Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Eventing=mental game.

This weekend (and all eventing weekends) are such a mental game.

Its taken me awhile to get here, and I'm sure it will ebb and flo, but you have to be absolutely, completely and totally 100% sure when you come out of the start box that you ARE GOING TO MAKE IT AROUND. And no one can make that happen except for you. (In the words of a different coach who I've met once and is stuck with me by proxy!)

I can tell you the first time I felt this was at Chatt Hills on Ari. I had an incredible warmup and I was READY when they counted me down. And we went out and we succeeded!

I was a little "hohum" when I came out of the start box on Brandy at Poplar. After all, it was Brandy. And it was NOVICE. And we were "so. ready." for training... I wasn't worried. And I landed on my head in a ditch. In some ways, that may have been the best thing that ever happened to me because it made me realize I have to ride every horse, every jump, every time, right off their feet. Fortunately for me, Brandy is pretty agreeable and when I give her a good ride, she gives me a great response. I will be interested to see how this translates over to Ari when he's going again.

At Maydaze, I was going to make it around. I wasn't going to fall off. The last two events, I've been wide awake at about 4:30 in the morning thinking through my course. No, it's not healthy, but it is what it is. I spend the time I'm laying awake visualizing a PERFECT jump through whatever it is that bothers me. I have to. Then when I get there, going 350 mpm or 420 mpm or whatever, I've already ridden every stride over and over to where it has become second nature.

This time, Midsouth, I was Going To Make Time. I know I've mentioned before that I have the greatest coach ever, but I think she has more sports psychology techniques than I've even began to understand. Either that or she's just tricky. We were chatting about making time and she said something like "That horse can gallop at 420mpm. You can maybe have 10 time penalties, that would be okay. But not a minute over like last time." Well, the weather was nice, my perchie is fit and by God, I know what 420 feels like, so I was headed out there to MAKE TIME.

Megan and I talked about wheeling the course but I just wasn't sure I wanted one more thing to worry about, so I didn't. I made time. Optimum was 5:15 and we swung through the flags at 4:54. It appears that this course was easy to make time on, so I don't want to get too excited, but when you start eventing a draft cross, you live with the thought that making time is maybe not always going to happen. Well, it did, this time! The other thing that made me want to make time is that we've discussed Brandy going Prelim and "time" is always one of the factors. My feeling is that if she can consistently make time at T, Prelim time is more in the realm of possibility. Is this true? I dunno... but if it helps me to make it around in time, I'll go with it. 

So anyway, after I made time on XC (yay!) and moved from 7th after dressage to 5th, I wanted more than ANYTHING to jump clean stadium. I always assume I'm going to have a rail because I'm just not that good 100% of the time. Of all the rails I've had, I would say I can think of 2 that haven't been (blatantly) my fault. I'm sure they WERE, just not because I jumped ahead or put them at some ridiculous distance or galloped at it with no balance. Anyway, I had tunnel vision going into stadium. We had an AWESOME warmup. Brandy was "on" and it was all just there. I knew my course, it was twisty and the ring was small and that favors Brandy's way of going- all the turns would help her sit up and have to listen. The small ring is great for a small, catty mare like her and the questions would encourage her responsiveness. Brandy is really good at tapping rails with her front and back feet and leaving them up- if she is going to take one out, its generally because she absolutely chests it. So, she tapped maybe the fourth fence and it just made me more determined.

Big names will always talk about how "time slows down" in stadium and I felt it happen. I had time to change the balance, change my position, ride forward, balance, leg on, WAIT and I didn't give up till we landed off the last fence, double CLEAR! I can't think of a time I've been more excited. Going double clear will ALWAYS be exciting for me. It seems that it happens so rarely but I hope it starts happening more. And I think its all about being "in the game" before you go in the ring. Riding every last step. Not giving up or just being passive or accepting a rail or two.

The other thing happened twice this weekend- once in each jump warmup. We have to do a very strategic  warmup for Brandy, because she doesn't wait around well. She either has to be stopped or is doing something that wastes energy. There is no passive walking. So usually, about 10 minutes out from my time, we start jumping and jump straight through. Then I stop, catch my breath, talk last minute tips with Amy, check girth, get a drink and then when I have two people in front of me, Amy says "Get your canter, and go jump that vertical/house/ramp/oxer again." I half heartedly pick up a canter that feels loosely related to the driving, balanced, forward, full of energy canter that I'd had previously and lope to the afore mentioned fence, thinking I'm going to get there just right. And then we trip over it or knock it over or I jump ahead or we have a stupidly short distance or something. Then Amy says "Now GET YOUR CANTER and do it again." and then I realize I suck, I'm never going to make it around, my horses put up with an ape on their back and grit my teeth, get the canter, have a great fence and go "I DON'T SUCK, I will NOT let my horse down and now I'm READY!" and off I go.

So, this weekend Brandy and I both had our head in the game and had a stellar weekend. A fifth place finish on our dressage score in the open division. Our XC felt just about perfect and we jumped some of the biggest jumps I've ever jumped in my whole life. Like this one:

Which, you'll notice, had an OPTION for training. Which was a log. And I'm pretty sure I was told that I WOULD jump the brush. And if I had a run out, I would attempt it again. So, no option for me! It rode well, Brandy cruised right to the base, hunkered down and looked at it hard and went "poing!" and jumped way up and over.

Also, this giant grey table. 

Photographers don't have pics up yet, but the ones I saw weren't all that great, which is disappointing, because I don't have much proof of how awesome our weekend was, besides the pretty pink ribbon holding its place of honor on my blinds.
And here's Megan, Amy and me, aka the Jolly Pink Giant, with the awards from the weekend. Note to self: never take a photo with two adorable, petite blonds. You will look freakishly huge and awkward.

Ari's injury turned out to be a GIANT abscess. I don't know who was more surprised, me or Dr. Peters, when he pulled the first nail and it popped through. Lest I hear "you couldn't figure that out on your own?!" one more time, the scope of this abscess was pretty impressive and we ended up xraying the foot to make sure it was all we were dealing with as it had the potential to have compromised his coffin joint. If you want all the nitty gritty details, I'll be glad to fill you in, but suffice it to say, this wasn't a normal "oops, Ari got a bit of sand in his tootsie!" abscess.
Ari having his foot dug out by the best lameness specialist in the country. Great. I'm pretty sure the words "Your farrier is going to HATE me." were uttered.

Fortunately, my farrier works with Dr. Peters and they were on the same page with how to treat the hole in his foot. He is currently cleared to go back out and back to work as soon as it dries out, which will hopefully be tomorrow morning. Ari has been a trooper in the stall all week. I just found yesterday that the natural calming supplement "Vita-calm" has a really good effect on him (it's tryptophan based, so basically he's in a turkey-coma.) and he's been on that the last two days to keep him from spinning in his stall. We're all much happier this way.

And here's the champ herself, observing XC after she was done for the day. I'm pretty sure she was saying something to the effect of  "I did better than that. Amateurs."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Everytime I post a project horse prospect on my facebook, my brother says "I'll give you $100 for it. I swear. I want to co-own a horse with you."

I explained to him that co-ownership involves expenses. He decided, instead, that he would be an investor. So, he will invest 1/4 of my new horses purchase expense in hopes to double his money. (Which I will then, likely, steal to re-invest.)

So begins the adventure of Lauren, Vince and Anita's co-ownership of a cute appy gelding who will probably end up being named Poninelli.

I made a video when I went to see him, but my STUPID PHONE didn't save it, so that is all I have! I will pick him up next week when his coggins comes back.

He is VERY sweet on the ground, good in the roundpen and green broke. He's been ridden a handful of times but he doesn't seem like he's going to be hard to restart. He's SO people oriented! He's 6 years old, 15.3 and has lovely conformation and balance. He is a nice mover- nothing ground breaking but very cute.

He has big hooves to fill as, assuming Ari has a long layup, he will take his spot in the riding roster.

Name suggestions are coming in right now. I'm liking the "cities in Arizona" suggestion from Nancy, with Sedona, Tempe, Winslow and Hayden at the top of my list. (Mostly Sedona, but Winslow reminds me of Murray and Hayden is just too perfect because I would LOVE to name a horse for my dear friend David Hayden.) I also liked "Weather Dot Com" and my original pick was Connor. Anita won't let me pick a name until she meets him, but suggestions are appreciated!

AAAAAAAAND someone just suggested "There's an App for That." Which MAY be the winner. Barn name Android??  

Other excitement:
I got my new dressage coat! It fits! And it looks really nice! And it's machine washable! And its lined in grey! And the coat itself is navy! And I really like it!

I put my WHITE BREECHES in my garment bag. I feel like I've lost enough weight to wear them. We'll see when I get them on my body.

I also got a new XC shirt. It is not the color pink I love so much but it's technical fabric and isn't awkwardly short.

I stepped on the scale this afternoon after declaring this week a "dieting washout" and deciding to restart after the show this weekend... and found that I'd dropped below my goal weight! I've officially lost a little more than 30lbs. And that is WITH eating a lot of bread and ice cream in the last two days. Amazing.

Ari was Lamer Than Ever today. Which caused me to have a minor breakdown. Somehow, when I talked to Anita, I was quite calm about it. When I talked to Amy, she caught me at the worst of the onslaught of "omg my horse is so lame I don't even know what to do and I might just dieeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!" Probably NOT what she signed up for, but she did manage to talk me down and remind me that the lamer he is the easier he will be to diagnose. I just can't wait to get him up to Hagyard.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Stuff and things!

Ari's appointment is at 2 on Thursday, he would appreciate your good thoughts and my wallet would appreciate them, as well. Unfortunately, when you're as "in tune" with your horse as I am, you go with your gut feeling a lot, and my gut feeling has not been telling me the greatest things, so... lets just hope it all goes well.

Ari's enthusiasm for going back to work is overwhelming.
 Hagyard is an amazing place- Ari will be seen in their new Sport Horse Facility. He's going to be staying at Saddles and Sheets, where hopefully he'll be much happier than in a stall at the park. I asked if I needed to bring him hay and they laughed. He may not want to come home with me!

Other than that, Brandy and I had a... good...ish... dressage school today. Training Test B's movements just come up fast and that is hard for her. BUT she did all the things she was supposed to do, she just got a little flustered by the "lengthen, stretch, working, lengthen, working, HALT!" I think it may be in my best interest to do some of my trot work sitting. We'll see!

I had a lesson last week, Brandy seemed a touch sore in her right hind so she wasn't jumping as "bouncy-like" as she normal does- she was still game- OH was she game- but just not as sproingy as normal. I DID, however, knock another silly goal off my bucket list- we jumped upright barrels. In the middle of a combination, no less. It was the second fence of a one to a two stride line and I felt like she hunkered down so low in between that I was eye level with the pole on top of the barrels! Eek!

Aside from that, I have my "kidlets" 3 days a week from 9-1 at the barn. They're working hard this summer and having fun. They're all riding an "extra" horse for more saddle time and today they even swapped horses for a minute after their lesson was over.
Olivia on Murphy, Anna on Snickers, Tori on Jazz and Amanda on Major

We'll get them on each other's horses for a lesson, one day soon. :)

On Friday, I made them clean tack before their show on Saturday... four times I was asked "Why do we need a bucket of water to clean our tack?!" Oh. My goodness. REALLY guys?! REALLY!? They DID all get their bridles back together this time, so there's that.

We went to Walnut Trace and had an excellent day. We ended up scratching before XC because of the rain, but Amanda was leading her division before dressage with Tori in second. (YAY!) Snickers got BOTH leads and got a little bit round at the trot! Nancy and Amanda had a great move up with Ben and Jazz and Kelly and Tori both are looking more and more ready for BN. Shannon is getting itchy to move up to 2' with Pumpkin and I think he's totally ready- now we just have to get Shannon more saddle time and she'll be ready, too! Anna had another nice school at BN. What a fun day!
Hiding out under the judges stand, waiting out the rain!
YIKES. The weather is coming!
Adult Kidlets and drafty crosses.
ROUND pony!
Course walking!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ari update

Seems like I never updated what was going on with the one-eyed wonder, so let me fill you all in.

Dr. Wooten came out two Tuesdays ago and localized his lameness to his ankle or foot. We blocked the foot and he was sound, so we decided to inject his coffin. I had thought the lameness was "high" as did a few others, so I was interested that his foot blocked, but I'm not the vet!

So, secondary to the lameness in the foot, Dr. W thought he may be having some issues with his suspensory (left), as he was dragging his toes, which is normal, but I see him so often, I wasn't sure if it had progressed to a point of abnormal. He suggested icing and surpassing (a topical anti-inflamatory) the suspensory for a week. Just in case, I did both.

After a week, I was to begin light riding again and just "see what we had." I rode him that Tuesday, in the grass, and thought "well.... better... but not good..." So, I iced him again, turned him back out and asked Amy and Megan if they'd look at him on Thursday when I hauled Brandy over for a lesson. Amy watched me trot two steps and said LAME. I kept trotting hoping she could help me pinpoint it, but it just wasn't apparent, though we all agreed it was a "swinging" lameness rather than a "hitching" lameness. Amy even got on and trotted him around for me to see. So... he's turned back out.

I buted him the last three days to see if that would show any improvement, but when I longed him today he was worse- although it seemed to me to be pretty clearly in his stifle- so I don't know if thats my over-active imagination or if possibly the bute loosened up the muscular pain which allowed me to see the mechanical problem. I did put a call into my chiro, just to bounce the situation off of him.

My plan at this point is to bring Ari with me and Brandy up to Lexington when we go for Midsouth. I will have him examined by Dr. Peters, Amy, Stacy and Megan L's favorite vet in Lexington. I'm hoping they will be able to eyeball him and pinpoint it rather quickly, though I may be just holding on to blind optimism at this point. He will be turned out the rest of the weekend at a layover facility so he's not making himself crazy in a stall on asphalt at KHP.

SO... think good thoughts for my boy... I'm hoping it will be good news! 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Goals have to be slightly unrealistic, otherwise there's no point, right?

It's always good to have a friend who is constantly supporting your goals, pushing you a little harder than you push yourself and challenging you to reach a little higher than you normally would. The same one is usually the one to give you a lift when you most need it, or a smack upside the head when you're being irrational, and let you feel sorry for yourself for long enough- then kick you in the butt if you go on for too long. She'll gripe when you need to gripe and cheer for you when you're down and snark when them moment calls for it. She will pump you full of motivational sayings and inspiration even if she doesn't believe in them herself at the moment to make sure YOU have the best ride of your life.

Yep. Friends like that are invaluable.

The last words I remember hearing before going into the start box at May Daze and that I left chanting were Megan's: "Fight for it." And sometimes that's all you need to hear.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Who'd I miss?

Okay, I had several people yell at me for leaving them out of my cuteness overload post, so here are the auxiliary cuties in my life!!

TINYPONY! Oh... wait...

Okay, yeah, that's better. KATE WOOTEN! Kate and I met many moons ago because we both kept falling off of our horses at events. And then, the next year, we both had new horses. And we stayed on. And we went to horse shows. And occasionally, we even won ribbons! Now, Kate and her company, English Saddle Fit, is my title sponsor and one of my bestest buddies!

I can't believe I left my darling Jess out of the first post, but I haven't seen her in so long it's like she's abandoned me completely. Hopefully she'll be home soon (to be my boss) and I can continue torturing her and her sweet pony, Gracie. Gracie was another CL find (or Kijiji if you want to be technical, but who's counting) who has turned into a super special, very talented little gal. I call her my red Ferrari, she's so much fun to jump, and then she turns around and teaches Jess and is oh, so kind... but kind of annoying, all at the same time. Jess will, someday, do a BN and Grace can't wait!

Amy, Me and Anna
Anna and Smurf in action
Of course, Amy and I are fabulous, but Anna is fabulous-er. Anna not only owns Murphy (the OTHER Anna's current mount) but also introduced me to Amy and much of the eventing scene in Middle TN. One of my first friends when I moved to town, and now following in MY footsteps at my (and her) first real job at Southside Animal Hospital, Anna and I just seem to end up in the same place at the same time a lot. And I'm glad.

And then, there are these guys. They make my world go 'round. Literally. Need I say more?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Maydaze 2011, Brandy and Lauren's first training!

Brandy asked if she could write this post and I told her she could. I'm sure she'll be very honest in the telling of her weekend...

So, please, take everything she says with a grain of salt...

"Hey guys! I bet mom keeps telling you how well she did this weekend, but I'm sure you know when she talks about herself, she really means me. I was a rockstar. Mom did pretty good, too, I guess, since she stayed on top of me this time. It's tough, being a horse, though, because you can't read the course map, so if your owner falls off, you're out of luck. Unless you can count. Then you can read the numbers. So, you might have heard about our last Novice at Poplar Place... it was kind of a tough weekend. I was really stressed, I didn't like it very much. I had a pretty good dressage test but the judge didn't like me, so we got a bad score, which is fine, I didn't like her either. I even saluted her at the end of my test by flipping my nose up, mom giggled but the judge just stared at me. Whatever. Dressage judges just don't understand. Then we went out on XC and mom fell off in the ditch. I guess I might have caused it, but I don't really think I did... I just wanted to look at see if there were really panthers in the ditch like my friend BabyFlo said there were. We did get to do stadium, though, and even though we jumped clean, it wasn't a great round, but I think mom learned a lot. We did get to school XC afterwards, though, and mom got to jump some training questions and I learned that she actually could ride decently... I got really stressed after all that excitement though and got a really bad tummy ache. Thankfully Aunt Megan had some stuff that made me feel better, but I could tell mom was worried about me that night.

Anyway, fast forward to Maydaze. We went to the Kentucky Horse Park, I'm much happier there, plus mom put some stuff in my food that made my stomach feel good. She called it ommm..omep...omeprazole? She also insists on feeding me this soupy stuff that looks like shredded paper... I think she calls it beet poop. I guess it's not that bad if you don't look at it, but when she tries to give it me, I always think she's trying to poison me. Besides... do beets even poop? And who would feed poop to their horse anyway? Can you blame me for being skeptical?

We got there on Thursday and mom rode me. We got some rain, but it kept it a little on the cooler side, so that was nice. I had a bath and got my makeover, and was happy to settle in for the night. On Friday morning, mom braided my mane, which usually means crappy dressage is coming. Auntie Megan braided my tail again, it makes my butt look good. Well, better than normal, anyway... my butt looks pretty darn good all the time.

  It was drizzly and cool when we went to do dressage. I had a good warmup, even though I did have a little perchie-moment before they called my number. I had to run sideways for a minute to make myself feel better, but then I settled down. My favorite part was the fact that they didn't stick their finger in my mouth with that nasty glove... something about a virus going around. I did a good dressage test, mom seemed pleased and I showed off some of my new moves... the best part is the canter lengthening. I can just picture myself in full armor, running at another horse with a knight on my back and a lance at my side... and then I have to go back to the crappy dressage stuff. But its fun to dream for a minute! Here's some pictures from my dressage.

After crappy dressage was over, it was time for stadium! I had a really exciting jumping lesson the week before with Aunt Amy... mom said I was "crazy" but I was really just enthusiastic. I was pretty good in warmup, especially because mom said she "couldn't see a darn stinkin' thing." It's okay though, because I was as cool as a cucumber and was totally not worried.

Mom finally got her stuff together and had a couple good jumps and we went off into the ring. I'm not going to lie, I was brilliant. Mom seemed pretty happy with me, she may have even cried a little. I don't know why people cry when they're happy, they should save themselves the effort and just feed me carrots instead. Crying seems like a silly use of energy.
Yep. I was pretty awesome...

Lauren in, here, I want to point out that I could HEAR Brandy's front shoes clinking together as she jumped around... I knew she had to be tucking her feet up in her armpits, but I didn't think she was that tight in front! Too cute!

Can you believe her? Mom just took the keyboard right out from underneath my hooves. I was busy typing!! Heifer.

The next day, I got to run cross country! THAT is the most fun EVER. I freaking rocked that course. It was not easy, the jumps were big and sometimes they came up kind of fast, in combinations of sorts. Mom did a pretty good job of riding me down to the base and telling me where to go and then waiting with her upper body. It's a good thing, too, because there was one really wide ramp that I thought I'd make things interesting and leave out the last step. Tee-hee... I'm pretty funny when I want to be. Mom did a good job sticking with me, thank goodness!
Here's Auntie Megan laying on the ramp. She's no shorty, either! Aunt Stacy yelled at Mom and Aunt Megan, she said "You need to know the #1 rule of walking move-up and, for that matter, any other courses. Do not look too closely at the height or width or depth of the fences. Now go walk the course again following that rule." Guess they messed that one up!

The first part of the course was pretty straight forward, a couple logs and barrels, a brush jump that mom said used to be scary to her. I guess not anymore!
There was a pond in front of me here, see my ear-dar in action? Mom thought I might launch in, but I was good and stepped right down like I should.

I had a lot of fun splashing through the water and doing a little skinny brush combination.

 I was SUPER good through the ditch combination... I guess I didn't really have an option, mom seemed pretty determined. Here's the series of pictures and their captions...
Game faces: on.
"Dear Brandy, please assess the ditch coming up. Thanks, Lauren."
"Dear Lauren, I'm currently assessing the ditch coming up. Please stay on top this time. Love, Brandy."
Everything else on course has been 3'3", Ma, I guess this is meant to be jumped at 3'3", too! Hang on to your britches, girlfriend!
Suddenly, this little coop doesn't seem so bad!
Well done, Miss B!
The rest of the course was great, if I do say so myself. Mom said we were really slow, but I blame her. I could have run faster, but she didn't tell to, so... tough for her. I was really happy at the end of the course, I got a nice cool shower and mom took me to graze in the best clover patch I've ever seen. That afternoon, she slathered some white goo on my legs and wrapped me up so I was comfy and cozy overnight. I had a good nights sleep, and on Sunday I just hung out all day while my friend Anna rode.

We had a fairly unadventurous ride home besides when mom's truck was weird going up a big hill. It pulled great after that, though, so I was glad. Aunt Amy said mom maybe had some water in her fuel tank and its a good thing she got a 7.3, whatever that means. I hate trucks. They're loud and smell bad, kind of like Ari.

Mom got some cute pictures from the weekend, too, since Aunt Lisa was there. I like her, she comes and visits a couple times a year and sometimes comes to horse shows with us. Here is my favorite picture of Aunt Amy and Aunt Lisa with mom... There is a slogan they like that they use as the caption for this one...
Red on right, white on left, insanity in the middle...

Oh, by the way, yes, that is a training fence... in other words, I jumped it. See? I'm awesome.

Mom also rode around on this little scooter thing for awhile. It. Was. HYSTERICAL. It was smaller than Pumpkin, so mom looked really funny on it!
Thanks to Aunt Julie for a good laugh!
Mom also got to see a lot of her friends over the weekend too, Aunt Julie and Danielle were there from Nashville, and some of her friends from college, too, Kari, Elissa, Georgine, Melissa, Jessi-Person, Mary... it was like a Murray Reunion!

Mom told me to mention that she did, in fact, reach her goal of losing 20lbs by Maydaze. I'm glad, too, it's a lot easier on me when she's skinnier! She says her next goal is 10 more lbs by Midsouth... works for me! If I have to be fit, she does too! She has to buy a new dressage coat, even, because hers is too big! If anyone wants to buy hers, it's for sale!

Oh, here are my videos, too, if you want to watch me in action!"

Overall, a great weekend for Miss Brandy and myself! I couldn't be happier!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

When I have a feeling...

about a horse on Craigslist...

I'm usually right.

I keep seeing this gal come up and I've got the feeling. Someone please go get her.

4 year old Perch/QH cross in Knoxville.

THIS is the kind of ad that we bought Brandy from and look how that turned out. If someone is interested, Kelly Wallace has offered to go check her out and I would give someone a deal on getting her started if they wanted to keep her with me for a few months.

Horsie ups and downs...

I'm waiting (im)patiently to report on my first training with Brandy, so you all will just have to wait until I get my pics to hear about that. Until then, here's a preview pic of us in warmup, courtesy of Lisa:
I love this picture because the look on her face is so her. "Seriously, mom? You can't find a spot to save your life and I'm finding it with my eyes closed. *sigh* The THINGS I do for YOU!" The ears are the icing on the cake.

When I got home, I was really excited to ride Ari, since he'd been somewhat neglected the week before. My plan was to run him at Midsouth, so it was time to buckle down. As you know, he's been a little funky in his left hind. I started him on MSM before I left and we're in the middle of a feed change. I got on and he was supple, forward and focused, with enough energy but not hot, he was lifting nicely through his back and felt great... except every five steps or so, he'd lose his left hind- it would twist out from underneath him and he just couldn't track up. *sigh* So we ended our ride and I put in the call to the vet... I was hoping to have him out sooner but he can't see Ari until next week Tuesday, so he's turned out until next week. I'm bummed to be missing the clinic with Vicky on Saturday and I'm just hoping it's something simple (chiro issue is what I have my fingers crossed for) so he can haul to Jim Graham's next weekend to school... his goal for the summer is to jump down into water... the first time I ask!

So, in the meantime, it looks like Brandy will be coming to Midsouth with me and Ari will possibly be headed to Champagne Run if we get him sorted out.

The other downer is the barn fire at Boyd Martin's barn at True Prospect Farm. He lost 6 horses and 5 others were admitted to the hospital for burns and smoke inhalation. I can't even begin to imagine the horror he and his students and owners are facing, but never to be underestimated, the eventing community has stepped up to support Boyd and his crew, both emotionally and financially. His working students living in the barn apartment lost everything, not to mention the horses, tack and other equipment. Absolutely devastating. Keep an eye on Boyd's blog and Eventing Nation for updates and if you're looking to donate, there are several ways to do so.

Also, a friend of mine lost her horse in the AL tornados a couple weeks ago. Her barn owner lost everything, including his prized stallion, a mare and her in-utero foal. I heard today that it looks like he's going to lose another of his broodmares.

And, non-horse related is that my psuedo-big-brother Kenny Foster is from Joplin, MO, which you may have heard was decimated by tornadoes. His family lost their house and everything else and will be working to pick up the pieces as time goes on.

Try to keep everyone in your thoughts as time passes, I can't imagine what any of them are going through.