I was supposed to set up my portrait booth this weekend at Billy’s barn, Willow Tree Equestrian Center in Bangor, Michigan. They are hosting a 2-day dressage show, and I would have been at my appointed place ready to talk paintings had my truck not suffered yet another malfunction. I am buying this truck twice, but the second time piece by piece…anyhow, the oil pan rusted through (thank you, Midwest winters) and I couldn’t get the parts soon enough to get it fixed and loaded up with all my exhibit stuff in time for the show.
So I decided to just make a fun weekend of it, for once! The venue is so attractive, set in the rolling hills and bordered by woodlands. Several friends were in the show, and I was pressed into service as a dressage test reader, something I’ve never done before but managed to pull off with aplomb. Karin, my trainer, organized the show and also managed to find some time to discuss with me some of the horses and riders and how their individual dressage tests went. It’s really hard to know what to look for without having someone guide you every now and then, so this was a good opportunity for me to test what I thought I saw against what Karin saw. And what the judge saw. Way different weekend from the one I usually spend in my booth!
Billy, for his part, gave a few sideways glances at the proceedings from the security of his pasture, but preferred to follow his best friend Casino (he’s the dark brown horse hiding half of Billy in the photo) rather than spend much time as a spectator. Billy and Casino are stuck to each other like glue most of the time, and I’m glad he’s finally found a herdmate to share a mutual friendship. It’s goofy to watch them, you’d think they were the land version of synchronized swimmers. They just seem to constantly move in perfect unison. Maybe they can join the barn’s drill team some day!