Saturday, May 7, 2011

Derby Day

The first Saturday in May is a day I celebrate every year.  It's Kentucky Derby day.  Or, as I like to call it, The Greatest Day of the Year!!! 

Some years, we have a party at Cabbage Ranch, while other years we head for the local racetrack or even just stay home.  Any way you slice it, Derby day is just a great day. 

I love horses and I like watching horse racing, but it's about more than that for me.  It's the one day of the year that I feel like all eyes are on the horse industry.  Everyone hits pause on their non-agricultural, air conditioned, fly-free, horseless lives... and celebrates this beautiful animal and its breathtaking athleticism.

Of course, for some, it's more about the hats.

Earlier today, I rode Sam, who is my Thoroughbred.  Much like those seen in the Derby, he raced when he was younger.  Not like them, he was slow and lazy.  These are not exactly desired qualities for a successful racing career, so eventually his previous owners gave up on Sam and his lack of motivation, and he found his way to me.  I asked him to learn to jump, and he obliged.  He enjoys his work, in part because nobody asks him to move too quickly. 

Here we are... This was the best angle I could get while juggling a 1300 pound horse and an 18 pound baby.  Obviously, the arena we rode in was very dusty. (My dust-coated exterior in no way affects my enthusiasm for interacting with the public.  I run errands with wild abandon while covered in dust, sweat and horse snot.  Retailers love me.)

Just as obviously, my boots don't match my half-chaps.  Ariat no longer makes that pretty brownish color you see on my chaps, and I wear boots out faster than chaps.  When I went to buy more boots, I discovered I couldn't even GET the right color.  Don't blame me, blame Ariat.  On second thought, don't blame them- they make great boots.  I dress like a slob at the barn regardless of my boot/chap status.

Beep was at the barn too, with her pink boots and her plaid Dora the Explorer cap.

At least her boots match the rest of her outfit.  And she's cleaner than me, too. 
This is where each generation hopes their children have more. 

Like matching clothes and cleanliness.

I also hope she likes horses.  She doesn't have to- having and loving horses are what Cabbage and I have chosen.  She deserves to have her own interests, make her own choices.  But I hope she chooses to love them, for all the breathtaking beauty, sweet moments, daily discipline, and boundless joy they can bring to a person's life. 

Here's to Derby day, The Greatest Day of the Year!

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