I went on a road trip earlier in the week. This was not an epic, coast to coast road trip but a short jaunt where I made it home exactly 38 hours after I had left. When one of my traveling companions asked if I was going to blog about the trip I initially responded no. It was a really short trip and we had no vehicle malfunctions or other mishaps. Then I started thinking about how this road trip was a classic example of what it is like to travel with horse people (in other words nothing happens on time) and decided this trip was, indeed, blog worthy.
The plan was that 3 horse girls (me, Lauren and Amy) and 2 horses were going to leave middle Tennessee Monday morning at 8am and return at some undetermined time on Tuesday. We had exactly two things on our schedule. We had an appointment with a vet to evaluate one of the horses on Monday afternoon, and an appointment to go cross country schooling on Tuesday morning. Why were we going to see a vet in Atlanta? In addition to doing all of the usual vet "stuff" Dr. Keeton is also an accomplished rider herself and can get on and ride a horse when you have one of those 'you can feel it but you can't see it' things going on. She also does both chiropractic and acupuncture as well so she is the perfect one stop covers it all vet. For anyone in the area that would benefit from a vet that can hop on and ride to evaluate a horse you should definitely look up Kim Keeton in the Atlanta, GA area.
At our scheduled departure time of 8am 2 of the 3 people and one of the horses was ready to go. Eventually all three people and 2 horses were loaded up and ready to go. At 9:20am we hit the road. I sent Jason a cheerful text message to let him know we were leaving.
My text: We're leaving now!
Jason's text: WTF ??
We drove for awhile then made a somewhat extended pit stop to fuel up with diesel and air up the trailer tires before heading back on our way. At this point we all thought we would have no issues being on time for our 3pm appointment with the vet. Since I mistakenly thought our appointment was at 3:30pm I really thought we had plenty of time!
Like all good horse people we had no trouble keeping the flow of conversation going and we solved the riding and training issues for many people we have observed out and about in the horse world. We kind of sounded like old men meeting for coffee at 5am that solve all of the world's problems. However instead of saving the world and solving all of it's problems we kept our keen intellects and sharp wits focused on solving the horse world's problems. When you have three intellectual giants solving people's problems it is impressive how many people and horses you can theoretically whip into shape. We stopped for a quick lunch when we were north of Atlanta and then went on our way again.
As we got closer to Atlanta we began consulting Google Maps to see how far away we were from our destination. At this point we began realizing that we might, in fact, be late. This was also the point in time when I realized our appointment was at 3 and not 3:30. Our awesome friends Stacey and Carol were putting up our horses for the night and also letting us use their barn and arena for our vet appointment, so the flurry of texts and phone calls began as we started warning everyone that we weren't going to be there on time.
At first we weren't too worried about it because how often is a vet ever on time? Sure it happens sometimes but it isn't wrong to count on a vet being late either. So of course Dr. Keeton arrived for our appointment not only on time but early. Thankfully Stacey's horse Taco was also scheduled to see Dr. Keeton so Taco went first and covered for our late arrival.
By the time we had done everything we needed to do with the vet, fed the horses, gotten them set up for the night, swept the barn, etc. we finally left for dinner at about 8pm. I sent Jason another cheerful text message to let him know what we were up to.
My text: We're finally finished and have the horses tucked in for the night. Going for dinner now!
Jason's text: WTF have you all been doing ?
Once we had eaten and made it to our hotel room we somehow decided that setting the alarm for 8am would get us and two horses to cross country schooling at 9:30am. I'm not sure why any of us, including myself, thought this was going to work out but we all three agreed it was a great plan.
We greeted our day on Tuesday morning and ate a leisurely breakfast at the hotel. We chatted about the missing airliner, about my trips to Russia, and various other things. We then made our way to Stacey's car that she had so nicely let us drive to the hotel so we wouldn't have to unhook our truck from our trailer. As we piled in the car to head back to Stacey and Carol's barn One Direction came on the radio. Amy turned up the radio and we all commented on how much we loved the song. Lauren made the astute comment that was a bit odd that three adult women were cranking up the radio to sing along with a boy band.
The facebook status update: Three grown women in a stinky Honda listening to One Direction and talking about how great they are. Can't make this stuff up!
Jason's comment: nothing for a change
As we are driving along enjoying our boy band Amy's phone rings. She looks down and sees it is Stacey calling her. Then we all three look at the clock: 9:42am. Guess we won't be making it to cross country schooling at 9:30 and no wonder Stacey is calling wondering where we are!!
We leave for cross country schooling a mere hour later than we were supposed to arrive. I send Jason another text message to update him on our progress.
My text: We're leaving for cross country schooling now!
Jason's text: I thought this was happening at 9:30 ? It is almost 11 ?
As we are driving to the facility where the cross country course is we realize that traffic is being re-routed due to an accident. We all three watch in admiration and awe as the driver of a Wal-Mart tractor trailer did a masterful job backing up his truck to turn it around with cars crowding him from every direction and not nearly enough room to do accomplish what he needed to do on the narrow side road we were on. Seriously, you had to see this backing job to appreciate it.
We finally made it to where we needed to be, Taco and Doc had a fabulous schooling session. In the midst of their schooling we realized that were going to be -
- wait for it -
- can you guess -
Late for our follow-up appointment with the vet. I know, shocking, since we had been on time for absolutely nothing so far on this trip. We get this all worked out with the vet who decided she actually did not even need our presence for what she was going to be doing. Seriously, Dr. Keeton is great to work with!
I sent Jason a text message letting him know we were going to be late (again) to meet the vet.
My text: Running late for vet appointment
Jason's text: I don't understand how you can think this is fun
Once we were done with cross country schooling, vet work, etc. we loaded up the horses and all of their stuff and were ready to hit the road to go home. We had a departing lunch with Stacey and Carol at IHOP. After lunch we spent a few minutes in the parking lot trying to unsuccessfully catch a stray cat, and then we were on our way home.
We solved more horse people problems on the way home and had an uneventful drive back to middle Tennessee. I walked back in my house exactly 38 hours after I had left. Despite doing absolutely nothing at its scheduled time we still managed to accomplish everything we set out to do. All in all it was a pretty classic horse people road trip; late for everything yet still get it all done.
Since Jason would rather gouge his eyes out with a plastic spoon than be late for something he would have found the entire 38 hours an exercise in torture. When I got home Jason and Carter were both alive and well despite my absence. As I looked at the pile of dirty dishes stacked in the sink Jason proudly told me the dishes in the dishwasher were clean. There was an alarming amount of dirty laundry and extra dirt on the floor (seriously Jason it was 38 hours). However Carter was fed, clothed and had even had a bath. Jason certainly felt like he was #winning having managed to accomplish those three things and stay on top of everything at the farm.
Two days later I am still confused as to what day of the week it is after being away on Monday and Tuesday. All day today I kept thinking it was Friday. Yesterday I kept thinking it was Monday. I have, however, managed to do everything I was supposed to do and be everywhere I was supposed to be on time over the last two days!
Bruno, Fabrizzio and Merlin waiting for the farrier
Faune kept offering to remove Romeo's halter for him
Murphy and Renny
Silver and Donneur
Griselle and Miracle
Homer and Moe
Lighty, Wiz and Africa
Tony and Trigger