I've spent the last few days trying to cram in three weeks' workload, which has meant some LONG days, but the end is finally nigh: In 24 hours I'll be leaving on a jet plane, bound for London.
One of my New Year's resolutions was to give myself more breathing room in my schedule, to teach a little less and enjoy myself a little more. But it's so easy, when you're surrounded by wonderful people like my clients and their horses, to get caught up in it all, to be getting on your first horse at 5:30 a.m. and finishing your last lesson at 8:15 p.m. with little break, two days a week, plus two more days of teaching off site in the afternoons, then spend your weekends teaching a clinic or taking clients to a show, and to be exhausted at the end of it all but so satisfied that you do it all again week in and week out.
But the last few months of going-going-going have definitely caught up with me - I feel really bad for my friends and family and staff for the one part absent, one part jerkface person I've turned into over the last two weeks - and I think it's definitely time for a vacation.
Midge, Ella, assistant trainer Allison and I snuck up to Michael's for a quick couple of lessons. Ella is looking mighty fine for all her time off and is building back into work; Allison will be her person for my absence, which meant Allison got the pleasure of doing lots of sitting trot for the last three days, and I think her abs may never forgive me.
Midge, for his part, made some super work. I was really pleased to have made progress in the things I've been working on, including making so much progress making the canter pirouettes small that they are now too small, and I can't ride them forward anymore. Whoops. Allison gets him for a few days of light work while I'm in London, and then we have a whole week up at Michael's to fix it. We'll be fine.
And Michael, for his part, stooped down to help little peons like us from his post-Colbert Report high. His whole place was really still giddy over it all, and Michael says that the video of Mr. Colbert's actual riding lesson has more than 150,000 hits, more than any show has gotten in months. Hoorah for the power of the equestrian community!
So I'm off to London for some much needed pre-Championship-boot-camp R&R. My bags are packed with all the essentials: layers, workout clothes, my shiny new Dubarry boots (a waterproof treat!), sunscreen (optimistic thinking), more layers, my Dressage Is #1 foam finger, and my official DQ headgear. I'm aaaaaall set. See you from across the pond!