Thursday, May 14, 2015

In The Moment - No, Not That Moment!

First let me start with an apology for the down in the dumps post written previously. Honestly, I should've waited a little longer before writing that because I was still sort of "in the moment" and so not the moment to live in. Now that I've gotten some extra sleep, ridden my horse and found time to ponder I'm feeling much better.

I have three perfectly good barn options for the move and lots of upcoming chances to make new friends and learn new things. Who knows maybe Loki and I will play in the hunters for a little while. Loki has been getting more and more adjustable lately. (Truth be told the hunter world is totally intimidating to me - the ability to get the striding right through an entire course of jumps and make it look like no big deal = major talent!) And if we go to the West Point barn which I think we will I'll only be a 5-7 minute drive away. That is something I am very much looking forward to.

Oh and for anyone who might be worried about our cats, don't be. They will be taken care of one way or another. We're not the kind of people to just dump them at the nearest animal shelter. I'm not sure what the plan is yet but we'll think of something.

Here is a better moment and one I'd much rather live in than the worry and stress of moving:
Right before we left for New York I went XC schooling with a bunch of folks from the barn. I didn't know that our photographer friend was going to be there so we weren't the best turned out but I was still so excited to be able to get pictures.

I haven't seen any others yet but this is the one that I especially requested. This is the training level trakehner at Twin Towers. I know it looks incredibly little in the picture but believe me it looks much larger in person. Loki and I took a while to warm up that day but when we got there it felt so easy and natural like putting on warm, fuzzy slippers. There was no rushing, there was no nit-picking all the way up to the jump, I didn't get left behind (at least not often) It just felt right.

It used to be that when I put my leg on and asked Loki to move up into the bit his response was to grab the bit, bear down and run around like a freight train on his forehand but now he is finally starting to understand that there are other options. Now when I put my leg on and ask he is starting to respond by moving up not just faster. I really never thought we would get here. We still have a long way to go but this is a major accomplishment for my off track boy and his strictly amateur mom.

I really, truly could go on and on about how great it was... but I won't. :) I'll leave it here. If you left a comment in the earlier posts that I haven't responded to just know that I did see them and I really appreciate all of them. I've just been super busy and haven't had the time I'd like to respond. Thank you so much for your kind words, though!

Oh! and we did sign up for Mid-south Pony Club Horse Trial! (I sold my old saddle so got some extra money to go, yippee!) So we'll hopefully (*knock on wood) get to do one event this summer and it is on my birthday so hopefully a great weekend. It's not till June but I'll keep you updated. TTFN!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Highs, Lows and Really Lows

I was hoping to have fun, exciting news to share today but unfortunately I don't. Jay and I just got back from our trip up to West Point and it turned out to be pretty disappointing. I had hoped I'd be able to share about some really cute house we were attempting to buy and neat barns I had found but that just didn't happen.

I did look at three barns and none of them were bad, they were all doable so I don't mean to sound as disparaging as I do. The first barn was pretty nice but a little disappointing for what they charge for board and compared to the pictures on their website. It had an indoor and outdoor arena, nice stalls and some trails. The downside was the price and the feeling I had that I would really stick out like a sore thumb. It was very much a hunter/jumper barn and a quarter horse barn. Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against either of those things it's just that the feeling I got was that I would be the weirdo.
One thing every place had in common was amazing views.
The second barn was a bit of a drive. The property was large and the owner was in the process of re-fencing a lot of it so it was a little rough but with the potential to get a lot better. This place had the most amazing indoor arena I've ever seen that was not in a big horse park of some sort. I couldn't even begin to guess at it's size but I wouldn't be surprised a bit if it was as large as 200X300. Seriously it was immaculate with jumps that you see in places like the Kentucky Horse Park. The outdoor arena was a lot smaller than the indoor but still usable. Both arenas had state of the art footing and the outdoor had another set of competition style jumps. There were also trails and a very, very small set of XC type jumps out in a grassy field. The owner is a former Grand Prix show jumper. He did lots of name dropping and had lots of pictures from "back in the day." He's retired now. The downside to this place are the distance, and the lack of borders. I think there was only one or two other borders and I would be riding by myself a lot as the owner has another business during the day.
I'm kicking myself for not getting a picture of that indoor but here are some of the paddocks.
And finally I checked out the West Point Stables. This is an older barn and it is a little run down. However, the people were very friendly, the horses all looked well fed and cared for. There was plenty of turn out areas, although it seems like turn out is limited during certain parts of the year. There are three outdoor arenas but no indoor. There is also a small xc course and lots of trails. The lack of an indoor scares me but the manager said they do plow the outdoor arenas in snow and as long as the temperatures don't get too low they do still ride through the winter. She was honest that the last couple of winters have been very rough, though. The thing that excited me the most about this barn, though, was that the manager was a former Pony Club Graduate and eventer. She knows the eventing scene and that made me feel a little better. I can't find any pictures of this place but you can see a little bit at this link.

Right now it looks like we are going to try and live on post and I plan to board at the West Point Stables. It's a compromise just like every other choice out there but the benefits are less driving for both Jay and me, good schools for the kids and a community with people who share similar backgrounds. The downsides are we can only have two pets. This alone has already caused many, many tears for me and the kids. We don't have an answer yet as to what our plan is but we know that we will most likely have to re-home two of our cats. Our hope is that Jay's mom will take them for us but I don't know. The other downside is that we have no idea what our house will be like or if we'll even get one for a while. It's a long story but basically there are about 50 incoming officers in Jay's grade and right now there are only 18 available houses. Not everyone of those officers will choose to live on post and more houses will most likely come available but still the numbers are not great. If there is no house available that means we have to live in temporary housing until something comes available. Basically it just means a lot of being unsettled.

Sorry for the super long post. Believe me I'm leaving a ton of stuff out. This past week reminded me of all the reasons I really hate being in the military. It's not all bad and I shouldn't complain but it is tough more often than not. Big changes coming at the end of this summer and right now it just looks like a big, black pit of despair looming ahead.