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Tiny Butterfly

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Last weekend my sister and I went to visit some friends up north, and we discovered that winter was not quite over in that corner of the country:

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Jumping in the Rain

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“Talk to the Paw!”

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Mountain Blue

Hi everyone! Apologies for another long silence; I don’t even really have a good excuse this time, except possibly that I’ve been spending a fair amount of time working with “my” horse. I mentioned a while back that Mountain Blue had basically become my project horse. Well, as of October, that is officially what she is. I’m leasing her, as is another lady, who, incidentally, happens to be the other resident French-American at the barn. What are the odds? Anyway, we each work with her 3 days a week, and between the two of us, we’re making quite a bit of progress. We still have a long way to go, but Fred and Lucie (and others) have said that she’s improved significantly over the past year, so we’re on the right track at least. If nothing else, this will teach me more patience.

All right, I know you probably want pictures now, so here you go:

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Just Horsin’ Around

Ahh… freedom! My job at the rest stop ended two weeks ago, and I am thoroughly enjoying getting to sleep in every morning, among other things. I’m also able to spend more time at the barn and take pictures (weather permitting), and I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed it. Here are a few of my most recent shots; enjoy! :)

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This was inspired by a post I came across the other day: 20 Thoughts That Go Through Your Head Before a Gymnastics Meet

Also, since my job is nearly over (this is my last week), I will soon have my weekends free again which means I will be back to showing very soon. I’ve posted lots of pictures of shows I’ve done over the past 4 years, but those pictures generally fail to capture what’s going on in everyone’s minds, particularly before the horse and rider step into the arena. So, without further ado, I present 20 thoughts from the rider’s, parent’s, and coach’s perspectives. Enjoy! :)

Rider

1. I hope we’re not running late. My coach is going to freak out if we are.

2. Where’s that schedule Ellie’s dad printed up? I can’t remember when my first class starts.

3. Where’s the warm-up ring?

4. Why do I bother plaiting my horse’s mane before we leave? He/she always manages to undo half the braids on the way over. *sigh* Can somebody give me a hand here?

5. Oh good, Jessie’s mom brought pastries. I need a sugar boost…

6. I hope I don’t forget my dressage test. (Alternately: I hope I can remember the jumping course. This one’s a doozy.)

7. Hey, those vendors have some good stuff. Gotta stop by later; I need a new saddle pad.

8. I hope my parents didn’t get lost on the way here.

9. I hope it doesn’t rain.

10. Why do they always use the same stupid playlist?

11. Oh great, the Barbie Pony Brigade is here.

12. HOW much for a questionable-looking hot dog?! Next time I’m bringing my own lunch.

13. Do I have time to run to the bathroom before warming up?

14. Where IS the bathroom?

15. Okay, boots, jacket, crop… am I forgetting anything? Oh yeah, helmet!

16. Where’s my coach? It’s time to start warming up.

17. How do they expect us all to fit in this tiny warm-up ring? I hope none of these horses kick/my horse doesn’t kick anyone…

18. Oh good, my parents are here. I hope they manage to get a good video this time.

19. Oh wow, that was a really fast round/good test. No pressure now…

20. Please, God, don’t let me fall off.

Parent

1. I hope I’m not late. My kid is going to kill me if I am.

2. What time does her first class start again?

3. Where’s the main arena?

4. I better remember to get a picture of her and her horse. Those little braids are so pretty…

5. I need coffee.

6. I hope she doesn’t forget her dressage test/jumping course.

7. I hope she doesn’t want to buy anything from those vendors. How many saddle pads does she have now?

8. I’m still amazed my GPS knew how to find this place.

9. I hope it doesn’t rain.

10. This music sounds familiar…

11. Oh, that barn with the color-coordinated ponies is here again. Did any of them actually place last time?

12. I wonder if the hot dogs are any good.

13. Do I have time to run to the bathroom before her class starts?

14. Where IS the bathroom?

15. Did I remember to bring the camera?

16. Oh hey, there’s her coach.

17. How am I supposed to see anything with everyone crowding around the arena?

18. I hope I can get a good video from here…

19. Oh wow, that kid was good. My kid’s better, though. I hope.

20. Please, God, don’t let her fall off.

Coach

1. We’re running late again… why does that one horse always refuse to load?

2. Where’s the schedule? I can’t remember whose class starts first.

3. Where’s the warm-up ring? The first group needs to be there 5 minutes ago.

4. Why do we even bother plaiting the horse’s manes before we leave? I hope we brought enough rubber bands.

5. Oh good, Jessie’s mom brought pastries. You, dear lady, are a lifesaver.

6. I hope they all remember their dressage tests/jumping courses.

7. Oh look, it’s that vendor with the overpriced saddle pads again.

8. I hope none of the parents get lost on the way here. Does this place even exist on a map?

9. I hope it doesn’t rain.

10. Seriously? This playlist AGAIN? I swear they use it at every show in the region.

11. Oh great, it’s the Barbie Pony Brigade. Good thing they spend more time making sure their tack and accessories match than actually riding. *snickers*

12. Ooh, hot dogs!

13. Do I have time to run to the bathroom before my next group warms up?

14. Where IS the bathroom?

15. Did I remember to feed the cat this morning?

16. Where’s my next group? It’s time to start warming up.

17. They have got to stop letting so many riders in the warm-up ring at a time. One of these days there’s going to be an accident, I tell you.

18. Oh good, Missy’s mom is here. She takes such good videos.

19. Holy cow, that kid is good. No pressure…

20. Please, God, don’t let anybody fall off.

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