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So, next week, starting tomorrow, is the Queen Anne's County 4-H Fair. Now for Queen Anne's County, being a rather rural area, this is a big, Huge, COLLASSAL EVENT. It's like, one of the main events/attractions of the year. I know, sad, isn't it?

I looked forward to this fair every year of my life, when I learned about it. Not only was it great fun as a kid, but I got to go visit the horse barn as often as possible. Horses, at that age, were something pined and longed for. Most of the people I knew had them, plus I had a stubborn, useless pony that never did anything. I really, really wanted to show and to prove I was a good rider. That happened eventually, but not until I was 15.

Anyway - memories about Fair. Being left at Fair, when I was 12+ years old, all by myself and trusted by my parents not to get into trouble, because they didn't want to be at fair. Fair enough, right? Having money of my own to spend during Fair, for drinks and food, and coming back with some left over and saving it for other stuff. Climbing all over the tractors and combines and making temporary friends with other kids in the process. Going to Dave Whorton's stand and getting free cotton candy and snow cones, because my family knew him. Visiting the horse barn (once one was built) or otherwise watching the horse show and conning people into letting me ride their horse. They got stricter rules about that sort of thing as the years passed. Swinging on the swingset and having jumping competitions with the other kids. The hay maze! Trying to find your way out of stacked bales of hay, ending with a loverly sliding board at the end. Course, they only had that one year but I still remember it! And most importantly, visiting with the friends I had made at the 4-H youth group I was part of: The Pony Express.

So, where does the jousting part come in? Every year the Queen Anne's County Fair hosts the Maryland Jousting Association. They have arches set up with rings, and you do three runs down the track. Each run the rings get smaller. You have to lance the rings. When I finally got my horse at 16, I tried the jousting. I instantly fell in love with it. My horse, Whinney's Sunset (Whinney) and I were a real team. She didn't spook or anything at the new experience. My first time out, I got 5th place. I tied with several other people who had been jousting for YEARS! I caught 8 out of 9 rings and had to do a joust off against more experienced riders.

I've only jousted maybe 4 times after that, though I've always wanted to join a jousting association. Of course, since my horse died in 1997, that's harder to do. In fact, I haven't really ridden much at all since then. Let's see. I can count the number of times on two hands, still. Maybe 8 times. I had to train my father's horse for a bit so I could use her in a joust. I only used her once. Then, my father decided he was going to buy a horse farm, so we did a trail ride as a sort of trial run to see what it'd be like. Then, 2 years ago I jousted using my niece's horse. Consequently, I also discovered just how badly out of shape I was trying to get up on a 15.3 hand tall animal! I had to have help getting into the saddle. That was rather embarrasing!

Anyway, that last time, I didn't do so bad. I got 7 out of 9 rings. If you do a perfect run, they play special music for you. A perfect run is catching all 3 rings down the track. You get to choose your own name. Maid of or, for the guys Knight of . Usually, mine has to do with corney things, like Starlight or Rainbows. Very unoriginal.

To the point. I got off next Friday because I couldn't get off on Wednesday like I wanted to. Friday is better, because of the long weekend. But, Wednesday would have been the horse show. I would have seen my niece riding her horse. I didn't want ot miss that. I haven't missed a show day during fair, ever. Not since I got her into riding. So, I opted for Friday because I know she'll be jousting. I took the entire day off because of bridge traffic. I didn't want to deal with it. Plus, Friday night is the beef barbeque. If there's ever a night to do their dinners, it's Friday. Their beef barbeque is nummy.

Though, I wish I had a horse again, just so I could do the jousting. As fun as it was sharing Melissa's horse, I don't think I want to do that again. It was the first time I rode Babe, and while she mostly behaved, I don't like riding strange animals.

I have the lance. I just need the horse. One day, maybe, again.

And now, I end my rambling rant :)

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
ashamanmat
Aug. 7th, 2004 12:12 pm (UTC)
Wish I could be there!
khall
Aug. 13th, 2004 07:19 pm (UTC)
Wow. I want.

We're so much alike, sometimes, in some ways, it makes me smile.

K.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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