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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Diane & Fred

I need to post a few thank you's. First, I want to thank Diane Kernodle with Center Stage Musical Freestyles. Diane has been a lifesaver for producing a freestyle for Andy within two weeks of Lamplight. Diane has been fantastic as far as selecting suitable music for both MP and Andy and has gone the distance with arranging the appropriate choreography for each horse. She has been invaluable with her advice and expertise and I always get compliments on our music! Thank you Diane!

Next I would like to thank Fred Massie who owns Freds Pony Express. Fred transported Andy from CA to Il and was fantastic to work with. He stayed in constant communication and took top notch care of Andy. His rig is beautiful, very horse friendly and large enough to make an 18hh horse comfy. Andy arrived in top shape and was hot to trot upon return. It was like he hadn't even been in a trailer for 4 days! I will definitely use Fred in the future and will highly recommend him to anyone wanting to ship their horse long distance. Thank you Fred!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Videos from Lamplight are up!

Here you go:

Day 1 - Team Test:

Day 2 - Individual Test:

Day 3 - Freestyle:

Judge away.....

My spirits are back up and I have lots of exciting news which I will post about later in the week. Trying to get caught up!

Monday, May 18, 2009

What next?

Where to start. Well, the tests could have been better and my scores couldn't have been worse. Andy felt better each day, but the scores barely improved. The judges said they liked him and liked me but they didn't like a petite rider on a big horse. Compatibility was a major factor at this show.

What do I have to say?

First the obvious truth: I'm very disappointed and my confidence has taken a major blow. I can take low scores and own up to mistakes, but I experienced things this past week that I won't write about but definitely have me questioning my future involvement in this program.

Second: I'm moving on and am going to set a personal goal of 68% for the next CPEDI. Or at least that is what I will be training for now knowing what I know. I'll be back out in the show ring within the next three weeks.

Third: My team has been AWESOME. Starting with Andy. Sunday was our 14th ride, his 5th dressage show and his third time riding these tests. He has been very tolerant and professional considering. Next comes Steve and Nancy for everything they have done for me, even though they couldn't be here they wanted me to take their horse half-way across the country. There are very few words that I can use to express my gratitude towards Steve and Nancy, they are very special people. Then there is Ellen, who is out here on her own as my coach. She has been so positive and supportive and is now as enlightened as I am. My parents and Scott have also been here being their usual selves, funny, informative and just great people all around. My dad and Scott have been great grooms! Finally I want to be sure to thank Steffen Peters for the advice, feedback, video review and general support he has given to date. I'm looking forward to our upcoming training sessions. And I can't forget all of my friends and family who have backed us from the beginning. Thank you.

Here's to moving onward and upward! Videos and pics coming soon...
Andys on the road home and so are we. About to get on the plane now. Very interesting experience which I will blog about later. Lots to say and lots of pictures

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Its raining and blowing here. Ick! Team Test did not go so great. Got a 56. Hoping today will go better, the test is more interesting. Andy might think so too!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

And so it begins...

The tornadoes passed and the sun was out in full force here in Wayne, IL for the kick off of the Lamplight CPEDI & USEF Para Dressage National Championships.

Andy's trip here was uneventful and he even arrived 12 hours early on Sunday night. We've been schooling since then and Ellen arrived on Tuesday so "training" started on Wed. Andy's been doing great and getting better each day.

The facility is unbelievable. It puts our shows in CA to shame (sorry but its true!).
There are about para riders here competing for national championships as well as some Canadians, Mexicans and Irish. The Bergay's are here too from AZ so we're sharing tack space and Andy's has had a girlfriend (Bella) since Sunday. Its very cool! There are 9 people in my class so for once we have competition! Yay! The events began yesterday (Thurs) with the inspection and jog, then today we ride the team test, tomorrow the individual test and Sunday is the freestyle.
The jog was a fascinating experience. The atmosphere here is intense with all of the horses and chaos in the barns. Everyone scurrying around to get their horses gleaming for the jog.
We went in order of our numbers so Andy and I were went 11th. It is intense because if the ground jury doesn't accept your horse you are done. Bye, bye. Thats it, finito. Plus we had never done this before so I was outrageously nervous. My trusty father meanwhile was hawking the process and has formulated all kinds of insights by the time our number came up.
And then we jogged...
And passed! Yippee! Andy was so cute. On the trot down we kind of lulled along, but on the way back he took over as if he were jogging me. It was like he decided I had no idea what I was doing so he would fill in and show me the ropes. He was so cute!
So far so good! Scott's here in full force with mega media so we will have many pictures and video to document the experience. And he's already capturing moments when people aren't looking. Here's a really cute one of Holly and Bella:
Just had the jog! Passed! Yippee we can show! Andy looked gorgeous! Scott took lots of pics. Will do blog at 10 tonight!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Still working on a real post and pics. We are under tornedo watch right now until 11. Very weird. Andy was super today though! Ellen's watchfull eye is on us!
Ellen arrived last night. Its rainy and windy. Yuck! Off to the barn to ride in a trench coat. Andy is doing great and is very relaxed. I'm not! Very nervous!

Monday, May 11, 2009

1st day of shooling went gr8. Talked to Ellen and Steffen this am for last minute pointers. Andy felt fresh and ready. Same drill 2morrow. Will post pics later.

What to do at 4 am? BLOG of course!

OK so its 6 am here, but still it is early! Yesterday went smooth as glass. Our flight were all on time or early and Andy arrived safe and sound. We tucked him into his temporary home for the night and will move him into his show stabling this afternoon. The Bergays are also here so he has another horse to keep him company. The place is beautiful and I'll be sure to take some photos and post later!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

We are here! T-minus two hours till we meet up with Andy!
Just landed in Dallas! Off to get lunch. Leaving for Chicago in 2 hours.
On our way to the airport! We meet Andy at the showgrounds tonight! Getting more excited!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Getting really excited! Almost packed, 1 bag desinated for horse stuff one for me stuff. Andy's in Iowa. Only 24 more hours!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Testing 123. Mobile bloging up and running!

Getting ready for Chicago!

T-minus 48 hours and we will be landing in Chicago. Mr. Andy-pie is somewhere between Montana and Nebraska. Likely in Wyoming. He is doing good, the traveling is giving him some jitters so he's not as hungry as usual but he's in good spirits and traveling well. I think he'll be happy to see us and Ellen on the other end. Be sure to check back often over the next week. I'll be posting away with pictures and videos!