Saturday, May 30, 2015


Sometimes you have a thought and that thought becomes a conversation and when the thought becomes a swirl of emotions that circle about your mind, you know that, sometimes, it's best to take that thought and let it out into the universe.

A fellow eventer/blogger/horse girl died this week.  She was 52 doing one of the sports that kept her fit and happy.  We "knew" each other through our blogs and met, face to face, just once at the USEA Annual Meeting.

I always knew, from her blog, facebook and COTH posts that she was one of the good ones.   She volunteered at events, supported up and coming riders, sponsored our top athletes, competed herself, worked full time and kept herself in tip top shape.

What I did not know was how much she did and how much she gave of herself or for that matter, who she really was...  What I do know was that she was a grateful woman, of a generous nature who did not fear giving her time and self to do good for others.

When Sugar died, she reached out to me and asked me to continue blogging and told me how much she enjoyed the journey.  And then, connected me with people and horses to help speed the search to heal my hurting heart.

Her death touched me in a way that I've struggled to figure out...  So young..  But, it wasn't the closeness in our ages but the true feeling of loss.  You see, you may not know her, but she was one of the good ones.  Her acts of kindness and generosity beget more acts of kindness and generosity from those of us recipients and the recipients of those that knew her...

I hope that when I leave this earth, I leave a quiet legacy of kindness, generosity and yes, love.  I will talk to the stars tonight and tell my blogger friend that she is an inspiration to live life well with and towards others.  Thank you.

Tributes to this blogger friend, use as your own inspiration:


Eventing Nation -

University of PA -

Her Friend's Blog -

A fellow blogger's blog who's story touched my heart again -


Sunday, May 24, 2015


Nothin' like a Lab
Thursday's company meeting was the quarterly report or "state of the union" and like a lot of company meetings it had its theme.  This one was that we must "EMBRACE CHANGE or wither as a company, afraid to move forward".  And, "More things will be thrown at us, some at a very quick pace because to succeed we MUST see change as essential and welcome it's activity." 

Finally, as we all sat in rapture of this motivational speech, came the kicker, "Some of you might want what you have in the past and may want the comfort of what was familiar... know that change will happen and if you feel the pull of resistance, feel free to move on."

Can I tell you a secret?  I cried today at the start of what was to be my first jumping lesson on Maisy.  Yes, it was nerves...  but there was something more. 

For whatever it's worth, good or bad, I knew Sugar.  I knew she would be spooky, quick to spin and more often than I liked, I could be spun off.  But, I also knew the rhythm of her stride, the cadence of her foot falls, whether the twitch of her ears was a good thing or a warning.  I knew her...  And, I still miss her...

Friday, I took Maisy over to the City Barn to get her back into the trailer for a short ride AND, if all went well, maybe jump a couple of logs in the XC field or, at least, work out in the open!  I did not have my big girl panties on and just did flat work and walked over some of the logs. 

Newbie Eventer needed to do ditches and the water complex before her event next week so we hacked over to it.  Her steed took a hard look at the complex, rocked backward and bravely went in. 
OHEC Water Complex

Maisy went to the edge hesitantly, dabbled one front hoof in the water and then, I felt started to drop to roll.  I was wrong, she gathered her hind end and jumped in, clearing what was a 4' imaginary jump.  After completely misjudging her actions, I popped off, mid-air, and landed with a splash dab smack in the center of the complex.  Maisy stood there looking at me confused at why I decided to go swimming.

Smiles for the future!
Change - Ten years of Sugar/Saccharine antics at green roll tops, lattice, hay bales, scary corners, farm equipment... you name it and I've never hit the water!  Hmmm, two thoughts - Maisy is not Sugar AND I've been there/done that and we're good!

Dressage Trainer looked at me before today's lesson and knew...  She said, "You're wishing that nothing changed, right?"  And, I cried.  And, then the Wise Woman in her said, "Change can be for the better, right?  And, maybe Change will be exactly what you need.  Welcome the changes as they happen and be sure you take the time you need... There is no rush."

Then we jumped.  Cavelettis to a vertical... nothing huge...  Just two girls learning to adjust to life's changes - together...  All in good time!

Monday, May 18, 2015


Minions at work
In no uncertain terms, Sugar was a warhorse...  She had the body of an elite middle weight body builder - big, strong and muscled.  When she walked off the trailer, she owned the territory and her minions made her world safe.   And, she never once left you wondering how she felt for emotional displays were her mark.  The equine Mariah Carey!

I was so afraid (and so were others) that I would find a similar soul in my next partner/friend.  So afraid that I did not shop alone and that I carried the mantra that "He must jump da jumps and beautiful is not an absolute".   And, if I found a beautiful or handsome horse I lusted over, I must wait before making a move...  "He must jump da jumps and beautiful is not an absolute".
Best Eventing Buddy takin
Maisy for a stroll

Maisy is beautiful.  Oops!  {{{Newbie Eventer, how did that happen?}}}

Maisy is not Sugar.  And, gosh... that is so confusing!  She hacks out alone and her one spook was a quick look away from a pile of rocks (always a surpise to our southern horses).  That's it!  No prop, spin and leap... just a look and a slight move away from the "scary" pile of stone.  And, she's walked passed big construction equipment and nothing...  HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?

Trainer ride - Looking fancy!
 She is a very sensitive soul.  Oh, not in the diva fit way that was our norm but in the quiet, "I'll stand here and shake/shiver and sweat" kind of way.  I feel like she wants to do what I ask her to do but if it makes her uncomfortable, she internalizes it...  And, this sweet thing, is ulcery...

Everyone wants her to be successful, to jump da jumps and to be an event pony so the suggestions come in hard and fast...  Supplements, chiro, massage, acupuncture, new saddles... Try this, don't do that, do that... no, this, how about that? 

Welcome home!
How do you do it? How do you absorb the cost of treatment ($750 or so)? And, what if her tension requires anything more? How do you do that too?  Where do you skimp? How do you do it?  The pressure of not being rich is killing me.  {{{Note to self - win the lottery, ok?}}}  

And, then you have a moment with your new pony and her trot is amazing.  And you breathe, remembering that Sugar had ten years and we figured her out over and over again. 

Maisy, I think I'll do the same.  "All in good time", said the lil' pinto pony, "All in good time!"

Thursday, May 7, 2015


I am a greeter by nature.  Not really a Walmart Greeter but that friendly (dear god, please don't say intrusive) person that smiles, says hi and asks you about your horse.  It comes in a gush, "Love your braids", "Your horse is beautiful", "Great ride!"  "How'd you do?"  and on and on and on.

I am paid (again not a Walmart Greeter) to meet people, get to know them and help them feel comfortable and I help them with their problems.  I always said that the first date for me was easy.  Engaging a stranger in conversation, encouraging them to share their secrets and making them feel at home.  (Now, do not ask me how I do on dates beginning with #3....)

Eight weeks after I said good bye to the love of my life, Maisy  came to New England to enjoy our weather and the ministrations of an expert groomer and Sugar's former staff member.

Foxglen's Lady Margaret
aka Maisy
It was an arranged marriage with a very short dating period (one day).  It was a wonderful day, where I tested her hand gallop (floaty and uphill) and jumped a vertical or two.  My chaperone, Newbie Eventer, also rode her and jumped even bigger jumps and loved her so.  Now, just 4 rides into our relationship, I want her to tell me everything and I want her to tell me NOW! 

Ahhhh, patience!  A wise woman once told me to think more about grounding myself than seeking patience for being grounded is about centering the excitement and being patient only holds it a bay.

Used with permission
Oddly enough, my strength and confidence in doing things with Sugar came from the familiarity of a ten year relationship.  I knew what she would do in any given instant.  I could feel her energy and I knew what I had under me.  Her ears and her body conveyed what was coming and it was up to me to deal with it whatever it was.

I knew that Sug would jump if I told her to jump.  I knew she would spook, at what and when.  And, in my heart, wrong or right, I knew that if I could meet her, everything would be ok!

Our first solitary hack
No Spook... what a nice surprise!
But, what of Ms Maisy?  Was I so filled with the love of her gallop and the promise of more that I forgot to find out if she enjoyed evenings over jump courses?  What if this beautiful hunt horse who can jump a 4' coop on a fox hunt has no desire to jump da jumps in the ring? 

Dear god woman, did you not ask the right questions? 

I did.  Now, Maisy, it is just you and me.  Will you tell me your secrets?  Will you tell me them NOW?

Somewhere I hear the echo of my beloved Lil' Pinto Pony saying, "All in good time...  All in good time!  Enjoy the moments as she tells you her stories...  Enjoy!"  

{{{Maisy, aka Foxglen's Lady Margaret is a 9 year old 17.1H IDSH (sire Foxglen Himself out of a Hannoverian Mare).  She has hunted First Flight with a VA hunt, schooled XC and SJ but has not evented.  She is to be my Event Horse who hunts.}}}}