"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

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Change is inevitable and change is good.

After the loss of Fred, I made some major changes in my life.  Ok, primarily my equine life but the rest of it too.

My very good friend Aileen made me an offer I couldn't refuse when I returned from Aiken.  Until I find a horse to buy, she is free leasing her appendix gelding Archie to me.  Archie and Aileen had several successful runs at Training last year.  Aileen recently purchased a beautiful mare allowing me to sneak Archie away for a few months.  I'm still horse shopping but very carefully and slowly.  

Archie and I are entered in my first recognized event on May 5, MCTA Shawan Downs.  I'm nervous and excited!

Along with the new ride, I'm at a new barn.  Archie moved in next to LClark and Pony at a wonderful facility in Manheim.  I miss HVS but am anxious to open new chapters. 

Outside of the horse life, Amanda and I completed our very first 5k today!  We had both started working out around the same time.  I nudged Amanda into a bit and she proved to be strong and resilient! I was really nervous if I could make my goal.  I felt like three 12 minute miles was reasonable and so wanted to finish around 36 minutes.  Turns out the race adrenaline helped and I ran it in 34:13!! I didn't walk and felt pretty good when I was done.  

My mom, my sister, and our BFF Jackie were there to cheer us on at the finish.  Ok, that was kind of freakin' cool.

 Me and Amanda pre-race
 Finish line!!
 Never thought I'd have a 5K tshirt that I earned.
 Me and Sitta "tailgating" before 8am with the Nav (work car!)

A very delayed continuation of the Aiken blog.

Wow, it's been too long since I've blogged.  Sadly, this means I'm doing an abbreviated post so I can catch up.

I traveled to Aiken with Lauren Gress again.  Why she puts up with me, who knows! We also went with the mom and daughter pair of Laura and Alexa.  Laura had to leave Moose at home with sore feet but Alexa brought her rockin' mare, Jewel.

The girls were spectacular!  Lauren and Poleon looked great coming out of winter.  They entered Sporting Days and focused on preparing all week.  Alexa and Jewel were introduced to jumping Novice fences and were AH-MAY-ZING.  Jewel was on springs and Alexa did her best to analyze the new challenge and adjust.  It was so cool to watch them.  Since Jess is green and Moose was at home, Laura and I enjoyed watching the girls and learning from their lessons.

Lauren and Poleon had a great go at Sporting Days.  The dressage ring was sloppy but Poleon sucked it up.  They show jumped very well.  The XC course looked awesome! They had a near perfect round.  Poleon has a H20 phobia and stopped at a log before the water complex.  Lauren made him do it on the second try and finished the rest of the course strongly.  There were a few fences, the brush and bench combo, that Lauren couldn't have done more perfectly.  It was so much fun to watch them!  

The pieces fell together so LClark, Gwen, Kelsea, and Antoinette were all at Sally's while we were.  I love those girls!  They are smart, hilarious, and supportive!  We had several meals with them full of good food and laughs.  I don't see any of them enough, even LClark, so I tried to make the most of the week with them.

All of the girls competed at Sporting Days and kicked ass.  We had a great week training, laughing, and entertaining Snuffy.  

 Susan and Trick
 Snuffy putting Martine through bootcamp.
 LClark and the pony.
 LClark and Scotch showing off.
 Gwen and Barney
 Gwen and Barney
 Lauren and the track kitchen
 Antoinette and James
 Antoinette and James getting big air.
 Laura :)
 Jack (minus Kelsea)
 Alexa and Jewel
 Alexa and Jewel
Annemarie and Cigar

The week in Aiken was outstanding and I'm not doing it justice.  It was a sad year, too, with just losing Fred.  There wasn't a better place for me.  A huge thank you to everyone who helped make the trip to Aiken a success.