New Train Station in Clarendon Hills

A visit to my home town of Clarendon Hills brought a surprise: the unremarkable train station from the mid-twentieth century has been replaced by a modern station and platform with a lot more greenery and some really interesting materials.

New Train Station in Clarendon Hills I

The station itself uses both lacquered rails (on the left) and wooden slats at odd intervals (Fibonacci-esque, but I didn’t measure to be sure.)

New Train Station in Clarendon Hills II

Carleton Brooks

Today’s subject is trainer Carleton Brooks of Balmoral, here training his newest hunter, Carleton Z (coincidental naming).Old School Rider

Chaps are not common English riders—britches are more common. The back of his chaps, where one might normally put identification information, is instead emblazoned with the phrase, “You Know My Name” in red. Click through to the full-sized version of this image to see for yourself.

YouKnowMyName

This particular weekend was a bit of a miniature family reunion, as Carleton’s brother (far right) was up to visit from Indiana.

The Family That Rides Together

Scenes from the Kentucky Horse Park in Spring

Though “one day, one photograph” is my typical style, the images from my springtime trip to the Kentucky Horse Park (mostly taken while hanging around at the warm-up ring) make a charming slice-of-life set.

Let’s start things off with The Plaid Horse‘s publisher, Dr. Piper Klemm, with Sundae.

Preparing SundaeWhile the warm-up ring is ostensibly a place to practice prior to showing, it also often the location of impromptu meetings and morning strolls.
Morning Walk and ConversationPiper Klemm on Sundae in the warm-up ring.

Schooling Ring Up to Speed

The warm-up is also a place for horses to shake out some energy and get any necessary attitude adjustment.

Chestnut Attitude

Dapples mean a healthy horse.

Dapple Energy

That preparation time made for positive results in the ring. Trainer Emily Elek congratulations Reuben.

Winning Sandwich

It’s bath time for a sweaty horse done with showing.

Bath Time

Compress-air-powered airbag vests are increasingly common on younger riders.

Vest

Early in the morning, the golf carts waited in lines outside the barns—mimicking the positions of nearby horses in their stalls in the barns.

Golf Carts Between Barns

Cell phone videos of warm-up make an exceptionally valuable tool for improvement.

Shade by the Ring

Reuben very occasionally sticks out his tongue and I find it funnier than I should.

Stroll with Tongue Out

A close overlap between conversation-walk and warm-up-canter in the warm-up ring.

Horse Trio

Piper on Reuben.

Surveying the Ring

The pattern of planting boxes reminded me of the pacing of strides riders seek to find approaching a jump.

Box Rhythm

Junior rider Lexi Miller relaxes between rounds.

Trunk Seating

Bridge to Heritage Park

As a child, I was deeply interested in the idea of islands—these isolated, well-defined chunks of land that were separated from everyone else. My favorite LEGO sets were those modeling pirates marooned on desert islands. I wonder what my childhood self would have thought of living in a town with an uninhabited island at its center?

Bridge to Heritage Park

Waiting for the Big Fireworks Show

Spending Independence Day in Traverse City, Michigan meant experiencing the TC Boom Boom Club’s (yes, really) annual fireworks display from the beach of the Grand Traverse Bay. Before they began, however, the families on the beach were making their own shows.

Waiting for the Big Fireworks Show