Friday, July 25, 2014


Used with permission
I love that commercial where a group of friends are out having a good time laughing over some cocktails and dancing to some tunes.  The bar is dark and the fun is just coming through the TV screen.  The scene cuts to a parking lot and you see a girl trying to put her key into the car door and keeps missing.  She's drunk.  Then a hand reaches for the keys and a narrator says firmly, "Friends don't let friends drive drunk!" 

Cut to New England where we're coming to the very end of foaling season.  I'm seeing baby pics everywhere...  Fillies running in circles around bored mothers, colts leaping and bounding in the air and always, those few little ones sprawled out in the warm sun snoozing away the days activities.

Did you know I have a mare?  A beautiful, well bred, well put together, talented and registered warmblood mare?  Did I mention that Sugar is a mare...  an open mare?  A mare that cycles regularly and is not pregnant?  Yes, Sugar is, indeed, a mare.

Friends don't let friend drive drunk...  the mare version:

Me - Sugar was long lined today.  As I watched, I couldn't help getting into how beautiful and really well put together she is.  I can't stop thinking that I should breed her.
Used with permission

Bestest Eventing Buddy - NO SUGAR BABIES!

Me - RIGHT!  But just think about it... She would have awesome babies.

Bestest Eventing Buddy - Seriously?  That's like releasing little devils upon the world.  Gremlins are adorable too... until you feed them after midnight and then, all hell breaks loose!

Me - RIGHT!   Thanks for the visual... beautiful with a screw loose!  But still... maybe?

Bestest Eventing Buddy - Sugar is like a Hollywood Star.  She's gorgeous, but clueless as to how it is in the real world.   She's snorting coke, spouting random political and religious thoughts that make no sense but people believe her because she's gorgeous!  Trust me, if she were ugly, they'd lock her up. 

Me - Right, her entourage gets sucked into her beauty... only to be disappointed again and again.  But when she looks at you, all is forgiven and you rush to do her bidding.

Designed by Bestest Eventing Buddy
Bestest Eventing Buddy - Basically, she's the equine equivalent of Angelina Jolie.  Underneath all that social consciousness, she still has a vial blood around her neck and kissing her brother.


Bestest Eventing Buddy - Good!  Just remember if Sugar was human, she would be a Scientologist.

Me - Wait! Would it be ok if I won the lottery?

Bestest Eventing Buddy - NO!!!!  Eventually you're going to die and someone else will get the spawn or even, the spawn's spawn.  And, we can't release that on the world.  Always remember, I do love Sugar but I believe that she is unigue and is not to be DUPLICATED!


Friday, July 18, 2014


It's late on a Friday night... well, late if you're still at work.  A client, in my last call of the day, asked me what I'm doing this weekend.  After a huge sigh I said, "Nothing!  Absolutely and totally nothing!"
used with permission

"What?  Nothing?  No riding, no horse time?"  was her reply.

"Oh... um... yeah, I'll ride Saturday and have a jumping lesson Sunday afternoon.  And, of course, I'll be out and about with Da Boys.  Ohhhh, I consider both of those things just a part of living and the doing nothing part is just a nice bonus."

I am not alone.  Horses are just a part of life... 

And when my lil' pinto pony does something in turn out that requires a vet exam,  that part of life feels threatened.  When I react to that threat, I hear the parent I might have been:
  • Do you know that we're entered at Millbrook in two weeks and the closing date was Tuesday?  Why are you ruining my plans?
  • It's your own fault that you're hurt...  If you wouldn't have Mariah Carey like fits in turnout, you'd be fine!
  • That vet visit is going to cost me big bucks all because you can't handle it when your neighbor has to leave.
  • Why do you do this to me?  We were going to go xc schooling this weekend.
Da Boys
And after the worry and fret is relieved by the lameness exam whereby the vet declares her healing and sound to continue as planned, I breathe a sigh of relief...  All is normal in our world.

It was never about Millbrook, the money or my plans...  It was keeping the happy, healthy and energizing part of my life whole.  All is normal in our world...  So, I will proceed with doing "nothing" this weekend and wish you all well doing the same or not!

Shhhh, I am a very good Aunt, just sayin!

Friday, July 11, 2014


We have a sport filled with tradition making it so very different from all others.  There is a sense of adventure, camaraderie with our fellows and above all, love for our partner horses.  Our horses may be fancy or not...  it doesn't matter since the work together balances it all out.  There is also bit of agelessness* that equalizes us all - we are one when we event.
Marching to their lessons....

I also believe that there might be a little bit of masochism thrown in to all that good cheer and fun.  Name a sport that demands grace and precision one day, speed and bravery on another and then, asking to finish with grace, boldness and athleticism.  Oh, yes there are sports that offer all of that but those sports do not require a partnership between human and animal.

And, we do this, not for the lavish prizes, money or even for the piece of polyester that marks an achievement, but for the challenge, the accomplishment and the true partnership between horse and rider all alone getting it done.

Are Eventers born or taught?  Hmmm, that is a question I've always wondered about and at the GMHA's Junior Horsmanship Clinic, I believe I saw true Eventers being born. 

These campers and their horses spend 10 days attending two mounted sessions and two unmounted horsemanship lectures each day while attending to their horses.  The focus is on eventing -
Dressage, Stadium Jumping and Cross Country lessons are provided to every participant - ditches, rolltops, trakenhers, "peasant" feeders, water crossings, up/down banks - ride-critique-ride dressage lessons...  everything all taylored to the level of the camper and horse.  It is the longest "event" ever.

B Roadside in a VT rainshower
The Instructors and Barn Managers were selected for their experience and, assigned groups based on that expertise.  There was a barn of young newbies that needed the strength and organization of someone who taught or worked in a riding school program.  I believe, as a Barn Manager (and Master/Old), I was assigned the 14-17 year olds because of my age... 

No one cared more for these campers than the Camp Staff.  Each day we talked about which kid/horse needed what and how to make the experience successful and educational.  Instructors talked to the Barn Managers about what happened and each offered suggestions for the next lesson or day.  We were a team really dedicated to pass on the tradition of eventing that we loved so much.
Neat and tidy stabling

I have a million stories, some will be told, others will fade and others, will remain anonymous.

Are Eventers born or taught? 

The evidence that, while some are born Eventers, the tradition can be taught came to light at the schooling horse trial.  It was the only day I got to see "my kids" ride. 

One girl had a talented but naughty pony.  She rode him well but as an opinionated pony can be, he kept running away after he landed a perfect stadium jump.  Having been taught to circle to slow him down and she got eliminated for doing too many circles in the wrong spots.  Her tears of disappointment ran down her face when she was told she could not go on to XC. 

5:30 am rides were heavenly!
An older girl came up to her, put her arm around her and said, "Welcome to the club, I got eliminated too."  And, another barnmate said, "Yup, me too!  I forgot a jump!"  And a third said, "Hey we should celebrate...  I fell off!  We rock!"  And, the tears turned to laughter and the desire to do it again (this time at a trot) superceded any thought of quitting.

That was my best day at camp.  There is nothing better than to talk to someone after XC, to listen to their story and to see the joy of the adventure - ribbon or not!

We are all alike, no matter what the age*...  Huge kudos for the staff at GMHA's Junior Horsemanship Camp for keeping our traditions alive and putting a new generation of eventers on the right path! 

*One wise young camper explained the "age gap" to me...  "Adults put too much emotion into it.  We care but more technically and not so emotionally."  I believe she might be right!