Friday, January 6, 2012

Details, Details

It's been all quiet on the Texan front lately, which is why I haven't blogged much. The holidays were spent quietly with family, while I traversed across Texas from Dallas to San Antonio to Dallas to Austin to Dallas. I'm relieved to be done driving for a few weeks, but of course in late January I will be driving my trust Jeep Raphael down to Altoona.

So now I join the plethora of other blogs detailing their migration south. This will be the first (and likely only) year that I get to stay in the south with my horse. In my final semester this spring, I have only one class to contest with, and it has no classes, homework, lectures, or tests. Lucky me! I really couldn't have arranged it better. Of course, logistically, this is the toughest trip for me. I'm having to think about laundromats, bedding, even whether I need to bring a loufa, as well as what I'll need for Dante. Trying to combine my regular tack trunk and show tack trunk has occupied my thoughts for many a driving hour.

Don't let anyone fool you, I love organizing things. I'm thoroughly enjoying myself.

Dante had his winter clip on December 29 and is now a lovely shade of ?????. (That means no one can really pin down what color he is now, but I think it's closest to dun. Definitely not red though.) His dressage has been stellar lately and our jumping is starting to come together as well as we hit our stride in our schedule after the holidays.

This past Sunday we went out to Greenwood for an XC school and knocked some rust off. Dante had one learning moment over the weird sunken road thing they have there (Greenwood goers, you know exactly what I'm talking about), but went through without any problems the second time. I've never jumped through the sunken part in competition, always done the corner trakehner which is generally considered more difficult anyways, because I knew Dante might have an issue with the sunken road option. The sunken part is very brushy, angled each way, and is next to a pond, so I have a strong feeling Dante wasn't sure if it was a water jump or a ditch or what. In any case, I was fully prepared for his confusion and I also know he has no problem with sunken roads in general. I also had a brain fart moment on the bounce banks up, but Dante was a star there and everywhere else.

(Dante jumps a prelim corner during XC schooling at Greenwood.)

Next weekend is a two day Jean Moyer clinic, where I desperately need some advice on Dante's walk. Then I'll head to Florida on the 21st and the ponies will follow on the 22nd.

Currently, we're entered for Intermediate at Rocking I and then Advanced at Rocking II! Bring on the big leagues, baby.


  1. Congrats! I might get to see you ride since I plan to visit my snowbirds friends competing at RH2.

  2. That sounds exciting Suzanne! You should introduce yourself if you can. Although you might want to wait until after I ride, I am apparently a bit of a grump beforehand, lol.

  3. I laughed SO HARD at "a lovely shade of ?????". Totally know what you mean. I'm new to your blog, but looking forward to following your adventures!

  4. Jean Moyer is great! Have fun organizing all your stuff. I love organizing, too :-)

  5. Hi Maggie, New follower here, as I just stumbled upon your blog and abs. love it! But I have to ask, as I am also a graduate student finishing up a masters in architecture at the one and only UK (Go Cats!) how on earth do you find the time and the money to do all of this. My riding has really taken a back seat for the past 6 yrs even though I have my horse here. I just don't have the money or the ability to leave for a horse show for a day never the less an entire weekend. Heck I take a beating leaving for 2 hours to go ride or feed my guy. Any advice? Do you know where a hidden pot of gold is?!

  6. Hi Mikaela, welcome to the blog! It's so great to hear from a fellow Kentucky grad (or future grad). I'm afraid I don't really have much advice for you, although I'll relate how I do it. Since I am doing my second bachelors, I did not have to do any of the core classes usually needed by undergraduates. However, engineering degree are extremely sequential and prerequisites are closely adhered to. As a result, I was forced to spend a full four years in school a second time, but I didn't have many classes to take each semester. I managed to stay a full time student up through last semester to obtain loans by also getting my business minor. However, by having only 12 hours a semester I was able to schedule them in such a way that I almost always had Friday off, and usually very few classes Thursday. Last semester, I only had one class Tuesdays and two classes M/W, as well as an Internet class. This allows me to be flexible on time. This final semester, I was left with only one class, a class which has no lectures, tests, classes, labs, or homework. It is a senior design class where we work independently to build our final project. Therefore, when I am home, I can put in as much time as I need, but I can also leave for weeks at a time to compete. I'm in a very uncommon situation, and determined to take advantage of it.

    As for the money, well, I do have loans that pay for college. My parents pay for everything else, including Dante. I paid and worked my way through the first bachelors, and when I decided to go back to school and get my engineering degree, my parents agreed to pay my way through, as they were not in a position to do so the first time. They wanted me to do it because engineering runs in the family, and they felt it was a more useful degree. I am extremely lucky to be able to have done all this and I am incredibly grateful to them for helping me as they have. Unfortunately, it means that I don't really know where the hidden pot of gold is! I do know how it is to not have enough money to do anything; I wasn't even able to buy my first horse until I was 20, although I'd been riding since I was 10. Until I bought Dante, I had only ever competed in a handful of events. My final year at KY before I graduated, I worked 40+ hours a week as a waitress, had 17 hours of classes each semester so I could graduate in three years, went to the school gym every day, and of course in the spring I had bought Dante. I'm getting to see the other side of the sport and feel lucky to have known both sides.

    My best advice is to take it one day at a time, and enjoy what you have. Don't let yourself get jealous of someone who has more time/money, etc, because there will always be someone who has more. Ironically, I've learned more about being happy with what I have at my current barn than I have when I couldn't even afford a horse. There is no magic pot of gold of course, but you're lucky to even be able to afford to keep your horse in Lexington! Enjoy what you have time and money for now, and know that in the future, you're likely to have more of at least one of those factors.

  7. Thanks for all the advice! I couldn't agree more, being here I've gotten the chance to re-focus on why I ride horses again. Noting that while competing is fun, its not everything. And its important to return the basics, and understand why it is you love horses and probably went to school so that one day you could afford them. That said I am 100% looking forward to graduating again (Im just 2 years short of you, with a Bachelors and soon a masters) and getting back into taking more lessons, clinics and hopefully competing at more than one event a year. Its tough and frustrating that I am so close to KHP, yet without any time to go- ah life of a student!

    It is so nice hearing from a fellow equestrian who is just as motivated about their professional career as they are riding. And even more impressive to find someone who has balanced the two. I find that so many of my friends who ride, either drop out of college or just ignore their degree and then ride for "a living." And an engineering degree is no small feat- I come from a family of engineers and will have to work with you guys the rest of my life! You are a great inspiration for me and I wish you the best of luck with your guy- hes super cute!

  8. Looking forward to meeting you in person. My guy is making his debut at RH1 so you will probably be done riding about when we start