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Travels with Molly, Part II

Published: 5/4/2011
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By Molly Stark

Click here to read Part I

We get the horses settled. Meghan Wilson, her horse, Tucker, and her boyfriend Matt have already arrived and have conveniently set up our stall area. Things are looking up.  
Morris is happy to be off the trailer and Presto, being a very laid back boy, is already munching hay and chomping a few carrots.  Morris is too excited to eat either a carrot or an apple. I hope he drinks some water and head off to check in and see the arena.
First thing, I notice an area that seems to be the entrance, there is a concrete loading dock with a 10-foot drop off. I go back again to study it.  
Yes, there is a drop off. I pray Morris doesn’t decide to go sideways or back fast as he has been known to do and decided to take him up on a lead to test the site.  “No Worries, Mate.”  He stops and studies the situation, gives a few blows with his nose and calmly walks in.  I need to give my horse the credit he deserves.  
Back to the stall and he starts eating hay and I notice he has sampled the water, used the rest room and is looking for grain.
5:30pm, We head off to check in at the hotel and Sonia is sick and just too tired to go out with us.
Back at the barn around 10:30pm to do a night check and it’s pouring buckets with a wild wind.  I needlessly worry about the horses, but they are warm and dry so we top off water and hay and head back to the hotel for a much-needed rest.  
4:30am, Sunday April 17th, 2011– Sonia has the light on and is gently shaking me – “Molly, could you please turn on your side?” she is plaintive and desperate.  I feel very badly and try desperately NOT to snore the rest of the night.  First on the agenda – buy ear plugs for Sonia.
I’m up before the wake-up call, showered, dressed, and putting on make-up – not sure I know how, but I give it a good attempt. We head off to the barn by 7am.  I have an early ride and I am very, very jittery.
We arrive at the barn and Morris is trumpeting as he now recognizes the sound of Sonia’s diesel truck.  My heart feels like it’s bursting. I am so happy to see him and call down to him while tripping over my chaps.  
I wish I had brought my chore boots as there is nothing but muck. Sonia feels sick and I am worried about her.  I brush Morris in the stall and put some make up on him with more confidence, this I know how to do, brush the mane and tail, rub some oil on the nose add some glitter. Voila, party horse! I tack him up in the stall and he is patient with me.
Sonia has been a great help and Matt has become our right hand guy.  I start practicing my yoga breathing exercises – it must be working as Morris breathes deeply as well and uses the rest room.  
Sonia, Matt, Meghan, Morris and I head up to the arena, I change my mind and head out to the other field where there are three rings and begin to work the jitters out.  Before I can blink Matt has come out to call me back in – it is time.  
Sonia, bless her heart is right there at the entrance and calmly walks by Morris side at the scary entrance. I am grateful. It’s not easy for Sonia as she has had a terrible, horse-related injury to her leg. I admire her tenacity.  
Just then there is a commotion. A man has fallen. His cane clatters to the concrete.  Morris stops and turns to see what the problem is. I feel the drop off behind us, but I am calm. Sonia rests her hand on Morris’s neck. He tosses his head but stops prancing. Breathe.
I am assured that there is an EMT available as I now notice the man is not getting up. Then I hear him saying he is fine and I am called forward to enter.
My heart has slowed and things begin fall into place, Morris is walking and we circle several times while the fallen man is attended to.  Sonia and all my friends are at the windows – I can’t be more ready than this….

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5/4/2011 Julie Kenney
Great job!!! The story is coming alive for me.
5/7/2011 Kyle Smith
Enjoying the drama of showing horses. No matter how long I have done it I still feel those excited butterflies dancing about.

"No horseman or horsewoman has ever finished learning" - Mary Gordon-Watson