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July 27, 2015

A Day In The Life Of An Eventing Teenager In Germany

A day in the life of a teenage eventer living the dream...

5:30 a.m. - as dreaded every morning the alarm goes off. I crawl out of bed and get dressed for a day full of horses. Well, that's what I should do, but I usually end up snoozing until 6:10 and then having to rush to get my day started.

6:25 - drag my bike out of the basement and meet the other girls outside to head to the barn.

July 26, 2015

Rebecca Day 5: Completion! And On To Bigger Things

We won!

OK, no that sort of thing only happens in the movies.

We finished! We got a nice little powder blue completion ribbon showing that we finished the novice three-day long format. I successfully kept Cairo between myself and the ground, and we had a blast with fun fences and good friends.

July 24, 2015

Rebecca Day 3: Dressage, A.K.A. Thank God There’s Cross-Country Tomorrow

As I walked Cairo out to the dressage area today (or rather discussed with her why walking was more appropriate than jigging). I saw some riders coming back smiling and a lot coming back grim-faced or scowling. I thought, “Oh dear, I hope I don’t come back looking like that after dressage!”

I didn’t. I came back cracking up. As my trainer Meika Decher said when I left the ring. “Cairo’s last ride before dressage should never again be steeplechase.”

We got to the warm-up. I said “Trot.” Cairo said “Steeplechase!”

I said walk. Cairo said, “Steeplechase!”

July 23, 2015

Rebecca Day 2: Educated And A Little Exhausted

Yesterday was the first official day of the novice three-day—though the actual riding part of the competition begins today with dressage—and I’m starting to feel a little more like I know what I’m doing when it comes to the long format.

My mare, Cairo, almost always thinks she knows what she’s doing and, as my trainer Meika Decher puts it, sometimes the trick is having Cairo listen to me instead of the voices in her head.

July 22, 2015

Getting Underway At Rebecca Farm

Camilla Mortensen is an amateur eventer from Eugene, Ore., who's made the trek to compete in the novice level three-day. She's sharing her weekend with us with some great blogs!

My sassy 15.1 Irish Sport Horse Cairo and I have arrived at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Mont.  Rebecca is on of the biggest events in the United States, with divisions from novice through CCI***, and for me just getting here a couple hundred miles from Oregon is a big deal. The event is beautiful, with the Rocky Mountains and Glacier National Park in the distance.

July 19, 2015

Keeping The Good Days

Understatement of the year: life in the horse business ain't easy. The ups are terrific but the downs can be so, so down—achingly long days, dirt and sweat and blood and tears, life and death and crushed expectations and placing hopes and dreams in the hooves of 1,200-pound prey animals on lean legs. 

But those ups. The days where the horses go well. The days were the clients make progress. The big wins. Those are the good days, and the universe has this funny way of handing them to you exactly when you need them.

July 15, 2015

An Eventing Teenager In Germany

We've got a new blogger chiming in! Charlotte Stillfried is a teenaged event rider from the Richmond, Va., area who is spending some time in Germany working for German Olympic rider Dirk Schrade. She'll be checking in to share her experiences...

Going overseas to work for an Olympic gold medalist as a 16-year old... no pressure! Right.

Of course the first horse I get put on would be Dirk's four-star and World Games mount Hop And Skip. Still no pressure. Yeah, OK! What a first day!

July 13, 2015

Blogger Behind The Stall Door With: Ellegria

I've known Ella almost 10 years, so I think I probably know her better than anyone. And while she's quietly confident in herself now, she's terribly introverted, so she probably wouldn't be all that excited about me sharing all of her wonderful little quirks with the world in a blog post.

But: I think she's wonderful, brilliant, and should be shared with the world.

Plus, I have thumbs and she doesn't. So world, meet Ellegria!

July 13, 2015

Brazil, Timbits And Politeness: The Best Of The Pan Am Games So Far

We’re three days into this two-week competition now, and, as you’ve probably heard, things aren’t going perfectly. There’s been no live streaming. It’s been warm, and there’s no shade for the spectators. There aren’t many food options at the Caledon venue. But, despite the annoyances (and no video is a big one for those of you at home!), I already have plenty of highlights from the Pan American Games in Toronto. Here are a couple, in no particular order.    

July 8, 2015

To My Friend Jonathan Wentz

It doesn’t seem possible that so much time has passed by since I've seen you. I still can’t believe you are not here.

It feels like just yesterday that you told me about playing soccer, a 19-hand horse at your barn, and riding mountain bikes down hills. I can still see the chairs and table where we sat, and our laughter still echoes in my head.