We are rapidly approaching our departure for Morgan Grand Nationals this first weekend in October, and I am still not quite sure how it snuck up on us like this!

The hotel is booked, and we are nailing down last-minute logistics.  I went shopping for The Mare to pick up some last-minute essentials: a hay bag, a new nose-band fleece button, new open fronts, liniment…it was like Christmas morning for her with the haul she ended up with. We also, in a proactive effort, will be doing a month-long round of Ulcergard starting a week before we leave and extending until after our shows end, and she has been started on electrolytes and GI supplement, with additional oral electrolytes on hand.

(Since the last update, we also found out that we were accepted into Team Challenge, so once we get back from MGN, we will rest and recover, and then head to Kentucky to tackle our first recognized event!)

My semester in vet school is in full swing, and because of the way my surgery course works, I have long surgery labs every other week – so on those weeks, I have significantly less time to ride and work. But on my off weeks, there’s a lot more flexibility (and a lot less stress). That has meant some very creative scheduling when it comes to fitting in rides and interval training to make sure The Mare is fit and ready to go to MGN (and Team Challenge on the heels of our return from Oklahoma). Luckily, The Mare has taken it all in stride, and has been making some lovely progress, especially in our flat work.

All her travel paperwork has been taken care of, she got boosters for her vaccines a touch early so they could be effective by the time we leave, and she got shoes put on for the first time ever – the ground here has been so hard this summer that in an another proactive effort to keep her comfortable with all that we are asking her to do, we figured front shoes would be beneficial for her.

We have had some of our loveliest lessons to date, and a few where we are still working out the kinks (or in other words, reminding Danielle that The Mare knows her job and to stop trying to micromanage her). The decision to up the amount of lessons has been great for our progress.

Our entries have been confirmed, and while the jumper divisions are small (as in previous years), the Sport Horse Under Saddle class has a whopping 20 entries! I am ecstatic to see the positive response from the sport horse exhibitors out there, and can’t wait to see the quality of competition in this class.

As the weather has started to cool off just a touch, The Mare has lost her sun-bleached look; even though it is super petty, I am really happy that her dark, velvet-like black coat has come in just in time for this show.

The next few short weeks will be a flurry of last-minute preparations; getting bedding and feed, lots of grooming, tack cleaning, and packing…and unfortunately, it is going to coincide with my absolute busiest week of the semester – 4 exams and quiz in the week leading up to our departure (including a surgery lab practical) means that by the end of the week, I am going to be ready to BOOK IT out of the vet school and run away to horse show.

This will likely be my last update before we trailer out, just due to how crazy I know things are going to get, but I will be blogging once we are in Oklahoma!

The classes will be live-streamed through the following service: http://www.mgnlive.com/

Class schedule can be found here; we will be competing in all 3 Jumper classes, and the Sport Horse U/S (Tuesday morning): http://www.morgangrandnational.com/files/2018/schedule18.pdf

To follow along with Danielle’s journey to the Morgan Grand Nationals, click herehttps://horsejunkiesunited.com/tag/road-to-mgn/

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