"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Video update

I haven't made the time for an update.  I have had time to write, but haven't.  So for now, I'm posting this video of Fred and I.

Here's the link if the video doesn't work.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's about to get busy.

After 6 months of being home, I return to the traveling consultant lifestyle.  I'll be driving to the DC area through October for project work.  While I'll probably not keep my platinum status with Delta for next year, I'm ok with being only 3 hours away from home.

Since the last blog, Fred has returned to full work.  He had a lesson with Sarah on Friday.  We worked on canter departs.  Right now that is the most glaring issue in our dressage tests.  I figure we have all winter to make us a real dressage team.  While the weather's warm, we're going for the basics in order to get out and earn mileage competing.  

Fred also rode in my trailer Friday!  He had a small bit of chemical relaxation, I won't hide that fact.  He was very well behaved getting on and off the trailer and while we drove around the block.  

Yesterday morning I took him outside and let him jump.  Oh boy, was he happy to jump.  It was a month since I last jumped him.  Thankfully, I knew what to expect after the fences.  I trotted a single fence and made him stop on a straight line several times.  There was a lot of happy dancing/flailing on the other side of the fences.  I managed to stay with him, pretty or not, and by the end we were cantering around over two jumps with normal flailing.  

Thankfully, Fred and I had 6 months to figure each other out and I think we can adapt to my work schedule going forward.  Of course this means I've asked Lauren to ride him once a week.  Yet again, she said she would. :P

My parents' and the Susquehanna Yacht club hosted a successful 4Diamonds Boating Day for the 4Diamond kids at Hershey.  We all got a little wet at lunch but managed to get out on the river before the next round of weather came in.  Well done, everyone!  

While I had a little break between projects this week, I did some fall planning:

August 21: help the HVS crew at Carousel HT
August 31 - Sept 3: Quentin Riding Club fall show (helping out as I can)
September 10: Fair Hill Starter Trial
September 17: Beaufort Hunter Trials
September 18: Olney Starter Trial (Fred is entered!)
September 24: Penn State vs. E Michigan.  We have seats 11 rows from the field!  You can hear the helmets crash at that level.
September 27 - October 2: Dressage at Devon.  I've never been but might go this year.
October 2: Burgundy Hollow mix 'n match.  Hoping for N dressage and stadium with a BN XC round.
October 12 - 16: Fair Hill **/***.  Maybe I'll spectate this year.
October 30: Plantation Starter Trial

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

MKE and Lauren saves the day.

Let's start with my trip to Milwaukee.  I flew from Detroit to MKE after a week in Ann Arbor.  I was already half way to MKE, might as well just go.  I hadn't seen anyone there since the middle of February when I left for Aiken.  I spent Friday night with Donna, Tianna, and Danielle.  Tianna was extra nice and let me crash at her place Friday night.  It was good to hear everyone is doing well.

 Tianna, Me, Danielle, and Donna

Saturday I spent a few hours at Pigeon Creek Farm.  I saw almost all the regulars.  I spent most of my time with Anne.  I wish I could bring her to PA on a regular basis.  She's an amazing teacher of riding skills and life skills.  Parker and I said hello.  He is even cuter than I remember! 

After my PCF visit, I went next door to a farm where I met my friend Diane.  We watched an afternoon of dressage lessons in a clinic with Tom Noone.  It's a beautiful facility and talented pairs of horses and riders, but I reached my DQ limit quickly.

Diane was so nice to host me for the evening.  She and her husband made a tasty dinner and we sat around talking for a long time over glasses of wine.  It was very soothing to talk to her.  

Sadly, my weekend in Milwaukee ended very quickly Sunday morning as I had a noon flight home.

I landed in Cincinnati around 2pm and Lauren left me a text to call her.  She reported in that instead of cantering under saddle for the first time in almost a month, Fred had a fever of 104 and respiratory problems.  Lauren, who is my hero, stayed with that horse all afternoon until I finally arrived around 7pm.  She helped the vet tube him with liquid and electrolytes and monitored him all day.   All of this after riding him for a week while I was gone.

Monday I spent the day working from the barn while Fred had his sick day.  He held a normal temp and was mostly his silly self.  Unlike Tyler, Fred likes the constant attention.  Fred is back to his regular rations and turn out.  I'm hoping for a half hour lesson of walk/trot work with Sarah on Friday.  It's been 10 days since I've ridden.  :(

Tyler is very happy and healthy.  I stopped by to give him some carrots between Fred related errands.  Tyler is filthy and I need to schedule some bath time for him.  It's apparent that I'm the only who is bothered by his yellow coloring.  TRose will not be thrilled by the cleaning process.  Too bad for him!

On the work front, this is my last week on the website project I've had since late April.  No love lost there.  I'm not sure what's next but I'm hoping I get back to Maximo work.

I think that's all I've got.  I took some Michigan photos last week of the stadium and a bus, but my Penn State blood prevents me from posting anything.  Ewwww.... 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Start again.

It's been a while since I've blogged.  Imagine, I have been busy with work.  I was in NY July 11-15 and then home for two weeks.  This week I am in Ann Arbor, MI.  It's all work for the same project.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  I applied for an IBM project in Paris, France for three weeks in September. 

Tyler has been in the field for a month.  He seems content, possibly a little bored.  I see him once a week.  It should be more often, but I haven't had enough hours in the day.  Yesterday when I stopped by, he started towards the diesel as soon as I pulled in the driveway.  It kind of felt like I was driving the ice cream truck.  Don't worry, he has plenty of mints and consumed at least a pound of carrots yesterday.

Stacey re-examined Fred on July 20, ten days after the great escape.  She was pleased with his progress and we received the go ahead for work. I can't explain how relieved I was to hear the good news.  We're on the start again plan and trying to make Fred stronger and fitter than I had him before.  After a week of walking, which gave me a good chance to focus on his free walk, we trotted Friday night.  Fred did not feel like a horse who kicked his way out of a trailer.  Yesterday, we did a few steps of lateral work with the help of Stephanie.  I need a lot more practice than Fred does.  Lauren takes over the ride on Fred this week. Something tells me she won't mind working him.

Lauren has the ride until next Monday.  I'm in Ann Arbor until Friday afternoon and then spending the weekend in Milwaukee.  It's been 5 months since the VA project ended.  I'm excited to see so many people that I had to unexpectedly leave.  I may end up at the Wisconsin State Fair!  (See 2010 summer blogs that feature fried PB&J, chocolate covered bacon, and the swimsuit competition.)  

Anyway, I have lots of website defects to sort, record, and calculate.  Back to the grind.

Oh, my birthday was Monday and I had a great weekend with everyone and the client I'm working for this week had peanut butter and chocolate pie for me.  I can't complain. :)  Oh, 27 is soooooooooooo old.