstacle video:

The first obstacle was a race up the cargo net.

Obstacle 1, cargo net video:

The second and third obstacles were walking different lines.

The fourth obstacle was the leap of faith

We have 6 videos of obstacles 2/3/4 compiled.

Obstacle 4 is the second half of video 5 and al of video 6.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

And finally there was a zip line.

Video

We finished the evening off with dinner at The Old White Horse Inn.

It was a really fun day.

Day 12 – Tack Shop and Castle – International Trip 2019

August 19, 2019

Time to leave the show grounds and dive into some other adventures. But first we needed to fill and empty various tanks, trash and do the dishes. The whole team pitched in and we were on the road before too long.

First we went to Wadswick Country Store – this is a big tack store. It has had a few additions since we last visited two years ago which means even more cool stuff. I think we all got something.

Then we drove into Wales and visited Ragland Castle. This is such a cool castle. Check out some of our photos.

After Ragland we drove on to Neath in Wales and stopped at The Angel Inn for the night. We had an excellent dinner finished off with some ice cream. This is a neat inn that is a lay point for hikers headed to the waterfalls. Hopefully we can check the falls out before we move on. They permit caravan primitive camping and thought we would be in a big “American” RV. Super super nice people and such a cute location, it is a real gem of a find.

We are all settled in for the night, being silly, and preparing for some sleep. Most of the team slept through the driving so I suspect it will be myself and Carly our for the night and them giggling until late. Earplugs for the win!

Day 11 – Next Gen Rule the World Sunday – International Trip 2019

August 18, 2019

Sunday we had two session and Sadie was doing a session of Open Individuals.

The first session was not bad but we were back to three ponies and a fourth being rotated in and poor Royal was exhausted.

We are one lucky crew and some lovely new friends stepped up to help us out for the fourth session. Two riders from another division lent us their ponies and Leah loaned us her own pony from our division, making it so she couldn’t ride.

The kindness of everyone here has been mind blowing. In particular our new friend Amy is just outstanding. We are all super hopeful that she will bring her two daughters Leah and Poppy to ride over with us next year.

Between session 1 and session 2 Sadie rode in open Individuals on Lucas. She did super well and took the win!

Sadie in open Individuals

Session two was the best one, and we entered with five ponies! That alone thrilled the team. We spelled Royal and had three new ponies, as mentioned above.

Some type of weather squall rolled through during the session, it cold rained very briefly, and the winds which were already gusting picked up even more. And we played the last race with a rainbow in the background.

We finished in a respectable fourth overall after the four sessions and the team finished on a well played session.

This team rode so well. They went with the flow, hopping on any pony brought their way and riding right off into races. They kept smiles on their faces and good attitudes through out. I’m so proud of them.

Video with some of S3 and S4 races

we spent some time saying good byes as our new friends all packed up and left. We decided to stay put for the night and head out in the morning. So we all go showers and goofed around, and we are talking hard goofing for the rest of the night.

We only have a few days left of the trip and a the competition is over now but we still have some adventures to dive into.

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