I still haven't quite recovered from Lendon Gray?s Youth Dressage Festival last weekend, and now I'm headed off to judge at King Oak in Southampton MA.? The emails were flying on Monday after the Festival.? Everyone on the committee seemed really pleased ? everything seemed to run so smoothly, with only a few little fires to put out.? This is a large, active committee and a large group of wonderful volunteers, because the show is so unusual and complicated to stage.? But imagine!? 300 kids all doing dressage in a special setting and format (dressage test, equitation class and written test, plus lots of fun and educational activities).? The show isn?t recognized by any organization, because our rules just don't conform ? although we use USEF rules wherever we can ? and sometimes we're making adjustments on the spot. One great thing about the show is all the interaction between the judges and the kids, well, interaction between everyone including the organizers, the families, coaches, venders, everyone!? That just doesn't happen at a USEF show, where judges aren?t supposed to discuss anything with a competitor that might constitute ?coaching.?? (They can still talk to each other, though, and should!)? I loved it whenever a child came up to me and said she?d earned her qualifying score at a show where I'd judged and now here she was at the Festival.? My favorite was Emma Rose Strom of Stanford CT who entered the Intro W/T/C ?11 and under division.? Emma Rose is usually a hunter rider.? She did the schooling show on Friday and her pony went out of the ring three times.? She regrouped and came back on Saturday and won her division.? Her parents were also thrilled with her prize, a gift certificate for a new Charles Owen helmet? (the show has absolutely wonder sponsors!) I got a good laugh before on Friday on my way to the show.? I stopped off at Mrs. Green?s because they have the freshest produce around in my area and I needed really fresh carrots with green tops for the Dressage Trail class on Sunday.? I told the cashier to please place them carefully in the bag so the tops wouldn?t get broken.? She remarked that some ?wild woman? screeched at her the previous summer about not breaking off the tops and that she thought of that woman every time someone bought carrots.? I sheepishly said that woman was me ? last year she snapped off all the tops when she put them in the bag!? I had to run back and get more carrots.? Anyway, we had a good laugh and all was forgiven when I explained that we NEEDED the tops for a special horse show for kids. This is a shout out to Molly, who told me this weekend that she reads my blog every week and had to go searching for it when we switched over from MyHorse to EquiSearch.? Molly said I was brave to report my weight loss goals ? and I've got to get back to that after backsliding this spring when I decided not to show!