I’ve been here in Windsor for a few days now … glorious, warm, sunshine-y days. Then a cool breeze set in. And now that today is the first full day of our CAA trip, it’s of course turned misty and rainy. As I’m writing this, it looks dry outside, but it’s still gray. As long as it doesn’t actually set in and rain, we’ll do just fine.

On our CAA trip this year, we have a group of nearly 30 people from across the U.S., Canada, Bermuda, Argentina, England, and even Austria. That number includes me and our intrepid group leader, Jill. Nearly everyone arrived here in Windsor yesterday, and so our first group activity was (of course!) afternoon tea. After a short walking tour of Windsor and Eton, everyone met at a quaint restaurant known as the “Crooked House.” 

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it's easy to see why the "Crooked House" was given its name

it’s easy to see why the “Crooked House” was given its name

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And here’s what one of our three tables looked like after we’d had our fill of tea, sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and fruit cake:

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these are just the leftovers, after we'd enjoyed a typical afternoon tea

these are just the leftovers, after we’d enjoyed a typical afternoon tea

This morning, the group had a behind-the-scenes tour of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, which is stabled in the Royal Mews for the duration of the horse show this week. Normally, the troop is stabled and stationed in London.

The King’s Troop will perform its famous “musical drive” once each evening during the military Tattoo and then one final time on Sunday afternoon. After our tour guide met us and led us through the guarded gate into the mews, we were given a brief history lesson on the troop and then taken to see various areas: the farriers’ shop, one of the harness-cleaning rooms, some of the stables, and the indoor riding school, where the six guns are stored (and cleaned) during the week.

Each morning while here, the King’s Troop has taken its horses out for about 30 minutes of exercise. We learned on our tour that, when they’re at home in London, they go for a similar exercise walk each day for an hour and a half.

a portion of the large contingent of King's Troops horses, leaving the Royal Mews this morning for their daily exercise walk

a portion of the large contingent of King’s Troops horses, leaving the Royal Mews this morning for their daily exercise walk

another section of the long line of King's Troop horses, walking on the grass beside the Long Walk

another section of the long line of King’s Troop horses, walking on the grass beside the Long Walk; each rider is leading two other horses

 In a very slight departure from my practice of years past, my plan for the blog for this trip is NOT to run through each day’s results. We’ve been informed that the results will be uploaded to the show’s website almost immediately as they happen, so if you do want to follow the results, you’ll be able to look them up faster than I would be able to get them to you through the blog. What I’ll be doing instead is trying to give you some of the “flavor” of this incredible horse show, and let you know what we’ve been up to on the CAA trip. If you followed the blog while we were in Spain, you already know that there will be lots of photos! To check the results from any of the horse show classes, visit www.rwhs.co.uk. If you have any questions about the show, or if you can’t find specific results that you’re looking for, post a comment here, and I’ll see what I can do.

Cheers!