Wednesday, April 28, 2010

An addendum!

It has been brought to my attention that Jacqueline Brooks, from Cananda, wore her helmet during the KY Cup Dressage Freestyle, which was run in the evenings of Rolex as a test event. Its a pretty big deal for a Grand Prix Dressage rider to don her helmet for a huge event like this. Rock on, girl.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

WEAR YOUR DAMN HELMET (or Why Allison Springer is AWEEESOME!)

Yes, I cussed, and no, I did not feel the need to edit it out for the younger crowd who reads this blog.

I feel pretty strongly about it.

I feel more strongly about it now than ever before.

Before I go any further, I'll put it out there that yes, if you're over the age of 18, you can make your own decisions (stupid or otherwise) and I will NOT badger (most) of you to wear your helmet if you choose not to. Generally, I will speak my piece and then leave it alone. If you're under 18 or you have a kid that is under 18, they need to have a helmet on their head when mounted. Every ride, every time.

Yeah, I went through a stage when I turned 18 and didn't wear a helmet unless I was jumping or riding something stupid until I was about 22. I spend WAY TOO MUCH time with my butt on 1200 lbs of thinking, breathing, fear-activated, flight-response, prone to spook at different colored grass horse-flesh to NOT have a helmet on my head whenever mounted.

Yes, I had some incredible falls while not wearing a helmet, and (while debatable) am still of sound mind and body, but that doesn't mean I'd like to repeat them. I've had one concussion. That was enough.

I've quit riding my horse up from the pasture- I lead him now- because I never rode up with a helmet on. I rode down the road, up the driveway. Bareback. Halter and lead. Sure, it doesn't really bother me to ride my horse bareback with a halter, but one SLIP, even, and who knows what could have happened. I like my brain where it is, thankyouverymuch.

Today I even tightened my chin strap and slid the little plastic slidey things under my ears so my helmet was appropriately attached to my head and not liable to slide back if I have an unexpected flight.

You should too.

In fact, I expect all of my friends who fancy themselves a horse person- ESPECIALLY those who consider themselves horse PROFESSIONALS- and even MORE SO the ones who are looked at as an example by kids- to wear a helmet when mounted. It just makes sense, guys.

So, why post about it now??

Well, as you know, Rolex was this past weekend. It. Was. Great.

I will likely blog about it later and do a photo-dump of the pics I grabbed.

One of the most exciting things that happened before I headed up to Lexington was reading this headline on a thread on COTH:

Helmet worn in Rolex dressage!

Most FEI-level riders wear a top hat and tail to do dressage:

It's beautiful. It's elegant. It's graceful. It's tradition. 

This year, though, one woman changed her look.

Allison Springer wore her helmet. And looked gorgeous, I might add. 

This came on the heels of Olympic dressage rider Courtney King-Dye having a horrible fall. She was schooling- DRESSAGE- at home, not jumping, people. Trotting around. Her horse got tangled up in his own feet, they both fell and she was in a coma for nearly a month because of it. She was NOT wearing her helmet. She is currently on the road to recovery, but having issues with things like fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are kind of a big deal for a rider. Any person, really. 

So anyway, Allison wore her helmet for personal reasons. (Kudos, girlfriend.) Watch the first minute and a half of this video. Really, watch it. 

Unbeknownst to Allison, this is a heavily discussed subject on my favorite horse forum, COTH. Back in January, an awesome lady named Lynn (aka Deltawave) ponied up a $500 pledge for the rider who trotted down centerline at Rolex in an approved helmet. I had the pleasure of meeting Deltawave at the COTH get-together Friday night at Rolex and she is not only a COTH icon, but a really NEAT person. So, DW contacted Allison to reward her and found out that not only did Allison have NO IDEA that this was going on, but then requested the money be sent to Courtney King-Dye for her recovery fund. There is a collection being taken up to add to DW's $500 to send on to Courtney.

In summary:

Allison Springer is Class Act. 

All. The. Way.



Monday, April 26, 2010

A scene from the very end of Rolex.

Lets set the stage.

Megan, Hub and I were the only people who stayed through Sunday's showjumping, so I opted to ride home with them, instead of driving myself up, since I had a different time frame from everyone else.

Megan and Hub drive a ford F-150 with an extended cab, so the back seat is a little squashed, but certainly fine for a 3.5 hour drive.

Especially if you sleep through the first 2 hours of it.

Anyway, Megan and Hub have four dogs. The two heelers and Opal, the 3-legged catahoola-ish cross, ride in the back of the truck with the home-made camper top on it. Pippa, the JRT, is the favorite and rides in the cab.

Hub's truck had been left as his job in Springfield, TN, about 25 minutes north of Nashville, and my car was at Stacy's in East Nashville, so we dropped Hub off at his truck and then Megan and I headed towards my car in East Nashville. Stacy had gone to the barn with Carol and wasn't home when we arrived.

As we were unloading my goodies from under the camper top, Megan left the truck running and Pippa inside it.

I walked around to get my new coat (!!!) out from the backseat of the car and noticed a little issue.

Me: Megan, do you have an extra key to your truck in your hand, or your purse... or the back of the trucky... chance?

Megan: Uh... no. Why?

Me: WELLLLLL... I think Pippa may have locked the doors.

Megan tries all the doors and we exchange a "look." 

Lauren and Megan:

Megan: Well, let me call Hub and see if he has the extra key. He should be right behind us...

Lauren hands Megan her cell phone, as Megan's is locked in the truck.

Megan: ... so, what you're saying is that my spare key is ALSO in the truck? insert minor lovers quarrel

Megan: bad words deleted

Lauren: It's okay! I have AAA!

Lauren calls AAA and arranged to have them come- we are a "priority call" since we have a living animal locked inside a running vehicle. They assured us they'd be there within 40 minutes. I shudder to think if Pippa had been a child and not a dog. 

Megan and Lauren proceed to sit on the tail gate and eat Cheetos and left-over lunch meat and trail mix while cursing the world. At one point, we stand at the doors of the truck and try to get Pippa riled up enough to push a button to unlock the doors or open a window or SOMETHING. No luck. 

About 30 minutes later, Stacy and Carol pull up and we all have a good laugh.

And eat more Cheetos. 

40 minutes later, the AAA guy pulls up. He checks my card and my ID, asks what the problem is and proceeds around to look at the truck. He gives us a hard time for locking the poor puppy in the truck and we explain that she, in fact, locked us out. 

AAA guy: So you're locked out, huh? You locked that poor dog in the truck?!

Me: Well, actually, she locked us OUT of the truck, if you want to be technical.

AAA guy: Aw, POOR puppy.

Megan and I exchange looks.

Me: Yeah, yeah, just open the door and let us in, please?

AAA guy peers in the window

AAA guy: You know the passenger window is open.

Me: Uh-huh. Open the door, please.

AAA guy: No, really.

Me: Right. Start jimmying.

AAA guy gestures to the car. 

Megan and Lauren peer through the drivers side window and notice that, in fact, the passenger side window is now down. They exchange looks. Pippa has managed to roll down the window.

Megan and Lauren: many, many bad words exchanged

 AAA guy: hysterical laughter

I love life.  

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Another quick training update...

before I run out the door to try to finish my rides for the week.

I had "smack down" rides on both Brandy and Ari yesterday.

I put Ari back in the happy mouth snaffle with a plain noseband. I realized when I was riding Gracie that she's more consistently on the bit because I'm so anal about making her move forward since her tendency is to be naughty... (*ahem* rear and flip)

So, I realized that Ari not being "through" had more to do with him slipping behind my leg consistently. Since I also want to tip forward on him, it wasn't hard for me to draw this conclusion. So I cracked down and made him stay consistently forward into the contact I was holding. Amy had me compressing the trot to get the feeling, but I think changing the way I thought about it helped me reproduce it more consistantly AND it carried over into the canter work.

I think, anyway.

As for Brandy, after a minor temper tantrum yesterday (from me) and a MAJOR hissy fit (from her), I was on the phone with my wonderful and ever-so-patient riding instructor asking for help because I just couldn't make Brandy happy. We deduced that I really need to ride her in my next lesson so we can work through some issues and I resigned myself to working through the problem in the meantime.

So with Brandy ALSO back in the happy mouth (I'd switched her because I thought she was sick of that bit), I insisted she stay IN the contact and not behind it. Her problem is that she lulls me into thinking she's light and on the bit when truly she's evading by being so light and is behind my leg because I've been fooled into thinking shes where she needs to be! Thats when she starts to fret. SO... by constantly pushing her into the contact, we had an excellent dressage school and she was quite content the whole time!


I need more lessons. And a sugar daddy to pay for them. Like, three a week would be nice.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lauren, the Paso Princess


My dearest student, Shannon Rich, wanted me to tell you all that I rode my very first Paso Fino today.

Pasos are a Spanish gaited breed, known for doing a quick, tap-dancing step.

The one I rode, Sentinel, doesn't quite do that gait, since he's out of shape and, frankly, I have no idea how to make it happen, but he sure did give it his best shot.

Suffice to say, I am now aware of where every OUNCE of fat on my body is located.

And I laughed REALLY hard.

But he was a very good boy.

Pictures to come.

Eventing and fear...

I just read a great quote someone posted in response to a question about fear on COTH. I thought it was worth posting...

"I remember an interview with Pippa Funnel who always asked herself, "What the hell am I doing here?!" before going out at Advanced. Or, Matt Ryan who was notorious for vomiting due to nerves when he got to the start box.

Fear is not a bad thing. It is what you do with it."
-Reed Ayers

"The Face" and "The Look"

If you spend enough time with me, you'll notice that I'm not shy.

Okay, okay. If you spend ANY time with me, you'll notice I'm not shy.

If you come watch me ride in one of my lessons, you'll notice that I'm kind of a smart ass.

If you come watch me TEACH one of my lessons, you'll notice that in addition to me being a smart ass, most of my students are wiseacres.

What you WON'T believe... is that the most SASSY of my students... are the kids!!! Amanda and Tori have it in SPADES.

Amanda is 12 and Tori is 11.

I feel like, maybe, just maybe, they were shy when I got them as students.

It somehow seems familiar that I used to have to FORCE Amanda to answer questions... even with a nod...


I got on Audrey today to show Tori how to make her bend. When I tossed her back on, Audrey turned her head to look at me and Tori said "Look Lauren! She can bend!" Her mom caught it on camera. Look at the face Tori is making.

Where have you seen that face before?

Yeah. That's the same face I make when I've just made some smarty pants comment.

Tori also makes this face when I correct her about something silly in a lesson. Like when she's on the wrong diagonal and I say something like "Whats the first thing we check when we start to trot?" and she simply changes her diagonal and gives me "the face."

Amanda has the same face. And MAN can she sass me. She makes a point to let me know when I've got the wrong diagonal or if my heels aren't quite down or something like that. And if I ask her a stupid question, she has ALWAYS got a stupid response for me. I laugh SO HARD when I teach these kids.

 This isn't quite Amanda's smarty-pants face, but think I was explaining to her how if Jazz had a refusal it was ALL AMANDA'S FAULT, so I know she's getting ready to say something sassy. 

I've refined it a little bit since then, but I obviously had it at a very young age...

At any rate... I think I have a pretty good start on giving "the look" to give back to "the face"... but I'm waiting until I master it one day. In the meantime, I have some pretty good inspiration...

 That's the one.

See? I'll get it one day.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wolf Gap: The Review.

Well, here’s your review…

Wolf Gap. It happened.

I don’t know what it was about the day, but the whole thing was just… funky.

We had a fairly exciting ride down, finding out after cresting a hill that my (borrowed) rig was fairly unstable for various reasons. This, of course, translates into the trailer fishtailing wildly all over the road and me thanking the good lord we were in a ¾ truck that wasn’t affected by the movement of the trailer. I pulled off thinking we’d surely blown a tire on the trailer, but nope, just the fact that the trailer was moving faster than the truck, no brake controller on the truck and since the trailer was riding “uphill” anyway, it just didn’t stabilize like I was used to. Leslie made a vaguely panicky call to Amy, who was a mile behind us, and she reassured me that I’d live and so would my horses.

So, when my heart rate returned to normal, I proceeded on to Wolf Gap, at the new, reduced speed of 50 mph.

We made it there, got unloaded and I made it into dressage warmup on Ari with about 10 minutes to prep. Our warmup was just “eh”, which made for a test that was just “eh.” The highlights include Ari squealing into his right lead canter and having the whistle blown on me for being one step late in my walk transistion- after I’d already started walking. The transition was “between M and C.” Yes, I missed it. I started walking a stride after C. I was already walking when she blew the whistle and made me circle back to M. REALLY?! I WAS ALREADY WALKING, GIVE ME THE 2 POINT PENALTY AND GET ON WITH LIFE. Need the flow of the test really be disrupted? Oi.  (All photos by Leslie Vancil)

Brandy’s dressage was also just so-so. She was very fussy and if she was capable of bucking, I think she would have bucked through her right-lead canter transition, also. She took the wrong lead and then when I brought her back to ask her to pick it up again, she cantered in place for about three steps. She had some moments of REAL brilliance in the test- where she stretched down and got so round through her back, but also some moments of absolute pissy-mare-ness. Like our whole free walk, for example. Amy says I need to push her INTO my hand more, not allow her to be so light. Fair enough.
 The many faces of Brandy- "Nonononononono!" "Cookies?"
Overshot centerline a little, maybe. 
Our halts are painful. I admit it.

Ari's warmup was nice. Amy and I decided I needed my stirrups to be a hole shorter, which was good.  I need to ride more positively to the fences- which loosely translates to lift my shoulders and stomach UP, UP, UP and push him out in front of me. And then I'm not allowed to jump until her does. Period. 

His cross country run was very unsteady but fairly uneventful. I need to practice jumping out of a rhythm and galloping and rebalancing. I'm not surprised. He was pretty brave to everything, including the spool jump everyone had issues with (because of the jump judge sprawled out on a blanket) and the faux ditch, but had an ugly stop at an EFFING LOG. A 2' log. Totally not scary in any way, shape or form. He wanted to run out at the water, but I was ready for him and explained that it wouldn't be a great idea. I was overall quite pleased and if I can get the balance better, the ride will come. 

We ended up with oodles of time penalties, but so did EVERYONE else. Megan and I tried to complain, but it fell on deaf ears, so... oh well. A recognized HT probably would have dropped them if EVERYONE had time, but thats the schooling show aspect, I guess. Ari ended up 4th in his division with an XC score that should have been his total score... like I said... it was funky. 

Brandy's warmup was good- I actually got a bit of a mini-lesson at the same time. Her XC was not very typical for her. She just never really hit her stride and I had to use my stick more than ever. She was also brave to the spool and the ditch, but again, had a stop at the stupid log. I can only chalk hers up to me, but I feel like I rode it as well as I knew how. They both came over the ditch pissed and I think they just didn't have time to refocus to the log- I dunno. 

The course walked very soft, but rode very awkwardly. My only thought as of two days later is that the course had a lot of disconnect as far as continuity of jumps, ability to hit a steady rhythm, not a lot of room for galloping... It really should not have been an issue at this level, but apparently it was, because it ended up being a "last man standing" type of thing. Brutal. 

At any rate, Megan and I were four of the six people who made it around at BN, which is always good. I guess...

We always have a good time, regardless, so there's that. We enjoyed ourselves despite the issues of the day.

On Thursday before Wolf Gap, I had another jump lesson on Ari. He was zombie-esque for the first 15 minutes of the lesson, and we blazed through flatwork to get to jumping so he might wake up a little. Amy had to put some branches in the white panel to get him to pick his feet up! Lazy bum. Anyway, we worked on establishing enough impulsion, the correct balance and putting Ari in sticky spots to make him learn that he needs to go OVER. I had quite a few stops, but they would have all been avoided if I could ride a little harder. I'm in a place where I feel WHEN I need to do more, but can't quite get it together to actually do what needs to be done.

The... um... best... part of the lesson was after I jumped down the two lines Amy had us working over, and landed over a fairly decent sized oxer feeling quite proud of my self. The next thing I knew, Ari had ducked right and I was colorfully describing how I felt about him as I flew through the air. I landed in a heap on the group, scraped my pride up out of the dirt the best I could and climbed back aboard like nothing had happened.

The dirt and grass on my left thigh gave it away, though, lest I forget what had happened. The rest of the lesson went swimmingly once I remembered that just because you've cleared the course doesn't mean you should quit riding. Note to self: Riding is the art of keeping the horse between you and the ground.

In other news, Shasta officially belongs to Rebecca. Huge congrats to both Shasta and Rebecca and we can't wait to hear about their adventures as they get to know each other.

Also, Glee is back on, and that makes Tuesday the best night of the week. Period. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Many Adventures with neck stretchers, ear nets, Team Taco, lessons and Learn to Event!

WOAH! No wonder I haven't blogged. I've been busy. And I'm tired all the time... and its REALLY hard to be witty when you're tired!

But with the urging of Jess, I'm going to try to write a blog. With humor, even!
 Dear Lauren, you should write a blog entry. Love, Jess. 

So, I'm not sure where I left off, but I should definitely mention that Team Taco came out to visit me a couple weeks ago for a long hack. Stacy is prepping for a Training 3 Day Event this year and part of her prep is conditioning! Stacy boards at the lovely Panther Springs Farm, which has its benefits- like being located on an old grass landing strip (read: excellent footing), and having Amy at her disposal every day (not like Amy not being on location stops me from having answers on demand- I just text her. A lot.)
 Team Taco meets up with The Many Adventures of Lauren

What Southern Promise boasts that Panther Springs does not, however, is lots and lots of land. So Stacy, Taco, me and Shasta went out for an hour and 40 minute hack around the property. Its always tons of fun to hack out with company, good for us as riders and good for the horses, too! I took Shasta to try to encourage her to lose an ounce or two.

Since then, Shasta has gone on to her new home. A very good friend of Kate's, Rebecca, has brought Miss Shasta home to Knoxville to make sure they're a match. I'm thinking that they are, but we'll give her the full week to find out. We miss Shasta quite a bit, but I'm so glad she's got her very own person.

Also, during my blogging hiatus, Paisley left for a 30 day trial. She ended up not being a match for the family who took her, so she's back at the farm. I'm pretty sure Pai is destined to be me and Anita's forever...

On the note of horse sales: I'm officially in the market for a truck. My only requirements are 4 wheel drive and trailer-ready. Half ton is okay as long as its a V-8. Oh, and I have a budget.

What else do you need to know about, faithful readers? (All three of you...)

Lets see... spring summer is here (its been near 90 the last three days) and the bugs are back out. That means the sensitive ponies I ride are too busy shaking their heads to focus on me. What happens is that they get horrible gnat bites in their ears. They're so used to be attacked by these pesky bugs that the second something tickles their ears- mane, air, whatever, they start shaking their head. They do it with such OCD consistency, I dull the response with an ear net.
Ari sporting his ear net from his Aunt Megan.
He has to wear the pink one because it has smaller ears and the blue one makes him look like Shrek.
Plus, it matches his browband. 
I've had really good luck with the ear nets on Ari, Brandy and Jax. Everyone else seems to be doing fine without them! 

In other news, I love the neck stretcher more than life itself. I've spent the last week and a half or so experimenting with it on all my horses. I've had incredible luck with it on Vanna and Jax, it certainly benefited Boston, Belle, Brandy and Ari. I really liked it on Shasta and I'm halfway tempted to try it on some of the walkers. Gracie would probably benefit from it, but I am very cautious to put ANYTHING on her that might cause her to rear. What I'm finding is that it aids to keep the upper part of the neck- closest to the jaw- soft which allows you to focus on the things you need to work on without fighting the rigidness you may usually run into. So, here's my blurb: Buy a neck stretcher. Use it. Love it. 
 I've also been using it on the trail some to temper the response of my greener horses with great success. 

Speaking of great success- last weekend was a GREAT success. We'll work backwards, shall we?

 Happy TrainerLauren

Sunday was Middle TN Pony Club's Learn to Event. From SPF, Robin, Carissa, Amanda and Tori all showed. Robin finished in 4th behind three riders who were solid BN or higher competitors (all on green horses, but who's counting) followed closely by Carissa, who was 6th.

Tori was unfortunatly eliminated in dressage for leaving the ring, but had an WONDERFUL and CLEAN stadium and XC and jumped clean. Plus, before she jumped out, she got some 7s on her test! 

 Amanda jumped her very first oxer in stadium warmup, had only one stop in stadium and NONE on XC! She ended in 2nd at her very first show on Jazz! 

I was SO proud of all my riders! I also coached Erin, one of the riders I worked with at the clinic a few weeks ago and SHE got second, too! 

"My" last rider was Susan, a good friend and student of Amy's with a rather prestigious eventing record, and her very green TB gelding named Tate. It was Tate's first show and Susan successfully piloted him through the day with only one rail down in stadium. She would have won on her dressage of 28 if not for that one rail. In the 12" division.

So, like I said, a GREAT day. Several other people showed as well, including Letha, Kate, Megan and Lisa- everyone had a lot of fun and success!

The best part was watching Tori and Amanda gain confidence as the weekend progressed- we went XC schooling on Friday and I had to BEG and PLEAD with them to jump anything. By the end of Sunday I think I could have told them to jump a bus and they would have! It was great to watch Carissa and Robin run on their first "big girl" course, too- I can't wait to watch everyone grow as the summer goes on! 

Of course, we were also the very last people to pull out of the event. Susan got her rig stuck in the mud (bad parking directions) and had to be pulled out. I held Tate while she took care of that, so we were all hanging around the trailer. By the time Susan was ready to load, we were too, and we threw all of the horses on the trailer. We were about to pull out and we realized that Shannon's truck's battery had died. (Something about having the doors open all day long or something..) Lucky for us, Susan had jumper cables and Julie was parked close enough to jump it without much hassle. Also lucky for us is the fact that I grew up in Chicago and have been jumping car batteries since I was old enough to walk.

 Tori and WonderMom, Shannon. 
Shannon is officially THE SPF Showmom. 
Many Showmoms can stand to learn from Shannon.
Shannon, you should teach a class. 
The first lesson will be on not running your battery down. 
And then hit on proper snack food.
Then longing. And longing. And more longing.

OH! Speaking of jumping car batteries- this is what Vince and I did on Friday morning.

My alternator went out on my car on Thursday night. I made it to Publix. Vince met me at 7am on Friday to try to drive it to the repair place. We made it a good 5 miles before my car totally died. I managed to roll into some random persons driveway, where we sat, hoping we weren't going to be shot, for about 2 hours, waiting for AAA to tow it the last 7 miles to the repair shop. It was there by 9am. The didn't bother to look at it until 1:30. They called me at 3:30 to let me know what was wrong and tell me they'd fix it the next day. SO GLAD I GOT UP EARLY TO GET IT TO YOU GUYS. Ug.

Kate and Amanda also came to town that night, Kate to show Joe pony and Amanda to give massages. Ari got a massage and loved it!

On Saturday, I had a lesson with Amy. It was my first since January, besides the XC school I had on Brandy and Ari a couple weeks prior. We worked on making Ari's dressage go from "ho-hum" to "wow!" I'm finding the evolution of dressage very interesting with him. We're slowly collecting and elevating his frame as he becomes stronger and more supple and the progression of contact, impulsion and balance is never the same from one lesson to the next. Amy had me squish the trot down as small as I could make it- "think trot in place" and INSIST that he stay in my hand with a good bit of contact. Then she had me lengthen the trot without giving up that contact. The feeling was amazing, I'm having a hard time reproducing it but I'm getting fleeting moments while I work on it myself. The awesome trot work translated into a very bouncy, in-my-hand canter and we worked on jumping from that trot. 

Amy put some placement poles out and had me trot a cross rail a handful of time, making sure I had the correct approach. As I came around each time, she'd do the "sneaky instructor" move where she'd raise the jump a couple holes while I wasn't paying attention, each time reminding me "not to change anything!" as I came out of the corner. I, of course, recognize this trick and simply refuse to let myself look at the jump until I've made the turn, where I promptly close my eyes and throw my body forward, hoping that my horse will take care of me and get to the other side without dismemberment. The culmination of the whole exercise was jumping a 3'3" vertical from the trot. The purpose was to get him jumping UP and around things and really use his body (and I'm sure to instill a bit of confidence in the pilot.) Oh, and that I should keep my eyes open, soften at the pole and close my leg instead of throwing myself up his neck. Technicalities.

She had me continue this exercise at the canter, again, focusing on having him in my hand and jumping out of the proper canter. She set a big oxer and had me jump it out of the same rhythm, sans placement pole. I maybe felt like we were flying a little. 
Brandy showing off the big oxer we all schooled over. 
She jumped it heading into blinding sun and popped over with no problem. 
Love that horse.

Brandy also jumped the big oxer, as well as a real 3' vertical that I set myself later that day. Today, Gracie schooled the same 2'9"-3' fences. I have another lesson tomorrow and I'll jump Ari more before Wolf Gap this weekend! 
I'm actually just proud of myself for jumping the big stuff at home by myself, but I think I'll have successfully accomplished my goal of jumping enough higher than BN that it won't worry me by the time MayDaze rolls around! As I noted on a facebook status earlier, I sent of my first entry of the season, my Rolex tickets arrived, MayDaze has opened and I'm SO READY for this season. 

I'm hoping to take my students on a destination event to Poplar Place this summer when I'll maybe get the chance to do a CT at Novice with Ari and, of course, my students will get the chance to do another schooling event!

So... with ALL THAT SAID, I'm going to bed... sorry I don't have many stories of hilarity, but I just had to get all that typed before I forgot it!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring... is... here... zzzzzzzz

One of the ways I know spring has arrived is when I get home every night after my roommates.

And then sit on the couch.

Because I'm exhausted.

When daylight savings hits, I start getting up earlier on my own- even if my alarm isn't set to go off until 8, I'm usually wide awake by 7, 7:30 at the latest.

Which means I'm usually out the door by 9.

And then I typically ride until dark.

Which is 7:30 right now.

Which puts me home at 8.

Which equals 11 hour days.

Which means when I get home, I'm exhausted, and I can't figure out why.

Until I realize I've put in 11 hours without stopping.

And everyone is in full work, so even the trail horses are getting their spring tune ups.

And after contemplating that for a moment, I take a cool shower to wash the grit off of me.

And crash. Hard. Until the next morning.

But the good news is, loyal blog readers, that its supposed to rain tomorrow.

So I ought to be able to write a blog about teaching lots of lessons. And Stacy's visit. And everyone's training progress.