A Week of Prep Work

HI friends! This week has been busy busy busy. We had lots of shopping to do, so we spent a lot of time in town, and I had a super fun event to prep for!
My little cousin is going to come out and try her hand out horseback riding! She’s been asking for a while, and I kept saying that she had to wait until she was five years old. I wanted to wait because at five years old, children are usually old enough to be able to articulate when they are excited or scared, what’s concerning them, they understand that they need to be kind to others, and very importantly, they are becoming much more coordinated and balanced.
As soon as she turned five she let me know she was old enough to try lessons. To be honest, I think I’m just as excited as she is. I used to help with lessons as a high schooler, and a little in college, and I have been hoping to have an opportunity to share my love of horses with my extended family more. I would never force it, if she ends up not liking it, that’s totally fine. But, I have a unique opportunity to share something, and if I have little ones around who like it, I can help make cowgirl dreams a reality.

My beautiful girls (and yours truly)! I have sweaty gross hair here, because I am hugely pro-helmet, and I practice what I preach, however when my Dad was snapping photos, he let me know you literally could not see my face under the sun shade.

My farm insurance is a little less jazzed about the idea of my putting a small child on a large horse, so I have spent some time this week researching and writing up a waiver and contract for lessons. I think it is good for all parties involved to have the paperwork in front of them.
Since I don’t have pony sized critters, until my little cousin grows slightly longer legs we will be working mostly on balance, confidence, and paying attention. As she gets more comfortable and gets stronger she will also learn the less fun stuff, how to clean a stall, how to keep tack neat and organized, and the nitty gritty stuff, like how a vet call works, and she will meet the farrier. My goal is to raise up a little well rounded horsewoman, it’s her job to decide where she wants to take her horse journey. Although, if she wants to head straight for the Olympics, more power to her, she’s going to need a better trainer. Your girl’s equitation has gotten… a little rough over time.

Another Dad capture! The girls made rounds running through the pasture sprinklers and rolling in the arena dirt…. it took me an hour to get them looking somewhat clean.

We are gearing up for a parade around here. The National Oldtime Fiddler’s Assoc. Festival and Competition is back this year and we are all really, really excited about it. Usually there’s a little float competition since we all build our own floats out of whatever is available in the local shops, and the float I work on, for our local Love INC, has won it’s share of awards. We are going a little lower key this year, since we didn’t know the state of the parade until about a month ago, and didn’t know the theme until about a week ago. This year our goal is just to beat the local department store. We have an unofficial rivalry with their float team because my uncle works there, but builds on our float. It’s all in good fun, they send spies, we send spies, all in the name of playful banter and getting the town all amped up for the festival.
We were honestly really concerned that we were going to lose the festival last year. It’s been harder and harder for the aging town to keep it going, but the old guard won’t pass on the reins just yet. This is understandable, it’s a town steeped in tradition, but a lot of us younger folk would love to carry on those traditions while still growing our events and the town in general. The pandemic really proved to push the situation, as not only could we simply not have the festival, we couldn’t have any of our usual tourist-y things. This is why this year’s is so so so important. It is partially online, or at least that’s the plan, I’m not entirely sure how that will work, BUT if they end up streaming or posting anything I’ll let you all know so you can be involved as well.

Parade Float Bin, everything I’ve been accumulating decorations wise has ended up here. There’s some bigger items we use every year, like the giant fiddles, that I need to pick up still from the Love INC storage space.

In terms of parade float prep, we are going with a Flag based theme, so I raided some of the Memorial Day clearance racks and have been hunting for Fourth of July based items as well. I have added a laundry basket to my trunk specifically for float finds. (Pro-tip, those Amazon boxes you don’t know what to do with? Trunk organizers… pop the flaps inside the box and they are super handy modular storage that can also still be closed. Second Pro Tip? When you have lots of loose things to carry to or from your car (like, say, float décor) grab a laundry basket. They have handles and are literally made for carrying lots of loose items. Things you learn when you park a decent walk from your front door).

We are looking down the barrel of some storms, so I’m going to sign off here and go park the tractor under shelter and batten down the hatches. It’s a shorter update this time, but I doubt you want the nitty gritty of my shopping trip (I had to go to Walmart, love their prices, generally despise actually going to the store). I’d imagine next week you’ll get pages and pages of my gushing about my little cousin’s first lesson, maybe a parade DIY or two, since we gotta make whatever we can’t find, and possibly a storm video if the gopro cooperates.
Until we chat again, my friends!

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