"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

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I couldn't live without my iPhone Calendar.

Busy I have been!  I thought the winter would give me some down time.  Apparently I have been very wrong.

January 29th marked a year of owning Fred.  What a silly horse!  I wouldn't give him up for anything.  He's been on phenobarb since the beginning of January for his twitch.  I've been allowed to put him back into work, too!  Last Friday we saw the twitch for a few minutes at dinner time.  It was gone as soon as it came though and it's the only time we've seen it.  The riding was going very well until he pulled a shoe off this weekend.  His return to full time work will be slower than I'd like and that's all my fault.  Having only 3-4 days a week to ride him limits what we can do.  If Fred can go three months twitch free, we can start the slow process of weaning him off the drugs.

How could you not love this face?

Yes, I did things that weren't completely barn related.  Sorta.  I made a trip to the Farm Show with Amanda for dinner one night.  I hadn't been there in two or three years.  I feasted.  No really, I did.  Beef sandwich, cheese cubes, sweet potato, and of course, a milk shake.  We walked around the place and saw the usual fun attractions.  

Another great weekend was when Jackie visited! We hadn't seen each other in a while.  Sadly, I had to leave her alone for a few hours while it snowed at I was at the barn.  We had a relaxing weekend just handing out and yet again, a feast was included.  The entire family sat down for an awesome seafood dinner.  Jackie is coming back in March for a dinner party!  That reminds me, I need to schedule a dress shopping date.

I didn't think I could convince Jackie to get in the saddle.  St. Patrick toted her around and she had a great time!  She even rocks the eventing helmet.

Saturday mornings have been packed full of riding lessons.  I'm really enjoying teaching and the feedback I get.  Everyone is making progress and I'm really excited for the riders. 

Work keeps me plenty busy.  We had a few Monday to Friday on site weeks.  We're working long hours and making a ton of progress.  

 Replacing our energy source.

There's a lot more everyday stuff to write about, but the most important thing going on right now is preparing for Aiken! We leave on Saturday, February 25 around 4am.  Lauren, Laura, and Alexa and I are making the trek to Sally's for a week.  We're a little over 2 weeks until departure!  The trailer is ready to go and the truck gets checked out this weekend.  The vet stops by Friday to do health certifications and coggins.  

Patrick and I are doing well together.  I feel very comfortable taking him to Aiken.  In fact, let's not lie, I'm thrilled and excited for this opportunity.  Patrick will teach me a lot.  If I can't take Fred, Patrick is working out to be the next best thing.  We had a great lesson with Sarah.  She helped me loosen him up a bit and we had a few snorts as a reward!  We jump around fairly easily together which is a big, big, BIG relief for me.  

I can't finish this post on a happy note unfortunately.  Linus, a wonderful family and barn dog, was lost on January 29.  He was a Bernese Mountain dog who had such a great life and lived to be 10 years old!  His kind soul always made you feel better.  In the almost five years I knew Linus, I never saw a child be afraid of him.  You just knew Linus was a gentle giant.  No matter the weather, Linus always used the Berner ways to sit on your feet and keep you warm.  I always appreciated that Linus never moved when you stepped over him in the tack room.  He will be very much so missed as the big black blob, the watch dog in the back of the truck, and as the happy soul that could make you smile.  His family, both immediate and extended at the farm, miss him terribly.  

We miss you, big dog.  Linus didn't care how you looked.

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