|Happiness in horse form|
Of course, when it rains, it pours, and my teacher has contacted me to ride with her this week. I absolutely cannot say "no", unless there is a hurricane, derecho, extended power outage, or something else crazy like that, which NEVER happens in New Jersey, or so I thought. The week is quickly filling up, so Saturday may be the only day. I truly appreciate her working around my schedule and she is very supportive and knowledgeable so seeing her will be wonderful. On top of that, I have a school-related commitment (Go Science Fair!) this Wednesday, the only one of the entire summer, and the Township Committee meeting is the same day. I have also been teaching therapeutic lessons on Wednesdays for the summer, but, thankfully, a friend is available to substitute, so that one is covered. A patio is being installed in our backyard, which makes me feel like I should hang around the house, and my sister-in-law is due to have her first child, very, very soon. This is understandably on everyone's minds. It is difficult not to get a little jumpy if she does not answer her phone. Did she go to the hospital? But, so far, the baby is sticking to the schedule and we are waiting in the wings. This will be the family's first grandchild, so there is a lot of hubbub.
AND, didn't I mention something about new horse show attire?
Well, I gave my barn some dates to consider for transportation and the one that worked out is this Sunday. That's right. Harley and I are entered in a dressage schooling show for THIS coming Sunday. Oh dear. I have been riding my horse when the weather permits, but we have not been practicing tests. Test-riding is about a million times different than regular training or riding for pleasure, even if my pleasure happens to be dressage. Last year we had two successful outings at schooling shows at First Level (I do not show beyond schooling shows. Too much money and too much stress. I want my horse and I to have fun!), so that seems like the logical level to enter this year, but...
...what are my goals here for the schooling show?
Am I showing to prepare my horse for a big show career?
Am I showing to get better at the First Level tests so we can be competitive at bigger competitions?
Am I showing because I expect to go in many more shows this year and I want to map my progress?
So why am I showing, if not for the experience and some fun?
That's it. I want to take my horse somewhere, and this place is very, very nice. Dress up. Have a nice ride or two. Maybe show off a couple things that we are good at. Maybe just showcase where we are and get the opinion of a judge, whose opinion, of course, will be of our snapshot performance, having known nothing about where we come from or how long it has taken to get there. Maybe try something that we have never done before...
...like Second Level.
Am I crazy?
I signed up to ride First Level Test 3 and Second Level Test 1. I had planned to carefully school the things from the second level test that are the most difficult for us, polish the things we are good at and hope for the best, knowing that this is most definitely a leap of faith and an experiment. I want an experience that I have never had before. I have shown three horses to First Level, but I have never entered the ring for a Second Level test. Harley is an unlikely candidate to make this happen compared to the horses I have ridden in the past, but he has some things that they did not have and, I believe, some talents to offer. I feel a sense of urgency with everything going on around me and riding Second Level is amidst all of it. I no longer have the free week to relax and prepare like I was hoping. Anything could happen this week, from a heat wave to a farm sale or revival to a new baby in the family. What if it comes on Sunday?
How can I concentrate on simple changes and counter canter at a time like this?!
I guess Harley and I are just going to have to go out there and have a good time. Even if we bomb the Second Level test, at least we have pioneered a new experience for ourselves and it won't change the things that are important...
...like the fact that I love my horse and every chance I get to ride him.
Thanks for reading and wish us luck!
This week, we are going to need it.
|The sunset as viewed from my back door.|
|My view one year ago this week. The same sun setting off the coast of Hawaii as seen from our hotel in Kona. My husband and I are "LOST" fans and we just can't seem to shake the notion that "We have to go back to the island!"|