"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

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Burghley Stalking 2012

The most challenging 4* event in the world is taking place right now.  After watching only a few dressage rides today while stuck in the office, maybe I should go to England next year.  I can't even imagine what an adventure it would be.  (Psst - Mom, we should go to England instead of going to Sea Isle City.  Think about it.)

Here's the basic information:

  • August 30 to September 2
  • 85 international entries from 10 nations 
    • Only 5 mares are competing
  • Thursday and Friday - dressage
  • Saturday - cross country
  • Sunday - show jumping
  • Last year's winners, William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk, are in contention again.  
    • This could be WFP's 7th win at Burghley. 
  • American representatives
    • Erin Sylvester
    • Kristi Nunnick
    • Kate Hicks
    • Allison Springer
    • Will Faudree
    • Sinead Halpin

Cross Country

Watch the recaps at Burghley.tv (but not when the boss is around!) 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Return of the... mediocre blog posts.

After a major hiatus from writing, here is my triumphant return.  Many people have been waiting for my next blog installation.  For example, Rob has been texting me every day for a new post detailing every last equine moment of my weekends.  Ha, I totally just lied, especially about the Rob part. 

Since I last wrote, a lot has happened!  I ran two more 5Ks, competed in three novice events, celebrated a birthday, enjoyed the Olympics through hours of TV and internet, and bought a new horse.  

 Sitta and I.
 Dad and I on the river.

My last 5K in June was the Hershey Miracle race.  Amanda and Julie ran with me and the extra support was huge!  I finished in 32:50.  Admittedly,  I haven't run much since then and it's showing! There's a run at Gravel Hill, right by my parents house, in October and I should do it.

My 28th birthday was a quiet event.  The folks at work took me out to dinner, which was much appreciated.  M&D pitched in to help buy me a Point Two air vest! Go Safety!

(Random observation - Sunday night tv is disappointing.)

I love the Olympics.  Not everyone will agree, but I thought NBC and Comcast did a great job with the coverage.  The eventing was amazing to watch.  Michael Jung is outrageous!  While the US didn't have the best trip in the equestrian events, the big sports had some major moments.   My Olympic obsession - Oscar Pistorius.  Oh, and he has race horses.

Archie and I completed three novice recognized events - MCTA, Fair Hill, and Seneca Valley.  Lauren, Amanda, and I made a weekend out of the trip to SV.  Piece of advice, don't run a 5K on Saturday and event on Sunday unless you know you can.  Yeesh, that weekend was a bit much.  

Archie and Aileen have made such an impact on my riding this year.  When at one of my lowest points, Aileen stepped in and offered me what I needed.  I haven't properly thanked Aileen and I don't know how I truly could.  Archie gave me a huge boost in the few months we worked together.  

Our last XC run did not go as I expected.  Archie jumped everything but I felt like he was laboring to make short work of the course.  A week later, we found out that his RF tendon was very sore.  The vet told me that with a lot of time off and rehab, he could come back to the Novice or Training level.  The decision is ultimately Aileen's, but I couldn't justify risking Archie's long term riding so he had a month off and has been doing light work for the month of August.  I hopped on him Friday night and he feels spectacular.  Archie is staying at Walnut Hill in "semi-retirement."  He has a very special role in the barn for us girls as we depend on him to teach us.  He is also a great babysitter for my new horse!

Oh yeah, I got a new horse.  Sherwin Williams has proven to be what I've wanted!  The timing was right.  I called his owner, Jen, shortly after Archie's news to find out if she knew of a horse which might work for me.  Only days before, she had decided to sell Win/Winsome/Sherwin.  Two weeks after the phone call, we had a great schooling day at Carousel and I brought him home!  Win is a 13 y/o Paint who has done several Training level events.  He also is extremely cute, snuggles, and is just adorable.  Can you tell how in love I am?

 Day 1. 
 Being Lauren's back rest in between jumper rounds.

We didn't waste any time getting out and eventing.  After only 7 weeks together, we tackled our first horse trial today.  Dressage was better than at home, I let him roll through stadium too fast and we pulled a rail, and then I took a fence for granted and he ran to the left about two strides before it.  Not exactly a great start, but I learned so much from the event that I wouldn't have learned without going out there.  I am still smiling and so very excited about our future.  (Sssshhhh, Fair Hill on Sept 15.)

Many, many thanks to Valerie (Rough Coat Photography) for these fantastic photos of our first HT.  

 Oh, don't worry, Tyler is doing quite well.  He is the same - fat, happy, and in charge.  Hmm, is that the dictionary definition of spoiled?