Thursday, July 1, 2010

Werewolves, Vampires, and Horses!

Hello again guys!
I know I know, it's been more than a month and no word...I realize that now is a bad time to create an excuse for my excessive tardiness but in all fairness to me, it is, as per usual, all the horses' fault! Well, a certain Robert Pattinson and the highly anticipated Eclipse movie can share the guilt too but I digress...

Since we last spoke I have been tenaciously preparing the horses for their spring/summer show season. Currently, I have Seajack (who is for sale) who is competing preliminary, Barracuda (aka Guppy) who is trying to get his last few qualifying horse trials to do a one star in the fall, and Seven's Wild (also for sale) who is making her training debut.

I feel like I have been in a constant battle between myself and Mother Nature to see who is still left standing come nightfall and let's just say that at the end of the day, I am LOVING my savagely tanned arms. Being that I am known as "The Desert Lizard" around the barn (due to my uncanny ability to ride all day long without sweating or taking excessive drink breaks) it is certainly not surprising that I adore the heat. Odd, but not surprising. My poor horses...

The first show of the spring season (and since Rolex) was Seneca Valley HT. Seaj was doing his first horse trial since October of last year, Guppy was coming back from a month long hiatus during Rolex, and Seven had come to Deerfield only ten days prior in preparation for her training level debut.

The day of the show was brutally hot as it was hectic. Without the help of my trusty friend and student, Rachel Hinson (recent Randolph Macon grad and proud owner of another CEF homebred, IBackJack), I would have been running in circles wondering who's on first and what's on second. Since it was a one day event, and since I was riding three horses, which makes for nine ride times, and all within five hours, Rachel and I had a plan so meticulously arranged, that it would take an act of Congress to change (or maybe not). When the last horse was wrapped, watered, loaded, locked, stocked, and barreled, the gratifying sighs of relief from both of us demonstrated the feat that we had accomplished earlier in the day...we make a great team! Crow's Ear Farm brought home a third from the ever consistent Seaj, a sixth from my shiny little Guppy toy, and a magnificent blue ribbon from my star, Ms. Seven in her first training (with the only dressage score in the twenties!) All ponies made it home safe, soundly, and eager to roll around in their lush green pastures at Deerfield.

Two weeks later we arrived at Surefire HT. As Rachel and I woke at 1:45 am to head to Wawa to stock up on drinks, we felt as if the whole situation was a deja vu. And what a deja vu it was, because we literally saw a two of the same party animals stopping into Wawa for a sobering coffee from a long night out that we saw two weeks prior. I couldn't help but feel jealous of those night owls, knowing that their day was about to end, and our was just starting...but then again, I take it back, the whole throbbing headache situation in the morning from a wild night out I can definitely do without! I'll take horse hair over Hennessy any day of the week, or weekend!

Surefire went by even faster and easier than Seneca despite the hundred plus degree weather. All of the ponies met the demands of the course and the sun with ease, and again, Rachel and I drove home with casual smiles (despite being somewhat delusional from lack of sleep or food). Seajack again, brought home the yellow ribbon in his preliminary division. Guppy took fourth and Seven took second in her training level division. To top of the already fabulous day, my PRO/Am Team finished third, with all my teammates having successful and safe outtings! I look forward to being apart of the PRO/Am tour for many more times to come and encourage those of you who have the opportunity, to try it out! It's a great way to gain a "team" experience and encourage support among our eventing peers.

Before I bid you all adieu, I must quickly express my appreciation to all of you who have shown your support to not only my horses and myself, but to those of you who are constantly asking about my mother and her new life out west. Riding at these horse shows without her there physically has in no way been easy for me. However, just knowing how many people who care about her and respect her for the amazing mother and horse person that she is, makes her presence feel that much closer to me. For that, I want to whole-heartedly thank you all!

Next on the drawing board is Loch Moy I HT where I will be competing Guppy in the OP (for his final qualifying result), Seven in the training, and Scarlett (who belongs to my wonderfully "gimpy" student Bethany Astorino) in the Novice divisions. I have also managed to turn Rachel to the "dark side" as she'll be competing at her first horse trials in her riding career, at the novice level. So folks, until next time, shoulders back, eyes up, and shout out "Team Edward!!!!" Eclipse is FINALLY here (once again, thank you Beth!!! )