Feb 15, 2011

It never fails that the seemingly long winter whirls past me and the show season is up and running before I can say Happy New Year.  Amidst the many grand plans to get ahead on some projects and training, I find myself right back where I left off, and no idea where the months of November and December apparently went.  I managed to attend the United States Equestrian Team Foundation reception in Wellington, Florida … barely.  While we have been enjoying 75 degree weather here in California, the rest of the country has been hit hard with the real grit of winter, and that played a big part in causing airport closures that nearly prevented my travels.  I managed to get there at the eleventh hour, arriving in Palm Beach one hour before I needed to be at the reception, which was in Wellington.  With a quick shower and some hastily applied makeup I arrived late to a very upscale affair.  The organizers introduced themselves and mentioned that they wanted me to speak after the presentation of the award.  I was not prepared for that, but I think I gave a half-way passable thank you speech for all the donors in the room.  It all worked out okay and we were out of there in 30 minutes.  A friend of mine, Honey Beeman, came along for moral support, and I was thankful for her outgoing personality in such an intimidating room.  Thanks to her friendly nature and willingness to introduce the both of us to strangers, we met some really neat people and real legends in equestrian high performance.   Afterwards we went to dinner, and then got a few hours sleep before a 4:00 am wake up to catch an early flight back to California.

From one whirlwind to the next, I arrived home and got very busy preparing the horses for the upcoming event at Galway.  The day I returned home, I spent several hours in a pelting hail and thunder storm trotting Finn up the big hill.  As unhappy as I was about that, he was ten times as miserable.  On our second time up, he lost his patience and bolted with me nearly to the very top.  I was equally worried about him hurting himself and impressed with his athleticism, and I couldn’t help but hear the Rocky theme song playing in my head.  Even at the height of fitness, we usually just do a slow canter to the top, so when the next day he seemed to have no ill effects, I stopped worrying and went back to humming the song.  The following day was spent schooling McCool at Twin Rivers where he was really excellent.  Then it was off to Galway for the Fri – Sun event where I ran both horses slowly and tried to just get their feet wet for the season.  Both protested being held back on cross country, and though very strong, ran well and seemed glad to be out.  After Galway, we were off to Thousand Oaks for a training session with Mark Phillips through Saturday.  I had some frustrating lessons, and some wonderful lessons, and at the end of it, came home feeling like we’d accomplished a lot.  If you want to read more about the training session, you can read the reports I wrote for Eventing Nation. 

I hope to have an exciting year ahead of us.