Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2024

She Rides, I Pay

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The lovely and talented Lauren Sprieser, my fellow blogger and online friend, is trying to tell us all that the seasonal relocation of her barn to Florida ain’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

Greetings sports fans from the frozen tundra that is Vermont. I continue to hibernate, coffee cup in hand, looking out the window, thinking about going to the barn to watch the girl ride, but it’s really cold!

The girl continues to put in long hours at the barn, ever the faithful and committed young horseperson. I shamefully admit that over the past several weeks, I have only done drive-bys—picking the girl up at the end of the day, not even getting out of the car. The only real barn time I’ve put in is my regular Saturday afternoon barn chore shift.

The holidays are over and we’re settling in for our remaining five months of winter. As I read about Lauren’s seasonal relocation to Florida, I assessed my own state of mind and find that I am (surprisingly) OK. There will be no trip to Ocala this year. There are no business trips on the horizon to warm weather locales. It’s just winter as far as the eye can see. It’s cool. I can handle it. Just check on me every couple of weeks, OK?

‘Tis the time of year when people give you a gift, and you don’t have one to give to them. When you receive a pink fuzzy sweater that you’d like to exchange. And perhaps there’s a coffee maker, a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine you’re thinking of regifting.

How’s a polite barn girl to handle these situations? It’s also the time of year when we want to thank the folks who work hard all year to care for our beasts—the barn workers, the trainer, the farrier, the vet. What’s an appropriate gift?

Pink’s not really my color…..

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Last week, two trainers and one junior rider from our area had the opportunity to ride in a George Morris clinic, held at The Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, Nov. 12-14.

From May through October, I kept a kid and horse entirely presentable and A-rated horse show ready. I dry cleaned show coats, I hand-washed Essex Collection shirts, I removed stains from Tailored Sportsman breeches. I found a hand-me-down pair of ancient tall boots and taught my kid how to polish and nurse them through the season.

Question:  There’s a person in our barn who is constantly borrowing things from everyone else—polo wraps, boots, bits, spurs, stirrups, she even used someone else’s saddle for the entire show season. We all know it’s expensive to ride, and you can’t always afford to buy everything your horse needs. And I don’t mind lending things out once in a while. But this chronic lending seems to be a solution rather than a stop-gap measure. In my opinion, if you can’t afford to be in the sport, get out. Harsh, I know.

How many of you have Halloween plans that involve horses? And costumes? Come on…fess up! How many of you have spent time and money this month making or buying a Halloween costume for a horse? You can’t hide it from me. I made a tutu last year for a Connemara. It doesn’t get more embarrassing than that.

It was an early start for the junior riders competing in the 34th annual New England Equitation Championships held at The Big E coliseum in Springfield, Mass., on Sunday, Oct. 24. The course walk began at 6 a.m., and the first rider was on course at 7.

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