Plans have been finalized, packing lists made, epic laundry begun. It's t-minus two weeks until I leave for Florida, and the horses are in the final stretch of training preparations. I want them to be as ready as they can be to "hit the ground running," so to speak.
After blazing through my second-ever 5k in September, and with my training going well, I decided to enter an 8k for the second weekend in December. I trained (not hard, or often, enough), I rallied some buddies (almost all of whom bailed), and I bought a doofy holiday-themed t-shirt at Walmart. I was ready.
The insanity of the last week paid off—our clinic with Michael went off without a hitch (well, we did have to hail-Mary-repair the arena drag on Saturday morning, but Mr. Sprieser and I got 'er dun). This clinic was composed almost exclusively of my students, which made it extra fun.
Mondays are my day off, which, naturally, means I have an entire week's worth of stuff to do. It starts with a pilates class at 7:30 and runs on from there. Today, I particularly want to get home for a bit between my class and a 10:30 meeting in Middleburg because the guys who are going to be tweaking our indoor arena footing should arrive sometime that morning, and I need to bring them up to speed - with Michael's sickness, the clinic is now THIS weekend instead of LAST weekend, AND I have Colleen here Friday, which means we need to get this DONE.
It's only happened a few times, but my spidey-senses are honed to it now: When your clinician for the weekend calls while you're teaching, leaves a voicemail, and then follows it up with a text message saying: "Call me ASAP," it's not a good thing.
Poor Michael, Mr. Tough Guy, was felled by the Plague (or the flu, or a sinus infection, or something) and couldn't make it for the weekend.
Me, on the outside: Cool as a cucumber. "No problem, you poor thing! Feel better soon."
Before I start with this blog, I want to make clear that the greatest gift you can give a horse professional is your ongoing business. But this is the time of year where the questions start popping up on the Forums and Facebook: What should I get my trainer/farrier/vet/barn staff for Christmas? Something that they'll use and appreciate, with a bit of a horsey twist. If you're thinking of holiday gifts for the folks who care for your four-legged friend, here's a handful of suggestions, in lots of different price ranges.
Sometimes I have an idea for a blog, and I start it, and it just isn't going very well, so I table it and come back to it. A few days ago I started a blog on holiday gift recommendations for horse professionals, and I tabled it, because I couldn't get the opening paragraph right.
The L Program is the first level of the judges' education program. It covers training through second level, and for the first couple of sessions, it's a mix of classroom discussion and riding demonstration. We need new judges to replace the retiring ones, and so when Kathy Rowse sent out an email looking for demo riders for the central Virginia dressage club's L program, I wanted to help.