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April 18, 2014

Life Off The Farm

We did it. We survived the winter! It wasn’t without bumps and bruises but, in retrospect; it is pretty impressive how well Ephraim handled himself. Let’s recap: four months ago, he was a petrified, severely hyper-reactive, 4-year-old former Amish buggy horse who came from the warm south where he had started retraining.

April 17, 2014

A Conversation With My Mother

Dear Rita,

Please don’t be insulted that you found out I went to Europe with Hotmail via social media. It was a snap decision, and there was no time amid massive and frenetic logistical planning to call even my closest friends. My own mother did not know until today!

April 14, 2014

Forget About The Cake, I’ll Take Piaffe For My Birthday!

April is a birthday month for us! My beautiful mare had her birthday on April 1st. She savored some delectable banana cake treats made especially for horses. My birthday is April 19th. As a child I would sing with great gusto (many months in advance) “April the 19th soon will be here," to remind anyone who might have been within earshot, of this momentous occasion.

April 13, 2014

Moving Up: Be Fierce

Dear Rita,

The last time I wrote, I had a story to tell about the morphing of Mane Stream Hotmail into a Grand Prix horse. We were mid-season at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Fla., and I knew that his career was about to take off.

April 11, 2014

Consumer Social Responsibilty

Consumer Social Responsibility, or CSR as it is known, is something I've thought a lot about. What it means is that as consumers we have a responsibility toward society to be responsible in our purchases.

Corporations are not the only ones that have a responsibility towards society. We, as consumers, need to buy from ethical, socially responsible companies, and we need to know what we are buying. We need to know the background of the product; where it was made, who made it, and its “history.”

April 8, 2014

The One In The Irons

Sometimes the hardest voice to hear is your own.

Before I came to Tebogo, I was a big fish in a little pond. I had a false confidence in my riding because I didn’t grasp just how much I didn’t know. Within a few weeks, I was unceremoniously humbled. My dream horse got hurt. I was riding some very green beans that did not hesitate to highlight my shortcomings as a rider. And for once, I hardly knew anyone.

April 7, 2014

We Do Need To Ask Why, But In The Right Way

I always have to steel myself to monitor the comments on certain posts on the Chronicle’s Facebook page. And with the sad, sad news of two horse deaths at The Fork Horse Trials this past weekend, our news feed took on a decidedly gloomy tone.

April 7, 2014

The Effect Of A Horse On A Rider

I think spring is finally here! We are expecting the first foal any day, and we can ride outdoors again.

 

Yay! I’m pumped for this year! The horses feel great and ready to go. I have been watching the videos of our top riders and love how motivated and determined it makes me.

I was riding a training horse the other day and Mama offhandedly tells me that I am riding him better than a couple months ago. Of course, I didn’t take it at face value and said, “What is that supposed to mean?” She says simply, “You are sitting quieter; it looks nicer.”

April 6, 2014

Sprinting Home

My last week in Florida was a blur. I showed Fender at the lovely little White Fences show right around the corner from our winter home, where he had one Rather Naughty moment on the first day, and then was Quite Spectacular With Unlucky Mistakes on the second, and on the whole I'm pleased as punch that a) my not-yet-8-year-old is fancy, and that b) my not-yet-8-year-old is still just a bit wicked. It means there's a spicy international horse in there. I like it.

April 3, 2014

Plugging Away In A Program

There are a lot of ways to approach this sport, and for any general rule that you create there will be very successful exceptions. The battles wage online over every choice we make: turnout all day or stall part time, hacking on roads or staying on softer ground, competing only as needed to qualify or every three weeks, warming up for ten minutes or practically doing a lesson before you enter the ring.

Everyone has an opinion, and unfortunately everyone seems to think theirs is the only correct way.

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