Last month, a group of riders from our barn attended the Summer Sizzler Dressage Schooling Show. The show is held in Redmond, OR at a lovely facility called Stonepony Dressage.
An early heat wave ended just in time for the show, letting temperatures cool from the low 100’s into more tolerable 80’s. In Central Oregon, summer cooling generally means clouds with a potential for afternoon thunderstorms.
We watched the sky all morning, as riders quietly went about their business, warming up in the indoor arena, competing in the outdoor ring. Akela and I took turns hand-grazing Micah, the second level schoolmaster we co-lease, walking him about the property before our rides.
Akela was scheduled to ride first in the First Level Test 1 class. Clouds built ominously as the temperature dropped and wind picked up.
As Akela did her warm-up ride, under the supervision of trainer Mari Valceschini, I ran back to the trailer and shoved our gear inside just as heavy drops of rain began to fall. I grabbed a jacket and headed back just as Akela headed to the outdoor show ring. That, of course, is when the downpour began.