Trying to make it to Rocking Horse….

It’s been a really long week.  Between the career ending injury that Elissa’s advanced horse has suffered, the outbreak of the EHV-1 virus that is shutting down Ocala, and the added stress of having to Gus to Murphy’s barn tomorrow, I am just hoping that I get to actually compete at Rocking Horse.

It’s a very long, and complicated story about health certificates, contagious diseases, and quarantines.  The up to date news is that Florida borders are still open for horse travel, and I should be able to get out of here on Monday morning.  Rocking Horse is scheduled to run tomorrow, although many people have scratched, including all of the horses at Jon and Jenn Holling’s farm and Dorothy Henry’s farm.  All but Gus, that is.  Elissa thought that I should still do the show,  and thankfully I was able to keep Gus at Murphy’s barn until Monday morning when we ship out.

Gus had a fantastic last dressage lesson today, and yesterday jumped around his intermediate course well.  Murphy had a great jump lesson tonight, and he is probably done until I get home.

Tomorrow I will ride dressage at 9:52 and stadium at 11.  After that,  I will spend the afternoon walking my xc course and getting ready for Saturday’s ride.  Saturday we will do xc early in the morning.  David Stackhouse is meeting me after I’m done icing and wrapping Gus’s legs to measure us for a new dressage saddle.  Very exciting stuff. Will let you all know how it goes, but probably not until Sunday.


MURPHY HAS A NEW VIDEO ON YOUTUBE.COM.  Type in Wetherbrookejoy and look for today’s date.









No show today! of the many barn dogs
Adrian….one of the many barn dogs

The weather has turned ugly for the first time in the 6 weeks I’ve been here.  Long wood canceled their show for  today……thank goodness.  It’s like a monsoon outside , and I’ve decided to catch up on my laundry.  Gus and I will be doing our ride in Jon’s covered arena today, and Murphy might just get a day off.

Gus and Murphy will both get jumping lessons Tomorrow and dressage lessons Thursday before Gus and I head to rocking horse Friday for what I hope to be our first completed intermediate horse trials.



The weather turned sunny at noon, and Gus did well in his dressage work outside next to the jumps.  I did his tail and touched up his clip job for this weekend.  I washed some boots and stripped his stall.   It was a great day to catch up on some barn chores.



a VERY ROUGH piece from a chapter in my book

Driving into town across the old cobblestone streets, I could feel the nausea begin seep its way through every pore in my being.   To this day, over 15 years later, the feeling can be reproduced in my body as I recall my days teaching at Nelsonville-York.  For two years I taught science at Nelsonville-York Jr. High and lived in Buchtel, a town of 500 people right outside of the Nelsonville city limits.  The two years I spent there included some of the best and worst times of my life.   I already knew I was not meant to be a teacher, or at least not of this type, and as my first day as a new teacher began, the feeling was magnified.  I’ll never forget the words of wisdom spoken to me by a fellow teacher as I led my students to my classroom following our “Welcome back to school!” assembly in the auditorium on that first morning of the new school year.  He said to me, in all seriousness,  “Welcome to trial by fire.  Don’t let them see you smile, it’s a sign of weakness.”  What in the world did I get myself into, I thought to myself.

Nelsonville was a place stricken by poverty.  Once a booming coal town, all that was left of that period were remnants of the past.  Brick and mortar fossils served as a reminder of its grand history, when villagers attended the opera, and the town held its head high in economic prosperity.    Through my rose colored glasses, I could see clearly the beauty that once was, and it saddened me to no end.

The building where I taught for two years was half condemned.   A relic of a building that had once boasted two wings full of bright eyed children, was now down to one. The hallway that used to connect the two wings together was boarded shut, and the windows on the condemned half had been broken out with stones over the years.  What once had been a spectacular colonial style building housing the future of the coal industry, stood quietly abandoned.   It’s brother next door, barely functioning, lasted a few more years before reaching the same destiny.  Throughout the years there had been talk of remodeling the buildings, but due to their age and condition, it was cheaper just to build a new school.

The windows in my classroom went from the ceiling down to the top of the heater, about 4 feet off of the floor.  The ceilings were extremely high, and the entire wall was filled with the gigantic windows.  The windows were old, and somewhere during their years, had been stripped of all their curtains and blinds.  For part of the day, the sun would shine in so brightly that I had trouble seeing my students at their desks, and the overhead projector was no match for the bright yellow nemesis hop over to this web-site. During the warmer weather, the huge amount of sunlight created a warmth in the room that was nearly unbearable.    I mentioned my dilemma to the principal and the school custodian, hoping for a solution to the problem.  When I arrived back in my classroom that Monday morning, my windows had been spray painted black from the ceiling down,   leaving me about 4 feet of clear windows from the heaters upward.  Problem solved.






I met Dr. Specht this morning to do Murphy’s health papers, but due to the recent case of equine herpes at HITS, he was unable to complete the process.  Horses at HITS under under quarantine for 21 days, and for a period of time the agriculture stations on the Florida border were not letting horses in or out.  The state requires health papers to be completed within 24 hours of departure.  It seems to be getting under control, so hopefully I will be able to leave on Monday the 4th as planned.

Elissa ended up finishing Pine Top on a score of 56.5.  She had a 40 in the dressage,  11.6 time penalties in xc, and one rail in the stadium this morning.  She finished 6th out of 18 riders.   I’m really excited for her and Cooper as they make their way to Red Hills and hopefully onto Rolex!