"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

Friday, September 2, 2011

Prepping for Olney and stalking Burghley.

The new project is going well.  It's a challenge, no doubt about it.  I'm working with software that IBM recently bought and as usual, I have no training on it.  The project sent me to Atlanta last week as a hall monitor.  The client was at the IBM facility for an intro to the software.  It gave me a chance to meet the people I'm working with and see the software.

I was able to sneak out to Chattahoochee Hills farm Wednesday night.  It is about 20 miles south of Atlanta.  The American Eventing Championships are held there from 2010-2012.  The site is astonishing.  There is a long lane that finally ends up at the top of a hill crest where you can see the beautiful stabling and rings to your left and the cross country course to your right.  The weather was very nice for August in Georgia.  I found a groundskeeper who gave me permission to walk the course.  The XC was still undergoing work.  Jumps were being set, the water complex had been drained and re-leveled, and there were sprinklers and aerators at work.  Photos from my adventure are posted on Flickr.  After being at the site, I'm hoping to win the lottery and qualify for next year's AECs.  The guest stabling is nicer that my house!

Back at home, things are quiet.  Quiet is always good.  Tyler is happy.  The latest report is that he mostly keeps to himself and grazes.  He has been taking advantage of gates left open and apparently looks coordinated and healthy as he comes running back to the barn when he hears the rattle of grain.

Fred and I are trying to prepare for Olney on Sept 18.  We've had a few unexpected bumps which are out of our control, but I think we're ok now.  My plan is to take him to Carousel on Sunday for XC with Sally and to Fair Hill Tuesday if needed.  The biggest hurdle, besides keeping the little bugger in one piece, is a work trip to Montgomery, Alabama right before the event.  I'll be counting on Cindy and Lauren to help me keep him going that week.  It's impossible to event without a team to help you.  

Rumor has it that Fred and I may compete against our good friends, Lauren and Napoleon at Olney.  The red heads should have a lot of fun there. 

Lauren and a very happy Fred out in the field at HVS.
Lauren and Napoleon over the training corner at Plantation.

Currently the biggest, baddest, and most intimidating three day event in the world is taking place.  The Burghley Horse Trial is amazing.  Take a walk around Saturday's cross country course with the designer, Captain Mark Phillips.  (Yep, same guy I will ignore if Sally's giving me directions.)  Nico Morgan's photos make me want to go out and spend a lot of money on a nice camera.  Eventing Nation has many links from the event.  Check out the US's best chance, Sinead Halpin, as she walks the first five fences.  Sinead finished 3rd this year at Rolex, she was the highest placed American.  The leaf pit just leaves me speechless.  And if the site is holding up to the demand, watch the replays of all the beautiful and crazy pairs compete.  


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