Every year or so, usually after a few months of running myself ragged, I go through a two-week period of serious enthusiasm. I mean, I am JONESED. I'm getting stuff done. I'm up late, sans caffeine, and then up early again the next morning with a big smile on my face. I tell myself that I must be doing something right; I must be eating right or doing really well with whatever exercise regime I'm on, or that maybe I've just biologically hit my stride, because, clearly, all this energy is so great.
A while back I scheduled a two-day clinic, which then had to be cut to one day. And somewhere between then and now I forgot to add lesson times back to my nifty e-scheduling system, which meant my students didn't know I was going to be around. And on Friday night, I went to make my schedule for the following day… and found I had nothing to do, other than ride a few horses. It was too late to call anyone to ask if they wanted a lesson for Saturday.
Friday, 4/12, 9 p.m.: My schedule for tomorrow is made, my bag is packed, and I'm checking the big email the triathlon director sent us to figure out exactly where we're supposed to meet tomorrow afternoon for the Mandatory First-Timer Meeting.
Which is when I see that I'm supposed to pick up my packet before 3 p.m. Before 3. No exceptions.
I work on Saturdays. I've already cancelled two lessons to get to Richmond by 3:30 for the mandatory meeting, something I only learned was mandatory a few days before.
Long long ago, when I was young and adorable, I went to Germany to look for the horse that would be Billy. Billy was the first horse I sat on on that trip, out of about 20, and I kept coming back to him. My mom kept saying, really? Really? The first one you sat on? But it was true; I just knew.
I'm getting down to the wire training for my first triathlon, next Sunday, and that's meant some time on my bike trainer, watching movies in my apartment. I pick movies that are inspirational—you know, with lots of heavy music, gunfire and punching people. Last week, it was the Matrix Trilogy.
Three days, a thousand miles, and two cups of coffee later, I'm back in Virginia. And really, I don't think I've ever been happier to leave Florida. It seemed like everything I touched this winter fell apart, and I refuse to let it get me down, but I'm really quite glad to be home.
I've gone through all the plans from A to about Q at this point, so we're on Plan R:
- Midge is staying in walk work to try and keep good muscle tone while he heals.
Earlier this month, Michael Pollard wrote a great blog, a rallying cry for American breeders. He comes from an eventing perspective, but the need for more, better horses bred in the United States is true across all the international disciplines. Between the cost of importation and the euro, European horses are expensive and not easy to get.
It's T-minus one week until we start the trip home from Florida, but of the many, many things I learned this year, some were equipment-related. Every year I get better and better at living the Floridian life: what stuff to bring, what products to use. And it's important, because I'm pretty convinced that there is no place on the entire North American continent worse to keep a horse than South Florida.
We're taking a lot of hits, the U.S. Dressage program. We're not good enough, we're not spending enough time in Europe, etc, etc. One thing I'll certainly jump on board with is that we don't have enough really good horses, and that we're reliant on wealthy sponsors purchasing made horses for us far too often, that not enough of our top riders have a pipeiine of horses they're making themselves.