I made it! I am an official ICP Level 1 Training instructor

I am officially certified to teach all eventing levels from Starter through Training Level by the United States Eventing Association. 

The assessment process was the most frightening and intimidating process I have ever been through in my life.  My assessors were some of the most successful and technically sound trainers/instructors in the country, and I spent the day (8am-6pm) scared out of my ever livin’ mind.

I felt great after all of the feedback and commentary from the assessors, and walked away with a renewed desire to “up my game” and go after the next level of certification (teaching up to the one star level). 

After very little sleep (and no food all day due to nerves)…I celebrated by myself on the way out of town at one of my favorite Lexington pizza places,  “Fat Katz”.

Tonight I will sleep like a rock.  Tomorrow I will head back to Lexington with 4 of my students for our last horse trials of the season. 

Good luck this weekend girls!!!  Go Team Wetherbrooke!

Lexington—-Here I come

Well, in about 2 hours I will be on 75 south, headed to Lexington.  I have done about as much studying as I can do.  It’s pretty much a test about everything I have ever learned about riding, horsemanship, horse care, and instructing.  I feel really good about the level of knowledge that I have, it’s the “performing” in front of the assessors that I am worried about. 

Wish me luck ( and say some prayers also)!

October—-I see the light at the end of the tunnel

October has been a crazy, crazy, month.  I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel……but just barely.  This month we have had a skin cancer scare with my son, I have been trying to sell a horse, I have ridden in a jumping clinic with an olympian, I have attended my 20 year class reunion, I have been fingerprinted, I have had an FBI background check,  I have completed a course in first aid and CPR,  I have been a chaperone on a field trip with my daughter’s class, I have been the head coach of a 10 year old soccer team, I have coached my show team at a dressage show, I have taken my eventing team cross country schooling twice, I have completed multiple projects around the farm, I have been camping at Lake Hope, I have attended the World Equestrian Games, I have been preparing my eventing team for the Octoberfest Horse Trial this coming weekend,  I have practiced wrapping Wade in horse leg wraps for his mummy costume,  I have purchased the sheet for Kate’s ghost costume,  and I have been studying like a maniac for my ICP assessment which will happen in Lexington this Thursday.   I am completely exhausted.

For 2 more days I will be studying for my assessment.  On Thursday I will be turning in 2 written tests(each one is 4 typed pages long), taking 1 more written test about safety and professionalism, doing a hands on test about stable management, and teaching 3 lessons in front of assessors such as David and Karen O’Connor,  Brian Sabo, or Phyllis Dawson.  I will be star struck and scared out of my ever livin’ mind.  But it will be over soon.  On friday I will be back in Lexington for the final horse show of the season.  I only hope that I pass my assessment and am in a great mood for my students!

At the end of this coming weekend I will rest.  I may not even get out of bed next Monday.  But there are many miles left to go before I sleep.

Wetherbrooke success at the Dancing Horse Farm Dressage Show —Saturday 10/23

Today I woke up wayyyyyyy before daybreak–which is completely against everything I believe in—– in order to take a few horses to a local dressage show at Dancing Horse Farm in Lebanon.  Kelli and her “newish”(not Jewish) horse Cavalier were competing today in their first ever dressage show together.  Elizabeth and McCrae were getting their last scores posted so that they could be eligible for year end awards.

It just so happened that it was also a “costume dressage show”——also completely against everything I believe in.  Kelli went dressed as a basketball referee.  Cavalier went dressed as a Cleveland Cavalier.  What  a great costume!  If I weren’t such a loser on the computer….I would post some pics of them on my blog.  Elizabeth is a gal after my own heart in the way of costuming.  She chose to go as the ever creative “Cross County Rider”, and McCrae was “an event horse”.   They looked great in all of their black and orange gear.

Elizabeth and McCrae had a great day together  They earned some really good scores, 2 first place ribbons, and a 4th place ribbon.  McCrae had a “thoroughbred moment” during his Intro Test and just decided he was too hyper to pay attention  (that was the 4th place ribbon).   After galloping in the warm-up ring for the next 20 minutes, he came back out to get a 68% in his third and final test.  Great job, Elizabeth! 

Kelli and Cavalier did a great first ever test together (and Kelli’s first dressage test EVER).  The pair earned a 64% in the first test and a blue ribbon.  With some more attention to precision in the second test, she and Cavalier earned a 68.5% and another blue ribbon.  The pair is ready to move on to training level after just one show at Intro!   Kelli also earned the “high point” award for having the highest percentage in the Intro level (juniors and seniors combined).   Fantastic job, Kelli!

Overall it was a perfect day for our team.  Elizabeth got to work on her warm-up strategy for next weekend (Octoberfest HT) and got 3 good tests in.  Kelli got to experience a dressage show before the 2011 show season begins.  We got to learn a lot about Cavalier “in Public”  (I would by a dozen of him if I could find them) .  And I got to hang out and coach some great girls (ladies??). 

You guys were awesome!  Congratulations on a really good show!

AND—-A big thank you to Sam for showing us how to find the “smaill” arena.  We would be lost without you.

Training for the Turkey Trot—well under way

After Jeff and I drop Wade off at preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we head to the Reserve for some “couple” jogging.  At the beginning of our running days I would just run a mile or two (and walk the hills) while Jeff forced himself to jog beside me in a near midget- like stride.  Little by little I started being able to run the 3 miles and just walk a couple of the hills.  Somewhere after that,  I started to run the hills.  Jeff began adding some extra trails to the end of our usual 3.1 mile trail, and before I knew it…..we were running 4 and 5 miles at a time.  Even though I run so much slower than Jeff would like to run, just having his company brings out the competitor in me and makes me run better and better each time out. 

This whole running thing has been a great discipline for me.  I am not a runner.  I have always been an athlete, but never a runner.  Running is a discipline of the mind—-not one of my strong suits.  But I am learning to run better and faster as the weeks go by.  

We have made it a tradition to run the Miamisburg 8K Turkey Trot each year.  While I have wussed out the last couple of Thanksgivings due to bad weather, I have run many of them in the last 10 years.  By the end of November I hope to be in the best running shape possible.  I am going to try to bump it up a notch this year to do a Turkey “Canter” instead of a Turkey “Trot” (which will be much better than my usual Turkey “Mosey”).

The MUSTANGS have a big weekend on the soccer field

This weekend my Mustangs played their hearts out.  Yesterday we had a 4-0 victory against a weaker Franklin team.  The girls dominated the game, and I was able to play a number of the girls in different positions.  

Today was a much tougher game against a very good Clinton Massie team.   I felt that we controlled the game most of the time.  We got scored on in the 2nd quarter due to a few minor glitches in our defense.  We lost the game 1-0, but it was the best game the girls have played all year.  They worked the ball well, they were tough, they played their positions, and they talked to each other on the field.   They were fantastic. 

Today was my last game as the head coach of the Mustangs.   I will miss the last game due to a conflict with a dressage show.   It has been a fun season.  I thoroughly enjoyed working with the girls, and I am hoping to be able to help out as an “ASSISTANT” next year.

The x-c jumps are finally moved!

Today Jim came to move the x-c jumps from the hay field to the jump field.  Other than some minor repairs that need to be made to a few of them….they are ready to be jumped.   I am looking forward to having easier access to the jumps for lessons and schooling young horses.

Rhyland—a super star at the Dorothy Crowell Clinic

I could not have been happier with Rhyland’s performance today at the Dorothy Crowell Clinic.  From the second he got his morning bath to the second I got him home, he behaved like an experienced event horse.  Dorothy was late to the clinic due to some traffic issues in Kentucky, and I ended up being on him for an hour and a half before she got to the farm.  We thought she was just going to be a few minutes late, so I got on in time to give him a good warm-up.  He was a champ!  I can’t say the same for my butt, which is killing me after 3 hours in a “not so butt friendly” saddle.  The lesson itself was fantastic!  Rhyland jumped his first in-and-out, his first corner, and his first skinny today.  He never batted an eye.  Dorothy liked him and after finding out that he has only been in training for a few months,  said that he had definitely jumped in “his former life”.  I was not only thrilled by his performance as a jumper, but also by his performance on the ground (which has not always been described as “stellar”).   I have great hopes for this smallish bay horse.  He may just have a Florida trip in his not so distant future.

Sigh of relief

This past few weeks my family and I have been dealing with a skin cancer scare with my 4 year old son, Wade.  It is a frightening thing to live in the area of the “unknown” while waiting for the biopsy results to come in.  But God is good. Though we still need to see a plastic surgeon to remove more of the mole area to get “clear margins”, the outlook was very positive.  I felt relieved after talking to the doctor today at his follow-up appointment. 

My past few days have been spent thinking about just how much I love that little boy……Those of you that have had the pleasure of meeting my Wade know just what I mean.

Five years ago my husband finally won his war and got me to agree to have another child.  Because pregnancy and my job as  a riding instructor, rider, and horse trainer, don’t go together well, he had a fight on his hands.   Luckily for all of us, he won.  Wade has been a true blessing since the moment he was born.  A passionate child, full of life, love, and smiles.  He is a ray of sunshine every single day.  Not a day goes by when I don’t think about how glad I am that he was born.  I’m not saying that my life has been easy here on the farm with Wade as my side-kick……I’m just saying that I have been blessed each day that he spends on this earth.   His smile, his charm, his sense of humor, his “explosiveness”, his laughter, his ability to run all day every day, is what makes my Wade —Wade.  Going through this frightening few weeks has once again reminded me about what is important in life.  Most of it doesn’t matter at all…..money, things, horses, cars, houses, jobs……just doesn’t matter at all.

Vaquero—enjoying his new job as “future jumper”

Vaquero is settling into his new home and new job very well.  Each day he gets to practice walking over poles, free lunging a little bit in the indoor arena, and keeping up with his ground manners.  He is soooooo cute and seems to be a very quick learner.  He is trusting us more each day, and he is letting us put him into uncomfortable new situations without adverse reactions.  He is brave and curious,  I am looking forward to seeing him under saddle in March.