Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Life is a highway....

I heard that song today, on the way to the barn of course, and I couldn't help but smile. I was a very lucky girl this last weekend and had a fabulous showing with the Minyan's horse, Havarah Charly; he had a very deserving win in the OP division of the AEC's. I'm getting a few days of the celebrity feel, I have a call to return tomorrow to the 4th reporter that I've been interviewed by so far... wow :) I think back to all the traveling to horse shows, lessons, clinics and even the daily trecks to the barn for the past 18 years and it's funny to me that the reporters are so intrigued that I came all the way from California. I think one of them should add up all the traveling us Californian's do on a routine basis! Basically what I'm saying is that my life has been a highway and I'd have to say that although bumpy at times I wouldn't have wished for any other trek.

Charly and I have been hard at work at 2 things; XC toughness and throughness in the dressage. Both came together in a great way last weekend; Charly seemed to know how big of an event this was and boldly paraded around the edge of the dressage court past BOTH judges and as we powered down center line and saw Loris Henry herself at the C box I smiled and knew I better ride the test of my life if we were to have any chance at a top placing. The test finished with a lengthen trot across the diaganol then up center line, Charly put in the ultimate of lengthen trots that literally gave me goosebumps and the biggest smile to our final halt...I knew that no matter what anyone thought Charly gave it his best and truely performed.

The cross country course was big and extremely well decorated and designed, it was a sight to see. One of the jumps had a running faucet filling the top of a big table another set of jumps looked like the back drop to a high class wedding. In the morning I headed out to watch the water complex, 21 ABC and 22 ABC, it wasn't riding well however I did get the good news that the 1st place horse had 2 time faults. Charly warmed up perfectly, never getting a bad spot, although we only jumped 4 fences, vertical twice the oxer and then a very extreme angle over a solid roll top. Charly's final minutes were precisely planned out by Danny and kept me totally calm and cool, in fact I was excited I felt just like I was heading out for a race. And that's pretty much exactly what Charly thought it was, he went like gangbusters, luckily he isn't a runaway in any fashion! However he was the strongest he's ever been and I didn't get the stride I wanted for the water complex and for sure gave everyone a scare when I left out a stride in 2 separate spots on that last water... Charly got iced twice that day, a few nice easy strolls and a heavy poultice.

The show jumping was so pretty, the fences looked like things you'd see at a Grand Prix. Many flat cups and lots of related distances, it was set for rails to fall. The morning was a bit hectic as we planned for 2 minutes a horse and they must have run at 1 and a half... nonetheless everyone grouped together got Charly all set up and we were on our way. Again he was so good in warm up, Danny again did a fabulous job getting us perfectly prepped for the ring, he did his best to give Charly a pre round rub, but twinkle toes wouldn't do it...by the looks of our pictures he wasn't going to touch a thing!!! Some how I actually managed to enjoy the ride, I truely went in there feeling just as I would in a lesson, determined to not mess up!

If I haven't made it clear, myself and many others are completely 100% in love with this horse; Charly hasnt lost his character, his fancy tail nor his sharp knees but he has definately gained a competitive spirit!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Delaware Park

So have I told any of you yet that I now ride race horses? I'm not talkin the kind that are "too slow" or "wouldn't run in company" and especially not "needing of layup"; I'm talking the real deal. OK so the honest truth is that it's a beginning of a seriously fun way to spend the hours of 4am to noon on a daily basis and try to earn enough money to care for my up-coming super star Mr Marky Mark.

The farm I work for is called "Break Away Farm", owned and operated by two of the coolest people I've meet since I've been here, Wendy and Travis. So far I've done gallops on grass lanes, hacks through the woods, and gallops on the neighboring sand oval track. Tomorrow is the big day, my first "breeze"... I'll be sure to let you know how it all goes. SO far I've stayed on, despite the valiant effort of my very first mount who immediately tried to un-load me...as far as I'm concerned we've been going pretty fast so I think after tomorrow I might have a whole new idea of what fast is :)

Today I accompanied a horse to Delware Park to recieve his gate card and a tatoo...all firsts for me, did you know a horse had to pass a test to be able to participate in a race? This guy not only passed but had a super fast work time, Monday's his race, very first one ever, he's little and squirly.

Sunday is the big day for the three at home, Malibu was the star ride of the day, I'm quite excited for him this weekend. Charly is behaving, but him and I are definitely due for our gallop and cross country run, we feel it's been too long! Mark is most likely going to be only doing the combined test phases, but his progress is really coming along. I think this horse needs to be syndicated out like Charly and stay around for the long haul, he's showing tremendous talent.

Our friend and newest roomate, Meg, arrived yesterday and is a welcome addition to the team. A happy smiling face always does wonders for the atmosphere.