In about two weeks time, Dante will be coming to his new home at Windover Farm in Middleburg. I can't begin to explain how lucky I feel to have found this facility. It's small, private, with only a couple other boarders. Yet it has fantastic care, beautiful individual turnouts with run-ins, a full size dressage ring with lights and all-weather footing, and other amazing amenities that will help Dante and I in our quest to ride at the top levels.
(The lovely hack down to the dressage arena.)
As the time gets nearer, I get more and more impatient. At times, it often feels that I will never get him back, and that the two-ish weeks before I see him will last forever. It reminds me a lot of waiting for Christmas when I was a kid. Each delay (which is less and less each time) seems to feel like a bigger and bigger deal. In October, a too-short trim immediately delayed his return to me by at least a month; at the time, it seemed no big deal. This past week, when I tried to schedule a reshoeing for this Monday, I discovered the farrier-vet that had done his feet before would be out of town until the following Monday. A week's delay! I felt like throwing a fit, until I realized that I am a sane and rational person (right?).
(Dante's individual turnout.)
I'm trying very hard to further distract myself by reading riding theory books. I've finished the German Dressage Federation's Principles of Riding, and have moved onto Common Sense Dressage by Sally O'Connor. It's surprising how much I never thought about theory and how much I plan to incorporate it now, particularly since I will be riding more on my own than ever before. Since I won't have mirrors, I will have to learn to feel what I need, rather than see. I've bookmarked pages in 101 Dressage Exercises and 101 Jumping Exercises, and decided to do quite a bit of pole work based on my auditing of the Nicola Wilson clinic.
In addition, I've been mostly faithfully doing the P90X workouts. When I rode a friend's horse a few weeks ago, it was almost shocking how out of shape I was. While nothing substitutes adequately for actually riding everyday, at least I can get my wind and some of my tone back. I've been at it for about 2.5 weeks now, and my body is much trimmer already. I'll need to cut back a bit once I start riding simply because of time constraints, but this is much better than starting off cold.
So here I am, marking time until Dante gets here.