Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 90 - No turning back now!

Marley and I arrived safe and sound in Fort Collins around 1:00 today for our 90th and final day of training before it all begins.  We spent the entire day settling in and getting used to all of the sights and sounds.  For starters, Marley was really unsure about even going into the barn when we arrived.  We immediately had to check in with the EMM staff and get temperature readings and turn in our paper work.  Even though Marley was nervous, he stood still while the staff painted his hip number on (24) all while loud noises from horses, riders, and a tractor were echoing through the barn.

Our stall is in a great place for allowing Marley to take it all in.  It is right next to a warm up arena and there is all kinds of commotion.  I'm hoping this will help him habituate to all of the excitement by tomorrow.

After letting Marley settle in and eat some lunch, I decided to take him into the arena for a ride.  I was hoping to practice some of what we would need to do tomorrow, but I ended up not asking him for much of anything except to relax.  The indoor arena is HUGE and it has stadium seating above the horses head level.  There was music playing, funny lighting, tons of horses ripping around, and Marley was overwhelmed.  We probably spent a good hour walking and trotting around just looking at everything.  We had to specifically visit each sponsor sign because once he realized one of them wasn't going to eat him, he was sure the next one would.  He did calm down though, and I was happy with his progress so I left it at that.
"Well, THIS is different!!"

Later in the evening after our trainer meeting, most of the riders went back in to the arena for a second ride.  I decided that with at least three rides tomorrow I would just hand walk Marley through the arena again.  Some of these horses here are in much better condition than Marley, and I just know that if I rode him twice today, three times tomorrow, and then three times on Saturday he would be absolutely pooped.  Besides, I think after a night of being in this new place he will have settled down and probably come out better tomorrow.  At least lets hope!

I'll keep updating the blog while we are here, so check back if you want to read about it!  I'm not expecting much tomorrow in all honesty, so my plan is to just go out there, do our best, and hopefully learn something in the process.

I can't believe we have completed our 90 days, it's absolutely unreal how quickly it went.  I hope to see some of you out this weekend and I'm looking forward to introducing Marley to everyone who has spent time following him on our blog.  Thank you all for your encouragement and support, and for thinking Marley is awesome, because I think he is too.


  1. Awesome job - "no guts no glory"! You and Marley are a great TEAM - stick to what you both know and you will be super! Best of luck and try to ENJOY every moment - don't let it pass - soak it in cause you are AMAZING! Be super PROUD - we are of you both!

  2. I am in awe of all that you two have accomplished! Love the update and pics of this part of the journey. Relax and enjoy - as it sounds like you are doing!

  3. I sure hope someone's taking videos. I'm dying to see how it's going. I searched the internent for any type of coverage and I can't find anything. Is there any TV or radios stations there? I'm really thinking about you and Marley today.

  4. I'll be there rooting for you tomorrow! You go girl! -Cathe

  5. Good luck with Marley, he is awesome.