Friday, March 27, 2009

Attitude is EVERYTHING

I don't know who I write these things for more.Me,to tell myself to shut up and get on with it or for anyone else out there that might find themselves in similar situations or experience similar feelings.

I wish I was blogging on about my great spring season with the devils.Riverdance should have debuted at PSG in dressage by now and the devils should have had at least 3 prelim runs under their belts.I should be one run away from a one star with three wonderful horses.I should be 30 pounds thinner,much richer,calmer and happy with all that I have instead of tearing myself up with the dramatizing what everyone else is doing.

As the daffodils have come and gone, the grass turns greener, tulips and dogwoods start popping out , it is getting very close to the big "R" and the big" B".I have lived so many many years of my life with Rolex and Badminton in my sights in springtime I am getting itchier and itchier as I sit day by day in the golfcart with my leg still in pieces.Hearing the results from all the spring events drives me crazy.I feel further and further away from qualifying for anything and sometimes I feel so lost.I warn you eventers out there.Do not do what I often do.Do not equate your own self worth as a person with whether or not you are competing.BE CAREFUL!Do not let a rail,or a stop,or a silly mistake take you to the depths of where I often send myself.

I do take great pleasure in watching my horses get ridden by others.And I am so very very very lucky to be able to teach so many wonderful people.I have to SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY remind myself of what a great luxury it is to be alive and have the chance to spend all day watching horses.I must be patient and I know I will be back in the saddle again. I have to fight the meltdowns , the MYRIAD of doubts and tantrums with a vengence.I have to fight of the keeping up with the Jones syndrome.

Sitting in the sand arena,watching all the rigs go up and down the road all day,shuffling to schooling sessions ,lessons,training and events makes me itchy.I try to stay busy.Again ,thankyou to everyone for coming and riding at the farm.Teaching really helps take away the bad stuff.I know how much my lessons mean to me and being able to give back to others means a great deal.

I have a new teacher in my life that is helping work on my own fitness.And this is really helping me.I do not know how not to be in training for something.Working on my own fitness and balance is something I wish I had alotted more time for and I fully intend on maintaining this even when I get back to riding full time.I really enjoy learning and boy oh boy I am learning a lot.This is where I improve my attitude.Now I have something ELSE to GRUNT about!

I cannot wait to get back to riding.I am probaly looking at another 3-4 weeks.My current goal is to be walking by Rolex.This years competition should be amazing.A stellar field for sure.Fingers crossed for everyone entered.These last few weeks are very exciting.(Understatement)
I cannot wait to get back to where I was.I know I will feel very differently once I can get back to my routine,the saddle and the devils.

Stay tuned! Grunt Grunt Grunt

Monday, March 9, 2009

Just Want to Thank Everyone

Tomorrow I have to go to The Hughston clinic in Ga.,to have the leg checked out.This is a great opportunity to have some serious gurus put me back together.My local doctors didn't want to see it for 2 weeks so my first big thankyou goes to Alina Strickland.To all of you riders out there ,she is a WIZ with insurance and finacial planning and everyone that does what we do needs her.My healing will be all due to her.

Thanks to EVERYONE that has been helping at the farm.Barbie,Antonio,Tommy and all my friends that have been helping put the event away.Thanks to my mother for driving me around.I seriously contemplated driving the golfcart to jumping branch over the weekend but chickened out.

Thanks to all my friends that keep reminding me how strong I am and that I'll get through it.You should have witnessed my pity party after watching the Rolex DVD yesterday.I wasn't so strong then.I waddled on out to the golf cart and drove out to the stable and paddocks after everyone was gone and just stared at all the horses and got my !!!!!!!! back together.The horses are amazing.The farm is amazing and I have to suck it up!

Best thing that happened today was watching my friend Nina Fout jump her horses around Paradise.That brought me back to earth.Thats what the farm is about.I also taught a bunch of lessons and that's very rewarding too.

I am looking forward to my road trip tomorrow.Good or bad,they'll probaly plaster me up.I have been in just a splint and I'm looking forward to the a cast so the crunching will go away.Stay tuned and thanx to all that have been there.It is a great feeling to have so many friends. Arf Arf!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fighting The Demons

Everyone has their demons.There are confidence,self esteem,courage,control,steering,pace,money,time,and one of my favorites,the keeping up with the jones demons.Comparing oneself with what one sees around,is a realy deadly one.

Sitting in the golfcart for the past week has been a real bore ,I can tell you.Having lots of horses and riders at the farm over the weekend all excited about their outings at Jumping Branch was difficult to swallow.I was so pleased for all of them and everyone had a great time.But it was hard to stay here and watch them all go.I chose not to go over but stay here at the farm and teach.And that was fun.I truely enjoy seeing everyone learn new tools and enjoy their horses.

Barby is hacking out all the devils and the weather has been so beautiful I have to be honest and feel a bit put out about not being able to ride them myself.But I am very lucky to have her ride them and take such geat care of them and this should pass fairly soon.I am having the big boy doctors look at me on tuesday and I HOPE they will just slamm me in plaster and tell me to keep my leg over my head for another 2 months.I HOPE I will be able to at least hobble around Kentucky on my own two feet and not on the D#!!!! crutches.UGH I hate crutches!I am definately not weight bearing by any means but I am also not in enough pain to make me want to stay in bed.So I wander around.Teach a few lessons.Go pick up flowers still left on the XC from the event,watch the horses and then find a few other things to do.

Today I watched last years Rolex and that really sent me to the pits of hell and afterwards there were so many demons around that I came up here to read E mails.Watching how well everyone rode last year made me feel I'll never get back to anywhere.I know that is wrong but sometimes its helpful to someone else out there reading these silly blogs to know that everyone feels bad sometimes.Just last week ,I was so keen to get the devils back preliminary.I was even envisioning Intermediate in the near future with Pickles.

Having gone from over 20 years riding and training advanced ,it is a completely different world when one starts over.I have always been bringing young horses on but always could at least keep my finger in the pie of the upper levels.Riding my current devils and Riverdance is still jumping big fences,it keeps you going.But I am on full stop and can't do it at all right now.

I am not being patient and I am grumpy.I want to ride.GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.So life in Paradise isn't so great at the moment!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

More Ups and DOWNS

Thursday after the Derby,I was VERY READY to get back on my horses and have a serious day of dressage.I crunched in about 9 rides and was a DEAD DOG at the end of the day.I got off my last horse and simply looked at Barbie and said,I'll see you tomorrow.I drug myself into the house,crawled into the bed and that was it.

The cumulative effects of the past weeks stress ,with the Horse Trials and Jumping Derby really kicked me in the you know where.There was no supper that night,only groaning .But I had SUPER rides on my horses that day and went to La La land thinking about really fun shoulder-ins and legthenings.I was so excited about my horses.Things were really looking good.

The next day was the beginging of some pretty bad weather.I got to Show Jump Peter over the prelim fences out on the Jumping Derby Course.He ate it up.Then it started pourring.The Next day was even worse weather wise but we managed to Show Jump Harry and Pickles before more bad weather stopped us cold.They too were amazing and I couldn't have been happier.We were right on track.

Since Sunday was a washout I attacked my office and threw away a pickup trucks worth of old papers.I was going crazy not riding but I really felt it wasn't worth it and I got a lot of other things done.Monday was a hack day and then TUESDAY was DISASTER DAY!!!!

Pickles was my first ride and jumped around my prelim course like a real pro.WE had to break the ice in the water jump before jumping and I think that made him a bit leery.But he was a star.I watched a Badminton video over the weekend and I think Pickles is a horse very much like Mary Kings Apache Sauce.They are both chestnut with a lot of white and go with a very high head carriage.

Harry was also a star on the XC.I couldn't have been prouder of him.

Peter came out a bit spooky and was on the muscle and not straight.I warmed him up and he gave me a few ducks and dives and snorts and then got on with it.He overjumped in the beginning and was distarcted.So I played around with some lower level stuff until I felt he was connected enough to go on.So he pinged a few corners and jumped a few more and I headed him down to another corner and WHACK!The devil ran out to the left and I caught the inside of my right foot right in the arch and it snapped my leg in two!I felt it go.So I pulled up and sat there for a minute.And yes I felt that familiar pain and I saw green.Definately green.I associate green with fractures.Fractures bring intermitant pain and I could move my leg around so I picked up my reins and went onto jump about 5 more fences.A few more corners and when I got over to the high side of the field,I pulled up and waved to Barbie and said I've done enough.She said why and I said,I think my leg is broken."WHAT??????"So I rode Peter in(No pain) I got off .Of course by then everyone was in a panic.Antonio pulled off my boot(more green)and there it was.

OK,several hours later(I got to watch the whole days soap operas) I got the news and a splint and when the swelling goes away I will get a cast.Word is at the moment 4-6 weeks.

So ANOTHER Spring season is gone.This happened to me 3 years ago almost to the day.I had a great year last year so..........................I vascilated between having someone else ride the horses but decided to just let it all go.

Peter is not hurt and finished on a good note.I am sad about not being able to qualify this season for the one stars but maybe this fall.I have 3 great horses and can't wait to get back on.

In the meantime I have LOTS to do.LOTS of thankyous to everyone for all their support with the event.I am getting ready for some TV time with RFD TV,that should be fun.I hope to teach a lot and will do everything I can to get back on track.So stay tuned! You never know what will happen next!

Paradise Jumping Derby

On Wednesday Feb.25 Paradise hosted it's second annual Jumping Derby.This year we moved the competition out to the cross country course ,rather than the upper show jumping field.This decision was made due to the fact that all my portable cross country jumps were securely staked into the ground and it was FAR to much effort to pull up all the stakes and move everything.So the show jumping course went out there! It was a risk to do but better take that risk than deal with my temper tantrum that was rapidly arising as we spent HOURS pulling the wretched stakes up.

At this time of year I get very itchy to get back into the saddle and as I am screaming at a bunch of metal stakes and hauling jumps around I felt myself becoming very volcanic.I employed my deep breathing and many shrink techniques learned over the years,and designed the show jumping track,then found the XC jumps to go along with the 4 divisions.

This process took every bit of two days.I was stapling paper plates onto the jumps in the dark.DEFINATELY asking myself what in GODS name was I doing this for?Answer?I want to build another water jump,So I can do all of this even more!Can you say MORTGAGE?Can you say PAYMENTS?Oh no,I say BUILD MORE!

So I hadn't done the four course maps or this and that and I woke up at 1.15 and got cracking wednesday morning in the frost.

The Jumping Derby was great fun and everyone liked their courses.I am very greatful to all of those that came.WE had about 75 rides.A bit down from last year but enough to make it all worthwhile.

I think jumping derbies are great experiences for the horses and riders.They are informal but we make every effort for the riders to present their horses to real questions so everyone comes away having had a great school.I look forward to having the next one.