Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Calgary Stampede!

Well we survived and had a great time!

The day started out by POURING rain, I was glad I had the wool habits now! On my way to the Stampede grounds I got cut off on the freeway and missed the turn-off I was supposed to take. I got turned around and managed to get back to where I needed to be on time. By the time I got into Calgary the rain had stopped and it was nice out.

It was really neat going in the back entrance and getting to see all the behind the scenes stuff. I got a pass with my picture on it (that gets me into anywhere!) and I drove past hundreds of trailers, motor homes and the barns full of the chuckwagon horses. Twice I got directed into the wrong area and had to back the trailer up (eeek!) but I managed it with no issues! Good thing I've gotten some practice! I ended up parking right next to the area where all the singers have their giant, fancy motorhomes.

I got tacked up & dressed and we headed over to the arena. I have to say, I think my tweed habit is my new favorite! I got a new green tie & shirt with a collar, I think it looks a lot better than a stock tie and from reading one of the other blogs, it also wasn't correct! Brigit was a tad lookie at things to start with but soon she was taking it all in stride. There was a LOT going on. We were right next to a bunch of draft horses with wagons and the military tanks plus lots of people, kids & strollers. Not to mention the donkeys & mules with their carts & wagons were in behind me.

We had a great demo and showed off our stuff while the announcer read a script I wrote. Brigit was fantastic! They set up a little jump for us and boy did that open some eyes! I think we've finally got this jumping aside business figured out! We went over it a bunch of times (carefully because the footing was really deep & wet) and the crowd really enjoyed it. Afterwards we had some fun answering questions. Brigit even let a whole bunch of kids climb up on the fence and pet her (normally she's not too sure what to think of wee people). I was really pleased with her.

The cutest comment came from a little girl who was quite concerned when she saw me ride in, she asked her mom "Did that lady break her leg?". Too funny!

People of all ages came over and were just fascinated. It was really fun! We even had some people there for the cutting competition from Texas come over and ask to take photos. I have to say, riding sidesaddle seems to be the ultimate ice-breaker!


  1. Oh Michelle, I am so glad to hear that it all went so well!!! Your pictures look amazing - especially the jump! Bravo!!

  2. What weight wool are your habits? I'm thinking about getting one from Trish, but I am concerned about the heat. Those lovely english habits can be murder here in the states during the summer.
    I too love the look of your tweed turnout, especially on a chestnut. I do wear a hunting stock with mine, but it's a blue plaid informal one rather than white.

  3. I believe they are medium weight. My first habit was just a nylon/polyester type blend but it still seemed really hot in warm weather. It was pretty humid and warm the day I wore the tweed habit and I wasn't bad at all. It took some adjusting going from the poly blend habit to an honest to goodness wool one but once I was used to it, not so bad at all. I think you'd be really happy with one of Trish's habits! She's super easy to work with so if there's something specific you're after she can probably make it happen.

  4. Oh WOW Michelle! You guys look FAB!