Again with the big lapse in posts...trust me, it stares at me every day and says "When are you going to write again?"
The truth is that I've had quite a bit on my mind lately and, unfortunately, I feel much of it's just not best aired on my blog. I will say that there's quite a bit of turmoil in the local rescue world (in several areas) and it hurts my heart that the community is not united. I do have observations & opinions but I doubt that posting them would make anything better. All any of us want is to know the truth...what ever that truth is. I've found that empty spaces get filled with other people's creative version. The best policy is to tell the "whole" truth....and I'll leave it at that.
I have been finding time for fun despite the dark mood I've found myself in of late...
Dressage is still playing a front & center role and I'm kinda liking it! I captured myself a volunteer post for a couple of days at the Equestrian Institute's Chablis Sport Horse & Dressage Day and Beaujolais shows at Donida a few weekends ago. I got assigned Ring Steward at the warm-up arena and that was actually quite enlightening. Being a part of the inner-workings of the show and enteracting with people getting ready to ride their tests gave me some insight to what goes into it. Some folks were ready to go and if things were running fast, they were more than happy to start early. Other's wanted to get every moment possible to calm nerves or settle a horse they weren't 100% sure was ready.
The two days I was there was the weather was beyond challenging. We were supposed to be entering summer yet it was cold and rainy. What really impressed me most was the dedication of the riders. Here were these big fancy horses and the riders in their expensive show clothes out there in the sometimes pouring rain. There's no rain delay in this game! (take THAT Baseball!) The riders amazed me. While it wasn't exactly fun to stand out there stewarding them, that they were there, in spite of the weather, gave me the incentive to be there for them.
The show itself was run extremely well and it was easy to catch on to what needed to be done. They require you to sign up on the EI website as an official Equestrian Institute Volunteer. This way they can assign you tasks before the show and notify you of upcoming opportunities. The folks from EI were supportive, friendly and fun....and the bonus is that they give you gifts for helping!! Each day I got vouchers for food at the concession stand and the choice of a lovely gift based on the number of shifts worked. I walked away with a great folding chair with TWO cup holders and the Equestrian Institute Logo. I've already used it at another show and at my home barn watching Basil in training (more on that soon!). I liked it so much that I signed up for The Champagne Classic in two weeks.
Last weekend I was back at Donida again for their Dressage & Jumper schooling show. Ruth was there with Jack & Chrissy brought a whole crew from her barn. It was great fun to watch them all do their dressage tests and to see the girls do their jumper runs. In their height category, they took First, Second, Third & Fifth. The delight of the day was her Pony Bear with Lexi on board who took the Blue Ribbon!! He's one awesome little pony! I was so happy for everyone. They did such a great job!
Chrissy has challenge me to get Coconut out there & try a Dressage Test. At first I thought "no way!" it's hard enough to get her to listen to me sometimes, I could hardly imagine having her listen to me 100% for several minutes non-stop...but Chrissy has assured me that I can do this...and she has that way of knowing better than I do what I can do so I've downloaded Intro Test A & B and have been practicing at home on a smaller scale. In fact, today I walked her though both patterns just to get them into my head. I only had to refer to the copies I pinned to the arena rail once in between. I set up a much smaller dressage arena because we've had heavy rains the last two days (isn't it SUMMER???) so when it dries out a bit, I'll expand my pseudo arena and measure it out better. Maybe I'm being a wimp compared to the brave riders at the EI show, but our arena was not just wet, it was muddy and the footing makes me uncomfortable at anything above a walk (ok....we probably all know that's just a trot for the Nut & I). I did make her do some walking, standing & backing up in the puddles even though she's convinced it's not a place for the delicate hooves of the Arabian Princess!
I know some folks have been waiting on the next installment of the Great Paint Project...and that's something I REALLY need to catch up on because there's exciting stuff to tell about a certain two year old gelding...but I really need to get back to that story....
...and lastly...this weekend is FULL of birthdays....not only is it our Country's 234th but we're also celebrating SAFE Board Members Jenny (the 3rd) & Jaime (the 4th). So SAFE horses Lola & Jasmine got in the spirit of things and induldged me the following photo shoot....what good sports they were! The Birthday Party Pony Crew & I wish you, Jenny, Jaime & America, a very Happy Birthday!