My dad and I arrived on Wednesday, November 29th at the Blue Grass Airport, checked into the Hyatt Regency, and planned out our week that included both the Convention and as much sightseeing as we could manage.
Last night, my dad and I drove all the way down to Marshfield, Mass.; the NEDA Spring show grounds, where I volunteered as ring steward for the day, and then attended the banquet that night.
When I volunteered as ring steward, I had done it before…. at a local schooling show. It didn’t click the duties that I would have until I received the email asking me to be one. Enclosed were two documents, one seven pages, the other 24. They contained the rules and regulations of USDF, what I would have to do, and what was expected of me and the competitors. let’s just say it was a bit stressful. However, once I got down to the grounds, I was handed by (very stylish) vest, radio, list of competitors, rubber gloves, tissues, etc., I realized that I had done this many times before, just from a different perspective. Except in this perspective, I got to meet a ton of interesting people, along with beautiful, sometimes seeming slightly psychotic, horses. All in all, I am very glad that I stuck it out (even with my red face and arms!).
I am known amongst my family, friends, and fellow barn rats as very shy and a bit awkward around new people. An analogy that I made for my dad was this: chicks, in the shell, are born with a hard “nib”? on the tips of their beaks, which helps them break out of the shell. Once they come out of their shell, it falls off, leaving their slightly soft beak. We decided that I was born without my nib. But, today, I broke out of my shell! At least, a little bit; I cracked the shell. Not only did I track people down from the (abnormally large) warm up ring, but I dealt with frustrated trainers and coaches, I walked right up to Jane Carol (my favorite clinician ever!) and had a lovely chat, and I ACTUALLY DANCED at the banquet!
Yes, you read that right. I danced.
Granted, I was just copying the people around me, but that’s all that dancing is, isn’t it? Copying the better people. I met a ton more (really cool) people doing so, including the president of NEDA. We (me, my dad, and Krisy (also from Vienna)) talked for a pretty long while, about all sorts of things.
In conclusion, I am very, very glad that we went down to Marshfield. I finally got to see the grounds, I met a ton of interesting people, saw some beautiful (and not-so beautiful) horses, and had fun!
(Pictures will be coming up of this event, including pictures of my new ribbon!)