Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Plan C

Octoberfest it is! I came home on Monday afternoon, ready to ride, when I noticed a nasty gash on Eddie's left shoulder. You think I kid when I go on and on about how he is constantly finding new and ingenious ways to get out of doing work....but I manage to provide the proof and evidence to support that fact time and time again. He is not accident-prone, so I think he sensed my newfound excitement for a revised competition plan, and his shoulder took one for the team. Evil, evil pony. 

He is doing much better on the second day, with antibiotics and a healthy dose of Wonder Dust. I may not be able to use the 5-point breastplate or do any jumping for another week or so, but come Friday: the dressage tack is ON. No excuses!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Revise, Revise, Revise

I tell my students all the time, "Don't be afraid to make a necessary change in your process, preparation, or in your draft writing." Revise, Revise, Revise! The same is true for everyday life, as well. We plan something one way, then we have to resort to an alternate route when things don't go our way. Lately, things have been completely topsy-turvy in my world as the school semester has begun and, sadly, my dad had a medical setback in August that has him declining in health and becoming weaker and weaker as each day passes. He and my mom are here in Knoxville right now, so I can help stay with him at their house when I'm not teaching and my mom is at work. He is too unstable to be by himself for more than an hour at a time, so we've been trying to work out a routine between my schedule and my mom's work schedule so someone is always there. I haven't ridden Eddie once in the past 3 weeks, but then again I've hardly had the time to even see him or feed him either. I haven't washed dishes in my sink, done laundry in 2 weeks, cleaned my bathroom, mowed my yard, or even shaved my legs in quite some time now. But, when your family needs you, you don't think for even one second: you just immediately do what needs to be done. Things are tough here right now, so my competition plans, schedule, and preparations have been decidedly halted in their tracks. That's what I get for being so optimistic a few weeks back!

I had originally planned to get out and compete at Jumpstart in Lexington, but as the closing date has long since passed, and since the show is next weekend, I have re-routed to enter the Starter division (a nice, relaxed one-day competition) at MTPC horse trials in Nashville next month. The closing date is Tuesday, so I have one more weekend to see if it's a possibility afterall. If I don't set a foot in the irons this coming weekend, then I will by-pass MTPC and try to get up to Lexington to go Beginner Novice at the Octoberfest schooling horse trials later in the month. 

There are plans, and then there are always "plan B's" when those original plans aren't realized. I was frustrated the past few years for everything to just stop almost altogether because of my tight finances. Now that I can afford to do some competing, other obligations have arisen that I don't begrudge or grumble over. I wish things were different, obviously for my family's sake, but as it stands, I'll have to get out my show calendar and do some revising. Next time, I won't write in pen.....I'll just use a pencil and think positively.  :-)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

"You Better Redneckognize!"

When you take three Tennessee eventers, two small dogs, one golf cart, and add a little hard core're gonna get some questionable behavior. Yesterday evening, while searching Chattahoochee Hills for Jodie's mom and Comet, we came upon the Land Rover driving course, whereby Julie wondered if "the golf cart would make it under the bridge and up that hill." Shockingly enough, the answer was "not even remotely." 

Julie and Jodie bottoming out in the mud under the bridge.

Spinning out and sliding sideways.

Giving up and going home.

I should probably make it clear that we tried to top that hill at least twice before these pics were taken. However, halfway up, I (perched on the back of the flailing cart) started panicking and said, "Let me off! Let me off!" (whence I got off the cart and sought the safety of the opposite bank). The concept of falling, being rolled on, and breaking a shoulder at AECs is frightening enough. But, when the "faller/roller" is a badly-driven golf cart in a struggling, kinda-inappropriate situation, that concept loses all respect and credibility. I'm sorry, but I wanted off that crazy train.