Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Golden Girls!

I've had a new addition to my gang, Barbara Repta. She lives in Park City, and has a trainer up there, but, has rented a home in St. George for the winter. When she came out to Lava Bluffs to introduce herself and take a look around, she almost apologetically told me her age. I quickly told her not to think a thing about it, that I didn't currently have a client under the age of 50. Her response was, "Oh my gosh, don't you find that depressing?". I said absolutely not, in fact I find it inspiring. I hope and pray I am still riding for as long as I can clamber into the saddle, and these ladies never let me forget what is possible. Not only that, I love how eager and appreciative they are. I think I am extremely lucky to have such a dedicated bunch, regardless of their riding goals. The one thing they have in common is a desire to learn to ride, respect for their horses, respect for my time, and a strong appreciation for my efforts to stay on top of my game and find new and better ways to convey information. They always finish their lessons with a thank you. I am lucky to have them.
I've introduced Brenda and Karen in previous posts, and they have been riding with me longest. Karen is actually one of my first clients as a professional. But I haven't introduced Sarah Glidden, Beth Hart, or Barbara Repta yet.
Sarah, like Karen, did not ride or own horses growing up, or even in early adulthood. She owns a 14 year old Arabian gelding named Daz, and at the age of 64 is only just learning to ride. Her horse was bought for her granddaughter years ago, but something in her heart told her to find a way to keep this horse in her life. She’s had to sacrifice a lot to keep him, but it has been worth it and she can pilot this little power house with sheer grit you will not find on a golf course.
Beth has worked with many young horses over the years and loves teaching youngsters the basics. Her background has been primarily western disciplines, and for many years she was heavily involved in the breeding of Appaloosa's, and later Paints. While she no longer starts young horses, she still owns two geldings, Clu and Charger, that she cares for entirely herself. She does all her own farm chores and repairs, and works too!
Barbara owns and rides a 9 year old Norwegian Fjord mare named Petunia, and at 69, can ride circles around most people a third of her age. Let me tell you, from first hand experience, that if you can ride Petunia, you can ride any horse. She's talented and beautiful, and knows it, but she has definitely read the book, and if you don't ride 100% correctly, she isn't doing it!
Last Saturday, I had the girls out for a photo shoot, a short trail ride, and some drill riding in the arena. I must stay, they were beautiful riding in formation. From left to right in the group photo in the arena are: Brenda & Ruby, Sarah & Daz, Beth & Clu, Karen & Tanner, Barbara & Petunia, and myself on Charisma, who can't wear a saddle yet but is loving this new walk only plan.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Charisma and I are the 2009 Open Second Level Reserve Champions with LVC-CDS!

It's official, we earned Reserve Champion for 2009 at Second Level with the Las Vegas Chapter of the California Dressage Society! And the icing on the cake is that when I go to collect my award, I will only have tears of joy.

Check out the website for full results.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Notecards make a great holiday gift!

I have always wanted to make my own set of note cards, and finally got around to it. Check out the four graphite drawings on the sidebar. I will be selling packages of ten for $20, plus shipping. You can have each pose included, or, just one pose, or otherwise choose your own mix. Just shoot me an email and I'll get those put in the mail for you.

Monday, November 9, 2009

September 26th, 2009, a day I'll never forget.

This was the day that all my plans for the next few show seasons to come evaporated in an instant. It was on this day that Charisma, my stalwart mare, showed that even she could be frail. She suffered a full torsion colic, and surgery was required. I've written several "docu-dramas" about the events. Most anyone who knows me has already read two of them. Most anyone who knows me also knows that today, six weeks and one day post surgery, Charisma is doing very well. I am incredibly lucky to still have her, lucky for all the blessings she has brought to my life. I am so very sad at the prospect I might never set foot in a show ring with her again. I have not missed a show season in 11 years with this horse, the horse that never gets sick, never comes up lame, always the picture of health and strength. Not even while pregnant, or nursing a foal, did I have to give up a show season on this horse. But all the ribbons, achievements, and scores are meaningless now. They are just little feathers in my cap of vanity, I realize that. Charisma is much thinner now, her coat no longer sleak, her muscles no longer rippling, no longer the epitome of elegant power. BUT, she is gradually regaining strength, regaining weight, and regaining herself. We have always had a good bond, but now, we are very close. As much as I adore her son, there will never be another horse that holds a candle to this mighty mare they named Charisma. She has touched many lives, impressed many people, even vets and technicians who work with animals every single day were amazed her grace and intelligence. This beautiful photo was taken by Wendy Wyatt, who not only is a very talented photographer, but also the technician responsible for monitoring Charisma's vital signs and anesthesia during her colic surgery. Here is a link to Wendy's website: