TUESDAY: All: We have arrived! We will all settle in and be incredibly mature. Don't look so shocked, lady.
WEDNESDAY: Fender: Whee! Florida! I'm going to try and buck you off.
Danny: Me too! In between, I will give you about the most amazing feeling you've ever gotten from a horse in your life. This means that someday, you'll be able to control me when I'm this up, and it will be the kind of thing that will get you HUGE scores at CDI Grand Prix. But that day is not today. WHAT WAS THAT OVER THERE?!
I had a lovely Christmas with my family, and a lovely New Year's with friends. It got cold for a few days, during which everyone tried to buck me off, and then it got warm and beautiful, during which I wondered why I was leaving. And then it was Jan. 2, and it was time to go.
It's the end of the year, a time for cheer and fuzzy scarves and family and, between bites of baked goods (in spite of my annual plea to our clients to not bring us the stuff, which always goes ignored), reflection on the year's events.
Back in February, I had a great chat with a friend who's also a sports psychologist. She encouraged me to write my goals for the year down, rather than just thinking them, because a) there are studies that show that those who write their goals down are more likely to achieve them, and b) it makes reflecting on them a lot easier.
My last blog, about being willing to put in the long hours and work hard to reap the benefits a great working student position can offer, received more than a few comments to the tune of this: "Sure, a great working student job is great, but so often the positions are not as advertised, or we're treated like crap, or there's no security blanket should something happen. It's not worth the risk!"
I had an open working student job all summer, and then added another position that I needed to fill this fall. (Both filled, amen!) It meant that it was a summer of resumes and interviews, and of getting down to a science my hiring procures. And it is thus: someone emails me asking for more information about the job, and I write back with a description of a typical day, as well as with what other chores I expect my staff to do. And I also tell them what I offer for compensation.
Sunday at the USDF National Finals was a quiet affair. With all my students' rides complete, and just one finals class for me left—Beverley Thomas's Fiero in the second level open finals—we had a leisurely breakfast, rode my test (Fiero was terrific) at noon, and with awards not until 5:30 p.m., Ferris and I went to the movies. Fiero led the class for a long time and ended up placing fourth in tremendous company; I got my ribbon, we made our lap around the Alltech, smiled for pictures, and then we were done.
Holding horse shows in November is a dangerous business. We've had rain, sleet and frost, not to mention windchills in the high 20s—a sharp twist for us in Northern Virginia, for sure, but nothing like what the folks from Texas and Florida are going through.