IMG_2744It’s been nearly a month since my last blog, and a ton has happened, and none of it has been bad.

But you haven’t heard from me because in the last month, a ton has happened, and even though none of it has been bad, it has been a ton. I am grateful for the work, so, so grateful. I have terrific horses to ride, for which I am also incredibly grateful. And I have about two more weeks to push through before I get to take a three day vacation, and man-oh-man, am I ever grateful!

I had 11 hours between coming home from our triumphant Dressage at Lexington and leaving for the NAJYRC, during which I discovered that my air conditioning in my apartment had shut off while I was gone and so it was 93*; I did about five loads of laundry, had a beer, went to bed, had some coffee, and hit the road.

What should have taken 8 hours took more than 10, due first to a tractor-trailer flipping over and shutting I-81 down for an hour and a half (where I had a delightful chat with the Quebecois truck driver stopped on the interstate behind me, and also cleaned out my car), and then as devastating thunderstorms moved through Kentucky and threatened to chuck my little Honda off the road, so I hung out in a gas station parking lot until they passed.

The NAJYRC itself was fantastic. It was a glorious, good-weather week after that; the show ran smoothly, and Region 1 is so lucky to have some of the best Chefs de Equipe around. My student, Kristin, is a fantastic rider, and also has amazing parents, and we had a terrific week independent of Kristin’s successes, but it certainly didn’t hurt that she was 9th in the Individual Test and 5th in the Freestyle on beautiful rides that made me cry like a little girl.

On my way home, the air conditioning compressor gave out in my car, the last in a series of $1000+ repairs I was willing to make. So after the remaining five hour drive with the windows open on a 93* day, and with the helpful liquidation of my retirement fund (again), I’m on new wheels. It’s fine, I didn’t want to retire, you know, in this lifetime anyway.

Also, a week of nothing to do but watch Kristin ride and then eat and drink things plus the reality that my pending vacation will require putting myself in a bathing suit equals terrifying. And so the diet begins.

I think I was home for a whole week before the chaos descended again. Michael joined us for a clinic, and the timing was actually fantastic, nuttiness aside—I was really feeling like all the horses were going great but that I was a little stuck on what came next. I had a HUGE epiphany on Ella after Lexington, and Michael was incredibly helpful in making that solid. The more I just sit still and get out of her way, the better she gets (duh, I know, but there it is.) Danny needs to be straighter; Dorian needs to be better in his bend. Johnny needs to get off my hand, and Fender needs to go to my outside rein, no matter what direction we’re tracking. And Fiero just needs to keep soldiering on.

That brings us to last weekend, a small show for us at Culpeper, where Fiero had his best Prix St. Georges tests to date, and Ella and I had our best passes at my Grand Prix Freestyle, on 71 and 72 respectively, and with a better plan for both the riding of the test and for the warmup each time. I feel really ready, and as such, I’ve entered my first CDI, which pretty much guarantees that everything is about to go to Hell in a handcart. Outstanding.

We returned home from the show—after our first tire blowout of the year, a pretty good run for us!—only to have one of the working students step out of the trailer just wrong and break her ankle. So with another show this weekend, then me at the National Championships with Kristin next week, we’re down a set of hands in some of the hottest weather we’ve had, and all with a full barn.

T-mins 19 days till vacation. I think I’ll need it.