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shopping at rolex

Rolex Bachelorette Shenanigans

So this post is not going to be what I had hoped… but shenanigans did ensue, as predicted!

Friday Night

Maid of Honor, N, and I left for Kentucky late Friday night after her final. We grabbed some Wendy’s, I fed N cheesy fries while she drove and we chatted. We got about an hour into the drive when I realized I left all the Rolex tickets at home. So we turned around, picked them up and finally rolled in Lexington at 2:30 a.m.


This should have been a sign… but hindsight is 20/20. We woke up late on Saturday and didn’t get into the Kentucky Horse Park until 10:30 a.m. We watched a few horses go through the water complex near the end of the cross country course, and then proceeded directly to shopping. We had a blast going through all the tents, including snapping pics of horrendous color choices… like this pink and black Devoucoux saddle… which we may or may not have sent pictures of to our trainer, proclaiming we bought it for one of her juniors!

Anyways, we visited ALL THE BOOTHS. And promptly bought ALL THE THINGS. We met Hillary of Equestrian at Hart and Kristen from Stampy and the Brain, who led us to the coveted Ogilvy booth. There weren’t many half pads left, but I found a gorgeous navy jumper pad to school in, and was quite pleased with myself.

shopping at rolex

And then my phone stopped working. Literally, just stopped. No service, no phone calls, no texts. My best guess is everyone was jamming my cell phone waves (is that even a thing?) Needless to say I missed about a bazillion texts from Jess at Riding Rainbow… to whom I am forever sorry! Love you girl.

N and I also got matching Rolex 3 Day Event saddle pads, embroidered with “Bachelorette 2014” and a few other random goodies… like Likits… lots and lots of Likits. Anyways, N also needed new stirrups leathers, so we went in search of those as well. She ended up buying a pair at Prestige. Well, actually, this is where shenanigan #2 occurred. N tried to purchase the leathers, but we’d spent so much damn money her credit card got flagged for fraud. Oops! A quick call to Chase and all was well, but it was pretty funny!


After shopping, we stopped in the stadium to eat some lunch, and watched a few horses go through the cross country course on the jumbotron. We got sunburned, and were still tired from the night before, so we headed back to the hotel for some quick R&R before dinner.

Saturday Night

One of the girls we ride with back home actually attends the University of Kentucky, so she drove us to dinner; a nice little BBQ place. We had pulled chicken sandwiches, cheese grits and collard greens. After dinner, we went to a Mexican bar and had tons of laughs over a few margaritas.

We had a blast chatting, and of course made friends with our waitress and a bus boy. All in all, it was a perfect bachelorette evening. We called it a (fairly) early night around 11 p.m.

Sunday Morning

At 4 a.m. I woke up with a very, very angry stomach. And it never went away. I was so sick we never even made it to Rolex on Sunday… we drove home stopping almost every 20 minutes so I could… empty my stomach on the side of the highway. By the time we got home in the early afternoon, I was so dehydrated I almost passed out.

Sam took me to the urgent care, where I stayed for a few hours getting checked out and some IV fluids. And then I slept for 20 hours straight. So… yeah. Not exactly the best ending, but I did have a blast on Saturday and I’m already planning to return next year… but I definitely won’t be going back to that barbecue place!

Rolex Three-Day Event by flickr user FiveFurlongs

Rolex Meet-Up

Even though I’m a hunter/jumper… well hunter to be exact, I still have a huge appreciation for a variety of disciplines. I’m always impressed and somewhat in awe of those equestrians who compete in disciplines I myself could never fathom attempting… mostly because I am an admitted weenie adult amateur. And let me tell you, the list of disciplines that fall into the “too scary to ever even consider trying” is embarrassing long, and includes things such as 1D Barrel Racing and Combined Driving. And at the very tippy, top is high-level Eventing.

I think I could handle Dressage, although it would probably take me 50 years to master the movements. Stadium jumping could be dicey… and I’d probably never make the time because tight turns are… you guessed it, scary! But what really just throws Eventing out of the realm of possibility for me is Cross Country. You have to have some serious lady balls to do that… and I don’t.

So any chance I get to read about Eventing, I absolutely love because it’s just so out of my comfort zone. And watching Eventing? It’s just fucking awesome. Because damn, are those some good riders and great horses.

Rolex Three Day Event Dressage by flickr user FiveFurlongs

And this coming weekend the Kentucky Horse Park is hosting one helluva three day event: Rolex! While it might not be the most prestigious three-day event in the country, it’s one of my favorites. I had the chance to spectate in 2008 and it was… Amazing. Thrilling. Spectacular. So to say I’m pumped to go again for my Bachelorette party would be an understatement. Ponies, shopping, jumping, liquor and good food pretty much sounds like paradise to me!!

Being that there are a plethora of eventing blogs, I’m sure some of you must be attending. I’d love to meet up with anyone who’s interested, maybe for lunch on Saturday or Sunday? Or drinks at night? Or to shop? Haha, pick your poison, I’m up for anything!!
Anyone interested in meeting up, feel free to email me: tbidwell614(at)gmail(dot)com. I hope to see some of you there!!

Viva Carlos Blog Hop: Immediate Inspiration

A Brief History

I found my current trainer by happy coincidence. I had moved my horse, Visa, to a new barn in the area when he promptly shoved his leg through the fence. Some other friends I had at the barn began taking lessons from Trainer, and I told her that one day soon, I would join her lesson roster. About a year later, I got the news that Visa needed to be retired from jumping, and begin tapering back on his workload. So I approached Trainer to ask if she had any lesson horses I could ride. I knew I wanted to continue jumping, and purchasing a second horse just wasn’t feasible. She promptly told me that she did NOT own lesson horses, but that I could come out and ride one of her personal horses. I took two lessons with her before Visa passed away unexpectedly. And I’ve been riding with her ever since.


Why This Trainer

Admittedly, I haven’t lessoned with a large variety of professionals, but I will say that I either like you or I don’t pretty quickly. Trainer and I get along very, very well; we have similar “no bullshit” personalities, and our priorities mesh up: #1 Safety, #1.1 Welfare of the Horse. Period. The other reason that Trainer and I work so well together is her program. She’s a bit older (although, she prefers the term “traditional” which she most certainly is), and she’s not as interested in a big, huge show barn anymore. She doesn’t care what your goals are: showing or not at all; lessons twice a week or once a year. There is absolutely no pressure whatsoever, as long you care for your horse and you’re being safe.

Street Cred

The other thing I love about my Trainer are her credentials. She’s really been there, done that. She has 40 years of experience in hunter/jumpers, including buying, training and selling youngsters and green beans. She’s shown and trained horses and riders at WEF, as well as up and down the East Coast. She currently holds a USEF “r” judge’s card in addition to training various levels of hunters and jumpers locally.

Two Years

It’s funny how time passes and some things fade from our memories, but others still remain sharp and clear. Two years ago today I lost my very best friend… and I remember that day like it was yesterday. I can still clearly hear the phone call, and feel my legs give way beneath me.

I remember seeing the peaceful look on his face, and cutting pieces of his mane and tail. I remember all the people who helped me that day, and every day since, to not just cope with the loss, but to maintain his legacy.

I remember my mom driving 2 and 1/2 hours south at 4 a.m. I remember Sam skipping school for three days straight. I remember my barn manager calling the cremation service. I remember my farrier coming out to take off Vias’s shoes for me.

It’s been 730 days since I’ve last seen his face, brushed his wild forlock or picked out his feet. I’d be lying if I said that the pain has subsided; I’d be lying if I said there weren’t still days I cried for him. And I’d definitely be lying if I told you I didn’t miss him. I’d trade anything in this world for just one more ride with Visa. Anything.

But I keep on keeping on, because that’s what Visa did. So that’s what I’ll do. And every April 17th until the day I die, I will spend at the barn. I won’t work, I won’t worry, I won’t care. All I’ll do is enjoy my time around horses; That’s Visa’s legacy, my love and passion for horses. And this April 17th I’ll spend with my horse, for the first time since Visa passed. Because my heart has expanded to include another hoofprint, and I know Visa would be proud of me for that.

Go home and hug your horse, and feed him an Oreo (Visa’s favorite), or whatever his favorite treat is. Because in this world, you never know if that day will be your last chance to do so.

Jan. 31, 1993 – April 17, 2012

Of Course

My weekend, as told by Modern Family…

Woke up Friday and felt a little extra tired and like my throat might be sore. I briefly panicked at the thought of getting sick, on the weekend, with the weather predicted to be 70 and sunny… followed promptly by snow on Tuesday.

Woke up on Saturday and felt more sick… but I refused to succumb to sickness. So I went to my first wedding dress fitting. The seamstress really knew her stuff, and the dress is going to look nearly custom when she’s done with it. Huzzah!

Then my mom and I went out to the barn to visit Miles. Brought him in from the field, and man, he’s been playing hard in turnout! He literally slept through his entire grooming and getting him to do more than a Western Pleasure trot was like pulling teeth.

After that we went home, ate lunch and mom left. And then Sam and I proceeded to crash. Hardcore. And I took a five hour nap. That I never really woke up from. There went my Saturday.

Sunday I didn’t even roll of out bed until after 3 pm. I felt like shit, and I had somehow misplaced my phone… which I still haven’t located. I’m somewhat contemplating taking half a day off work to go take a nap so I can still make my lesson tonight… ’cause I’m the picture of a responsible adult.