I missed the first boy/girl party in 6th grade. I was at a horse show.
I missed the first junior high dance. I was at a horse show.
I almost missed my own high school graduation – you guessed it, I was at a horse show. But I don’t regret a single minute spent with the ponies and horses. It has provided a treasure trove of stories over the past 32 years. This is one.
One cold January weekend, my trainer Linda, my mom and I hit the road with two ponies in our old black two horse trailer, heading to a new show just outside of Chicago. A NEW SHOW THAT WASN’T LEDGES! This was so exciting. I was personally hoping for a fancier hotel with a pool, we always stayed at a Super 8 type place in Rockford. Sadly, I was disappointed.
Anyway… we left the barn sometime after dark on a Friday night. During a Wisconsin winter, that means any time after 4p. The three of us in our big suburban, Noel & Sara Lee in tow, carefully making our way south to the show. By carefully I mean slowly. My mom was driving, something she absolutely abhors on a good day, but in the dark with a horse trailer… well let’s just say we made it before midnight. I think.
I’m not clear on the details of how we realized we didn’t have any trailer lights (were we pulled over? Could she see in her rearview mirror?) but here we were at a truck stop somewhere in the vicinity of the Wisconsin/Illinois border. On a cold January night. A Friday night. Two ponies in the trailer. No lights. And the mechanical expertise of a swimsuit model between the three of us.
As my mom and Linda “tinkered” with the light connection and generally just walked around the trailer staring and muttering, a very nice gentleman sauntered up to help the damsels in distress.
Next thing you know, this benevolent truck driver is on his back underneath the old trailer, fussing with the wiring to fix our problem. Lo and behold, the lights pop back on! Problem solved, our savior wriggles out from under the trailer.
He says something like, “one of your horses must have knocked over a bucket of water in the trailer, I got a little wet.”
Confusion all around. Maybe we drove through a puddle or snow was melting from being caught up in the undercarriage. Eh anyway, the nice man was thanked, we were back on our way.
But as we went to leave and do a final check on the back doors of the trailer we realized something:
Sara Lee had peed on our good Samaritan.
So I’ve got that karma to payback some day. Which is nice.