Monthly Archives: November 2014

Round 2

If you followed my blog when I first started it, you might recall that I had foot surgery the summer of 2013.  Recovery was rough and taking a large chunk out of my summer and fall was no fun either.  Still, I managed to have the greatest summer and fall that year that I can remember in a long time.

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Months of no riding last year was rough…

Anyway, I had minor surgery again yesterday to take out the three screws they placed in my foot last time.  Everything was fine and it was barely a one hour surgery compared to the four hour surgery last time.  And, I got to go home the very same day as opposed to staying in the hospital for a week.  Already I’m feeling significantly better and can tell this will be a speedy recovery.  I have my foot wrapped up and some stitches keeping everything together, but will get them out in about two weeks.  I know this means no riding for two weeks, but, my fantastic ride on Monday quite possibly makes up for this…

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Finally getting my cast off was frightening and wonderful.

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One of the reasons that last fall was so wonderful despite everything was that I met Angel and started leasing her.

I’m sure I’ll go visit Angle in the couple weeks of no riding to say hi and give her some love.

In the meantime I may or may not post a lot but I hope everybody has a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with loved ones.

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-Val

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Perfect Daaaaay Nothing’s Standing in My Way

Throwback to Legally Blonde….

Today was the first day in a very long time that I didn’t have to set my alarm.  I gave myself permission to sleep for as  long as I could.  I’m so used to waking up early for school during the week and work on the weekends that this was a real treat.  At around 9 am I found myself in bed, awake, willing myself to fall back asleep.  9 was too early for a true sleep in day.  Well, 3 hours later my dad came in at noon and reminded me I was riding and had to get up eventually.  Thanks, Dad.

After the laziest morning imaginable I headed to the barn.  With the sudden temperature change from 20s to 60s and rain overnight, everything was humid, wet, sticky, and all around gross.  Not to mention, I got to the barn early, planning on hopping on early, but that idea went down the drain when I had a polo mishap involving a tiny pony polo with penguins on it….

Anyway, when I finally got on, Angel felt like her usual self, albeit a little poky.  After warming up with the ring to ourselves, my trainer started setting jumps.  One jump after another I was continuously surprised with how our ride was going.  Angel was being a superstar and trainer said we both couldn’t have been any better.  Nothing feels better than hearing that kind of praise from your trainer…

Can you spot the mismatched polos?

Can you spot the mismatched polos?

I’ll let you use your imagination for superstar Angel, but let’s just say it involved a nice, big (but not runaway) hunter stride, perfect distances, and Angel’s big girl panties (she was listening to mama the whole time with no sass!).

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Miss Angel

-Val

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Long Approaches

I think all it took was a phone call from the lady paying the bills to get them to let me ride Angel for lessons again…

Anyway, I rode her again on Wednesday night for my lesson.  She was a sooooo good!  Despite the frigid temps she wasn’t silly at all.  I really think she’s growing up now (excuse me while I wipe away the tears).  I can still remember a year ago when I was coming back to riding from foot surgery and she was a super green 6 year old with little training.  We had the craziest, funnest, perfectest Fall that I will never forget.

IMG_7076last Fall….

Sorry, feeling nostalgic…

Back to the point: long approaches.  On Wednesday night we worked half on her, half on me.  But, we were able to kill two birds with one stone by using long approaches.  I tend to get fussy with long approaches and start messing with my hands and legs and leaning and rushing and slowing and basically everything wrong.  And, this just makes Angel more likely to drift or speed up and run through the distance.  Let’s just say Angle likes to build on the long sides…

Wednesday night we did long approach after long approach.  I needed to just chill out and leave my leg on her side.  Occasionally she’d need a “whoah” but that was it.  By the end of the lesson I was back to trusting my eye and her eye for our distances and we kicked serious butt on our last course (more like string of long approaches…).

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Not to mention while we worked on our lesson there were I think 5 other horses and ponies in the indoor so we practiced some maneuvering, too!

-Val

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Hunter Jumper Turned Vaulter

Just kidding! But enjoy watching me try out vaulting a few years ago at summer camp.

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PS thanks Britt and Amanda for the gif idea!!

-Val

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Birthday Regrets

Exactly a week ago I turned 18.  My mom had planned a surprise in the city for me and my best friend.  We were going to go to lunch at a cute, little tea parlor and see the Blue Man Group in the afternoon.  I don’t know why, but I didn’t want to go.  I found out the day before what the plans were and was so adamant about not going into the city, that I feel that I missed out on what could have been a fun day full of special birthday memories.

I told my mom I didn’t want to go (I know, what a horrible, awful, wretched daughter tells her mother that she doesn’t want a birthday surprise) and immediately regretted it.  But, I couldn’t take back my decision.  In the end, my parents went into the city on my birthday to use the tickets and left me at home with my friend and boyfriend.  Although we had a nice time, I still feel that I missed out on something special.  I wished I could’ve spent my birthday with my mom.  I wished I hadn’t hurt her feelings with rejecting what was essentially a very expensive birthday gift.  I wished I could have been more rational in my decision making.

As I write this, a fresh wave of guilt is washing over me and I can’t shake it off.  It’s been a week and I still can’t get rid of this feeling.  I’m only turning 18 once.  It was my last birthday at home.  Ever.  I might be making a mountain out of a molehill and should just get over it, but for right now I can’t.

There was more to this story, but this is all you need to know to get the picture of how I’m feeling right now.  I was going to post another generic update about my ride on Angel last week, how there is only a week left until Thanksgiving break, and how I find out about college in one month, but instead I decided to share some deeper feelings.

The best mom ever.  (can you guess we were at a show!)

The best mom ever. (can you guess that we were at a show!)

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You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until It’s Gone

I finally rode Angel yesterday after over a month of riding Andy.

IMG_8663I’m a happy camper!

I knew that I missed her but I didn’t realize exactly how much I missed her.  Even when I go to the barn and ride Andy, I still make sure to stop by and see Angel.  But, there was something about getting to groom her, tack her up, and ride her that just stopping by her stall doesn’t fulfill.

I’ve never taken my riding for granted.  Ever.  However, when I was leasing Angel it was easy to assume that I would always ride her.  That I could see her whenever I wanted.  That I would never go more than two days without being out at the barn.  Now that I’m back to the once a week lesson rider status, I can look back and appreciate how lucky I was.  I know I am still lucky now, but you get the idea.

This is a classic scenario of you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

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But, lucky for me, Angel isn’t gone gone.

In addition to be stoked just to be riding her, we actually had a fantastic ride.  It felt so classic autumn: dusk falling all around us, and yet we were sticking it out in the outdoor ring until seriously bad weather forces us inside.  Angel’s been clipped so she wore her cooler and everything!  🙂

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Not to mention, I informed Sam, the trainer I was lessoning with, that the jump he had previously been calling “pink”  was really more of a “Nantucket red.”  Oh, Sam….

-Val

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Turning 18…Growing Up?

I think this is a really big deal, but I’m not quite sure.

On Sunday November 9th I’m turning 18!  For the past few years, birthdays haven’t been a huge deal for me.  But, as this one approaches, I can’t help but get excited.  My mom planned a surprise for me and my best friend in NYC for the day.  She knows I’m not a fan of the city, but she assured me I would have a good time…

Regarding presents, I really can’t think of what I want this year.  Over the past year I’ve been less interested in material items.  I’ve sorted through clothes, jewelry, books, and even equestrian related items to get rid of what I don’t absolutely love and need.  I’m really digging this minimalist lifestyle that I’ve taken on.

Anyway, this year for my birthday, I’m sure my parents will surprise me with a few presents, but I will definitely have to consider them as “replacements” rather than “additions.”  For example, if I get a blouse, I will look through my closet and donate my least favorite blouse to make room for the new one (assuming that I love it more).

Now here is where horses come in.  One thing that I would choose over all the “stuff” in the world, is having that one special horse.  When I said earlier that I didn’t know what I wanted for my birthday, I take that back.  I want to lease Angel again.  What do I want for Christmas?  To lease Angel.  I’m not sure if this sounds immature or not, but I assure you I feel somewhat more mature as my 18th birthday approaches.

Also, as I am quickly approaching legal adulthood, I’m starting to think of what that entails.  Perhaps I should stop thinking about asking to lease Angel again and start forming a plan to buy a horse?  Who knows…..

-Val

P.S.

7 weeks until I find out college decisions

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