There is no possible way I could have handled set up, vendors, clinicians, rider check in, more vendors, more clinicians, rider questions, more clinicians and the 2,867 questions that come to you each day when helping to run an event like this while trying to keep track of my children.
The road trip was not a problem. The kids were not a problem. The event was not a problem. Everything ran perfectly, thanks to my 100% hands on mom!
Hey, did I tell you I got to not only meet John Lyons, but get to know his lovely wife and son? What a fantastic family! Michael Lyons and his dad were 2 of the clinicians at the event. Being a girl from the Appaloosa world back in the 90s, John Lyons is kind of a big deal to me. I was thrilled for this opportunity. Michael seems to be carrying on dad's legacy in a way to make any parent proud. Riders told me again and again how much help Michael was to them. Needless to say, expect to see him at future ACTHA events.
I have so much to tell you about the clinicians and the vendors and the riders, but I can't fit it all into 1 post. So I will tell you about Robert. In the months and weeks leading up to the Festival, Robert had been in touch with me. He was so thrilled to come and bring his leopard gelding for the whole weekend, but especially to ride with John Lyons. Shortly before the festival he had a health complication that forced him to draw out. I was sad for him, but he said he was going to try to come for a day.
While I was in Missouri, I received and email from Robert saying that his friend, Annette, knew me. It was like a light bulb moment. My brain clicked from ACTHA to HorseCity. Annette is HC. I know Annette from years of the HC forums and we became friends on the HC trail rides we put together. I'm in FL, she's in MO. Robert was on the HC forums (folks, we are talking pre-kiddo days, years ago!). I remember he had purchased a leopard App gelding. Robert was from HorseCity!
I was beyond excited and even more so when Robert showed up with his horse so I could meet them both. I don't know who got more hugs, Robert or the handsome gelding. And Robert did get to ride with John Lyons.
I love the horse world. It is such a huge world, and yet intimate enough to bring great people together no matter where they are from.
More on the festival coming.