Monthly Archives: July 2013

When One Door Closes…

I’m trying my hardest not to get upset.  I WILL NOT be that person who fixates on what could have been instead of what they have ahead of them.

Unfortunately, my potential lease with JJ will not work out.  After pursuing the lease I realized I can’t afford to pay his board, possible injections, upkeep, lessons, etc.  I was so set on leasing him that I started dreaming of what we would accomplish this year in the show ring together.

Now that JJ is going back to his owner, I’m not sure what I’ll do about my riding.  The “new barn” doesn’t have a lesson program so I might be out of luck riding there. 😦 But, my “old barn” will be too expensive for me to continue after surgery.  Looking on the tiny minuscule bright side, I guess it’s good I have 6 weeks after my surgery to try and figure something out for my riding.

Feeling nostalgic…enjoy these pictures of me and Skittles        DSC_0162 DSC_0076

-Val

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Moving Barns

I’m in a difficult and exciting process: I’m moving barns.  Although I’m sad to leave my old barn, it’s more of a fake sad (I know, I’m terrible!).  Honestly, I don’t really have much of a connection with the place.  I’ve been there for about a year and I’m not getting much out of it.  Plus, it’s waaaaaay too expensive for me.  To save all of you the boring explanation of what’s wrong with my old barn, I will jump right ahead and tell you about my awesome new barn!

The new place does not have a lesson program (which is why I will hopefully start leasing JJ!) but they are BEYOND friendly.  The location is gorgeous (imagine looking at water and sailboats as you’re riding!).  Plus, the actual barn facility is fantastic.  The only downfall is a pretty small indoor, but hey, at least they have one.

gorgeous, isn't it??

gorgeous, isn’t it??

As of right now I am finishing up my lessons at the old barn (I buy them in packs) and will gently ease out with the honest and valid excuse of surgery.  I did feel a slight twinge of guilt when I was talking to my trainer about showing after I recover.  But honestly, I’m one rider and I’m sure there are many more to fill my place at the barn…

Have you ever had to experience moving barns?  How did you tell your old barn that you were leaving?

 

-Val

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JJ Freelance

JJ has the most incredible history of any horse I’ve ever ridden.

JJ jumping BIG

JJ Freelance belonged to Oliver Edgecombe of New Zealand and had a professional show jumping career.  He even went on to win the New Zealand World Cup as well as the Horse of the Year title.   After being sold to someone in the US he has now trickled down to my barn.  Although it has been a few years since his prestigious show jumping wins, I could feel his superb power and training when I rode him.  Even though jumpers usually have a rep for being hot, hard to handle, and pretty psycho, JJ has the BEST personality.  He’s sane, cuddly, and loves drinking from the hose! 🙂

tired boy

Now as a 15 year old, I think he will be the horse to show me the ropes in the jumper ring and hopefully bring home some blues!

Just check out this video!  I must have watched it a hundred times since I got home from the barn on Saturday…

I love you JJ <3

I love you JJ ❤

-Val

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He Could Be the One

I am so tired and so unbelievably happy at the same time.  Yesterday was one of those days that only comes along once in a while to remind you that life isn’t always bad, that good things do happen, and that it’s ok to smile like an idiot when you’re happy.

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JJ and Val after the ride

Yesterday morning I tried JJ and Checkers.  Despite being so hot I wanted to rip my breeches off, I still managed to have one of the best rides of my life on JJ.  It was my first time trying him and I swear it was love at first sight.  If he were a person he’d definitely be a 12 year old boy named Jonathan who insists that his parents call him JJ because that’s what all the guys on his “lax team” call him where he’s number one player.  Not to mention he’d be a closet nerd who secretly loves comic books…

Anyway, when I went to get him out of the stall the goofball was lying down!

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JJ being a goof

Over the course of the hour I was on him, I started to get used to JJ’s style and quirks.  He has an AMAZING history which I will cover in another post.  But, let’s just say that he is a true jumper.  I don’t have any riding pictures or videos today, but I have a feeling a lot more will be coming later on. 🙂

Long story short I think JJ will be the horse I lease.  I know for some people leasing isn’t a big deal, but for me it is.  This is a huge milestone in my life because 1.) I’m working my ass off this summer to pay for it 2.) I can still recall the memory of being a little girl asking my dad for a lease and having my heart broken over and over again from all the “no’s” and 3.) I will finally be able to move up because I will have my own horse to ride, not a lesson horse.

The only cloud that could potentially interfere with this is surgery…that, or JJ being sold.  But, I will NOT be thinking about those right now.

IMG_3097

-Val

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Spontaneity is a Beautiful Thing

I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed lately after returning from Boston with trying to get my license, work, doctors appointments, upcoming surgery, and riding. It’s gotten to the point where I’m so exhausted that I’ve been falling asleep at very inconvenient times during the day.

However, one good thing has come about from my extremely frazzled state. After missing a few appointments (important ones!) I decided to start keeping a schedule to keep track of all of my obligations. I might eventually splurge on an actual notebook or agenda to upgrade from my current scrap paper method! During the school year I’m usually very organized and avidly use my homework planner to keep track of things. Who knew I’d need to keep track of so many things during the summer??

Anyway, despite all of my recent meticulous planning, I hadn’t yet scheduled any barn time. I thought with the recent thunderstorms that I might just have to wait until the weekend to ride. But, thanks to a quick text from Kim saying I could try Ghepetto today, I booked it after work to the barn to get in a ride. I guess this just goes to show that sometimes the best opportunities come from spur of the moment plans!

Even though Kim said that Ghepetto was having a “bad day” (he threw some silly bucks and bolts), I still had a fun ride. But, I’m not really the one to judge because I say every ride is good no matter what!

Ghepetto is one of the horses that I might lease after I recover from surgery. So far of the two horses I’ve tried, I like Ruby better. But, I’m just happy that I have the opportunity to ride amazing horses no matter what. I actually plan on trying Checkers and JJ on Saturday so I can decide my top one or two and have another ride on them before I’m crippled for a couple months.

Although my situation is a little messed up, I am so unbelievably fortunate that I’m finally going to be able to live my dream despite so many factors working against me.

Here’s a nice picture of me and Ghepetto after our ride.  After the clouds cleared it ended up being a humid, sunny day…perfect for sweating!IMG_2988

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