Kate and Celine—Terrific at Trails End

Due to the crazy soccer schedule and conflicting dates on the calendar, Kate’s last chance to get her fourth show in (for year end awards) was today at Trails End.  Thanks to Sue (the owner/organizer) of the show, we were able to get in after the closing date.  

Kate, Wade, Celine (the horse), and I headed out this morning at about 8am to get to Trails End and get ready for Kate’s 10am ride time.  She was on and ready to go in plenty of time.  Kate had a fantastic first test (Intro. Test A).  She had several 8’s on the test, and ended up tying for 3rd place out of 12 riders with the score of 70%.   They broke the tie, and Kate ended up with the 4th place ribbon.   In her second test (Intro Test B) she had some great moments.  Celine was just a little bit sluggish at the end of the test, but the pair made big improvements on that particular test.  Kate and Celine ended up with a score of  62% which put them into 6th place out of  14 riders.  Congratulations, Kate!!!!

Making hay while the sun shines….

Today might have been the most perfect evening for bringing in hay.  It was in the 70’s with a nice breeze, just as the sun was getting low in the sky.  It almost sounds romantic.  Almost……if it weren’t for the fact that doing hay actually meant picking up really heavy bales and throwing them up onto a moving wagon.  It was kind of funny though that while we were working in the hay field I looked up at Jeff and noticed that he had sweated a perfect heart shaped pattern on the front of his shirt.  My father in-law said that it must mean he’s in love.  That’s exactly what I was thinking.  It sort of fit the “romance” theme for the evening.  All of us covered in sweat, hay particles littering our hair, donning our lovely work gloves and holy jeans…definitely set the mood.  All we needed were a few violins and some scented candles (and maybe a hose and some bars of soap).

But, seriously….thank you guys for all of your help with hay tonight.   Jeff and I truly appreciate it.

Rhyland—-making huge progress!

Rhyland has made huge strides in his jumping this past 2 weeks.  I have been diligently working on getting him straighter and more honest in his outside rein.  He is able to jump bending lines and bounces at low height, and his single fences get better and better with each jump school.  He struggles in his ability to ride a line with 3 or 4 canter strides between them, due to the fact that he gets REALLY fussy with his head after some fences and loses focus—proving to be very dangerous when he cannot (or will not) pay attention to the fence coming up.  He is getting very clever with his feet, and is even better as the fences get bigger.  I am hoping to get to school cross country with him again soon!

Back to school— it will be a sad day for Wetherbrooke Farm

Tomorrow is the first day of school. For a lot of parents, this is a good thing.  I, however, am going to miss all the things that the word “summer” implies.

I will miss….

1. the kids jumping the dogs over horse jumps in the arenas

2. the sound of kids running and playing  in the hay loft 

3.  the trading  of silly bands in the tack room

4. the kids splashing in our pool—doing what they call “cold, live, entertainment”

5. the sound of the  kids playing upstairs in the morning while I lay in my bed downstairs listening

6. movie night

7. watching them catch fireflies in the front yard

8. hearing them laughing and giggling and fighting and arguing

9.  the popsicles on the porch

10.  knowing that every morning when I wake up I will get to spend the whole day with the 2 greatest kids on earth.

Wetherbrooke Farm Photo Shoot

After a day of off and on again rain, we wondered if we would have to cancel the photo shoot for tonight.  It ended up being a “picture perfect” evening.  We had a wide variety of kids, parents, toddlers, babies, parents, horses, and  ponies who participated.  My sister in law took a great deal of pictures, and we are really excited about seeing how they turned out!   We thank all of you for making this evening possible!

Joy and Jessica

Things are happening around here!

It has been a crazy couple of weeks around here! 

1.  I turned 38 on the 11th —–yes, I am old.

2. My job as soccer coach of the 10-11 year old girls’ team officially started

3.  I was awakened at 8am (on a childless morning) by a man knocking on my front door asking me if I had lost a “black cow”

4.  I attended a beautiful wedding of one of my favorite students of all times.  (still feeling old)

5.  I got to ride in a jumping clinic with an olympic medalist  (and didn’t embarrass myself too badly)

6.  I got another new horse in the barn (little Lakin)

7.  I attended 2 movies in 2 nights while my kids were at a family reunion

8.  I had an ABSOLUTE BLAST with my cousin on our “girls’ night out”

9.  My business partner and I are putting the finishing touches on what may be a huge exciting new project for us

10.  I got to catch up with a very dear friend from New York last weekend

11.  I got a phone call from a man asking me if any of our horses were good at cutting cattle

12.  I got to play “puppy”  with my son who calls himself “cutie pie” and fetches an empty water bottle in his teeth

13.  I actually went to the outlet mall and shopped!

14.  I attended “back to school night”

15.  I began studying pretty seriously for my ICP test

16.  We (mostly Jeff!)  helped my sister and brother in law move into their new house (we’re glad they’re back!)

17.  I got World Equestrian Games tickets for my birthday!

18.  I made the very tough decision to put my horse Gus up for sale

I’m not quite sure where it’s all headed, but I’m looking forward to the next few weeks and months to find out!

Welcome, Lakin!!!

Yesterday a new lesson pony arrived at our  farm.  She may be the cutest thing I have seen in a long, long,  time  (besides my children, of course!).  She stands about 13.1 hands high, and moves really well.  She is 12 years old and has been outgrown by “her boy”.  She did a lesson today with one of my young students, and was a super star!  We are very excited about the opportunities she will provide for some of our little students.   Thank you, Cutter Family!  She will be loved and well cared for here at Wetherbrooke Farm……and maybe a bit spoiled too!

Dorothy Crowell Clinic

Gus and I left the farm early Tuesday morning to ride in a jumping clinic with Olympic medalist, Dorothy Crowell.   She was pretty hard on the three of us in the preliminary group!  The course she set up for us was filled with hard turns in a small arena.  Gus and I had a few really ugly fences in the beginning of the lesson,  but got it together for the rest of the time.  She gave me a few very useful exercises, and a nice confidence boosting lesson.  Overall, it was a great learning experience.  I also got the rest of my volunteer hours taken care of for my ICP requirement.  As part of the jump crew, I was able to hang out in the middle of the arena and  hear all the comments Dorothy made during the rest of the lessons.  Thank you, Amanda for organizing a nice clinic…and for putting Gus up in a stall for the day.

Riding Lessons or Dairy Corner???

It was near 100 degrees today with 110% humidity.  Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but only slightly.  I taught a few lessons this morning, and then I left to take my kids to my in-laws so that I could ride and teach more lessons this afternoon and evening.  The funny thing is that when I returned from dropping my kids off I found a note written on the white board in the barn that read……”Can we please just go get ice cream tonight instead of taking our lessons????  Please, Please, Please….. ???”  What in the world is that? I could just hear the marker on the board whining and dripping with pitifulness  (yes, I know that “pitifulness” is not a proper word….if you knew the writers of the note you would agree that the word fit—even if I did just make it up).  Am I teaching a bunch of pansies or what???   Anyway, riding lessons never tasted so good.  Thanks, Pansies!

Getting Ready for the ICP Assessment

Well, they are here.  My $300  worth of books that I not only need to read, but be able to spout out all the information they contain like it’s my job, have been arriving in the mail this week.  I am now capable of  “Grooming to Win”.  If only it were that easy.  I could just groom and not worry about the fact that my sitting trot isn’t quite what the judge wanted, or that my horse pulled a rail in stadium, or that we had a few time penalties cross-country.  So…..I have decided to give up riding every day and just brush my horse until his hair falls out.  It is about time to start winning! 

But seriously……I was on the couch watching a movie, reading about all the ways to braid a mane, when I look over to see Jeff reading “Principles of Riding—by The German Equestrian Federation”.  He told me he was just reading about all the things you should NOT do in an arena.  He didn’t give me any details, but he looked very interested in what he was learning.  Tonight at dinner he told me that he wanted to go on a trail ride tomorrow night…… I’m thinking that maybe someone slipped something into his drink or maybe the fact he is working from home now has done something to his brain.  He read about a third of the book while watching “A River Runs Through It”. I, on the other hand, read the entire grooming book, and then passed it on to my groom (Kate) to read it also.  I told her she was going to be my groom at shows next year, but only if she could manage to do a mean braid.  She told me she would read it, but that she wasn’t going to read any of that “Western stuff”.  No need, I said.  I don’t think I will be doing any western pleasure classes in the near future.

So I am about 2 1/2 months away from my test.  I am looking forward to a challenge, but also to the “getting it over with ” part.  If I pass, I will be considered “legal” to teach up through Training Level eventing through the United States Eventing Association.  What does that mean for all of the students I have already taught before I was “legal”?