What an amazing weekend at Richland Park Horse Trials! it was certainly a dream come true as Dice and I completed out first 3* together! What an amazing feeling!! The weekend had its ups and downs for sure..... including a drive home that was one of my worst fears come true! I had a blowout on the right front tire of the truck that I was driving which sent us careening across the road for a very long scary few moments! Luckily somebody was looking out for us because horses, terriers and people all safely came to a stop on the shoulder with everything ok except for some damage the blowout did to the truck. Knowing how that could've ended I'm very thankful that the only thing taking the hit is the truck. Oddly enough while sitting on the side of the road contemplating what surely could have been a terrible ending for all, I ended up having the highlight of my weekend arrive in the form of an email I received......
Let me preface this with what should've been the highlight of my weekend, which is of course Dicey and I jumping around our first 3*, Yay! We started out with a fairly steady dressage test, wrapped up in Amy Tryon's tails for good luck! (thanks to her mother for sending them to me!) Then on to some lessons learned in show jumping about under studding, which promptly allowed me to slide through the B element of the triple combination instead of jumping it (good boy dice for holding it together and allowing us to complete the course) and then onto an amazing cross country ride leaving me with no jump penalties and just 12 time! I was on top of the world!!
I was also lucky enough to have Amy Tryon's young horse, Landretti, with me competing at training level, and after a bit of a wild dressage ride he put in a lovely show jumping round and rounded out the weekend with a double clear cross-country. I also got to see some very good friends that I haven't seen in a few years, and again I was on top of the world but yet it wasn't the highlight of my weekend...
It happened in warm-up as I was warming up Landretti (Leroi) for cross country. I had gotten there a bit early and was walking around and saw an eight-year-old girl, named Alexiea watching me from the sidelines. When I looked over she gave me a tentative wave so I decided to walk over and say hello. I could tell she would very much like to pet Leroi so I offered her to hold out her hand to him as if she were going to give him a high five and let him walk up to her and touch her hand. Leroi was a little bit up in the warmup which is not quite conducive for standing still around small children while they pet him, lol, so I thought this to be the safest way for them to touch him:) Alexiea's younger brother and she held out their hands over the rope towards Leroi's nose. I urged him to walk up to them and he reached out and put his nose into each of the tiny little hands:) The two kids loved it! I'm sure Amy was looking down very proud of the kindness her baby horse was showing to these 2 children:) As I kept warming up I saw them watching him and as I walked across the spectator lane to the start box the little girl waved at me again and I waved back. And off we went....
The email below is what I received from her mother while stranded on the side of the road. It brought tears to my eyes and overtook my 3* and Leroi's success as the highlight of my weekend. I know that I was once this little girl and how exciting it was to meet a rider and pet their horse! It really makes me think to look around more and stop and say hello to those who come to watch, especially the kids! It is so amazing that we get to have these special animals in our lives everyday and I think this email will touch every riders heart and keep it fresh in our minds to keep paying it forward. Take the time to say hello, be friendly, let them pet your horse (as long as they won't eat small children, lol, as I have known a few that might!) We are the lucky ones!!
Here is the email, as Alexiea's mom was gracious enough to let me share it.
It is titled: Thank you Ms. Lauren and Landretti
(I warn you to grab a tissue!)
After 10 minutes of trying to figure out how to send this email without sounding like a stalker, I gave up. So, we will just consider this "tracking you down" to say thank you. :)
I am not sure you will remember us, but my daughter cannot stop talking about you and Landretti. We were the family of four (little boy and 8-yr old girl) for whom you so graciously took time aside to let pet Landretti during your XC warm up today at the Richland Park Horse Trials.
I do not make a habit of trying to find people on the internet (I believe it is called "creepin' " these days?), and I do apologize for seeming so forward, but my daughter was completely fascinated by the two of you. We looked up your website and read together on your accomplishments. She immediately asked me if you could train her to ride (we have just started into the world of horses - I smiled and said maybe some day). In any case, she wanted to send you and Landretti a note so here it is:
Ms. Lauren, you and landretti were really fast today. you are really nice thank you for letting me pet landretti and thank you for talking to me. i hope landretti did graet to day
You took five minutes out of your day to be nice to a little girl and her brother today but that 5 minutes to this little girl was worth a lifetime. My daughter will remember you and Landretti for a very, very long time - Thank you.
a Mother who loved watching the smile and fascination on her daughter's face aka.- Jen