4am - Alarm goes off. Pick up phone and stare at in groggy confusion and denial.
4:15am - Realize coffee was not set up. Fire machine up because being late is better than being uncaffineated. The coffee must flow.
4:30am - Drive off into the dark, nursing a large coffee and cursing the concept of horse shows. Violently. With creative combinations of terminology. Most anatomically impossible.
5am - Arrive at barn. Balance case of bottled water, saddle pad, show clothes, and field boots while walking to the trailer in the dark. Don't die.
5:30am - Pull out horse and realize he wallowed in pee all night. Lovely. Braids still in. One point horse, one point human.
6am - Load 1 gelding, 2 mares, and way too many adult humans. Take off through rural New Hampshire.
6:30am - Stop at Dunkin' Donuts. Have another large coffee. Start to feel human.
7:15 am - Arrive at showgrounds. Spend next half hour trying to get adult beginner in her gear and on her horse so she can make her 8am ride time.
7:50am - Flop out with co-pilot and enjoy brief break.
8:10am - Start grooming for copilot. Tie papi to trailer with haynet so he can tear haynet up with plenty of room. Rage issues. He has them.
8:40am - Get copilot up on horse. Walk across show grounds and immediately walk back. Realize sneakers are falling apart in middle of mile of walking.
9:30am - Start cleaning old pee off of horse. Start smelling like old pee. Ew.
10:10am - Mount Theo. Head to warm up. Explain that spectators near bushes aren't assassins lying in wait. Repeatedly. Explain that stewards in tent are not aliens there to abduct him. Repeatedly.
10:40am - Lay down excellent test for 63% in First 1. Woohoo! Stuff many cookies in papi.
11am - Put papi and mares away for naptime. Find lunch. Don't eat because it's hot and food is stupid. Give lunch away.
Noon - Watch freestyle. Plan things.
1pm - Help copilot get dressed again and back on mare.
1:30pm - Wake up Theo from sound sleep (head down, eyes closed, snoring kind of sleep) so he can be show pony. Pony not impressed.
2pm - Back to warmup.
2:20pm - Proceed to botch test with error and ride through big spook when papi spots movement in empty judge's booth at the exact same time spurs are applied for a canter lengthen. Weehaw! 55%, bit harsh, but still good first run for that test and leg yields were on point. Leave ring oh so pleased and proud of pony.
2:45pm - Wait for scores.
3:15 - Still waiting for scores. Trailer and other car long gone.
3:30pm - Scores! Run screaming from the showgrounds.
4:45pm - Return to barn, staggering tired. Put things away, pull braids, steal a few minutes for sappy baby babble with pony who wants sleepy cuddles before going to bed. Rub ears until his knees almost buckle in the aisle.
6pm - Arrive home. Jam random food in face. Don't remember what. Collapse on couch with painful leg cramps, maple liqueur, and a dumb smile because your horse packed your ammy butt around at First level and enjoyed doing it.