Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's that time of year again!!

Long time no chat!! I know that it has been far far to long since I have touched base with everyone. For that I apologize. But, have no fear, I am here! So while some of you are carving those pumpkin's, baking those seeds, and putting on your best scary mask, I am thinking of....wait for it....AIKEN!

It is no secret that I am a planner, an organizer, and a little over eager to track down that golden recipe for success. Vaunted is getting ready to go to Virginia Horse Trials and run the Intermediate. He is all clipped and ready to see that VA Horse Center sign. I can not count how many times I have hauled that horse into the horse center of the great state of Virginia. Most people have that one place that they really, for whatever strange reason, just can't make the stars align right. For me that is VAHT. I have no idea why...3 young rider stints, so many horse shows on so many horses, not to mention the jumper shows, clinics, and xc schools that I have been to at the great VA horse center, some odd component always comes up. Be it almost running out of gas getting there to getting lost on course to missing the exit...good golly miss molly. Any who, Vaunted and I are very excited to get back and give it another go. If at first you don't succeed-- just keep living the dream.

Vaunted feels great and is very sad to have not gone to a three day this fall but I knew that, while it could be done and he was sound and ready to go, getting him fit and happy the way that I wanted to for a three day was just not a good horsemanship decision. He ran at Plantation in the prelim. I just let him go out and have a bit of fun, no stress, to real kicking on my part, and it was great to have him with me. Andrea, Will's groom, was still with Nevada Bay on his way back from England, so Will and I had to wrangle 7 horses together. It was a bit crazy. So much so that I even sprayed myself with Wrap Last...not on purpose, it was an accident and let me tell you it sucked. So Will tells me to go get some milk. With my face on fire and actual tears falling from my eyes I run up to the food stand and no milk...just half and half. So Will poured half and half on my face to keep me from literally jumping into the water tank. A picture was taken and yet another horse show story was born!

A moment must be given to something much less comical. The loss of Jennifer Simmons horse at Fair Hill was tragic and my heart aches for her and all that loved that great horse J.B. She had an amazing relationship with him and it is sad time for her. I am wishing her the best and know that the future will bring her great things. It has been said many times before and I will continue to say Eventer are a true FAMILY. I can not express how great it is to get out of the truck after a 15 hour drive and see a face that you have not seen in months and carry on like you just sat with them for that 15 hours. While we are all competitors and looking to get our next meal, we really all have 2 things in common at all times, we want the best for our horses and we want to see everyone come across all finish lines safe. I also want to give a large high five to all that went to Holland last week. Doug, Sinead, Will, and Tiana did an amazing job and it was awesome to hear how positive and educational the trip was for both horses and riders. Education was the purpose of this trip and it sounds like everyone had a great time.

Next on this weeks bulletin is the SOUTHERN MIGRATION! Will and I are looking for a few more horses to bring down south with us. If you are thinking of selling your horse, just want it tuned up for the spring competition season for you, or would like to get the ball rolling on your horses training, we can handle it all! Please feel free to email me or call with any questions. Most people think that sending a horse south is more expensive but it doesn't have to be, so please feel free to give me a shout! Here is to a great VAHT!--I'm packing an extra 4leaf clover just in case. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Go, Go, Go, and then...

It's a bird--It's a plane--It's Nevada Bay!! The big "stinky", as he is known in the barn, is currently overseas representing the US at Blenheim. Oh yea, and this guy named Will Coleman tagged along for the ride. I did get a text from Will and all seems well over there now. I am sure they are fussing over Neville, as it is a fairly standard way to go about the overseas business. When you are used to riding/working with almost 20 horses a day, and you suddenly have just learn to play a mean game of UNO for a few days until the show starts. The other week Will came up with this "wonderful" quote that I am pretty sure he wanted to get put on a plaque to hang on Nev's stall. I think it went something like this, "When you can figure that out you will be able to drink from the streams that lead into the Nevada Bay." I swear he really said that. All odd but slightly poetic quotes aside, I am wishing them all the best and am looking forward to giving you all the updates!

Vaunted is doing very well and liking his new digs. I have been working on getting him stronger and back in action. I am not looking to do a 3-day this fall with him as he really does not need to be pushed to get back to do Fair Hill just because I want to. He has proven that he can jump around anything and while I want to do it, he does not. I am looking forward to having some fun with him this fall and doing some horse trials and working on me. This is where the title of this blog comes in. Working for Will, I have been able to ride a lot of different horses and really think about my riding and thought process.
The other week Will was going up to David O'Connor's for dressage lessons on 2 of his horses and he asked me if I wanted to go and ride his mare Rosetia. I have never had the privilege of working with David before, but it was great. I know everyone raves about him and now I know why. He was able to explain every detail of what he wanted and why he wanted it. The next day, Will and I were out on two horses and he started to explain to me where my head should be right now.

You see, when you are bitten by this riding bug, this ever growing hunger, never ending desire, sometimes frustrating just go, go, go, and go! Then, we all for whatever reason have to take a unforeseen break. So at this point, that bug goes nuts! While I know that taking this break for Vaunted was the best thing for him and it was what he needed, it was still rather hard to watch others leave the driveway and see my suite cases so lonely! Will was telling me that now is the time to take all that "go" that is being put to the side and use it at home. With more horses to ride in a day than you can count on your on you! We are always working on our horses and making them better all the time, what about us. So that is what I am doing as well as working on teaching tactics. I then pick up the phone to chat with my fellow bug bite victims and hear about all the WEG-ness that is going on. There is a lot of energy and "going" taking place out there and, well, when the going gets tough the tough get going!

I am very excited for this fall and what it is going to give to the horses that I ride and students. Also there is a fair amount going on in the world of eventing this fall...this little event in KY or something like that. I think we all need to start making good luck banner's now, you know so they are big enough, KY style!

I have attached a few pics of the farm that I took on a hack the other day. It's nice to remind yourself that you do this everyday because you love it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

So little to do, So much time...WAIT reverse that....

Do you all remember the first few weeks of school; you wore all your new clothes, did all your homework with all your new binders and notebooks, and you were always up before the alarm went off...well there was not much time for that at Will Coleman Equestrian! I am working on completing my first month as a Will Coleman Equestrian team member and I hit the ground running! There is so much to cover since my last be prepared for the roller coaster ride that is this post!!

I brought Vintage Trial and Pixie over to Will's on the first of the month and just a few days later we all shipped off to Stuart horse trials. Will had 6 horses going and I took Vinny in the prelim there. Stuart was a blast! It has been a little while since I have traveled with a large group of horses and an actual "team". Andrea, Will's head groom, and JD, one of the working students, left on Wednesday to ship up with the majority of the horses and Will and I left on Thursday with the final few horses. Stuart was the first outing in a while for allot of Will's horses since his injury earlier this spring. It is such a great event and is so well run that it made for a fun weekend. The courses were challenging but asked all the appropriate questions at the appropriate time. Vinny was a STAR! He is so much fun to ride around any course! Even though I had just been apart of WCE for a few days earlier, I was already starting to see and feel the affects of it in my riding at Stuart. I really believe that you must surround yourself with the situation that you want to be in. What I mean by this is that, after even just a few days of hitting the ground running at Will's farm, watching him ride his horses, riding his horses, and listening to him teach, I was able to take that level of dedication and thoroughness and it shinned through at Stuart.

I am rather hard on myself as a rider and, as most of us are, a bit of a perfectionist. While it is important to always strive to be better, Will was quick to point out to me how detrimental this could be. On the second day of me riding for him and us talking about all the horses, he stopped me and shared a few tips on tackling my mental game. Then, just a few days later, I trotted into that show jumping arena at Stuart like I owned it. Granted, Vinny is an unbelievable jumper, I jumped a clean round to finish in the ribbons. Go's your birthday...go Vinny. Oh--and get this--after Will jumped 6 horses and was indeed in the last division he got in the car and drove back to Virginia to be at home on Monday to ride the horses that were left at home! What a beast! Being surrounded by people that are willing to bust their butts for each other and for their horses alike is truly addicting. As most of you know it has been hot enough to fry and egg on your head, therefore we have been starting the barn early and at one point Will was on his first horse at 6 and I was on mine at 7!

After Stuart, Will went to Katie Prudent for a few lessons on some of the greener horses. Naturally, I tagged along to watch and Kassidy, another one of Will's students, went as well. On the way up to the lesson Kassidy shared on of her entrepreneurial ideas with us...a PB&J shop. I feel as though road trips really bring people together. They are also fun for some sight seeing...hence the picture of the Viking ship that I saw on 81N. On an educational note, the lessons were great to watch. Katie really touches on all aspects of a persons riding, from position to technique, and the horses really respond.

Vaunted is up and running again and ready to go! I am planning his fall schedule out and due to some financial constraints, I plan on attending some horse trials and the Plantation CIC***. I am very excited to get Will's help with Vaughn soon. Vaughn is still at Bonnie's farm right now as I have Pixie over at Will's. I am looking to find Pixie a new situation as she is super calm, sweet, and brave, but I really do miss having Vaunted with me. It is strange I know, but think of this: You know how when you get dressed in the morning, go out the door, and just as you are in the car driving out your driveway, you feel a large hole in the big toe area of your sock....yea that is what not having Vaunted with me is like...a large hole in my sock...and it's there all day. Everyone knows that feeling. So I would love to find Pixie a home through a lease to buy or something along those lines.

I am very excited about what the future holds. Will and I are looking to do some more teaching out of the farm and get involved with the eventing community more. So if you are interested in any help with your horse or just have a question please feel free to contact us! In the mean time, I am going to go do some laundry as I have gone through all my "new school clothes".

Monday, June 28, 2010

Thank GOODNESS we are Not all Royalty!

There has been allot going on in my head since my last blog. First I must address something that plagues me and just about every rider out there, no matter what their sport. I have been lucky enough to have been competing a great horse named Vintage Trial. He is for sale and was sent to me because his owner is going to college and the family needs to sell him. He is an amazing horse. He is good on the flat, a very scopey jumper, and bold on the cross country. However this past weekend his score did not show how great of a jumper he really is. This is due to me not riding him to the best of my ability.

I must admit that I do struggle with my show jumping, however I know that my mistakes are just that, mistakes. There is no catastrophic issues that I have, no mental breakdowns, no drastic bad habits, just simply mistakes. However when my mistakes reared their ugly head this weekend, poor Vinny was unable to fix them for me. This is the hard part for me and most riders out there. The feeling that you let your horse down. That feeling when you come out of the ring and you know that what just happened was the result of your horse listening to you and you telling him or her the wrong thing. It makes that area in the bottom of your stomach just cramp up and at that moment you just wish you could wiggle your nose like Samantha off of Bewitched and poof be gone! For me it is not so much that others were watching, while it is embarrassing, it is more about the communication with your horse. The fact that you train so hard, you push you and your horse to keep getting better, and at the moment when you want to show how great your horse is and how hard you have been working...and your silly mistakes cause your horse to look bad. I must say Vinny shook his head when I pulled up after show jumping and I gave him a pat, said thank you and I'm sorry all in the same breathe. Of course Vinny went out of XC and rocked it! The footing was rather hard and therefore I did not push him...he is such a fun horse and I wish I could just buy him myself and keep riding him. He is so much fun and talented.

We all have bad days right. I mean look at Prince Harry falling off at a charity polo least when we make a silly mistake it is not on ALL the news shows out there. Could you imagine if every little mistake you made was broadcast all over the place. I think that the only thing worse than having it broadcast all over the place to the masses, is to keep letting it get broadcast in your head. It is no secret that Vaunted and I do struggle in show jumping. While he is not the most careful horse in the world, I am not the most confident in the show jump ring. I spoke with my future boss, (in 3days) Will Coleman, this weekend and he told me to stop trying so hard and stop being so hard on myself. We chatted about it and I know what I did and could tell him immediately what I did, he said you know how to ride and you ride well so just do it. That is allot easier said than done. I am a bit of a perfectionist and I understand that everyone has bad days and everyone makes silly mistakes, however, how do you take that mistake and learn from it without harping on it. I believe that being honest with yourself, not making any excuses, and facing the issue head on and calling a spade a spade is the best way. Therefore, since Vinny is for sale, when people ask me why at this one show he had rails when he has not had rails in his past at all, I will say it was my fault. I plan on really just changing me, not the horse in the future training. I like to think that really there is no bad horse just a poor communication with a horse.

If Prince Harry can pick himself up with a smile so can the rest of us! I am very excited about my joining forces with such a show jumping king as Will. We have been working on getting a few things off the ground together. We would love to have more students and working students in the barn. With my ability to teach younger students and adult amateurs and Will's extensive ability to get allot out of the horses, we believe that our collaboration will be a force to be reckoned with! I am also looking forward to being able to help him with the young horses and getting the basics on the youngsters. I will be sure to share any and all help that I we eventers have to stick together! In the meantime, I'm just thankful that when I fall off my front door steps, you don't see it on Good Morning America...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Virginia HT, Rubicon, and Cha-Cha-Changes

Summer is here! It has been so hot that you could fry an egg off of the show jumps! I love it. I must admit that I do enjoy the heat, the more I sweat, the more productive I feel. Vaunted on the other hand is not happy with me right now. He is full blown wild. He is usually this very reserved and quiet horse in the barn that just minds his own business, does not run around in the paddock, makes no fuss kind of a guy. Well not right now! He is talking to everyone, making a fuss, and trying to be a race horse again out in the paddock! He is going to give me ulcers...but it does make me happy to see that he is ready to actually start doing something other than just walking. I do miss competing him very much. I have never had to give him any real time off and I have to say that it really is not that much fun. However, I know it will be fun when we get to go out on that first course together again! We have been having working students arriving by the truck load this past week. It is very fun to have people that are excited about learning and respect the horses. I do enjoy teaching and showing everyone all the ins and outs of the sport. This means not just from the horses back, but when the vet shows up, the farrier, braiding, trimming up, packing for a show, the whole 9 yards! However, when you have so many people that things get done in like point 2 seconds, we have to come up with other things to do. So we gardened! (I do not think that is the correct way to say that, but seeing as how I could not have less of a green thumb, it seemed appropriate). I also have been able to get away for a bit with all this extra help and I was able to go back to my parents house for a day. My family, the Adams Family, has an Alpaca Farm. Their farm name is Empty Pockets Alpaca Farm. I have never actually seen an Alpaca before but they sure do look funny.

I have been very lucky to have 2 other horses to compete this summer. Isbond, a very promising young horse of Bonnie's, and Vintage Trial, a SUPER nice sale horse that I have in. Izzy is a young horse that Bonnie got off the track about 2 years ago and has proven to be the kind of horse that needs the slow and correct starting method. He is such a great horse but is rather large and a bit strong sometimes so while I am sure that you will see him in those big time arena's one day, it may just take a little bit. Vinny on the other hand is so much fun to have! He was sent to me via a friend, Jane Murray, to be sold as the owner's kid is going to college. Vinny is very easy to ride and loves his job. I have just started to get his name out there so I am sure that once he is seen he will go fast. Horses like Vinny make you really love the sport and all it's components.

Speaking of components of of them is the wonderful 4 and 5 am starts for the horse shows! I took Vinny and Izzy to VA HT the other week and we are just located about an hour or so away so we shipped in both days. I was the lucky one that got to see 5am on both days! Then the monsoon happened on XC. Poor Vinny, he needed that hat that had the little windshield wipers on it!! The place that they chose to hold the show jumping was a bit was rather small and went right to the edge of the ring so you could see the drop off. Both horses were OK with it though. Vinny had a cheap rail and Izzy is just a bit of a spook so the arena was a bit tough for him. Non-the-less I was happy to be back at a competition on a horse! This past weekend we headed out to 4am! Rubicon is the event in the fall that everyone enters because, well, your still in the eventing season but you are almost ready for a break, and then at the last minute you scratch because all you want to do on the weekend is sleep and eat! So up until this weekend I have never actually been to Rubicon, I have entered Rubicon, but never actually been. It was a very nice event. They ran ahead of schedule and everything went rather smoothly. However, I did not know about this "VIP Parking" thing. I guess that there is this list that is on the fence as you drive in and you if you are on the list then you get to park at the front of the field by the water...well usually, I always check the list but this time I did not... and I was on the list!! It was like we were in the some fancy city trying to get into a snazzy bar. As for the event itself, Izzy was much better in the show jumping and just had 2 down due to his greenness. The cross country was a good test of where he was. He was very good at all the fences and was more than happy to jump everything but was just a bit strong in between. Bonnie is going to ride him at Surefire on a couple of weeks and I am sure that she will be able to make him look amazing! Vinny was a STAR. He is going to go prelim at Surefire and hopefully move on to a new home and teach someone how to go out there and have fun! Vinny ended up 3rd in the training.

I do have a bit of rather large news to share. On July 1, I will be working as Will Coleman's assistant trainer. I was helping Will out with his horses Twizzle and Nevile when he was broken after The Fork and he offered me a job. I feel as though it will produce many new opportunities for me and will allow me to continue to grow as a rider in a strong competitive enviroment. Will has so much to offer the eventing community and he is looking for me to help spread the word. We are looking to expand the teaching and coaching program. I strongly feel that between the two of us we will be able to cover any and all needs of students. From his strong show jumping background and my versatility with the horses we will be able to help everyone! I am excited at the possibility of being able to teach more and do a bit more riding. For me personally, I do feel that Will is going to bring a new spin on my riding. He is not like others that I have worked for as he does have the strong show jumping back ground that will make my thought process a bit sharper. As for Vaunted he is going to stay living at Bonnie's for a bit until he is back in full blown work. He is happy here and I will continue to live at Bonnie's so I can take care of him. I am going to be bringing Vinny over with me as well as the little mare Pixie. I am hoping to be able to sell both of them soon. Pixie is doing well and jumping around little courses as well as going in and out of water and up and down little banks. Bonnie has been very supportive of this move for me. While I was not looking for a job when Coleman approached me, I could not turn down the possibility for growth. I always say that in any position you stand to learn something and I know that this will be no different. Will and I are both very eager and excited to get going not only with more teaching and coaching but also getting horses in on training at all levels. We both share a focused and determined passion for making the best out of every situation. I also have a great respect for how much he cares for his horses. He made a decision not go to Germany with his four star horse Twizzle because of a small irregularity, that to many professionals would be nothing. However to Will, it is everything as he does not want to ask his horse to do something that may be 100% successful. I can relate. So if you are interested in lessons, coaching, or just stopping by to check us out at Tivoli Farm in Gordonsville VA, give me a call! As someone who listens to her gut professionally, I have a good feeling about this. Until next time, drink lots of water!

This is a sign that the farm manager put up because taxi drivers were driving through our farm becuase they said their GPS took them that way. If you look closely the bottom of the sign says, "GPS is wrong".

Friday, May 21, 2010

Not So Horse Related...But Horse Person Related

I realize that most people write their eventing blogs about their horses only. Well I think that is far to normal and typical. I strongly believe that everyone has their own spin on just about everything. It is clear by the vast types of riding styles, clothing styles, warm-up styles, etc. As I have said before, this job being a full time rider, is not just a job. It is a full blown lifestyle. Therefore when I think of "so and so Eventing" I think of all components of their style and flair. That being said I have to share this life story with you.
OK so, I was driving into town for a meeting and about half way there I was going around a curve and witnessed an accident. There was a motorcycle rider that totally wiped out right in front of me! He slid clear across both lanes of traffic right in front of me! I immediately pulled over to the side of the road. Now I must explain that I was driving my truck because my 1996 Subaru, is well, a little not so reliable. I was on a rather busy road and in a big truck I decided to pull all the way off the road to help the biker. I mean this guy totally ate it right on the pavement and for all I knew he had a concussion or a broken bone! So I jumped out of the car and turns out the guy was fine...he was really embarrassed and busted a few things on his otherwise very shiny bike, but all in all was fine. Chuck, I know his name was Chuck because he was a mechanic and it was on his shirt, started his bike and drove off. So I go and get back in the truck and go to take off...and then I didn't. The truck was stuck in the mud....I flip it into 4x4....I spin...I back up...I spin...I get out and take a look...I'm axle deep in the mud. Freakin' great. I was now going to be an hour late for my meeting and my truck had to get towed out, of a ditch, because I tried to help this guy on a motorcycle. So now my truck is covered in mud and I totally looked like that blonde girl that cant drive her truck. And I swear, all of this really happened!
Another recent traffic incident that I was in took place last weekend. Bonnie gave me the weekend off and I took it! I usually love to work. I try to take as few days off as possible as a day missed is a dollar less and a lesson lost. However, everyone reaches that point where you just need to take a day off. My very best friend Danielle Feiner was having a birthday celebration on Friday, the only thing was that D lives in Philadelphia. So I got in the truck and headed for 95 north. Only to get there and be halted rather quick. It should only take 4 hours to get to PA from our took me 8. uhg. It was worth it though. I got to live in the city for 2 days! I actually went rollerblading in the streets of Philadelphia! (insert the Bruce Springsteen song in your head and me on roller blades, trust me it's funny) I then went to Unionville, PA. I have several friends there and there was a bonus treat there in Unionville. A deep fryer. That's right a deep fryer. My city friends informed me of the proper way to deep fry just about anything. So we did! We deep fried everything from potatoes to a cookie cake!! It was great fun. Then I got back to VA slightly sick from the fried food. Oh the life we horse people can lead.

I just had to share these stories...when I actually get out of the barn I really don't know what will happen. Vinny and Izzy are going to VA horse trials this weekend and I will be sure to let everyone know how it goes! In the mean time check out these video's of both of them as they are both for sale. Cheers and make sure to drink lots of water after eating massive amounts of fried food. :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Jersey Fun and Thoughts

So Conor and I just got back from Jersey earlier this week. While the event did not go quite as he had planned, it was a very successful event for him. He was able to ride his horse in a very smart way and reacted to what was happening. That is a hard lesson to learn let me tell you, I still have to remind myself it it. Kim used to always tell me that I must ride what is happening and not what I want to happen or what I think is going to happen. After Conor had his second stop on course he was very smart to throttle back on the pace and just ride the horse home on a good confident step but not pushing him against the clock. While we were watching him go around and waiting for him to get home, I must say that I was very proud to say that I was apart of his team at that moment. He made a few mistakes but the issues he had on course were his and very easily fixed. This he knows and therefore he was thinking of his horse out there and what the horse needed at that moment. If I am able to teach someone any one thing while they are here at Bonnie's, I would be so thrilled that it be the "listen to your horse and think of your partner" lesson. Well done Conor.

The course at Jersey was much different than it has been in the past. It was much more galloping and, in the CCI** at least, you were at your second minute in the early part of the jumping test. So that was great for the horses to get going. However John did make the course a bit more challenging in the back with the terrain. There were two long "pules" up the back hills. Everyone was saying that those pules really made their horses work. It was a good FEI course. The dressage judging was a little different at times. From what Bonnie said, you had three judges that all like specific things and those specific things really were not anything that the others really wanted. So that was a bit odd but clearly the horses that did well were very good. Show Jumping I feel is always hard there. I don't know why but I have always thought it is a challenging course and definitely makes you thing throughout the course. Which is good! So overall I quite like Jersey and think that the event is run very well and I hope to be back next year. Now if only they could get rid of the turn annoying! I now know why people up north have road rage. You have one group of people that is going like 12 mph and another that is going like mock 10. uhg.

Now onto a few other fun facts from Jersey. While I do like to help and was very happy to help Conor and his horse at Jersey, grooming for one horse, can be a little slow sometimes. Therefore I like to walk around and talk to EVERYONE and maybe create my own fun. Most of this fun at Jersey took place around the food. The Furlong's set up a breakfast and snack table at the end of the barns for all the riders and grooms and really anyone who is in the barns working. It is super nice and they had some of the biggest donuts I have ever seen! They were, no kidding, as big as my was AWESOME. They also had bagels with peanut butter and jelly...there is nothing better than a good pb&j on a bagel. Ok so anyway back to the funny morning Doug Payne, Lillian Heard, and myself were chatting and eating and Doug challenged Lillian to a thumb war contest. Doug loves this contest. He is crazy and a huge cheese head. I can say this because he is one of my best friends. Well seeing as how Doug is built like the jolly green giant, his thumbs are as long as that darn New Jersey turn pike. Lillian was putting up a good fight but to no avail. Doug is still the thumb war king. BUT on more important news I was deemed the best dressed groom at Jersey! I must admit that I did actually make up the award, but that is neither here nor there. I like to wear nice blouses when at the barn. I just feel as though the "look" is part of the image. Therefore I was getting comments on my blouses and my naturally I ran with it...straight to Eventing Nation. I may have an "in" with Eventing Nation as one of the vet's, Dr. Jeff Brashear, is the owner of the place where John keeps his horse in Virginia. Use all your resources, right! The way I see it, a win is a win! :) I was not able to ride at Jersey so I had to come home with something! I was proud of my win. I now need to go get some new blouses. You see I was so proud of my outfit that I was showing everyone...and I do mean everyone. I like to talk to people. So now I can't show up at the next event in the same blouses. That just would not do for the best dressed eventer. (Which is my long term goal, good thing that Silva Martin does dressage!) I have to at least rotate right?!

With Vaughn finishing his healing from his surgery, I have not been to an event since late March. As we did not plan on having time to take the young ones out much until after the spring three days. So needless to say I was so happy to be back at an event. It is funny when you try to tell "normal" people what you do for a living. The best way I have to describe it is that this job is not a job, it is a lifestyle. You are either willing to give up all your time for it or your not. I am. That being said all my friends, all my fun, all my stress, all my nerves, all my tension, all my laughs, all my jokes, all my energy is placed and takes place at events. I think of all the people and friends at events and to be honest I consider some of them as close to me as my family. This sport/job is so intense at times and so demanding that you don't see it as just a job or a sport and no one, but those that do it, understand and can relate. So for all of your people out there that have listened to me cry, stress out, freak out, wine, and overall ramble....I thank you ever so much!! I also encourage you to do the same to me! Chances are I have been feeling the very same way that you are and it all always comes full circle. I was so happy to see everyone at Jersey and see how many people were making smart decisions when it came to their horses and a few riders were quick to pull up on course and make the decision that today was just not their day and were looking to the future. I was so proud of Lillian Heard who finished 6th at her first CCI***. It was great to see her do so well. This is Lillian at the first classy.

Next on the calendar for me is Virginia Horse Trials. I have 2 horses going, Isbond and Vintage Trial(Vinny), and they are both for sale. Also make sure to check out the Eventing Radio show next week as I will be Co-Hosting it again and guess what......wait for it......I am getting my own segment!! That's right, they must have gone full on crazy or have nothing better to put on the air than me! Just kidding, it is going to be the best thing that you have ever heard! :) Be sure to listen in and see what it is all about (as I am not really sure what it is going to be about, I am just going to run with it.) Vaunted is going to get legged up soon and I am going to make a plan for him. As far as the distant future I would love to get him over seas next year. It is very rare that you have a horse in your lifetime that you know will do everything in his power to get you through the finish flags and complete a big event. Seeing as how the cost of doing this is going to be very hard to cover I am looking at doing allot of fundraising now. I am looking to schedule clinics, lessons, talks, and sponsorship anywhere and everywhere. I am a member of the American Horse Trials Foundation which will make any and all monies tax deductible. No amount is too small and any situation will be helpful, so if you are interested in setting something up please feel free to contact me. The sport is sometimes lending riders to believe that you need to buy an expensive horse and have allot of money to make a go of it at the top levels. I am hoping to be living proof that you just need to have a good work ethic, never stop asking questions, and never turn down and opportunity to do anything! So until next time, keep kicking, go buy a nice blouse, and eat a pb&j that is all. :) Happy Driving.