Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tryon Week Two

After three days of showing Barbie and I packed up Jack (my super truck) and "The Palace"(my trailer) and zipped on back to Aiken. It two days to do all the laundry,clean the trailer,rotate the tires wash the trailer and repack and we were back on the road to Tryon again for week two of serious training.

This time we were loaded with Beautiful Harry.Harry has been on the back burner since my pathetic show jumping crash at Pine Top in February. I seriously regret taking my eyes off that jump and looking away for a split second. The results of that mistake I am now really having to pay for.Slowly but surely we have made it back to the show ring.Harry is the most beautiful boy and we must allow him the time he needs to tell us what he wants to do.

As I am so focused on trying to ride better and be quieter I chose to let someone else ride Harry for me.I have never done that before.It was very helpful to see the horse from the ground and be able to detatch.It was not until the third day that we saw our boy come back into himself.Though he placed in two classes(again we only want steady clears no time)I was glad to be able to see the progress made.Clayton is a star on horses and rode Harry like a champ.

Peter,Zidane and I slogged it back in the jumper ring moving up all the way round. Peter won his first class again and we were flabergasted!I actually am starting to feel the magic back up I have missed for so long. I do not smoke but.....OOOOOOOOOOooooohhhh made me feel like I needed a cigarette if you know what I mean.Could I actually be getting a grip on this stuff?

Zidane was his usual delicious self.I am going to spend some more time getting him more broke on the flat now.Vick rode him for me in two classes. What fun to see him jump.Zidane is easier for me to ride than Peter as he is a different type. But what a luxury to have the chance to ride two beautiful boys!

I simply had the best time up there with The Russell family. Talk about great team spirit.Everyone roots and cheers for everyone else and the operation runs like a well oiled machine.It was hot in the afternoons,and some might say it's boring waiting for the classes etc. Not me. There was no time to be bored. Once I got done with my baby classes,the big boys jumped all afternoon and I was glued to the rail. Watching Vick and his team jump and jump and jump ALL DAY!!! was enough for me.

Nights were great fun too. Several really nice parties with great fun people.I am fully enamoured with the dark side.I have some really great memories from this show. My best birthday present was watching Vick ride Zidane,and sitting in the wicker chair during a thunderstorm laughing,listening to the summer rain,late at night. And watching the rains clear for himself to drive away in Whitey the MG without a drop on him...Almost as good as the back up feeling.....

We are back home now gearing up for another Better riding clinic. They have been well attended. We start early and are done before it's really hot and people have been great about following up with their lessons as that's what it's all about.I
can't wait to jump River,Norman,Pumpkin,Gunther all week. My goal is to jump EVERY EVERY DAY FOREVER!

But we will get back to dressage and cross country too.

Paradise is hoppin'. We are ready for another round of mowing and jump painting. Even getting geared up for the fall event already. Where does the time go.

I hope everyone out there is having a good summer too.Thanks to everyone for their support. Riding is just too much fun right now.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Then and Now

I do not seem to write much anymore.I sure think a lot and wish I had the time to write.

My Last blog was about Jersey Fresh.I was very excited to go and was ready to do the job. But I fell off. My memories of the event are not good. I like the facility very much. Though I thought the ground could have had more attention,I thought the Cross country was terrific and I was sad not to have been able to complete the course.The worst part for me was asking for advice from someone I thought would be helpful and constructive and I was dumbfounded by the response. I was told I wasn't committed enough to the sport. That I should make a decision to be more committed to the sport or more committed to the farm cause if I did not make more of a commitment to the sport I would just fall off every time I rode.

It was a very long twelve hours back from New Jersey and I wanted to just give up when I got home.The event was a bust. Though I was happy Peter was safe and sound.How could someone say that to me?WOW. And this person is an experienced rider. Well there was a lot of internal confusion for a while. I talked about it with a few people and got a myriad of opinions.Thank God for the opinion of one of the officials that saw my fall and I decided not to shoot myself after all and go on.

So,screw those words in NJ. Paradise Farm is so beautiful. All my flowers are in great bloom this year. The berries are popping out everywhere. The honey suckle smells heavenly.One of the days highlights are feeding our huge catfish.I may have fallen off but I am still a person and have worked damn hard for what's here.

I am not happy about the way some eventers are thinking and where they are going at the moment.As much as I would have loved to have won in New Jersey and be on the cover of eventing media,,,hey,,I am winning my own event.That event may not win any gold medals or gain me huge sponsorship,but there are other dividends.

That was then and this is now.I just came back from a Hunter Jumper show up in Tryon,North Carolina.Barbie and I went up there with Zidane and Peter Pan to learn how to jump better.It was my first show with Zidane.He has only been over from Holland a little over a month.

I had a fantastic experience. I cannot wait to go back.Instead of thinking of giving up ,I am encouraged.I had three days of excellent instruction.I had a teacher. I had a coach.I had every step and jump analyzed. I made mistakes and was reprimanded a few times,but on the third day ,I got real close to a few compliments.I was spoon fed. I needed it. And I want it. YES AT MY LEVEL!!!!!! Who the HELL wouldn't. That's what we want is support.When it's bad...OK Deal. Get better get over it. Work hard..Not committed? You must be joking ,blind,threatened, or jealous.

I saw a master at work this week.I saw a man ride 30 rides a day with amazing grace and style. A HUGELY popular man with class and style that I did not see in New Jersey I promise you.He rode all day,had horses and people coming out his ears.He gave everyone his time.He is a pro.I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to have had this time.

Peter was great. He was champion in the meter ten division,winning two classes.He was second in the meter fifteen. Zidane is like jumping into a swimming pool full of whip cream. He is so soft over the jumps.I didn't win at Jersey fresh but I won when I found Peter Pan in that field in Florida three years ago. And to have gone to Holland and connected with Zidane is a miracle.Zidane placed in most of his classes but I was there to learn not win. The ribbons didn't matter. I did not go for time at all. Just the steady clears.I am not ready for time yet.My goal is to own it at meter thirties one day....(If you had seen how nervous I was at the meter classes!)

Learning how to ride better is enough.I am not ready to win yet. I still have to learn how to ride.I'm going to try and keep my hand off the brake and just learn to use the gas better.

I have to Thank everyone up there this week for such a great time. Thanks to Barbie for all her hard work,Antonio for managing Paradise.And to the world's greatest for helping me buy Zidane.What an honor to have one like him to learn on.Thats another story.........And to my new inspiration.