Friday, December 31, 2010

The last day of 2010







It has been a long awaited last post... or something like that. since Fair hill it has all been a bit of a whirlwind, that isn't letting up. so before I run off to ride my horse for the last time this year, I will update for the last time.

After Fair Hill baby Fred had 2 shows, Waredaca and Rubicon. He was awesome at Waredaca. jumping around like a seasoned pro! Taking it all out of stride. check out the video- ... Rubicon was a fun weekend for me! One of my good friends invited me to the MC ball on friday. we took a vote and decided I should go. So after dragging my dad out dress shopping... which was all in good fun! and running about making sure everything was done early Friday so that I could drive down to Richmond in time to make it for the cocktail hour, the week was filled with good fun! Fred was a pro. he got to be a grown up pony with a hoodie and getting braids the day before! I met Valerie the next morning at Rubicon. After a late night there was a large amount of coffee drinking at way to early in the am. The ball was a lot like prom except all the guys had on the same uniform. Which can be a little odd. We ended up sitting next to a guy that lived in Grapevine. It makes me laugh when I meet people from that area around here! anyways back to Rubicon... Fred was awesome put in his best test to date! (24.. ) not to brag. and finished the day in 8th in a tough division.

Most of you know that around the same time as Rubicon, I sold Sam. It was a very happy and sad moment for me. He has a great new family and I am very excited to see what they can do in the future! I also acquired a new project. North Star. he is 5 and off the track... and... another chestnut with a white star... (I think I might have a serious problem with red heads!?!) He is an awesome young horse. I am very excited to see what he will be doing in a few months.

I have spent a few weekends traveling, a whirlwind 6 days in 4 states for thanksgiving! and then a relaxing weekend in LA. (thank goodness I got my in n out fix! ) and a weekend at home in atl for christmas with the rents.. Kind of funny to see the whole world shut down at the forecast of snow. Then coming home to it and not being able to drive up the road you live on! My car is not a fan of snow. scratch that... ice....

I finished up this semester. with a personal best GPA for juggling school horses and a social life. (and sometimes another job). As a final note, a big thank you to everyone who has helped this year. Some of you it was a word or a statement, some letting me study, and some helping me through all the adventures life has thrown at me. I am looking forward to a new year with many new adventures!

P.S. I attached some pics. dress shopping. fred in a hood. and what not. enjoy!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The hill that was fair.












Fairhill was an experience! Morris was a star finishing 12th in the 2 star.but i think thats getting ahead on the story a bit! On Thursday it decided to turn into a lovely rain filled day.(after all we were at fairhill and what would it be without a little rain!) In which I must admit to hiding in the barn for most of the day, we did make it out to walk the course. It was beautiful. But there certainly was a lot to do. The first fences were nice and straight forward and then wham! Fence 5 was the first water. And it didn't let up. The course was going to be hard to make the time and I was glad that morris is a xc machine. Thursday afternoon we all ventured out in the rain(with as many layers as possible on) to the dressage arenas. It's nice to be able to walk them around the outside of the ring before you add in the spectators judges and flapping tents in this case. Morris was super! even though he is very opposed to rain!

On Friday we had an early morning so that Valerie could preride then I could beautify and then go straight to the test! Morris is making huge improvements on the flat. Everytime he goes in the arena its better. There was a large gap between the two judges score and it would be a lie to say we were happy with the scores. But alas this is not a dressage show! Come saturday the score board was shaken up. The time was hard to make with very few clear rounds inside the time. Morris was one of them! Their round moved them into 12th. Morris looked awesome at all the jumps I was able to watch from the vet box. Those nine minutes seem to last forever when your waiting for your horse to come back! Morris was obviously unimpressed as he drug me back to the barn! Then as any groom will tell you the icing wrapping walking jogging begins. Morris had a crew of people helping to make sure he recovered as quickly as possible! ( many thanks to randy Dr ober and everyone else that gave a few minutes to morris!). Sadly come saturday night I was at a huge loss. Jenn Simmons had a fall on xc and as a result JB was put down. As most of you already know,I spent the past year working for jenn, and let me tell you it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Jenn is an amazing person with a huge heart who is always smiling, and willing to help anyone. She taught me to many things to list. and JB was perfect, it is a huge loss to the eventing community as he was a horse to watch out for in the future. JB changed my life to, he taught me how to let go of everything else. sounds a little crazy but there was something about JB that had that effect on you. I was luck enough to be at JBs three star debut and it was beautiful to watch. he and jenn had the kind of relationship that every rider wants with their horse. Please keep Jenn and Sharon in your thoughts!

Sunday morning is always tense back in the barns. And this was no different. when I first arrived all the lights were out and it was mildly entertaining to walk into the tent and see all the other grooms with their cells out as flashlights and then start braiding in the dark... after the lighting mystery was solved everyone was focused on the jogs! we did lighten the mood in our aisle with some friendly contests. Who has the most braids?? I won with 23 but I was the brunt of a few jokes! Not that I wasn't making some of them. I really did try to have less but got 23 every time this weekend (maybe thats the lucky number???). O well. Morris did look beautiful. So on to the jog! The ground jury set a very high standard and quite a few horses were sent to the hold. Morris was not one of them. Accepted! Those words never sounded better. Then it was a speedy tack change Valerie walking course and on for the pre ride. Valerie watched some rounds and then got on for her round. Morris was jumping great. Karen was there to make sure Valerie and morris switched into show jumping mode after yesterdays big xc course. Karen has a lot of good things to say and I was very happy with how everything was going. Morris and Valerie had one rail and were easily inside the time. The rail was unfortunate but fixable. We have some homework for the winter but that will have to wait as morris is on vacay for a bit and then will have a lite few weeks before the hard work and showing begins in February. He is also happy that won't be attacking him with soap (well atleast not everyday.) The young horses have a few more outings before the end of the season so be sure to check back.

I have attached some pics from the weekend. I hope you enjoy them.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In barns and jogs

Morris and I headed up to fair hill yesterday to do in barns. The day started with an early ride on Sam. He was perfect. He is one seriously fancy dressage pony. After giving him lots of cookies and telling him I would see him in a few days, I was off to kaleidscape. Morris decided to get extra dirty! Just because someone told him he wouldn't get to roll in mud for a few days! After some bathing we were off! Upon arriving after taking some awesome narrow back roads (thank you gps!) We headed over for our in barns. They looked over morris gave us the thumbs up and our number. 45 out of 60. I settled morris in and got straight to unloading. I don't think I have ever been more thankful that Vals trunk is on wheels! Morris enjoyed his meal while I organized the pile. After that shennagins morris and I took a walk around the other side of the road. He thought that the xc jumps in the middle of the dressage arena were more interesting than anything else! This morning Valerie met me at the barn to ride morris before the riders meeting. Morris settled right in! Then it was up to me to braid bathe and get him looking in top form for the jog. We headed over to the jog and thank goodness walked away with the only word you want to hear ACCEPTED! Shortly after I had to head back to Alexandria for an economics class. I will be back at fairhill bright and early tomorrow with more updates! Morris does dressage Friday morning. So tomorrow I can walk course and stalk the competition. It looks like a tough group but I know morris is ready for the challenge!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

better late than never.

the past month. give or take. has been a whirlwind. with many long trips, hours staring at homework. midterms. o ya. and almost no time on a horse.

I should start out by saying that the weekend of the area championships, I decided that it would be a grand idea to have a small accident. sadly this is the lamest story and the truth. I fell in a hole moving a bale of hay. a few hours later I was nonweight bearing. (small problem when you spend all your hours on your feet!) so off to see another ortho. thank goodness it was only a sprain and a strained tendon! (in the first set of xrays they saw a possible break!) It was a tad bit of a relief. but the doc said a boot, too which I replied. well I work at a horse farm I just dont see how that could possibly work. insert look of disbelief from doc here. needless to say I got a brace that basically only let me walk and not put to much stress on my ankle. but no riding(or running) until I could do a list of exersices. bummer!

Next thing I knew we were headed to Richland! for fred's first outing and Morris's first Intermediate back. Richland was so much fun! many thanks to all the people that pitched in to give me an extra hand! as certain things were quite limiting with being a one foot wonder. Morris put in a good dressage test, and was so amazing to watch xc! he just loves his job. every time I watch him go it makes me appreciate him more! Show jumping was not quite what we had planned but the course was quite tricky and jumps were falling down across all the levels. Fred was a little star! he was on a pro am team for PRO. (that ended up winning) but for his first go I dont think we could have asked for a better place or outcome! he finished fourth on his dressage score! you could tell he was green, but he is so cute about it, i love watching fred grow up! all in all the weekend was a huge success!

Our next outing was the AECs, but we had a quick stop at a PVDA dressage show before hand. Morris keeps getting better and better! he was the high score at 2nd level for the show! and won both his classes! go morris go!!! and off to the AECs we went. I was so excited to go, I use to live in GA, and my rents still do. Morris was super in the dressage! and then had an unfortunate moment xc and put in a solid sj. it was a great weekend, filled with lots of hanging out with old friends! lunch with my family, and lots of great riding. I love watching it is a mini education. and i almost forgot... we debuted the new quartermark! courtesy of arts and crafts night! check out the blue clover eventing facebook page for pics

The next weekend we headed to a local show with Fred! He won the dressage! which was pretty amazing, because there was a horse galloping around in warm up! Fred kept his cool the whole time ( huge thing for such a baby! ) Fred was awesome in the show jumping, because he seemed to just get the whole o were jumping a course thing! go fred go! he had a green moment xc which I didnt see which kept him from claiming the blue. (thats okay he told me back at the trailer that hes got his sights on it for morven) Freddie's owners the Ellis family came to see him go, (and feed him cookies (he told me to say that too!) ) The girls got there first rides on Foxy, (the mini bike) which looked like a blast. We are all looking forward to Fred and Morris having great rides at morven.

Whew what a past few weeks! I have to give a big huge THANKS!!! to valerie for keeping sam going for me I started riding about a week ago. I rode the first time on a friday and then headed to a dressage show on saturday. We took fred and morris too! It was fun and between not being able to ride coming up to it and having the virus I was pretty pleased with Sams performance. He got a 71. something! and won the training level division! I was so proud of him. He even got an 8 on gaits. ( I think I should stop bragging about how awesome my pony is. he might start to get a complex!) Fred gets better and better every time he goes in ring. I cant say I blame him i think it would be hard to get 17+ hands all together in a small arena to! and morris was great as well winning the first level division! It was a fun filled day with the boys! and I finally felt back at home in the saddle. Now on to fixing all those bad habits I thought I had curbed that snuck back up on me during the break! o and finish some homework too.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

area championships. take one.

So this post has been a bit delayed! It has been a long past few weeks. with work work work.. o yeah and school. i have been a bit behind in getting this up! I can honestly say that the drive home saturday was a long one. but my horse is the best! There is no horse that I would rather be sitting on. sam is just such an honest horse.. and he tries. his ears are always up and he just goes.! well so for the dirty details!

I got to the barn at an unreasonably early hour, since I had to finish packing! (had to close the night before) and then braid bath. beautify! Sam looked awesome and we got to the show a bit ahead of time, which worked out well. I got on sam and had the most perfect dressage warmup. He just went straight to work. not caring about the trailer parking that was going on or the horses dodging out of the way. When he went in the ring he stayed so rideable. (which has certainly been an issue in the past, hes not bad just distracted by the judge. cars. flowers. etc) after dressage valerie walked xc with me and then sent me out on my own. The championship course had 3 jumps that I thought would be quite hard. the first was a water trough. it was pretty verticle and the top had a black tarp filled with water. complete with floating ducks. The second was the novice ditch. I had a pretty good plan on how I needed to ride it and the third was the water. not because sam is bad about it only because you had to wind around in between jumps to get in and out of it. when I was done I could not resist and atleast take a peek at my score. it was a 31.9! and the lowest score was a 30.5 so far. only about half the division was posted at that point.

As I was getting on for cross country I pictured my course and how every fence would ride about 10 times.(i have a habit of forgetting jumps!) and i can honestly say I was so happy to be sitting on sam. his ears pricked right up as a we walked into the warm up. he just knows i swear! You had to hack to the start box and sort of stroll around for a few. and sam can be pretty attempting to fall asleep in the box type of guy. but he was all business straight out of the start box and over the first jump. he was certainly moving along after the jumps. and after fence 3 we had a gallop through the woods with rocks sprayed orange so you could see them. sam thought we need to look more closely and after a bit of kicking on I had to seriously sit up and wait to the 2 jumps going out of the woods! he was like a little rocket. after that we had a gallop to a chevron. which sam spooked at! but jumped so boldly over. it really reminded me that I need to slow his foot work down to the trough and the ditch! and wow he was so good! I could go on and on about how perfect he was but I cantered through the finish all smiles and pats for the super pony.

We went to watch a few show jumping rounds and checked the score board and I saw that I was in 2nd after dressage. wow! and that I had a 20 on cross country. This totally blew my mind. SO straight to the show office I went and started the inquiry process. I asked about my stop and which jump it was and how to find the TD. so after they told me off to xc to find the TD I went. I said my horse spooked and was going a bit out through his right shoulder and jumped the fence on a angle. but never for a single second did the horse stop. TD talked to jump judges. no dice said that I had stopped and then jumped from a stand still. at this point I was crying and totally upset. I was shocked and asked what you do after an inquiry because I could not stand by and let a stop that did not happen be counted. I was told I could protest for 200$ yikes! okay I said. so I went and wrote my statement and brought my check to the show office. where the secretary tried to talk me out of protesting. I was informed that no one ever won and it was just a waste of my time and money. I kindly said okay, but I have to do this. if I loose atleast I know I tried. at this point he asked me to see if they had pictures and to talk to the photographer. I also told them valerie had seen the jump and was willing to talk to them. I turned in my form and was now waiting for the president of the ground jury to preform an investigation, after they told me whoops it was only 100$ to protest but it was 200$ to appeal. While this started I looked at the pictures (which they had of me in the air but not before.) and talked to the photographer who said he remembered me and did not remember a stop. So I tried to tell the secretary what the photographer had said, who tried to tell the TD, who flipped out! and just said I needed to leave everything alone and stay out of it. I think I spent the majority of the day crying.

but I still had to show jump and I was determined to put this out of my mind and have a good round. I started in the warm up not riding very well and being a bit to casual with my canter. then the last 2 jumps were awesome! I was ready to go.... until o wait theres the show secrtary coming up to me while im standing in the in gate and the next horse to go in. O Lara we need to talk about your protest after your round. It rattled me alot. at this point I just wanted to get out of the show jump ring and find out what happened. I lost my focus and had my worst show jumping round to date. I have never had more than one rail. I pulled 3 and they were all mine. I ran sam off his feet and past all his distances. yikes. finally on the turn to fence 7 I was like LARA pull it TOGETHER!!! sam deserves a better ride. and the last 4 were perfect.
Right as we walked out it was straight to business. I was informed that my protest had be denied. my check would be cashed. and not that it mattered anyway because I had just pulled 3 rails. (and yes he actually told me that). I was devistated. It was all I could do not to cry at that point. They showed me the statement from the jump judges which basically said my horse was cantering reared up stopped then jumped. I had no idea what to even say to that. I walked back to the trailer and packed and started to think. and this is what I came up with. (well and after consulting the rules) first an appeal is free, if I had known this I would have appealed. second the president of the ground jury never talked to me, or the photographer, or valerie, how can it be an investigation, if you only talk to the jump judge??? I honestly did not even know the name of the president of the ground jury, third they never looked at the picture. sam is up over the jump with square knees and I was in a solid jumping position which could not have happened had my horse stopped. fourth. as a competitor you should never be treated as badly as I was. and last the officals should not lie to you about the rules. (though we should all be familiar with them when you ask them they shouldn't tell you something that is not there)

Saturday was by far my longest drive home. I cried alot. and then realized that I would not be one of those people that just sat by, first thing monday I contacted the USEF and filled out all the proper forms. while my horse was perfect he did not get to show it, sadly for once through no fault of mine. I was very impressed with the USEFs fast response. The only thing that I hope to gain from this experience is that I can at the very least make sure this never happens to anyone else. Sam still got a bag of treats. some extra grain and a few days off! he doesn't know that he was anything but perfect. and while the score board might not agree. he was.

heres a link to the pictures. I will be the first to admit the show jump ones arent the greatest. but he looks super over the water trough and the chevrons. (where we "stopped"). and he shows off his awesome trot in the dressage! hope you enjoy them. http://www.photoreflect.com/store/Orderpage.aspx?pi=0EBK00D50N0000&po=0&pc=71

and now I really should get back to homework.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gearing up for the area 2 championships.

So as the original game plan for the year has dissolved. I think I can remember the day it happened, or maybe just when I realized that i was in fact not making it to the training 3 day (again). It was a good and a bad day. I realized that my horse had some big set backs this spring (not shipping well to aiken), and that it was unfair to ask him to move up and then try and get qualified. So i took a few steps back and looked at what it might take to get him someplace for some more positive experiences, and it turns out he qualified for the Beginner Novice Championships. This was a total accident, since he had not been out in about 8 months we decided to do a low key BN before going back to Novice, and he won it. So after his summer vacay he has been back in work for about a month, and is ready to go to the big BNCH! The past weeks we have been mixing it up with flat schools, jump schools, some cross country schooling, trot sets, and hacks. Sam has been totally game since his vacay and I am quite excited about the weekend!

BCE had another great week. As always Morris was Mr. Perfect, and had some great goes! I always love getting to watch Morris jump as he loves his job, and I always learn something. Charm has been stepping up to the plate and shows great form over fences. She is turning out to be quite the fancy little horse! Freddie has been so grown up. He has been jumping courses and looks like a total pro. He is so fun to watch because you can just tell hes going to be something BIG one day. He just has this thing about him.

This week Valerie and I took Freddie and Sam to Waredaca for there open schooling day. I ran into some people I knew from Middleburg, and it was so great to see them! (sometimes its nice to see a familiar face! and one you use to see everyday.) the ponies were superstars!! I am going to brag about sam because wow! he was just taking me right on down to the fences, sometimes it was a bit hard to remember to actually ride because I kept thinking to myself wow I can't believe this is really my horse!!!! It was good practice for the weekend, because we got to put some small courses together and work on galloping and then setting up. Freddie was phenomenal. He jumped the Novice log into water straight away ears pricked like it was no big thing! He jumped around most of the Novice course and just got it. Hes so fun to watch as he just seems to pick them off!

On a non horse note, I landed an awesome part time job at a locally owned restaurant in Annapolis. It is so fun, and I didn't realize how much I missed being in the kitchen. (funny how that works!) and I am looking forward to starting class next week!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

millbrook.

Last week ended with a big trip up to millbrook with morris (clifton jade) and freddie. I think I am getting ahead of myself allready! On tuesday we headed to OCET so valerie and morris could have another show jump school before millbrook. I was so impressed with the facility. not that i expected anything less. and morris jumped around like a rock star!!! as this was my first trip down to OCET I was introduced to everyone there, it felt a bit like being the new kid on the block... but I always enjoy watching other riders since I think you can learn something from everyone. and when someone's getting a lesson all the better. sometimes you go OOOO thats what "insert name here" was talking about. I have had a few of those recently as things that people have said to me in the past that made no sense at the time are flooding back with wooow thats what she/he ment. I love when that happens because then I have figured out another piece to the never ending puzzle. Sam had a light week because he needed some new nikes. (many thanks to angus for keeping all the horses at BCE shod) so we had a very productive flat on wednesday. Working on him staying straight and supple. Hes finally starting to figure it out. Then I was off to eat with my dad who had a layover in DC. I always enjoy when he comes since I don't get to see him as much as I would like. Sadly my car started trying to overheat so it is now sitting in the shop hoping to get a clean bill of health soon.

Thursday we left for millbrook bright and early and arrived there and unpacked just as it started down pouring rain, luckily we all stayed dry!!! The ponies all went for a bit of hand grazing and Freddie got to explore the grounds. Freddie came this weekend to hang out and see what this event thing was all about! Morris ran in the OP since it was his first outing since the CCI** at Bromont. He was very fun to watch as he did not seem the least bit concerned with any off the jumps on xc! Freddie was a super star as well. He got lounged all over the show grounds just so he could have a look around and got ridden in all the different warm ups! It was a fun weekend for me as well, I got to see Robin (who I lived with in aiken) for the first time since leaving for jersey fresh! (I am not going to lie I think that was the highlight) Robins horse is also named sam and is equally as adorable as my sam. We had a safe trip back to MD after morris left all the poles in there cups but I must say I was sad to miss the games demo and the advanced show jumping (I had to settle for some eventing nation stalking instead)....

I am off to memorize my dressage test (since I have had silly errors in my last 3! ... yikes) I had really better get on top of that.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bdays. bulls. and xc schooling.

This week has been one full of planning and adventures. Sam started camp valerie, and well I did too! The ponies have been super this week. Charm has been learning to jump and she is super cute over fences. (check out http://www.blueclovereventing.com for more details!) Freddie Mac has been taking some field trips out and about and hes going to be a cross country star. I took some awesome video video (if I do say so myself) but must admit to not being able to decide to watch through the screen or above it, and my filming might be all over the place as a result! whoops! Tori has been learning that the less dirty she is the less scrubbing there is... or maybe thats just wishful thinking on my part. Morris went to KOCs and has been working hard getting ready for Millbrook!!! Sam has been practicing his circles and we have tweaked my position to help keep Sam in better balance. were hoping to show off at DRPC... Since we have sams next outing picked out, we decided to sharper our jumping skills as well..

Sam jumped around the indoor at FCF like a pro on thursday as a bit of a refresher course before xc schooling at morven. Morris Freddie Mac and Sam all had a romp around Morven Park on friday and wow!!! They were all perfect! but I will only brag about Sam. he acted like a seasoned pro. We jumped around did some mini courses, and just worked on keeping him soft and straight. sounds easy, right? Sam made me a super proud mom. Which reminds me.....

So today's my birthday and Valerie and Richard took me out to dinner last night. since today had a pretty packed sched. Anyways. I digress... I ordered my drink first and got IDed.. (shocking I know) The waitress looked at my ID for all of 5 seconds before declaring that she had never seen one like that before (its from ga not another country) and that I wouldnt use a fake because I was out to eat with my RENTS.... Yikes... well I was beside myself with shock and could only muster. They aren't my parents... I did feel quite bad as she spent the rest of the night apologizing. We went to Cadillac Ranch for some drinks and live music. Valerie and Rachel convinced me to ride the bull.... (vids on facebook)... Its actually alot of fun... and certainly harder than it looks... not to say that I have skills but most people were falling off in about 10 seconds or less. I was pretty content with my 45ish seconds. enough with my shenanigans...its back to the pool for now.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

HOT HOT HOT...

So the temps have been hitting record highs. and well my car which just crossed the 200K line decided it would be a great time to let the ac die. I am not totally disheartened by the whole situation as when I do finally get in the AC, I get a bit chilled. What can you do? A new car is a bit low on the priority list at the moment.

However I got to go pick up Sam on Thursday and he is certainly enjoying all the green grass he can eat and a stall with a fan where he sleeps away the hot afternoons! He is however not enjoying being put back into work. He is going to start at Camp Valerie on monday (hes excited about that... secretly!). He has been very good and is enjoying some long hacks and light trot sets. This week was filled with some exciting happenings at Blue Clover. Valerie Fred and I went to his first cross country schooling, and he was such a super star! He is coming right along and I can't wait to watch this horse at his first event! Valerie and Richard took a mini Vacay this week, so I spent some quality time with all the ponies. The super star was certainly Charm, but the others were stars as well! Morris and I have been bonding and he is certainly a character. He is very easy to love on, and I have been known to sneak him a few carrots here and there. I also got to spend some quality time with gunsmoke (the BCE mascot!) who is adorable! and hysterical. He has quite a few toys, his favorite being skunky, and he gets very into playing (perhaps a video of this in the future) it is quite funny as sometimes he does a bit of a sliding stop and takes out various rugs and what not with him, he also plays some mean tug of war!

Sam has some big decisions coming up! He needs one more placing to qualify for the AECs and we are hoping to run him at the end of August to get it. This however totally depends on him, he needs to be a bit more confident at the jumps as I have been slacking on my piloting skills recently and while he makes up for them I can't expect him to forever! So we are going to do some boot camp to hopefully work out these issues and come out on the other side as a better team!

Monday, July 19, 2010

a vacation and a change.


So I should start this out by saying its been a long time! I got a bit caught up with everything that life has been throwing my way and forgot about this! but I promise to be better with the updates....

So as the spring season came to a close I chalked up some awesome dressage scores, some ribbons and another TE on sam. Through no fault of his own... (I missed a jump in the SJ... whooopps) Overall I am so pleased with him. I am really starting to enjoy doing circles... I am not 100% sure what the fall has in store for us! (more on that later). After sams season ended I headed up to Bromont with Jenn for the CCI***. It was a bittersweet weekend as it was my last weekend with Jenn. Both of her horses were amazing!! and I enjoyed every minute of being there. I would like to say thanks to Jenn for the amazing experiences I had while being there. She is such an amazing horse person and taught me and Sam so much. I had to make a big decision because of school, that silly piece of paper! I have discovered I am much more of an in class person, and less of an on line person. So had to make a small change of plans, and will be the first to admit that I did get a bit teared up on tuesday morning after I got up, and must admit to have been a bit lost, but my family came straight to the rescue and asked me to join them for 10 days in Yosemite... I had a great time stacking rounds, cooking smores, rafting, and seeing old friends! My family is always supportive of the choices I make, and I am so thankful!!! So the great debate was on cooking or horses and how to juggle school! Decisions decisions. WELL to make a long story short I am doing a bit of everything. groom by day. waitstaff by select nights and weekends and student on mondays and wednesdays.... Yikes... busy busy busy.... I just started at Blue clover eventing owned by Valerie Vizcarrondo. Sam will be arriving later this week and I can not wait to get back on him... he got a bit of a break between bromont and vacation. I will keep everyone update on all the behind the scenes happening here at Blue clover eventing, my crazy experiences, and the adventures of sam.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

the illness. and a bit of growing up to be had.

as many of my close friends already now the life of Lara is always hysterical. Seriously I hear myself sometimes and all I can think of is really??? .... Recently many people ask me why I groom?? Why work a zillion hours have no chance at a real social life and be okay with it?. The answer is simple I LOVE IT. Hands down I have the best job ever. yes its not 5 days of 9 to 5 its 6 days of 7 till whenever. but I love it. I get up everyday excited to have my job and sometimes life isn't perfect. Mine is far from it. but I have the greatest boss, the best group of friends to share my opps moments with and an amazing horse who is finally starting to grow up. So next time someone asks me why, the answer is simply this because I LOVE every second of my life. happiness. what more could you ask for?

Recently I have had to make many grown up decisions! and let me tell you those are not so fun! I gave my dog away. As many of you already know I love my dog more than life itself. I saved her from the pound when she could fit in the palm of my hand. It was odd like I was ment to have her. but thats a whole different story! this winter i made a decision to leave her in va because it was too hard for her to be here. She has some separation anxiety issues and while I have been gone they amplified and became quite destructive. I made a very tough decision to give her to a family that had someone home all the time that would not travel every weekend and sometimes for a few months. As sad as it is she has a great new family and a home that I could not give her. (yup being a grown up blows sometimes!) as that chapter ends another one begins i guess! there are so many new and exciting things changing! I will keep everyone posted to the latest developments!

On a much more positive exciting note! Jenn had 2 great runs at advanced at sopo this weekend! It was a bit hectic on thursday and friday, but I am working on those time management and assorted groom skills and must say the horses looked pretty amazing this weekend! It was such a special thing to be a part of. I can not wait for the upcoming season!! The only bummer of the weekend is I seem to have caught "the aiken illness" as it has been dubbed. the illness is this wonderful head cold. Let me tell you not so fun! however after some nyquil and assorted other drugs things seem to be on the up and up! I am finally able to breathe without coughing. mostly. it is entertaining when Im trying to have a serious conversation and can't get out 2 words without a coughing fit. Tomorrow means a return trip to Va to drop off all the jumps and some of the extra gear. Then back to SC for a few days and then the real move back home happens. via the fork. and then for me on to plantation with sam the next weekend. I will keep you posted. until next time I will try to have both feet planted firmly on the ground. <3.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Full gallop take 2

It has been a long time since my last post! I have been keeping extremely busy, having my horse down here, attempting the school thing, and being social! Well and of course my job… We have been to Red hills and Pine Top with the big boys. Both of the events went well for us. I have been perfecting my braiding skills and the like. Red hills was gorgeous!!! I cannot wait to head back down there next year. We had 4 horses there, so I didn’t get to watch too much. But I did get to see the World Cup show jump, and that Nicky Henley, he is such an awesome horse. What a special moment for the both of them! The weekend after Red Hills was sams first event of the season, Full Gallop. I was a tad nervous going in, he had a ton of time off because he got sick when he shipped down and had only been doing real work for maybe 2 weeks. We decided to run him BN because he hadn’t done anything since june. I have been working hard on my position and on sams ride ability on the flat and was hoping to show off our hard work and maybe break the 40 barrier! Well we did that! He received a 38 to sit in 3rd place. I was so happy with the test. It was his best to date! On a side note I got to show off my sitting trot skills! I have spent a ton of time learning how to sit properly and finally feel that I don’t flop about and that I can actually ride sam better while I’m sitting. Finally some improvement on the Lara part. Sam would most likely say thank goodness!!! Finally my rider knows something! After finding my score out via text I was over the moon. Who wouldn’t be??? Going into Sunday I was quite nervous! Show jumping is by far my most nerve-racking phase and well sam hadn’t been xc almost 9 months. Yikes! That alone put me on edge. But I walked my course and made plans A B and C. I am such an over thinker. Always analyzing everything! Once we got there I didn’t have much time to think about anything, since Jenn and I only had about an hour between times. This is always great for my nerves. No time to stress. Off to warm up I went, not really sure what my horse was going to do. He was very full of him self in a good way. He was trying to show off his mad skills. Or something. We worked on staying soft and quiet and being able to move him up, all flawless. I watched a few rounds and noticed that rails seemed to be on sale. Never a good sign. Needless to say I just kept picturing a perfect round, and I had one! Sam was perfect totally flawless all business like, one rhythm. He is finally starting to grow up and put all the pieces together. After a big sigh of relief and about 10 mins I was off to xc. Sam I think forgot what the start box was. He literally was standing attempting to fall asleep. I was a bit nervous going out since sam seemed a bit lackadaisical. Turns out all I needed was to jump fence one. After that he didn’t look at a thing! Jumped everything right out of stride. I couldn’t have asked for a better round. So I loaded up and ran to grab some food and check scores. They weren’t up, so I headed out and got a text from a friend telling me I had won! How cool is that? I won and Sam gets to move back up to novice. Sam is one special horse, and I am super excited about the rest of his spring season! Sam is enjoying a mini vacay as I am off to Sopo for the weekend. More soon!

http://www.hoofclix.com/Full-Gallop-Farm/2010-03-14-USEA-Horse-Trial/LaraChance-BN-A284/11517862_29Vr2#810770099_zvPRB a link to some pics!

and Sam wanted everyone to know that he gets a new halter. mainly because he broke 40! but also because he won. He was pretty excited about the whole situation!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow.

So. my thoughts go about like this. I am in south carolina for a reason! I am opposed to snow. very opposed actually. So when i heard the forecast I was in denile. So when it started snowing while we were at Phillips I was not amused! to say the least. When we got back we hurried through the barn chores so that we could button down the hatches literally. We had one running at Pine Top so we decided to play the day by ear! which was a good plan! It started with ride times being pushed back. then possibly cancelled for the day. then finally a free for all starting at 3. yikes! while we were sorting all that out. we lost power at the barn. and since its on a well. We also don't have water. No dice. Luckily we had enough. and I caught some extra water off the roof. What a day! Jenn being awesome! let me crash at her house. so that I could shower and not sleep with 10000 layers on! That being said I want to send many thanks to Jenn and Courtney for letting me borrower their couch! I am very appreciative! We all went to a great Italian restauraunt, after I raided Jenns closet ( love her! ) (my clothes are all being washed and lets face it that means nothings happening there!) So after a day of snow. I am ready for some warmer weather! and the weather forecast might be in my favor. 50 and sunny.

heres to hoping. <3.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Full Gallop Farm HT!

So this week has been an interesting one! I had an incident that involved a pair of clippers and my horse.... he got about 3/4 of the way clipped when it became so dark. I literally could not see where I had and hadnt clipped. So I gave up. Sam looked terrible. poor guy. So the next night I borrowed these LED spotlights from Katie (who is a life saver) to finish clipping. It was quite hilarious. I literally had a light in one hand and my clippers in the other. Sam was perfect. just chilled in the cross ties with the insanely bright light for a bit. after the clipping fiasco. Jenn gave me the plan for today, which included me driving Sam to FGF. I have never driven the big rig and I am not going to lie the first time I drove the truck it kind of terrified me. So me being me was more nervous about driving then I was about riding. (maybe Jenn had some different motives here) So after getting everything set I was off. with Sam on the trailer. I loved it! The truck is a beast. It pulls great and was super easy to drive. (crisis averted.) After getting there I was off to the dressage arena. and wow! what a different horse I had. He was so perfect. I could not have asked for a better test. He is still a but inconsistent but it is getting there. He was super in SJ. we had a cheap rail. but I am not super worried about it. (I had only jumped him once since he got down here!) we scratched XC and headed home. His next outing is paradise and I could not be more excited! he is really going to impress the judges this spring! My parents drove over from GA and were super supportive! (considering the weather) it was great to see them! my dad got some video of sam sj which i will post soon!

Off to do more algebra HW!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Finally!

The past few days have been a bit crazy! I have started online classes for the term, as I am attempting to get another glorified piece of paper! but as with all thing I like to have options. papers give me options. Sam arrived with a few kinks! I rode him today after giving him a few days to chill. Sam is such a joy to have around the barn. I think he enjoys watching his mother run around picking up his blankets and his halter off the ground as he continually puts them there when I am not giving him enough attention. He is convinced that I should have eyes only for him and tries to get me when Im with on of the other boys! Jenn and I went to go watch the training session for a bit over at PD and Boyds places. It was awesome! We watched Mara and Riot and Heidi and Farley. They are some amazing horse to watch! We didnt see any of the jumping, but hopefully we will catch some next time! It is always a good thing to watch the pros! they really know their stuff and its nice to know they have things to work on to!

We had some great wet weather here in Aiken, but atleast there was no snow!!! Snow is great right up until you have to work in it. Then not so much. so as with most days I was ever so happy to be here in the south for the winter.

Katie Robin and I had a small dinner party on thursday. We had a ton of people over and it was great to get to meet everyone. Of course I cooked up a storm with some help from the girls and ate tons of food! It was nice to get to show off some of my culinary skills for a change! instead of my horse related skills. I think were going to have another one soon. which will be fun. but hopefully we can talk about something not related to a horse !

Off to learn some more spanish.
<3.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Back in SC

So we arrived back in Aiken yesterday. I think it was about 45*.  It is sad that I found that to be absolutely freezing!  After wearing shorts for 2 weeks it has been a bit hard to adjust back to jackets!. 

The last few days in fl were amazing! We went to the WEF and did some classes. The ponies were perfect, we missed the ice storm here, and I learned that I could not be a jumper groom.  I love having a ride time. It makes planning way easier. Its not hey classes starts at this time and we can go whenever until X time and o wait they are holding the class because of a conflict with x rider/trainer/owners time frame.  So while it was  fun. I give mad props to the grooms that deal with the ever changing days at the shows. 

My horse is coming tomorrow and our first show is Full Gallop on the 10th.  I can not wait! I have to memorize my dressage test and all that fun stuff, but I thought that I would just say thanks to all the people that have helped me get to this point. 

Peggy-for being my first ever trainer and getting me around my first ever event! 
Dana and Steph- for helping me find/buy Sam. my perfect pony! 
Ashley- for teaching me all the finer points of grooming, and teaching me to braid and helping me at Sams first event. 
Holly- who helped me realize to many things to list, and for giving me the opportunity to work for her. 
Jenn and Kate- for all of the opportunities, the job, helping me with sam, sam with me, all of the life advice, helping me stop being my worst enemy, giving me tools, and for a million other things that would take hours to list! 
My family- for always being supportive of my "horse" life style! 

and everyone else who has helped me along the way. I still have a long way to go, but I think it is important to appreciate the help you get at every stop on a journey! 

I am off to run errands and continue my education. and counting down the hours until Sam gets here tomorrow! 

<3. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

let the gallops begin!

So as I sit down to write this. the only word that comes to my mind is really???? Keep reading. I promise you will get it! 

I started the day discovering a text from Kate explaining that my dog had attempted to escape the apartment in Va and had damaged a door. This is very unlike my dog in many ways, however she use to be able to let herself out of the apt, but then the door was fixed. So I believe that this will be a one time thing. well at least my bank account hopes so!!! After getting to the barn to find all the ponies anxiously awaiting breakfast, I found out we had extra time.  That was exciting, so I took a deep breath and chilled out. (hearing about little A had me pretty wound up! shocking I know). So off we went to Lauren's.  After we finished there Jenn asked me if I would join her and Mara galloping.  and of course I said yes!!! When I arrived I found out we were galloping on a steeple chase track. What is every eventers dream.... Galloping on a beautifully manicured track!!! (Ill check that off my list) So off we went. Phillip, Mara, Jenn, and I.  I rode JB, who is totally perfect in every way... seriously! Riding JB helped calm my nerves....(Hello.. PD???Mara??? and Jenn yikes!!!)We started off at the trot together and spacing out for our gallops.  Jenn and I stayed together.  After our first set, where I made a comment about how much fun JB must be XC. I mean man that horse has an amazing gallop! we headed off again.  About 3/4 of the way through. We got passed and JB lit up! I almost got left in the dust. (not sure if that's what it looked like!!) anyways off JB and I went. it took some doing but we got stopped and started our hacking.  Phillip passed me again and asked if I was okay. What else do you say but yea of course! I mean it might have been unplanned and a bit fast... but it sure was fun!!! needless to say there was a massive amount of jokes at my expense today about our little galloping adventure. Apparently JB and I won the Preakness today. we passed everyone on the track!!! I still stand by my comment. Jenn is lucky! He has a great gallop and an amazing personality.  However I think the best part was a small group of people happened to be there playing with their dogs asked me if I had done that on purpose!! I just smiled shook my head and said no. with a small laugh at this point. Once we got back to the barn I was busy with afternoon chores.  somehow in this madness my cell phone took a dive out of my pocket and into a water bucket.  I literally stared at the bucket and said REALLY?!??!?! after fishing it out and then taking it apart to let it dry. it still wasn't working. After I finished up and tucked the ponies in for the night I headed home and have been trying to blowdry my phone.  It hasn't worked yet, but heres to hoping it does! 

Hopefully tomorrow will be less exciting, the ponies will be just as perfect, and I will have a working phone!
More later.  

Sunday, January 24, 2010

fl take one!

So we have had an amazing week here in fl. There has been lots to see. I had my first gator sighting the other day and have decided that is enough of the wildlife sightings for me.  The farm we are staying at is simply gorgeous! we get to hack along the canals. (which are everywhere) it is great fun and a good way to meet other riders.  We enjoyed a night at the south Florida fair, where I learned about fair etiquette, which I didn't follow! Apparently it starts with a corn dog, then some BBQ (nobody beats a good ole NC BBQ sandwich.. with slaw of course!) and you finish with a cinnamon roll.  And of course you have to see the Pig races, the livestock expos and ride some rides! I started off with a gyro and some fried everything! followed by a funnel cake and a few bites of a cinnamon roll. I did ride some rides, I did regret the funnel cake at that point! and saw the pig races.. hilarious! I wanted to be a pig rooter. but apparently I didn't jump around and scream loud enough. o well. next year? and the live stock expos were awesome we saw rabbits, chickens, and baby cows! I cant wait for our return trip here next year! 

I am starting to realize how small the world is. The farm we are at has multiple barns, and we share an outdoor wash rack with a show jumper.  It turns out that one of her grooms use to work with a friend of mine at a jumper barn in NC.  Then today I went to lunch at Panera to write my english paper and I ran into another event rider! its just crazy. my world is getting smaller all the time! 

Im off to finish my paper that I am procrastinating! and some pool time! have to take advantage of the 80* pool while I can! 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wellington!

So after the big move south to Aiken. Jenn and I headed south again with Mara's crew to WELLINGTON!!! it is amazing here. I feel like a kid in an candy store.  The farms are gorgeous, and the weather is perfect! We are stabled in what we refer to as little middleburg as there are 3 riders from Va at the same farm.  The horses are doing great and enjoying rolling in the sand and not having to wear so many blankets all the time! I can't wait to go to the WEF show and a polo match! I will keep you posted. more later. <3.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A new year. a new me!

2009 was a life changing year for me, I landed an amazing job at locochee farm. Which I love! more than anything really. I had some amazing opportunities with riding, and I might finally finish my Econ degree... soon. but at this point I am looking on to 2010. 

We just moved down to Aiken SC for the winter, and what an experience!!! The weather is warmer, and Sam is going to come down at the end of the month to compete! I will finally get to show off all of our hard work in the dressage arena... and the knowledge is unbelievable. I can't wait to take it all in. 

My goal for this year is to run sam at the T3Day in October. Hopefully 2010 will be our year!