The Troopers and Equestriennes got to sleep in a bit today (Reveille was at the crack of 9), but they turned out ready to be reunited with the horses.
We traveled to Prince George’s Equestrian Center and got right to work, as the horses were antsy from their long drive from Culver.
The Equestriennes arrived about an hour before the Troopers, as they needed a head start on braiding their horses’ manes and tails (hair spray sets the horse hair pretty solidly and the girls were quite deft at making tight enough braids to keep the horses from rubbing them out over night). The manes will stay braided but the tails get unwrapped tomorrow, which will make them nice and wavy for the parade.
The horses were anxious to get out of the stalls, if the sounds of neighing and the crack of hooves hitting stall doors was any indication. Once the kids had their helmets on, and were ready, they took the horses out for a nice gentle walk, to help work out any stiffness from the journey east. The it was time to wash and brush their coats. With that accomplished, the aforementioned braiding followed. Hoof blacking was the final cosmetic task left. Then the kids turned their attention to their own footwear, cleaning and polishing boots, followed by saddles and other tack. There certainly won’t be time for all this come parade day.
The Troopers and Equestriennes put in a lot of hard work today, and the way they know their horses is really evident. Many of them seem to know what their horse is going to do before the horse does it, and the kids are ready for them. Their energy and maturity really showed. They are ready for the real thing.