Friday, August 17 2012
Above is a castle on loop one of the trail and we have also been riding past it in training.
Becky, Judith and I flew out of LAX on Tuesday, the 14th. It was very uneventful. Earlier in the day I got the best news, our horses had arrived at the barn in England a day sooner than scheduled. Jeremy and the horses flew to Luxemburg and instead of staying all day Tuesday and spending the night to drive on Wed, they just landed and drove.
We arrived on the 15th around noon at the Heathrow airport. My sister, Holly, landed before us so she was there waiting for us. After getting our luggage we headed for the rental car office. Judith saved me big time when she overheard that I was about to pay for the rental insurance. She asked me if my credit card company covers that for me. I had not ever checked into this or known about this feature, it turns out that I did have coverage thru my AMEX! That saved me 35 pounds a day, the current exchange is 1.558 USD to 1 pound. That would have been pricey!
After our keys were given to us we took our lives in our sleep deprived hands and got into our cars where the driver sits on the wrong side of the car, on the wrong side of the road and pulled out of the airport onto real roads... Holly drove:) Becky also drove, the other car. We all decided before hand that we would caravan and that if we saw a Starbucks we would all stop. We had no way to call each other so we planned ahead.
After a minute we were separated. Holly and I had directions to our cottage, but not to the barn. Oh well, we would get the cottage and then have a way to get to the barn later. We drove a ways and then saw that we had missed our turn so we drove to the next exit (a long ways) and went around a round about only to realize we had exited it too soon and so we were now headed the same way as we had just been going! We kept driving to the next exit and got looped around a few times and then figured out where we needed to go to back track to our road we had missed. In the meantime we saw a Starbucks so we decided to pull off. As we ordered our drinks who should we see? Becky and Judith!! Too crazy, lucky! We had been going the wrong way to get to the cottage but the right way to get to the barn. After our lunch break we had no problem following Becky and Judith.
We arrived at the barn around 5:30 pm. It was good to see familiar faces after a 2.5 hour road trip. The horses looked happy. Scott Hie was working on our two guys getting them tuned up. Scott is a super talented chiropractor and beyond! The horses love him. He also fixed Jeremy's knee that had been bothering him since his Tevis crash, now Jeremy can go running without worrying about his knee any more.
The barn is really great and there are huge grass turnouts and a walker for our use as well. We also have direct access to the course that we will race on, we are on the pink loop which is loop 1.
After tending to the horses we all headed to the White Horse, a local pub. There were about 12 of us and we all had a fun dinner together. I had fish and chips so it would be official that we were really in the UK. As soon as we were done we found our way to our cottage. It is sooo super cute. The cottage is a 2 bedroom, 2 bath with a big kitchen and a living room. I slept in and out through the night.
At 8:15 am on Thursday we were at the barn trotting out all of the horses for Emmett. The horses here all look amazing. Such a great group. After trot outs we had a team meeting then Jeremy, Holly and I took care of cleaning our stalls, feeding the horses and putting them on the walker.
In the early afternoon Jeremy and I rode for about 6 miles. We were trying to find our way to a pig farm to show the horses because there are a lot of sections of the race where you pass them. We failed. Darn.
After the ride we washed the horses and put them in the turn out. They looked happy. That night we all went to a pub called Angels. As we sat down to eat Wendy noticed something going on across the street, it looked like a sale of some kind.
For dinner I ordered an omelette. The waitress asked if I wanted potatoes and vegetables with it. I asked her if I could have toast, she looked at me blankly so I said, bread? She asked me if I was serious, if I really wanted bread and potatoes. I told her yes. After ordering our food Wendy asked me to come with her to check out the sale. It turned out to be a motorcycle party that was getting set up for the next day.
We looked at the stuff that was for sale and then Wendy went around and rounded up some bikers to take a picture with and then got them to bring out more bikes!! Too funny. We got our pictures though! Wish I had one to show you.
After that we went back and had our dinner, there were 16 of us now. Very lively group, the group is growing by the day. When the waitress served me she said "here are your bread and potatoes" then she paused and said "weird".
We got out of dinner around 9:45. We were so ready for bed.
Today we got to the barn just before 8. The trot outs began and by 8:15 everyone had been trotted. Dwight was there to inspect with Emmett, he had arrived the night before. After the trot outs there was a local vet that came to pull blood so that a full panel could be run on everyone to see how the horses were doing. Later in the afternoon we found out our two guys were fine on the results.
Jeremy, Holly and I went over to the venue to see the start and go for a run. It is looking great over at the venue. We ran about 30 mins and then headed back to the barn. It was around 10:30 when we saddled up to head over to a nice gallop track that we have access to. Marvel and Kutt had a great ride and worked effortlessly. It was really fun. They did see sheep today and neither of them cared. I hope they feel the same about the pigs.
As we rode to and from the track we admired the pheasants and ducks that are abundant on the property and we also checked out the castle, very awesome. There is also some breed of miniature deer that is around, looks almost like a goat/deer/dog. Kind of cute.
After our ride we bathed our guys and did our "warm" trot outs. We are doing two a day, a cold one, fresh from the night in the stall and a warm one in the afternoon, after some work. They looked great. Back to the turn out.
Jeremy, Holly and I headed to the cottage for lunch and then went exploring. We drove into Thetford to get some crew buckets, called "Water Butts", and looked in every pet store we saw, I really wanted to see a hedgehog, no luck so far... I did see a cute squirrel, rat looking thing. Then by the time we reached Thetford to walk around it was just past 5 pm and everything had just closed, the town closes up at 5 on the dot. We decided we would come back on Saturday as we were not going to ride.
We drove back to the barn and brought the horses in from the turn out. The company, Theraplate, who makes our vibrating plate for our horses had delivered a Theraplate for the team to use. We put both Marvel and Kutt on for 20 mins a piece. While they were on Jeremy and I adjusted our new LAS custom USA helmets. They look sooo cool, sort of like Speed Racer.
We wrapped up at the barn and now we are sitting in our rental car all using our gadgets to use the WiFi outside of the barn office. Tomorrow Skip and Karl get here. We have a relaxing night at home tonight. I think I will sleep all the way through the nite tonight.