Barbie and Murphy’s RPSI inspection was Sunday. RPSI stands for something I am unable to pronounce, but I’m told is a Warmblood registry.
We dubbed ourselves “The M Team”. We joked about getting shirts embroidered, so we’d all match on The Big Day. (We didn’t actually DO this, that would take effort.) When it finally got warm enough for us to peel off our jackets, I cracked up. Everyone was wearing a black shirt and jeans. I guess we know The M Team colors!
The M Team getting ready:
Deborah works on Barbie, while Bella body blocks from the front. Barbie is standing at the entrance to the trailer. If Bella moves, Barbie will launch herself inside.
- She’s famous
- Bella’s trailer is a Tour Bus
- Being clean and braided means her World Tour is starting
- World Tours require an inordinate amount of grain
Hilary tidies up Murphy’s sock:
Daisy gathers allllll the crap you don’t dare leave behind, because you will totally need it if you leave it at home.
Murphy loads into the unfamiliar trailer in under five minutes.
The boy has courage. The practice trailers were painted white inside. Rock Stars prefer low lighting: The Tour Bus is dim. Bella reported a completely quiet, no scramble ride. All systems GO.
Until our caravan arrives.
The place is packed. Getting in and out with a 4-horse rig does not look promising. Bella couldn’t pull in until she knows how she can get out facing forward. Narrow, busy road with blind hill.
Jane decides to help by checking out distances and vehicle positions. Jane, who hasn’t hauled anything in 20 years. Let’s just say it’s a darn good thing Bella decides to check the situation in person. The conclusion: if one car moves, the rig can be maneuvered to get out.
There are reasons you should never take Jane (we always use the third person when embarrassed) to important events.
See? There was this car? And if it got relocated, Bella would be able to drive the 4 horse rig in a nice loop to get out, instead of backing up with a kazillion miniscule 3-point turns…?
Jane makes it her mission to find out who belongs to the car, and get it temporarily relocated.
She had no idea she was being, um, directive with the actual inspector. The man who would approve – or not – Murphy and Barbie. Good news: he did not recognize Jane later, in the inspection arena.
Here is Murphy seconds after unloading from his first ride in a trailer, standing in a place he’s never seen, with horses calling, squealing, wheeling in paddocks, and people chattering. Not a drop of sweat. He’s surprised, maybe slightly concerned, but going with the program. No drama.
Glenhill Farm hosted the inspection with organized grace, professionalism, precision and excellent humor. Lovely facility, lovely owner and staff.
Barbie and Murphy wait their turn in a fairy tale stall, deeply bedded with fresh straw, a huge pile of hay to keep them occupied.
While Daisy fills out paperwork in the office, M Team wanders around. There is no mistaking Murphy’s older half-brother, Tiko, who is also there for the inspection:
Their temperaments and beautiful faces are so similar it was both cool and spooky. Finally, the orientation is given, and we check the list for lineup entry. Fourth. Perfect.
Let the inspection begin. The inspector brings his own handler, who was amazing with every horse he touched. First the physical overview:
The handler removes Murphy’s halter, and takes over, starting at the walk. Love how he and Murphy are in perfect stride. Once the inspector nods…
The trot begins. It was clear the handler very much wanted the horses to present at their best. Here he’s checking to see that Murphy is sticking with, and the pace is good.
Then comes the bigger trot, look at that suspension! I’ve never seen a handler with so much air time! (The horses impressed the inspector too).
Next comes free movement: Barbie will be unclipped and the two encouraged to canter and trot freely:
Below is the only canter (ish) picture we have: Murphy thinking about it, Barbie starting to canter. There’s a reason we only have one bad photo.
When set free, they canter: beautiful, uphill, lovely to look at. Until…Barbie realizes Auntie Jane is in her show arena. Therefore the show must be over. And Auntie must have treats!
The two of them galloped straight for the cluster of photographers (middle of arena), who dove, scattered and gasped, while trying to shoo them out.
BEE. LINE. I knew she would stop if I held up my hand, but it would also show the real issue. So I shooed her also. Confused, they barreled past. Wheeled, came back.
The photographer next to me said: “This is SO STRANGE, usually the ground poles and hay bales keep them out on the rail.”
Totally did not foresee this. We shooed and ducked. At least four times.
Finally, the inspector waved and the handler called out “Whoa”. Barbie did an instant sliding stop that would have done Hudson proud, impressing the inspector and handler with her good manners. When no one asked anything else of her, she started ambling toward me again.
Daisy shot into the arena to catch Barbie. We wanted the inspector to think she was high-spirited and bold, not hitting the photographer up for a cookie.
Murphy decides this is a perfect time to try for a snack, while Barbie is restrained.
Barbie: Premium mare, brood mare Book One!
Murphy: Premium Silver! Their passports (seriously) will arrive in the mail. Here’s Murphy’s plaque! He’s official.