Friday, 23 January 2015

Poole Town and Country Show

 Photo by Emma Owen

I can't believe how ridiculously behind I am with the blog, but now I have some more time on my hands I'm going to do my best to catch up!  So...

The first weekend in August saw us loading up and trucking down to Upton Park in Poole, ready for the two day Poole Town and Country Show.  Imie was away for the weekend, so it was Charlie, Helen, myself, Tinker, Casper and of course Monty who spent most of Friday afternoon sitting in traffic on the A34!  We eventually arrived and it was lovely to finally get the horses off the lorry.  I'd been looking forward to this show, as it was organised by Charlie and Emma Owen, of Oakleigh Fairs.  I used to do a lot of shows for them whilst working as Jive Pony, but hadn't seen them for probably about four or five years.  Unfortunately Charlie wasn't on site, but Emma was there with their two daughters - I couldn't believe how much they'd both grown!  We were placed in a lovely spot, and able to rope off a good chunk of the park to use as our warm up space as well, which meant the horses had a brilliant paddock for the weekend - perfect!

I had recently changed the shows around to add Roman riding in to every performance, and as such had had to make new music CDs.  On the journey down we'd tried to play the CDs in the lorry so we could talk the new shows through, and they wouldn't work.  I'd also recently bought a new laptop and for some reason it had only copied four tracks onto each CD (there should be eight).  I was trying not to panic, and was hoping they would play on the CD player at the show.  They didn't.  I was still trying not to panic, but there was only one solution - Adam!  Adam had been working all week but had Saturday off so was planning on driving down to the show for the day.  The journey from Milton Keynes wouldn't have been so bad, but he wouldn't have got to us until about 11pm.  I rang him and through my panic he cottoned on to the problem and offered to come down to the show having gone home first to collect both my laptops and some blank CDs.  Phew!  it meant he wouldn't be with us until about 1am, but it meant I would have music!!

I organised with the security guard that Adam would be arriving very late, and asked him to point him in the direction of our set up, and then went off to bed.  I set my alarm and snuck outside to meet Adam when he arrived, he'd rung to say the security guard had let him in and told him where to go, so I waited in the tent with the horses.  Next thing I know I can see Adam's headlights right over the far side of the showground, going in completely the wrong direction!  Unfortunately I wasn't really dressed appropriately to go and get him, but it was dark and I had no choice.  So there I am, running across the showground at 1am in just a coat, knickers and wellies.  Not ideal!  Adam's headlights soon picked me out, much to his amusement, and before long we were all back in the lorry - along with my laptops!

In the morning I spent ages moving files from my new laptop to the old one and burning new CDs. I trundled off down to the music tent to test them out with Steve, and they didn't work either!  Steve was sure he could play the tracks directly from my laptop, if only he could find the right lead...  By this time I was tearing my hair out, but I went away and not long after I heard our music playing over the loud speakers. HOORAY!!!  I was so relieved, and it couldn't have happened any later, as we were just warming up and getting ready to go for the first show!  I was far more nervous about our performances than I usually am, I think because Charlie and Emma's opinion matters to me so much, and we were doing a show that was quite new - I didn't want any mishaps!  There were also some audience members I knew (which always makes performing more nerve-wracking), as an old friend had come all the way down from Oxfordshire with her two children especially to see us.  No pressure then!  

I needn't have worried as all four shows went really well over the whole weekend.  The new structure means that Casper gets some time in the arena during the first show before he has to do anything, which lets him settle much better.  It also means I work both horses twice so Casper is never left on his own anywhere - this also suits him much better but I'm not sure Tinker is overly impressed with being tacked up and worked twice a day as opposed to once.  I keep telling him it's like doing two halves rather than one whole and is just the same really but I don't think he believes me!

All in all we had a lovely weekend  It was good to catch up with the Oakleighs crew, who I'd also not seen for years, and there were some lovely walks through the park for Monty.  The horses were happy in their paddock and all the shows went well - what more could I ask for?!  It wasn't just me who was happy with the shows, as Charlie and Emma have already booked us for a couple of different events for our 2015 season.  We won't be going back to Poole unfortunately, as we're already booked elsewhere that weekend, but we may be back down in the area for another event.  Keep an eye on our website and facebook page for details on all the events we'll be at throughout the year.

The next blog will be on our Scottish trip - which was brilliant apart from Monty's horrendous social faux pas!  More on that later...  In the meantime you can see a few images from Poole by clicking here, enjoy!

Love Rosie xx