Mingus, Keith and susanne at the Oregon State Fair

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susanne

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...boy are we tired!

This year's mini segment of the Oregon State Fair Horse Show has come and gone...we're back home, catching up on sleep, work and grazing (all of us, LOL!)...and oh so proud of our boy!

Our original plan was to leave early Monday morning in order to relax, prepare for Mingus' Tuesday classes, to watch everyone else's classes, and to visit. This all changed Sunday when our Yorkie, Teddy, developed an abscess on his cheek which then proceeded to burst. We got him in to the vet first thing Monday, but they had to anesthetize him and clean and suture the crater, which meant not leaving here until after dinner.

On the bright side, this delay allowed me to bathe Mingus at home without having to keep him clean overnight. Midway through bathing, both of us thoroughly soaked, I answered the phone to hear Leia's voice. "And why are you answering your home phone, Miss Susanne? Why are you not here yet" Our late start kept us from seeing Shari, LindaL and others entirely, and deprived us from much of our visiting time with Leia, Liz, Maryann, Kari, and so many others.

We had made arrangements with Daryl (BigDogs_LittleHorses) to feed the stay-at-homes, but we were so late leaving that he arrived for the evening feeding before we left....which meant he had to back down our driveway in order for us to leave. It's great to know that your furkids are in great hands when you go somewhere!

We've always transported Mingus in our minivan, but we now have use of Marie's (Shortpig) one-horse trailer. We're still new at the fine art of maneuvering a bumper-pull trailer in a small parking area, but Keith's and my marriage survived giving and taking directions, and we were soon on our way. It was a bit disconcerting, however, to find that with the truck's canopy and all the stuff we had packed inside it, I couldn't see the trailer except when going around sharp corners. I'm used to having Mingus right in the vehicle with us so this made me just a bit paranoid, but Keith humored me by stopping four times on a 1-1/2 hour trip just so I could check my boy...

We arrived at the fairgrounds just as darkness fell and an olive-shaped, near full moon rosoe in the night sky (I completely forgot that we had an eclipse coming and missed that). The parking staff had left for the day and Keith and I had conflicting memories on how to get to the barns. After several wrong turns we finally found our way only to have our headlights go out! By the time we parked, we were exhausted and Mingus was fed up with his inept chauffeurs and rather hungry. We compounded his grumpiness by bringing him out before finding our stall, thinking we knew right where we would be. He thanked us by nipping (which he rarely does) and being a general butt.

For once I had sent our entry in on time, so I assumed we would be stalled by Liz (Nootka) as requested, but while we located Liz's stalls and those of many other friends and acquaintances, our name was nowhere to be found. We spotted Leia coming out of a driving class, and she had seen our stall near hers in the big horse barn.

Once Mingus was settled into a deep bed of shavings and happily muching on dinner, we went to watch and videotape Leia and Kody in Gambler's Choice obstacle driving...watching went well, but our exhaustion caught up with us when it came to playing videographer and I managed not to record a thing!

I returned to the barn for last minute Mingus prep as Keith headed to the truck and our makeshift "camper" -- under our truck's canopy. Leia returned with Kody just as I was sinking into a bad low blood sugar episode and she witnessed my total inability to make sense before I managed to shut up and eat. My late night show prep was limited to discovering that our show halter chain keeper did not fit the new chin chain and that there were no vendors with show halters!

Morning came way too early, but we still needed to measure in, find coffee and get Mingus ready, so we pulled our bodies out of the truck bed (not recommended sleeping quarters for those over 40!), cleaned up in the horse barn bathroom and gave Mingus his breakfast. Mingus greeted our offerings with a look of disgust, as if to say, "Is that ALL I get?"

We were far from "bright-eyed and bushy-tailed" -- more like bleary-eyed and stupid, but fortunately Maryann (MiniV) spotted us in all our grogginess. We've met in person before, so "Wow, what a snooe!" was not her first impression of me! They were just a few stalls down, just beyond Scott Creek Farms and across from Leia and Kody, making ours quite a mini-friendly neighborhood.

Keith took Mingus out to "blow the gunk out of his carbuerator," then we stumbled to the show barn, where Sharon Bullington was measuring; she and Mark proved that some people are friendly and funny early in the morning despite working until nearly midnight! Once Mingus received Sharon's official okey-dokey, we went in search of coffee, finding only something dark and burning hot that my tongue said was certainly anything but the nonfat latte I craved.

Back at our stall, we began to get Mingus ready for his rapidly approaching class when Leia kindly offered to help "pimp my horse." With our lousy, cold summer, Mingus' vaunted tight, shiny coat was a bit fluffy and really should have been clipped -- but too late now! Keith sanded and painted hooves, Leia slicked up his muzzle and head and removed the whiskers that remained after my trimmers died, while I buffed and polished body, mane and tail, fine-tuning until it was time to head for our first class, Model Gelding.

As you all know, Model Gelding requires nothing more than standing still, yet this is one thing Mingus has failed to do at more than one show. Our lessons with Portia Kalinka had included a bit of behavior modification, but my hospital stay and recuperation had meant no other shows this summer and little time for practice. Plus, I worried that if he acted up, the lack of a chin chain keeper would be my undoing, but no need to fear. While there was little -- um, make that no -- competition, this time Mingus truly was a model gelding, behaving himself and stretching his neck for the judges, giving ears, and surprisingly not overstretching his back legs as he so loves. He was so good and stood even better for the photo with his blue ribbons.

We made a quick exit and then it was right back in for Geldings 3 and Older, Over, where once again Mingus was alone. From the announcers booth I heard Mark exclaim that Mingus had scared off the competition. Two more blues from both judges, plus two purple ribbons for Senior Gelding, Over, Championship. As I exited below the announcer's booth, Mark commented on how Mingus' behavior was greatly improved, and he would know -- he has witnessed more Mingus shenanigans than anyone but Keith and me.

We had just a moment outside the ring for Mingus to greet and nuzzle his competition -- none other than Raftered Hearts TNT, aka Pyro. Liz's little man is both beautiful and sweet, telling Mingus "I da baby!" while Mingus kindly skipped his normal need to dominate.

I was floored and honored when Mingus was named Supreme Champion Gelding, Over. Pyro is so beautiful and has such charisma that I was certain he would take home the neck sashes, and rather abashed to hear Mingus' name called.

Mingus, of course, strutted his stuff, so sure of himself no matter the placings. He surprised me with his softness on the lead, allowing me to juggle ribbons and prizes without difficulty.

We had a few moments to relax back at the barn before liberty; I chatted with Leia as she brushed Kody and learned that the eight entries in liberty included Leia and Kody, Liz, Brandon and Mouse, and Keith and Mingus, which made the class that much more interesting. As I watched Kody getting the once and twice over, it dawned upon me that we had foolishly left Mingus in his stall to roll and fill his mane and tail with shavings. "Duh," said Leia, as we scurried down the aisle to return him to his bright and shining state. Kari stopped by just in time to witness our total disorganization as Keith discovered the lunge whip was still in the truck and raced off.

Back at the arena, waiting for each entry's turn, Mouse proceeded to tell Mingus "You're not such hot stuff! You think you're so big, but I could whip your sorry a--!" Mingus smugly replied, "My daddy wrote my music, so there!" The only problem with liberty is that, waiting your turn, it's hard to watch everyone else, and I only caught part of Mouse's run. What I saw looked fantastic -- he is a truly beautiful horse with his coat of polished steel and flaxen mane and tail, and Brandon had so much fun that I decided liberty class is wasted on adults -- it should be for kids and their horses.

Then it was our turn. For just a moment, I thought Keith had given Mark the wrong cd, but the song's intro segued into Spanish influenced guitar and latin rhythms, and the sweet sensation of watching our horse move joyfully to Keith's original music brought tears to my eyes and goose bumps to my arms. In previous shows, Mingus has mostly galloped, but this time he threw in an extended trot and then a higher stepping version, to which the crowd whooped and hollered.

The music ended, Mingus stopped instantly, then walked to Keith and stuck his head in the halter. Aww...this beats any ribbon!

Keith helped Leia with Kody, who raced through the arena as if shot out of a cannon, a streaking red comet with a fiery, flowing mane and tail...a truly beautiful sight. I was only disappointed not to see Kody skid to a stop in front of Leia as in previous shows, but I think he was saving that for another day.

After all entries had their turns, they all went back into the ring, where the two judges had decidedly different opinions: Each placed entirely different horses. One placed Mingus and Keith 6th, while the other gave them 1st. Oh well, I would have placed Kody, Mouse and Mingus all at the top.

Keith took Mingus back to the barn, basking in their shared glory while I watched an incredible sight -- Gypsy Vanner Liberty! OMG -- this was a sight to behold: massive size coupled with incredible grace, gentle demeanors paired with unmistakable pride. Picture one gorgeous horse with flowing mane, tail and feathers moving in perfect rhythm to a classic Celtic song...WOW...

So now the show was over for us and it was time for all of us to munch out. Mingus retired to his hay, gazing at the many barn visitors and sticking his muzzle out between his blue and purple ribbons, while Keith and I made off for the guilty pleasure of an Oregon Dairy Wives milkshake. After devouring this well-earned treat, Keith, the non-coffee drinker, pointed out an espresso stand to me, proving his love to my caffeine-deprived mind.

I got my skinny latte (rather ironic to request the healthy version aftering having a milkshake...) into my not-so-skinny hands and we took a seat at the foot vibrator machine. Whrrrrr...I think it vibrated my brain, too, as when the shaking stopped, I stepped away, entirely forgetting that I was up on a platform, and fell to a perfect four point landing -- both elbows, both knees. You'll be proud to know, however, that I barely spilled a drop of my latte! Compared to wasting my caffeine fix, a few scrapes and bruises were nothing.

No sooner had I scraped myself off the pavement then we spotted Liz, Brandon, Colton and company and walked back toward the barns with them. Along the way, Liz spotted the perfect Tshirt for me. It read: I do my own stunts. Yep, I'm sure she was laughing with me, not at me!

To make at least the ending of a very long story short, we loaded our stuff, loaded Mingus, and got the truck and trailer turned around...once again with our marriage intact. However, along the way we learned a VERY IMPORTANT LESSON: DO NOT, under any circumstances, include your mother-in-law in these activities!!!!!!! The words, JUST LET GO OF THE HORSE are forever etched upon my brain (fortunately, Keith ignored these very words) I've already vented about this incident and will simply say that we made it home safely before dark (remember the lights!) and without losing our sanity, but just barely!
 
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Mona

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Aww Susanne, I so enjoyed reading your story, and kept myself in check, forcing myself NOT to scroll down until I reach the end to see all your beautiful pics and I was so disappointed...not one pic!
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CONGRATULATIONS on your wins/placements and on having a great time at your show! Hope your little Yorkie is soon feeling better!
 

susanne

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Oh, Mona...I'm sorry to disappoint you -- especially after you made it through my longwinded tale!

It's another version of the cobbler's children going barefoot...the graphic designer always goes to shows without a camera! I know that Leia got some shots, and the show photographer seemed to get some nice ones, so as soon as we get those, we'll post them
 

susanne

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Kari,

while I so wanted to see Tigger in her classes, I'm so glad I got to see you! Next show I hope that we have time to sit down and visit, instead of me huffing and puffing on my way to a class!

I think that next year we need to plan a get-together...lunch, dinner or perhaps an early, early breakf -- nope, that won't work! Where we can all relax and visit. There's just never enough time!
 

Kari

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LOL yeah, I don't DO early!!!!!!

Hoping I can make the beach drive and we can all chat over pizza.

Kari
 

susanne

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Well, my mind is still fried...

Keith read this and asked me to thank Leia for her help prepping Mingus!

He was also very pleased that you would ask him to help in liberty.
 

PrestigeMiniHorses

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Oh sounds like it all went well...Leia how did you do though??? How was the Yealing stallion under classes and the senior Mare classes (30"-32")? I sure wish I could have made it down there thats for sure
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Its depressing.
 

LindaL

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Susanne, I was so disappointed to miss you at the show...and especially missing Mingus' classes!!
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Congrats on your wonderful wins!!! :aktion033:

I already had plans on Tuesday or I would've definitely headed back down to watch!

Hope Teddy is doing better...poor little dog!

LOL @ the tshirt...I think we both could've used that one!!!
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: :eek:

BTW, Liz and crew witnessed me eating a ear of corn ONE handed!!! :aktion033:
 

Warpony

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I watched the show on live webcam (for two days), which unfortunately had no sound or anything, and just a static high angle... but I got to see lots of mini horses and coloured cobs. I couple of times I saw the same horse in there alone, I wonder of that was Mingus? It was a lot of fun tuning in off and on all day to see what was going on in the ring, I even got to see some donkeys.

Thanks for the write up, after watching for two days AND reading about your adventures I almost feel like I was there!
 

Marty

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Wow Susanne this was great. I enjoyed every word.

I surely wish I could have been there to see you and boy, were you ever in great company there! I sure do envy you.

Now please, tell me someone has some pictures!
 

hobbyhorse23

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susanne said:
Well, my mind is still fried...
Keith read this and asked me to thank Leia for her help prepping Mingus!

He was also very pleased that you would ask him to help in liberty.
Aw, you're welcome Keith! I'm sorry it was such a last minute scramble to get you in the ring since Kody and Mingus went right after each other. You were a great sport about it and did good with my little firecracker. You can thank your wife for volunteering you; I wouldn't have presumed to ask but I was glad to have you as you are quite good with the horses. :aktion033:

Susanne, you glossed right over that low blood sugar episode but you really scared me. I didn't realize until you "came back" how very far gone you were or I would have been much more concerned and cramming food down your throat from the start. I hadn't seen you for a year and it was after midnight so I thought at first you were just punch-drunk from lack of sleep, but when you started being unable to string two words together and finally managed to explain you needed food I figured out you were in real trouble. The saddest thing about it is we spent two hours sitting there and only got about 15 minutes of interesting conversation at the end before I forced you to go to bed! :eek: It's a good thing we've got the ocean coming up or I'd be very upset about missed opportunities...that's why when I called that afternoon I was like "Is this Susanne?" Shortly followed by "WHY is this Susanne?! You're supposed to be here!" :lol:

I do have pictures of Mingus, although not as many as I'd like. I discovered you've got this awful habit of stepping in front of his head the moment he does something gorgeous so I've got half a dozen shots of your back and a headless horse winning his classes, greeting Pyro, walking off...I was ready to smack you. :xkngt: LOL And of course the one time Kody is perfectly groomed before a show, I don't get any pictures of him greeting Mouse, Mingus, or Pyro. ::sigh:: I can't be everywhere when I'm by myself!

Still, it was great to see you guys even for a little while and Mingus looked gorgeous as usual. He nearly brought tears to my eyes at first with his resemblance to my mom's beloved Bo; I hadn't realized how much I missed that horse until I saw Mingus again. I am so grateful you've allowed us to be his godparents in case of emergency! We need to put that in writing somewhere.

I'll do my own writeup and post pictures in the next few days. I need some time to recover.

Leia
 

Jill

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Congratulations, Susanne, Keith and Mr. Mingus!!! I also want to see PICTURES!
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ChrystalPaths

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What a wonderful story. I felt like I was there. Congratulations and take care of you! You're still recovering now! I'll be looking for pics.
 

Shari

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I always loved hearing what you have been up too! Sorry I missed you but glad you had a good time..for the most part. Sounds very scary that you were not feeling well. Hope you are feeling better now.

Also hope your wee dog is also doing better. <hugs>
 

MountainMeadows

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Hi Susanne,

How fun to read all about your "escapades" at the Fair - gotta watch that blood sugar gal, or you might be in for a ride to the ER next time!

I still think that you should be writing children's books - you way with words is so eloquent that you feel like you are right there with you. You could team up with Kim from Crabby Chicken to do all the illustrations and make a fortune -- and when someone picks up the movie rights, Keith can write the music - and make another fortune! And Mingus could become a "movie star" - and make an even bigger fortune! Just think of all the horses and horse stuff you could have! :aktion033:

Anyway, take care of yourself - and hope to see you at one of the next meetings.

Stac
 

ClickMini

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:aktion033: :aktion033: :aktion033:

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience! Susanne, I wish I could have been there so much. I love going to shows for the friends I get to see, if nothing else! And I am always glad to be in good company with regard to mindless moments that result in "stunts." I have an entire library of those myself, many on video tape! :new_shocked:
 

Miniv

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I just need to admit to Susanne that when I walked into the horse barn the morning she and Kieth were just setting up their stall, I looked straight at her and smiled -- not quite sure who she was, but knowing I knew her........THEN, I saw the sign on the stall that said "MINGUS" and I said, "Susanne??? Is that you?" (Or something stupid like that. :bgrin

A little bit later, Susanne and Kieth had Mingus out in the aisle and I got to see him in all his glory. I use the word "glory" because Mingus has a special presense. I can't imagine anyone NOT liking him!

Unfortunately, I spent most of the time running back and forth between the barn, the trailer, and the show arena like a chicken with its head cut off that I didn't see anyone show, except a little bit of Kari with Tigger!

MA
 

RockRiverTiff

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I love reading new installments in the Mingus saga! I can't believe how far you guys have come over the years. A Supreme Champion! :aktion033: And I too read with growing anticipation, expecting some fantastic win pictures, but I guess I'll just have to wait patiently for the next post. Thanks for an entertaining read!
 

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