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February 9, 2011

Home Again, Home Again

Photo by Sara Lieser.

I'm on my way back from another whirlwind trip home to teach, and so far I'm 2 for 2 in bringing nice weather home with me. You know, if someone wanted to bribe me to come home more often, I'd be game for that. Just sayin'.

And honestly, it wouldn't take much. Because my students were all, again, superstars. I had a few new faces in my group this time, which are always fun; pardon my ego, but I'm pretty good at what I do, and I LOVE the look on these riders' faces when, in 45 minutes, I can make a BIG difference in their horses. I've given almost as many second lessons as I have first lessons, and that's something I'm very proud of—almost everyone comes back!

My regulars all rode well too. I reminded them that the first local recognized dressage show of the season is only 60 days away, and I can tell it's been a motivating factor. A few are ready to move up a level, and the others are ready to really rock the level at which they're experienced. Best news of all is that I know everyone will be prepared, and that means everyone will have fun.

The student I'm most proud of is my working student Lindsey. Linds comes to me from a hunter/jumper and eventer background, and so she hasn't had much dressage instruction. What progress she's made! Not only is she making a difference in her own riding, both in her position and her effectiveness on the horse, but she's also getting really good at training the horses like I want them trained. Makes my job easy-peasy! She did a lot of riding this weekend for me, and I'm so relieved to have both her and Nicole at the helm of the business back at home. They're both real treasures.

I also got to ride Fender, and again, I'm depressed. He's SO MUCH FUN! I really wish I could have brought him down with me. I rode for an hour without even thinking about the time; it's true, it really does fly when you're having fun!

As we get closer to show season, I'm starting to think that maybe he won't be ready for the FEI 5-Year-Old division, which is a-OK with me. It's a great program, but certainly not a prerequisite to the upper levels, and as someone who's gotten two horses to Grand Prix by age 9, neither of whom ever did a Young Horse test, I'm certainly not going to lose any sleep about him getting there or not getting there. I've got my eyes on the bigger prize. 

So now I'm sitting at the airport, where my flight is delayed (naturally), and watching sparrows hop around the terminal. How do birds get into an airport terminal? Life's persistent questions.