MI to FL- Oh My!

So you want to show a few circuits in Florida. Sounds wonderful- the allure of the sunshine, palm trees, perfect temperatures... I can see myself there now! Except I am in Michigan. Its 25 degrees. And I'm sitting underneath a warm throw.

That was me, just after Thanksgiving, trying to figure out how in the world I was going to get to Florida and enjoy showing in the sunshine. I have shown the Quarter Horse circuits for may years now, some with the guidance of a trainer, and some without. It had been a few years since I hauled this long of a journey, and that time was to Oklahoma. At the point of planning and heading to this show, I was without a trainer (by choice), this is something I can do totally solo, right? The sequence of events just seems pure divine fate, and it took a village of wonderful people.

My first call was to the Florida Quarter Horse Association to see if I can still wiggle in two stalls to the nearly sold out show. Thankfully, someone just cancelled two! I was in.

The very next call was the show secretary. I was going to have to haul my horse in quite early- the 19 hour trailer ride isn't something I was thrilled about for my 17.2 hand beast to show up two days before the show, and expect fresh legs. So, the show secretary set me up with some friends of hers, that could house my King Crosby for a few days prior to the show! Excellent, everything is coming together. Next, was actually getting him to FL. While this wasn't an undertaking I wished to do on my own (not that I couldn't- I would just be purely exhausted driving straight through). The folks that own the barn I board my angel babies at have transported horses into Wellington, FL before, and gave me the contact info for the shipping service they use, and would highly recommend. We contacted one another, and I had his trip all lined up!

Whew.

But also queue the anxiety.

I packed up his tote with his supplements, and feeding instructions, along with anything else he may need for his journey and they were off! Along with nine other horses in the large semi- van transport trailer. He was absolutely in the best hands, but I didn't sleep/eat/properly function for the entire time he was on the road. The shipper was wonderful, contacting me along the way when it was her turn to rest (team of drivers so the horses arrived in FL in as little amount of time as possible) to give me updates.

 

Crosby's tote of goods! Complete with premade ziplock bags made up of his breakfast/dinner once he got to his destination. Grain is not given en route.

 

My final moment of being relaxed is when I received confirmation that he had arrived safely at the farm! Hooray!! I don't know if I've ever felt that level of relief before- not even in college when I finally got my Stats grade and passed...

The show circuits commenced, and I met some amazing folks along the way and had some of my best rides. I even got to meet Kate Upton at the show! Yes- THAT Kate Upton...supermodel extraordinaire. Shes super friendly and down to earth, and yes- just as gorgeous in real life. I have a new found appreciation for the folks that do this journey every winter for FL circuits- y'all are the real MVPs here!

Have you experienced a cross country journey with your equine partner? What are some of the things that help you keep a sense of sanity while doing so?