After that, we spent a week volunteering the HECK out of the RCMP Musical Ride, which was touring Vancouver Island. It was great fun, and enormously interesting, but I've never worked so hard in all my life. It started a week before the Ride got here, when my two children, two other young teen riders, and myself prepared stalls for the horses, at the local showgrounds. We filled 36 stalls with sawdust: 4 wheelbarrow-fulls per stall. That is a LOT of shovelling.
After that, it was five 8-12 hour days spent running around at the showgrounds with general dogsbody-type duties, and then another day spent mucking out the 36 stalls once the horses had left. But my kids got some great experience working with an equestrian show, and they also made good friends with an officer or two: not all the riders were friendly, but this one was marvellous and has kept in touch with us since she left.
She let the kids clean her tack, too, which was way more than we were expecting.
And I fell in love with a nice horse, Dave, who looks daft in this photo because I am giving him my horse-whisperer move: scratching inside his ear.
Once that was over, we plunged into a barn move - my daughter's coach has bought a new property and we have been working feverishly to get the new barn habitable (it was not a well-run stable previously). We spent days tearing down fences, digging out paddocks, painting, cleaning, and dealing with wasp infestations.
The move was supposed to take two months, and has ended up being accelerated - we had ONE crazy month to get everything ready, vacate the old property, and settle all the horses. The horse transfer happens later this morning - happily the new barn is only 4 kilometers from the old, so the senior students will ride them to their new location. It's a nice way to relocate them, as opposed to trailering.
That's me, checking whether my red paint job was as awesome as I thought it was.
Then, last weekend, it was the hunter-jumper show, and my daughters were both competing. Now, a horse show - THAT'S a stressful experience. We camped there, because we had to be prepping horses by 5:30 AM and it seemed simpler, not to mention more fun. But, it poured rain on our tent all night, and I spent half the night shuttling children to and from the port-a-potty, so plans might change next year.
Then I had two days to get my daughter's 12th birthday SURPRISE party ready...it was a farewell-to-the-old-barn party: the guests were the other students, the coaches, and the boarders. It was a fun time, and I got some good pictures which I haven't put on my computer yet!
It has rained almost all of August, and we are mentally very ready for fall. I can't wait, actually - it's a nice and restful, though busy, time for me.
Bring on September!