Approximate flight time, each way: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Temperature difference: 40 degrees (UGH)
Hours in Virginia: 44.5 (9 p.m. Friday to 5:30 p.m. Sunday)
Number of lessons scheduled: 25
Oldest horse, with youngest person: 21 (Billy), 12 (Kristin)
Youngest horse: 5
Oldest person: Age is just a number!
Breeds represented: 8 (Warmbloods, Thoroughbreds, Arabians; one Friesian, one PRE, one Quarter Pony, one splendid Irish horse of unknown but sturdy origins, and one Welsh Cob-TB.)
Levels represented: 9 (training, first, second, third, fourth, Prix St. Georges/Young Riders, Grand Prix dressage; novice, training, preliminary/one-star eventing)
A small sampling of brilliant moments:
- when Renee, a very skilled trainer in her own right and one of my dearest friends, found the best small groups of ones I’ve ever seen from her and her wonderful self-trained almost-Grand Prix horse, Calvados;
- when Abby figured out that letting the shoulders lead more in Dragon’s canter half-pass let her achieve way more power from way less aid;
- seeing Virginia’s newfound mastery of the sitting trot, and make the best canter-walk transitions she’s ever made on her Roadie;
- teaching Jamie about uberstreichen and the half-halt, to help her wonderful Ysis show off her self-carriage;
- when my mom, Judy, felt Indy start to spook a bit and leaned back and PUSHED him forward, instead of leaning forward and pulling him to a stop;
- watching Jen ride Lord, a show-ring Arabian, through the wicked hard trot tour of first level, test 3, as nicely as any purpose-bred dressage horse;
- and when working student Molly made her Ian look effortless through canter lengthenings and small circles, something that doesn’t come easy to him.
Number of days ’til I’m back again: 28!