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Occupy Eventing....

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  • Occupy Eventing....

    OK. So I'm grumpy.

    I know there are a LOT of eventers, and riders, who have to work for a living at a job that is not horses related. In fact, I'd be pretty close to correct in saying MOST OF US do that and shoehorn our horses into our lives.

    I am just so tired of "I'm packing for Aiken" and "I can't wait to see my buds and go south". Jealous much? YES.

    Who wouldn't be? Everytime I got out of the car today for work the wind and rain was coming from a different direction. I got home in the dark when it was raining the hardest and had to put soaked horses in and feed. There are so many good hard working trainers that stay north or at home, I know I have to try and ignore the happy, cheerful snowbirds who are delighting in making me green with envy...By the time I am retired and have time to go south, I doubt I will be able to enjoy it much, as by that time I am sure I will be even MORE decrepit and disabled than I currently am....I will have to get someone to push my wheelchair to the edge of the parking lot, the extent of my involvement will be to wave as you all gallop happily past me on cross-country....

    Every year I say I am going to go and every year it just never works out. Funds. Time off work. Death in the family. Truck not good enough for the trip. Trailer needs repair. It's always something! Does anyone else dream of going south and never able to do it? I am buying the lottery tickets tomorrow.
    Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
    Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

  • #2
    Pour yourself a good measure of Merlot, Holly. It wont get you south, but you'll feel better!


    • #3
      Actually, I DON'T dream of going South in the Winter. This is my time to get all the training I need for the following year (2-3 lessons a week - jump, dressage and XC if possible). I like to play in the snow (http://www.facebook.com/video/video....50473418167622) and just let my horses have time off! There is something wonderful about being in Winter that re-energizes the desire to compete come Spring.

      Also, if you do it right, you lose NOTHING on those who go off to compete. I have started the year at a 2-star in the past after 6 months off for Winter and been competitive. Let them go and enjoy the empty barn and the training opportunities.

      Last edited by RAyers; Dec. 27, 2011, 10:29 PM.


      • #4
        I will join you in the bottle of merlot. . . .

        Even tho I live in the "South" a mere 1.5 hours from Aiken and Southern Pines - nothing is happening. Tight budget, family deaths, one more kid from the local military school needs assistance, the home building economy rolled over and died. . . Looks like I will be in the wheelchair next to you waving as the others ride by.

        You bring the cups, I will bring the vino
        "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
        Courtesy my cousin Tim


        • #5
          I know what you mean retread. I would love to go, just for a week. But we got furloughed this year From the 23rd to the 3rd. I could have maybe squeaked together funds to go, but no one's there then! To pay my bills, I am using my leave over the furlough, and I'm getting married this year, so I can't burn another week to go down later.

          And Reed, I agree with you as well. I enjoy relaxing, and riding in the snow, etc. I had planned to take a couple lessons and go hunting over my furlough. Guess what. Maresy decided to get a MASSIVE gash on the inside of her hock about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I got to get back on yesterday and walk. :'( So by the end of my furlough, she will be ready to go do those things, but I will be busy with work.

          Okay, I'm done my pity party, Time to open that bottle of Moscato and snuggle by the woodstove and watch a movie.


          • #6
            Hey, Retread!

            Things aren't all that bad. For one, you are not in a hotbed of idiotic Southern culture. Ever seen that show about moon shine? Yep, that is the south. Pay no mind to ye olde braggers. At least you and your horse may have a nice, quiet winter in the great North!
            And this is the story of your red right ankle.


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by flutie1 View Post
              Pour yourself a good measure of Merlot, Holly. It wont get you south, but you'll feel better!
              Yes, ma'm...consider it done! I'm already more cheerful...(substituted chardonnay for the merlot, though...)
              Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
              Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


              • #8
                thuuuubbbb to the south!

                I want to stay home and watch TV January and Feb.

                My horses just had 1.5 months off and they are fat and happy and I have no desire to show through the winter.

                I'd like to save my money, put time into my (human) relationship, and get on Toby to walk in the back field.
                Plus it's my motto to bulk up for the winter. In Nov I start living on beer and cheetoes. Jan is my month to lose the 8 lbs that I gain in Nov and Dec.

                You've got it good.
                Last edited by purplnurpl; Jan. 3, 2012, 10:42 AM.
                Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                • #9
                  I'm in the cold, rainy, dark PNW and enjoying every minute of it.

                  Y'all can have your South.

                  Today, wearing about six layers of clothing including a softshell winter jacket and a waterproof ski jacket over it, I went over to the barn-with-the-indoor to lunge my 3YO TB who is going through a bratty toddler stage. It was about 1 hour from cross-ties to indoor because we were working on standing still and then trying out a new bit (Fulmer snaffle). At one point, I was in full Charlie Chaplin mode, throwing a second halter on over the halter he'd shaken part-way off, with the cross-ties undone and the bridle lodged over one ear with the noseband firmly and irretractably in his mouth. Somehow, I got it all worked out without the horse leaving the barn or my feet leaving the ground.

                  Then we went into the indoor where the 3YO tried to roll, reared and leapt about when I told him no, and then spent most of our lunging session trying to swing his butt at me in defiance. Also, he wanted to carry the lunge line in his mouth. But I persevered and he calmed down and we ended on a good note with a long hand-walking session. We were both drenched in sweat (me under all those layers); my gloves were soaked through from horse sweat and slobber.

                  When I put him back in his paddock, he went straight to his water and drank a lot. I took that as a victory for me. He's smart and lazy, so he'll make it easier on himself in the future.

                  This is why I like winter. Everyone else is on a easy schedule, not much pressure to do anything other than inch along in our training.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
                    Yes, ma'm...consider it done! I'm already more cheerful...(substituted chardonnay for the merlot, though...)
                    Heeeyyyy, I'm drinking chardonnay too!

                    I would love to take 3 weeks to submerge myself in Eventer Bliss, but it's just not realistic.

                    Interestingly, those of us that have non-horse careers and fit our riding in between the calendar pages are probably the same ones financing most of the sport. We don't have sponsors, or deep pocketed owners, or rich parents(nothing against those that do ), we just love the sport.

                    I raise my glass to you Retread!
                    Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

                    The Grove at Five Points


                    • #11
                      I feel ya. I've done the south thing (both Ocala and Aiken) several times each. I enjoy going south. A lot. But the costs outnumber the advantages this year. I'll drive down on weekends to both to show, but no wintering for me. Maybe next year.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JER View Post
                        I'm in the cold, rainy, dark PNW and enjoying every minute of it.
                        HOW in the world have I been on here all these years and missed that you were in the PNW?

                        I'm usually off work at 4:30, which gets me home before dark (wasn't the longest day of the year last week?), but not out to the barn.

                        I just dropped a few (hundreds of) dollars on a workup and then HA/shark cartilage injections for my TB. In an effort to provide us both with the best possible future and care, I've also decided to downsize and sell my other two.

                        Rode him for the first time after the the injection on Christmas Day and he felt abso-freakin'-lutely fabulous. Better than ever. I LOVE the off season for the fact that we can really school the weak areas, progress in all areas, and work on our partnership.

                        South? Who needs to go south! Paradise is right here at home, honey!
                        *Raises my post-work, pre-ride glass of cheap Pinot Noir*


                        • #13
                          "I am just so tired of "I'm packing for Aiken" and "I can't wait to see my buds and go south". Jealous much? YES."

                          Hey, you should have married better (it's what I tell my wife when she complains about her job). These Aiken pigeons have a good time...there will come a day when the idiot daddy, mummy or husband will decide, "Ya' know, she can get her fat butt to work, I'm done paying for her and her Speshul horse pals". Is it fair? Of course it's fair, these rather spoiled brats are everywhere...check out a mall at lunch as they're wandering around with their equally vacuous friends, schleping at the barn during the day while the rest of the world works to pay for their lives.

                          I've always gotten' along with the parasite class...but I always hated their attitudes towards my other female friends, the ones who worked. The parasites looked down their noses at these intelligent working women...saying snarky things like "if she were cuter, she could have gotten a guy to pay for her life"...or insinuating how stupid these women are to work. Very snarky and pathetic (these are the Middleburg types I'm referring to...grew up around them, and would never ever let a male friend get involved with them without warning them over and over. Some listened, some didn't.
                          "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


                          • #14
                            I'm a H/J rider, but envy is envy is envy, so I'll raise the beer I'm drinking with the rest of you wine drinkers

                            I took a promotion at work a couple of years ago to manage a team of folks in the SE. We put our farm up here in the NW for sale assuming it would take 6-12 months to sell, and I'm sitting her 2 years in with no takers despite the fact that we're basically giving it away. My boss spent the last 12 months telling me I would be fired if I didn't move by "x" date (first March 31, then June 30, then July 31st, then September 30th, and so on). I promised myself that if we hadn't sold the house by December I would quit my job and head down to Thermal (California) for 2-3 weeks. But things worked out differently and I'm still stuck commuting weekly to the SE for the foreseeable future, so no Thermal for me! And boy, a few weeks in a row is exactly what my TB needs to work out what I'm trying to get him to work out.

                            Oh well, everything happens for a reason and I suppose I'd be a lot more stressed out if I needed to have my guys fit enough to show in a month or two!

                            Maybe I'll just have another beer Cheers!
                            Flying F Sport Horses
                            Horses in the NW


                            • #15
                              I hear ya. I'm lucky enough to have a job that means I can ride during the day, which makes winter much more bearable (my paltry yearly salary means I have to board at a buisy lesson barn, so daytime it is!). I always think about how would it be if I could afford 5 figure horses and a competition winter down south instead of 500$ projects who lets face it will never go higher then Training level.

                              The fact is, EVEN if I did manage to marry money, I would always work, even if my "work" involved being a stay at home mom.

                              The cool thing is for me - there is a possibility of being about to "fly south" in future. My SO sells rugs from a large tent in mall parking lots, so spends summer up north, and winter in FL/Louisiana/Texas depending on the year. If I had my own rig, which I'm working on buying I could totally make it work down the road when we're married and I work for him full time. Biggest hitch is finding board under $1000 a month within a 2 hour drive of NYC, but I can overcome that.


                              • #16
                                Reed... that clip was awesome!

                                Thanks for sharing it ... and how fabulous was it to see your horse come back to look at you... mine would be galloping away...

                                And going South is on my bucket list... just to be able to hack outside would be enough for me... I'm in MA and terrified of ice... So unless we have fresh snow, I'm inside.

                                The numbers never worked out for me. Most of the Aiken or FL dollars would be going towards my well-trained horse's vacation, not mine. So, we both work through the winter at home...
                                Live, Laugh, Love


                                • #17
                                  I just wish I could get lessons once/twice a week. Anywhere. But alas, I can't afford to go for a month someplace. There are the kids, the job (though I do have a lovely break over the holidays...I'm also busy prepping for next semester!), and finances. Sigh. I would love to be able to take lessons on a regular basis. So anyone who can do that, wherever you are, consider yourselves lucky!
                                  --Becky in TX
                                  Clinic Blogs and Rolex Blogs
                                  She who throws dirt is losing ground.


                                  • #18
                                    And then there's those of us who live down here (year round). Eagerly looking forward to the few months each year when there are rated events less than 8 hours away, and wishing we could join the jumper derbies and schooling days that happen on Wednesdays when we're stuck riding a desk chair to pay the entries for those precious few weekends.

                                    And then there's the winter guests, and tough choices because *everything* is scheduled on the same dozen weekends each year. So I wind up missing the art shows and concerts to do the events, or vice versa.

                                    About those lottery tickets.....


                                    • #19
                                      Reed, that clip was kind of adorable. I loved when he trotted back over to check on you.

                                      As to heading south? My horse heads out Sunday, I'm staying here. I have a job and husband and all of that, so I'm staying here while my mare heads off for her winter fun. I know she'll be happier out in turn out that's not deep mud and away from the indoor, and my trainer is big on hacking out for the horses.

                                      I'm just bummed that I'll be without a horse for a couple months in order for her to have that time. I'll admit that I envy the riders that don't have to watch their budget and ride late at night after work. One day I'll be able to just migrate south with her. Come next week I'll be sharing that chardonnay with you.
                                      http://thoughtfulequestrian.blogspot.com - My Ventures Into Eventing


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by CANTEREOIN View Post
                                        Thanks for sharing it ... and how fabulous was it to see your horse come back to look at you... mine would be galloping away...

                                        There has been some training to get him to do that. I lay down in the ring when I turn him out and feed him carrots.

                                        Riding in fresh snow is one of the greatest things to do on a horse. We used to gallop over hill and dale chasing each other in new snow. Winter is the time of renewal. For me I relive some of my childhood. I also still get lawn darted like I did as a kid too.