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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Verite the Wonder Mare

What can't Verite do? Not much. This mare has talent, massive talent. She has spent much of her life as a brood mare and hasn't been in full training for even six months. I rode a test with her on Sunday just to see how she'd react to movements coming one after the other. She breezed through the test. Then I tried a walk pirouette/turn on the haunches, no problem, she can do that as well. Then I worked on med trot to collected trot transitions - whoa, she has a mean extention in her trot. Shoulder-in, haunches in no problem. Half-pass? Peice of cake. Her only weakness right now is the canter which will just take time as she learns how to carry herself. But as you can see, the canter is coming along. PSG is only going to be a few years away!

Rebel without a cause

Yes, its true. Amigo the rebel turned into a rebel without a cause. We're going along nicely on Sat, a nice forward trot that was well balanced and perfectly ready to transition into the canter. Up Amigo goes into the canter, perfectly balanced as usual. And then his perfect balance rolls into a small crow-hop and then a little buck, and so I (the fed up mother) get ready for a rodeo session so I promptly "send him on" to get him out of this potential bucking spree. How does he react? Stops dead like a dirty bronc horse and shoots straight up onto his hind legs. Being that I'm in "buck" position not "rear" position, I get launched off to the side and land comfortably in our fluffy Somerset footing. And then the rebel's tough exterior cracks as he looks down at me with shock and terror, for he did not know that the two legged creatures that ride him can come off. If horses could cry, he would have been. And since that moment, it seems my perfect angel has returned.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Line in the sand

Why can't all rides be good? I mean really, isn't riding supposed to be fun? I know, I know, "its the journey not the destination," the "hard days that make the good days so good." If you think about it, riding is like any long-term relationship or family. We learn more about each other through disagreements and then understanding and compromise. But there are also times when you have to draw the line in the sand.

Poor Amigo, the rebellious teenager, has been neglected on the back burner for a few weeks now. I get him out for a ride on Tuesday and he proceeds to question me about everything: "why can't I yank you out of the saddle?" "why can't I buck in the corner?" "why do I have to respond when you ask?" "what if I don't want to canter?" So like a good mother I try and keep my cool, calmly redirect his energy, until I finally snap and tell him to "knock it the f-off!" And guess what? Sometimes that works. It worked on Tuesday. I know it won't always work. But I learned that just because I feel guilty about neglecting him I can't compromise on his behavior or work ethic.

So we had a bad ride, so what? He's only 4. Tonight is a new night and he'll get ridden for the next four days so hopefully by Monday I'll have my "yes mam" 1500 lb, 17hh kid back. And if I don't Ellen will be here next weekend to supervise.

Luckily I have the princess (Veritie) and the queen (MP) to ride. They are at least civilized when we argue.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ellen's book website is up!!!

YAY! The day has finally come. Ellen has been working on a book for sometime now and you can finally buy it. Check out her website at:

I have become a terrible blogger!

Okay, okay, I know I suck at blogging. But if you saw my schedule you'd understand why. I work on natural resources issues in the California State Senate and I happed to work for a wonderful Senator who is deeply passionate about CA water policy and the Delta. Soooo, long story short (I'm sure you've see the national press on CA water issues) we've been a little busy.

So my carrer life has taken over my horsey life for a little while, but I'm here to tell you that I'm still riding, still training and motivated more than ever to launch myself into the world of international para dressage.

First a few updates - Championships went well. I placed 5th overall at 4th level for both USDF Region 7 and CDS. Which means we won a little cash. Wohoo! Final was a champ and tried his heart out. Sometimes we weren't trying for the same things (I like clean flying changes, he likes to be early with his front feet to show off his pretty toes), but all in all I'm very happy with our show year. And I'm so grateful to my friend Eva for letting me ride him while she was busy baking Izzy. By the way - don't show 4th level, Eva, it stinks. PSG is way better.

Moneypenny is back in full training. We're working on building her stamina and top line so she won't be pulling out the tricks quite yet, but she is looking FAB! Better than ever. We are both prepping for our training session with Steffen Peters at the end of Nov, so while she is trotting for 30 mins in the Eurociser, I am running around the State Capitol. SEVEN MORE LBS, SEVEN MORE LBS!

Amigo is hanging out halfway on the back burner because of work and MP's schedule, but I'm still hoping to get 4 days a week on him through the winter so we can prep him for the FEI 5 year old classes next year. He's a total ham and now lives full time in the barn, so his life is pretty good.

Verite has also been half way on the back burner, but she too will go back to full time training as the plan is to show her 1st and 2nd level. I'd like to get both Amigo & MP qualified for State champs just incase we don't make the WEG. I always love a good back up plan

Horse show husband is also back in the saddle - or back in the wheelbarrow to be more accurate. He's been picking up a few of my chores to relieve some pressure.

Whats next? I'm going to start blogging again as if this is my horsey journal, so expect to see blogs every few days with photos of the farm, and our life happenings and of course updates on the horses.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Champs is underway! I rode the first of my 2 CDS classes two classes so far. Would have had a 66 but had 4 oops'. So instead I got a 61 and I'm sitting in 5th. Final was great, just me being sloppy. I will not be sloppy tomorrow!