Thank goodness for summer vacations. People leave the Mid-Atlantic en masse at the end of July and the beginning of August for their summer homes, or for pre-school-year vacations to cooler climes. And it's only days after they go that temperatures here plummet to reasonable levels.
So: Thank you, travelers, for making the weather better in your absence!
After our adventure with the ratchet straps in packing for this weekend’s horse show, I was unhappy, although not altogether surprised, when, lumbering down the highway, I watch a bale of hay and four bags of shavings come a’tumbling off my trailer roof and into traffic.
My kids were stars this weekend! Four riders, all of whom I’ve helped before, stepped up to ride for the Commonwealth Dressage and Combined Training Association (CDCTA)’s First Level team at the Region 1 Youth Team Championships. For some it was a big step up; for others, this was a walk in the park. They rode well, made improvements from Day 1 to Day 2, and hit the things we’d worked on in practice.
I teach a few kids year-round, but I see a lot more of them during the summer months, when school is out. I love teaching kids—they are funny, goofy and ambitious. You can tell them to do anything, and they’ll do it. They don’t get scared like adults do, don’t overanalyze like adults do, and seem to have a lot more fun than adults do. There’s a lot to be learned from kids.
Ella and Midgey happily spent their last New York night in turnout at Gleneden, sparing me the pain of a 3 a.m. wake-up call. And as such, I got to have a great dinner with my aunt and cousin, who I NEVER get to see, in Manhattan, where I hadn't been since graduating from college. I don't regret my decision to go pro one bit, but sometimes I do get a little nostalgic for What Could Have Been, having a job outside of the horse biz and living somewhere closer to civilization.
Dang, though, if having horses like these doesn't snap me right out of it!
Greetings from The Big Apple! Ella was a stellar citizen on her early-Gladstone-morning hack, so I didn't do much Monday. I ambled around, then stripped stalls, chucked my stuff and popped ponies in the trailer to Lendon Gray's, about a two-hour drive.
It’s one thing when my horses are idiots; it’s another when I’m to blame.
The plan was to school Midge during the lunch break, so I’d be out of everyone’s way. I cleared it with Those In The Know, tacked him up, and off I went. But a schedule change was made, and someone had a lesson during the “lunch break,” so I was asked to just ride around the arena.
It’s 7 a.m. I’m sitting in the rotunda at Gladstone, still in the morning cool, and I’m thinking about the past.
It’s easy in the High Performance world, even as shallow as I’ve waded in, to get caught up in the details. The footing, the drainage in the stalls, the want of outlets for fans and fridges. Ride times and selection processes. The parking.