Sunday, July 29, 2012


Maybe it's the Olympics... maybe it's reveling in the achievements of others...  or, maybe, just maybe, it's my own pent-up-need-to-get-out-there-again urge to compete...  I am filled with inspiration and desire to be the Best!
The Family Stroll in the XC course
at the City Barn

Ok, so I'm moving up from my C-game to maybe being at, say...  my B-game... so to be the Best, I might not select Eventing at my venue just yet.  Sug's a spooky girl, so that leaves out a bunch of things...  And, really the idea of riding the trails for more than 2 hours makes me shudder so Endurance Riding is out... Foxhunting season is six weeks away... hmmmm....

I can and will be the BEST NEUROTIC BOARDER  (BNB) at the City Barn!  There are three barns full of Boarders and competition is going to be fierce!   I know I can win this...  And, if you too have the thirst for this title, here are some tips to really sharpen up your game:


  1. When writing a note to the Barn Staff, be sure to use a light colored (grey or yellow) permanent marker.  The paper should be anything small so that the ink from the marker bleeds and the words are blotted and thick.  This level of detail in the materials selected will guarantee that the note will be carefully scrutinized as they struggle to read it.
  2. Be sure to write your note in every place you think the Barn Staff might pause to wipe the sweat from their eyes assuring that it will be read.
  3. Never assume that the Barn Staff will be able to read your note while pausing.  Use other communication media at YOUR disposal, such as but not limited to, texting, calling, facebooking and tweeting.  (And my personal... blogging).
  4. Remember, if you don't succeed once - try, try and try again.
More detail please!


  • Right, details!  You can not give enough detail.  The Barn Staff absolutely love to have every little thing written out.  So why ask for them give her her meds when you can tell them to give her her meds exactly 12 hours apart after carefully shaking the bottle 27 times and using the second dosing syringe on the left, just inside the pocket in the third locker to the right.
  • And, while some requests may seem extraordinary, the Barn Staff revels in creativity and change.  
  • I can not stress, that you can not communicate enough so, call and text those details to them also.
  • Interrupt the Barn Staff repeatedly.  They love the attention.
  • Bring your dogs really early in the morning...  Barking at 6am is really just an extra wake up call and you know... no one wants to oversleep their alarm.  Or, leave them in your horse's stall while you ride...  a little noise early in the evening just helps everyone appreciate the quiet later.
  • Being neurotic isn't easy, so practice often.  
Dream on...
They say achievement comes to those that want it, that work hard for it and to those that never take their eye off the game.    And, until Sugar and I complete Town Hill Horse Trials, the gauntlet has been thrown...  Are you game?

Let's do that thing!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Saying, "I knew her when!"
Gold, Silver, Bronze...  Team Medals and Individual Medals...  Medal Counts...  Who won...  the stories of triumph...  And do you remember the tag line...  "the Agony of Defeat"?  We'll hear it over and over again during the next two weeks... Media coverage will be relentless and, heroes will be born and others will be forgotten.  

In our world, we all know of That Girl... hungry for polyester and even more attuned to the bright colors of Blue, Red and maybe even Yellow.  She'll take the others but her thirst is the color blue.  It's a healthy thing to work hard and want to win...  Yup, nothing's wrong with that...  until the definition of Winning is purely defined by the receipt and color of cloth at the end of the day rather than the experience and joy of being out and about.

Her posse...
Winning is everything!  Never forget that... WINNING IS EVERYTHING!  And, what is most important, is how we each define Winning.  

That's right...  let me tell you a story about a girl...  She did not win the One Star at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) and her team did not get Gold, Silver or Bronze.  She came in fifth... double clear in both Cross Country and Stadium Jumping.   I read every report and every summary and I don't recall seeing her name in print.  She came in fifth...

What makes this kid newsworthy?  From nothing, she arrived...  Her family supports her with hard work and encouragement... I met her when she was 11 or 12 riding a 22 year old quarter horse.  I don't profess to know her story intimately, but I saw a kid get an OTTB and bring him along to compete in the NAJYRC - the Rolex of her generation with hard work, determination... maybe a bit of luck...  

She wins every day.  She is surrounded by a great group of barn mates... and her trainers are superb...  They put together this video telling a story more intimate than my own...  Watch it and really learn what Winning is all about!

Video compiled by Audrey Wey Reyler

Lucky Lucky them!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Oh how I love a good, trashy summer book!  You know the kind, there's always a young beautiful but not quite perfect girl who works a hard, but glamorous job under the difficult reign of a rich boss.  While on a project/vacation or adventure, she meets an arrogant difficult man.
Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!

They argue, fight, fall in love, something horrendous happens that tears them apart... each living in pain, loneliness and disappointment until SOMETHING happens that brings them breathlessly together again.  And, they live happily ever after.

The best contain some steamy moments...  you know what I mean {{wink, wink}}!  And, guys?  Yes, Westerns, Spy novels and even Sci Fi can fall into Trashy Summer Reading...  Oh yeah!

So, if I was writing my own story...  I kind of think, that maybe, just maybe Sugar and I have crossed into that part in the story where we are breathlessly coming together...  (without the steamy sumthin' sumthin' going on).

 Last night's off-farm jumping lesson could be that SOMETHING.  The course before me included barrels and a white panel.  My Eventing Trainer kindly suggested that we do something other than the dreaded barrels to begin the course.  I looked at her and said, "Nope, we're doing the barrels now!"  

What was earth shattering?  My GRRRR was complete.  No whining, no paralyzing fear, no anxiety (other what is normal)... just the resolution, (dare I say confidence?) that we are capable and can do!  Again "CAN DO!"  

Lots of Grrr, 2010
Sug peeked.  I firmly asked and the rest was amazing! (Maybe THAT was the hot, steamy moment, hmmm.)  

There is something magical about a group lesson.  The two girls in my group were not experts.  Both were riding borrowed horses and neither jumped regularly.  They showed up a little nervous, somewhat concerned but full of smiles and eagerness.   Their willingness to do something challenging in front of their peers gave me courage.  

And Sug?  She was happy to be there...  And, as if a light switch was turned on...  she wanted to jump, was eager to jump...  still my spooky girl but forward and light!  It was the gift of all gifts...

Happily ever after...???

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


There are a thousand causes that one could take on and protest...  Gosh, you see hundreds of requests weekly on your Facebook feed - "Repost this within 30 seconds if you want to save (insert cause here) from the (insert destructive thing for emphasis here)."  "Most of my Friends won't take the time to repost this, will you be the one to repost and help us end (insert bad thing here).

Apparently a cat...
There is something to be said in giving yourself to a cause, a charity and/or being part of an organization/political movement....  Dedicated, community oriented, committed (and not in the crazy/loony kind of way) and noble.  Giving back or working for change is good for the soul...

Sugar is on a hunger strike. 

I wish I could tell you that my little Diva has decided to protest the overuse of major diagnostics in horses or the over treatment of aged animals bankrupting families emotionally and physically.   How great it would be if I could tell the world that my lil' pinto pony will eat again when University of New Hampshire's Planning Committee will no longer consider building a retail mall on land designated as farm land.  Yes, that would be noble... 

One day, my Diva said,  "NO!  I will not eat food laced with the tiniest amount of medicine.  I will not be tricked by your attempts to hide it in delicious treats.  And, when you stop giving it to me, yet use the same food bags that could have trace amounts of said medicine, I will continue my hunger strike until you do the right thing.  Clean out my bucket with hot water and bleach, throw away all food bags that "may" have come in contact with said medicine and return with new food laced with tasty treats...  Bow once in my general direction as you deliver new food...  then I will eat again."

There are few things that reveal Sugar's 3/4th thoroughbred heritage...  the love of a good gallop, the ease in which she gets and stays fit and maybe her recovery rate...  I can add this as another... the love of a good Hunger Strike.

So, tonight on FB, I will repost something so that thousands of (insert being here) will be saved by the 7% willing to repost on behalf of eliminating (insert devastating condition/abuse here)...  I do so in order to honor Sugar's 8 day Hunger Strike...  and make it count!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


XC Schooling at Scarlet Hill Farm
Ok, my second passion is basketball.  The town I grew up in had little money for a recreation program and I assure you, any money it had was not directed into girls basketball (or softball or field hockey or... well, insert sport name here).   In High School, I was way behind the CYO and Town Rec kids...  Although, eager and hard working, I was raw, untrained...  like a 5 year old filly left in a field to mature...

So, at the end of my freshman year, the Varsity Basketball coach sat each of us down, job interview style, and mapped out our future or not as she saw it to be.  Her words have disappeared from my memory, but I still have the written piece of paper that she handed me as I slumped out of the room, "Suzanne works hard but I see no future for her at the Varsity Level.  She might consider putting her efforts elsewhere."

Chandler... wanting...
I was fifteen years old and heartbroken.  And I hated her... hated that she dismissed me...  hated that she told me to quit, and hated that I was told that I couldn't succeed...

Sometimes, the very attitudes and behaviors that hold you back are the very strengths that propel you forward.  Obstinate, persistent and just a bit arrogant, I decided that from that day forward, a basketball would never leave my hand for more than it took to bounce it.  I spent hours shooting, dribbling and passing.  I would not be denied!  I would prove her wrong... 

And I did... started JV my sophomore year, finished at Varsity that year and started Varsity every year afterwards.

Tomorrow begins another round, for me...  I will not be denied. I will do whatever it takes...  Back to back jumping lessons...  one a XC school.  If I have to jump logs until I scream with boredom, I will do it every day.
Back later - gone flying!

You see, this passion is in my heart and, it is within my reach.  When there is a spook, my reaction will be "KICK ON" !  Action, not reaction...  Sugar hasn't changed...  I have and I can change again...

{{{I laugh at this writing...  this is the grrr that I'm building ...  for me!}}}

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Dear Horse Trial Participant,

I am your Fence Judge.  You don't know me but I sit in a chair all day carefully watching each trip across my designated domain.  I am that nameless, sometimes faceless person volunteering so that you can have the ride of your life.  Treat me well...  For without me, the Event does not run...
It's 6am... that's volunteering at
Groton House Farm 2012

I, generally, ask for nothing in return... and, sometimes when its too cold, wet, hot or buggy, I find myself wondering why I just spent my Saturday making sure you present yourself correctly at my jump and left the area happy and healthy.

Yeah that happens, yet most of the time, I leave tired, sunburnt and maybe just a bit chapped and dry with a big smile on my face 'cause I had good day watching, participating and loving the fun of a well run Horse Trial...

And, for as many of us that are Eventers doing our version of Community Service, I may be a friend of a friend of a rider who once 8 years ago said, "Sure, that sounds fun".  I never realized how that one feeble yes turned into a passion that keeps me coming back year after year.

GHF Novice Fence 3
Go left around the tree, ok?
So when you walk your course - trainer, rider, young, older, family member - a quick glance in my direction, a smile of recognition and although, not really necessary, a thank you goes a long way to help me feel like my service means something to you.

And, when you talk to me and ask me how the jump is riding, rain turns into sun and the world is full of rainbows and rose petals at my feet. I belong and you see me as a part of the team.

I love your enthusiasm...  your cheers of "Good Girl!" as you both hit the ground running.  Sometimes you may hear my own as you gallop off across the field!  I watch your eyes - keen and focused forward, your horse's ears pricked occasionally flicked backwards listening to you and eager to go.  So beautiful, so powerful...  teamwork and joy...  

The view from our post
GHF Training #18
And when you stop or run out, it leaves me sad 'cause I know how hard you trained to get there right in front of me and I know how far you need to go.  You may not know this but we are cheering you on...  I want you to win!  And, most of all I want you to be able to tell your story to everyone on Monday (Eventing Rule #4)  I want my jump to be easy...

I am your Fence Judge - Treat me well!  And, maybe, one day you'll come and join me too!