Wednesday, October 19, 2011

And the Party Ends

Exhausted is an understatement. Burnt out is closer. Fair Hill International ended on Sunday with some significant changes on the leaderboard. I would be lying if I didn't say I wanted Jan to win. I was front and center for stadium on Sunday as jump crew. Nice horses is an understatement. Incredible is closer. A few that stuck out: Marilyn Little-Meredith , Valerie Vizcarrondo, and Colleen Rutledge.

Throughout the weeks before and the week of the event I was the worker and volunteer of many hats. I set up fencing, unloaded competitor trailers for move-in, delivered shavings, painting, mulching for cross country, working with course builder Eric Bull, answering questions in the information booth, unloading stadium, set-up for stadium, jump crew for stadium, loading stadium, and a few other odds-and-ends. Was it exhausting? Yes. Was it worth it? You betcha! The blog I started was a huge success and received over 10,000 visits during the International! And several EventingNation shout outs.

Life is slowly returning to normalcy. I started the girls back after 9 days off because of Fair Hill. So far so good. Hope is prepping for Plantation Fields starter Novice next week, Rose is adjusting to Fall weather and rideability, and Grace is cantering jumps!

I love my stud colt. I love walking him. and the expression on his face at feeding time. and his eager to learn and please personality. and his giant and shiny body. and his steadily improving manners. and his start to lunging . . .

The most exciting news is that I somehow managed to get all necessary materials in on time for the Worth the Trust Educational Scholarship. I found out about the opportunity the week of Fair Hill and managed to start it Sunday night and mail it Monday. There was a volunteer section that needed signatures and who did I see on Saturday? Why no other than Lucinda Green herself. So she provided her signature for the hours I gave at her clinic in August. Too cool! I will be praying with every ounce of my being that I am chosen as the recipient for this award. It would be such a life-changing opportunity.

Well the rain is falling, along with temperatures, and I am still trying to catch up on sleep. On that note, good night and cheers!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkins, Paint, and Cedar Sunburns

It has been some time since my last post, but with fall around the corner, and more importantly the Dansko Fair Hill International, there isn't much time to be wasted. Preparations are well underway as the start of the event nears. For the last month I have spent a majority of my evenings relentlessly working on a blog for Fair Hill International that could rival the website. The feedback has been great. More importantly it was mentioned on EventingNation twice!

I currently have four horses in work and the past few weeks have yielded some positive results. Hope finished second at Novice behind a professional on a horse with Rec. Training mileage. We finished on our best dressage test today. A 33 including errors (oh right you salute at the end. nuts.). I am still waiting to find the forward rhythm in stadium but in the words of Sally, "People have won and lost the Olympics with that same problem!". Since the event I had a nice outing at a local jumper show and a lesson with Sally. I am aiming for the Novice at Plantations Halloween weekend.

Rose has been inconsistent which has been a bit defeating after a productive Summer. I am beginning to wonder if she has a legitimate seasonal disorder. This is the exact week that things began regressing last year. She had an incredible cross country school in early September and the following week a not-so-great one. The Chronicles of MyLittleRedRidingHorse . .. sigh . . .

Grace is mastering her flatwork and started cantering fences. Very well.

My stud colt moved up. There are a lot of naysayers that feel the need to discourage individuals from owning colts. "It's so much work" and "You have no idea what your getting into" and my personal favorite "Are you sure your capable?". True story. Well he is fine. Easier to work with than the mares and eager to please. He is learning what behavior is acceptable behavior in my presence and what is not. Short and simple. The only hard part is the musical paddocks I play to when it comes time to turn the girls out and bring him in. Other than that it's really no different in my opinion.Then again I am not capable . . .

I have spent time painting at Fair Hill and today I worked with Course Designer Eric Bull filling fences with cedar branches. 10 to 6. Long day. Sunny and hot day. Disclaimer: Cedar pokes. A lot. I decided to switch to short sleeves because I was sweating. That decision, however, left my forearms exposed to the branches. Ouch. Sunburn or Cedarburn? In the end its all the same. Cheers!