Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A quick post here as I am off to take a plane flight. Where am I going, you might ask. Well, nowhere. I am getting on a plane, getting off, getting on another, getting off, another, and off and a final one to bring me back home. Why in the name of all that is sane would you do this, you might ask. It's all about the miles baby. I need 3,900 more to make premier elite status again. Having enjoyed this status for the last nine years, I'm not willing to give it up now just because all this year's meetings were on the east coast and I used miles two of the four times I flew to California this year. So, off I go. At least I will finish my holiday cards. Meanwhile, Keegan is safely in Florida with Hilda and starting his Ashmore bootcamp stint. Haven't heard much other than he is a bit fresh on the ground, but well-behaved under saddle. Looking forward to rejoining him and seeing Gizmo in a few weeks. The Florida Chronicles are looking forward to heading back to Florida. Meanwhile, I am also starting the run planning. More on that to follow as well.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The trouble with horses

Wait, there is no way you have enough time to read the full list. Not to mention that most of you could probably add lengthy additions to any list I might create. But, it often strikes me that we go along with our horses, enjoying them, enjoying riding, enjoying barn life and forgetting all that we know (we are horsepeople) is lurking out there just waiting to rear its ugly head. Human injury, sure. I (knock on lots and lots of wood) haven't had a major horse related injury in a while, though there was the stress fracture in March that while not caused by riding kept me from it for a while, but friends have been a bit less lucky. Facebook reveals a broken collarbone, a recently healed shoulder, and a a run of bad luck - blogged about here Horse inury, even more common. I've been lucky through the years, but Gizmo is currently rehabbing from an injury that is probably coffin joint related. There is some lack of clarity, which adds to the fun, but he is in a great place and I have a great vet. Horse illness can be tougher. Not so bad when it is Keegan's 2 day minor fever (although I was glad enough that Madison had the ride on his first time back). Worse when it is Eli's arthritic neck. Is this the total cause of his bad behavior, or just an excuse. Either way, Eli is off to find a job that pleases him more and doesn't involve dressage. And much worse, and very sad, Medley's diagnosis. My friend Sherry got Medley within a few weeks of when I got Gizmo and has developed their relationship and love over all that time. I can't imagine how tough it is for her knowing that she only has a few months more with Medley. Which brings me to one of the great things about the trouble with horses; the great horse community that totally gets it. Jackie and Hilda at Ashmore who are taking great care of Gizmo and sending pictures and updates on a regular basis, my wonderful vets both north and south, my friend Holly who is picking Eli up to take him to her place and work on finding him that new home and new job, Caitlin Silliman who despite the craziness of her work schedule is spending time with Eli and keeping me updated on his condition. And then there is the joy that is horse buying and horse selling. So far, all horse buying has been generally good. Sure, every now and then there is an Eli, but who could have know he had arthritis in his neck and buying horses expands ones horse community. I think of Nancy Kempe in Texas from whom I bought Gizmo in 1999 and to whom I still send a holiday card with his update every year, Nancy Wilcox from whom I bought Keebler, Margaret King who sold me Tobe, Finn and Eli, and most recently Kate Chadderton, the original off the track buyer of Keegan. And honestly, selling and/or leasing has often done the same. Keebler has added a Michigan fan club to his Florida fan club and has the best life ever thanks to Lynn who has been leasing him since 2009 and has seen him through multiple injuries. It is great fun getting updates from Andria Pooley (except for that broken collarbone) and we mourned together when Guinness had to be euthanized 9 years after she bought him from me. Kaiti Saunders is my go to expert eye when I want to buy everything in sight, Lauren Tjaden sold several horses for me and then bought Vic and even though she is no longer riding, we are still in touch. See, horses and being a horseperson make you forget the troubles. I started there, but the post really wanted to go to the good stuff - the riding, the volunteering, the cool people you meet doing both as well the community it all creates. Here's hoping that tomorrow's cold weather lesson on Keegan doesn't produce any interesting troubles.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Planes, trains and automobiles

Sometimes, one says this, but yesterday to return home after 9 days out and about I 1) took a CTA train from downtown Chicago to O'Hare, 2) took a USAir flight from O'Hare to PHL, 3) took a SEPTA train from PHL to 30th Street station (sadly realizing that I was passing home), 4) took an Amtrak train from 30th street station to BWI, 5) took a bus from BWI train station to airport and 6) fetched my car from the BWI parking lot and drove 2 hours home to Philadelphia.

You may ask why my car was at BWI. It was there because I had flown to Chicago directly following a fabulous time at the Waredaca T3DE. I was in Atlanta Monday night and Tuesday, flew to BWI (where I had left my car Monday afternoon), drove around in Maryland, then headed to BWI in my car to catch the Chicago flight on Saturday morning. Then 4 days in Chicago at the Society for Medical Decision Making meeting Now home again and ready to see my horse, get a ton of work done and generally pick back up on everyday life.

While I was gone, Tag's sale was finalized. I am excited about his new life as a dressage horse. He will be staying where he has been for the past several months in Upper Marlboro Maryland so I have hopes of seeing him out and about at dressage shows.

I also bought another dressage saddle (I know, it is a problem). It is a Kieffer Ulla Salzgeber that I got on ebay. It was relatively inexpensive. I was just remembering how much I liked my Kieffer dressage saddle on Tempo, and thought it might be worth a shot for Keegan. Meanwhile, Lynn's Boscoe no longer needs the wide County. I'm hoping that the person in her barn that might be interested buys it. I am now about to buy winter blankets for Eli as I sent him to Caitlin without any and he is too big for the ones I have.

Hoping to have lots of fun Keegan updates soon.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

In which I take the first lesson on Keegan

Great flat lesson with Missy today. Keegan was a good boy and Missy gave me the current keys to riding, go forward to the trot - getting him to push more from behind at every stride and while maintaining the push work on the consistency of the bend through all the turns. It went quite well. The cantering is quite good to the right, but still pretty crooked to the left. I guess since he didn't race to the the right, he doesn't have bad habits to overcome going in that direction. Meanwhile, I am very impressed by his work ethic and how much better he is after a month at Blue Hill. He is also getting fatter and glossier every day. I am interested to see what color of bay his winter coat comes in. Planning for a jumping lesson later in the week.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

In which I digress from horses

I wanted to mention some of my favorite truly kick-ass women protagonists in book series. Just in case you are looking for some non-horse, non-work, non-intellectual reading material.

Charlie Fox (Zoe Sharp) - ex-special forces officer now a bodyguard. This is a series of (so far) 8 or 9 books. Charlie is tough, complicated and in love with her tough and complicated boss. She is both a killer and a survivor. If you like Lee Child's Jack Reacher, you are likely to like Charlie.

Tara Chace (Greg Rucka) - Tara is a British government assassin - or as she is called a minder. There are three books in this series so far and it is hard to tell if there will be more.

Kate Daniels (Ilona Andrews) - is the daughter of a truly powerful and evil magic guy, who has her own magic and over the course of the books (5 so far) ends up mated to the Beast Lord, head of the Atlanta were-animal group in an alternate US where magic and technology rise and fall.

Eve Dallas (JD Robb) - is a police officer with the NYSPD (Safety and Police Department) in the 2050s and now 2060s following the US Urban Wars. She ends up with the richest guy ever, who has a criminal history. She survived abuse as a child and became an incredibly good homicide cop. Very interesting police procedurals with just a touch of difference for being in the future and a good romance line as well.

Diane Tregarde (Mercedes Lackey) - was in 3 full length books a long while ago. There are some kindle short stories now. She is a witch who lives in modern day NYC, ends up partnered with a Vampire (one of the few stories including a "good" vampire).

Vic Nelson (Tanya Huff) - is a police officer who becomes a private eye when she develops vision problems, teams up with a vampire (another generally good one) who is the bastard son of Henry VIII and writes romance novels. Vic's love interest is another cop and eventually she ends up a vampire. There are two fairly recent spin off books about Henry (the vampire) and another character, but no recent ones about Nelson.

I'm sure there are many others. Feel free to add. I will say that I read and really enjoy the Kinsey Millhone, Sharon McCone, VI Warshawski, both characters by Linda Barnes, Kayla Neya (sagara), and practically all other strong female characters in both mystery and fantasy, but while all are strong in various ways, I think the ones I have listed best exemplify kick-ass

Thursday, September 8, 2011

In which I ride Keegan at Blue Hill

It was not an ideal day for a ride. The sun was shining in Philadelphia, but in Unionville it was raining away. Keegan was less affected than I was by the rain thundering on the roof of the indoor, plus actual thunder. He was well behaved though needs to figure out where all his body bits are. If anything, when he gets confused, he just quits moving forward. There was only one small leaping event during the ride. Then we hung out for a while in the barn and watched it pour. More this weekend.

Monday, August 29, 2011

In which Irene pays a visit

Thursday evening, it rained hard enough to cancel the Phillies game, but that was just a rain storm. Still, we had several bouts of significant rain and the rainiest month in the recorded history of Philadelphia and it was only August 25th. Still coming was the hurricane. Her name was Irene and she was touching down first in N. Carolina and then moving Northward. The good news, Aiken was forecast to have lovely weather for Kenzie and Gizmo's recognized eventing debut. Cyndi said they left a perfect dressage test in the warm-up, but since many of us with *much* more experience have done that on Gizmo, I don't think it detracts at all from their 7th place finish adding nothing to that dressage score. And, it leaves some room for improvement, which isn't a bad thing either. In Richland, Michigan, the weather was also cooperating for the Richland Park Horse Trials, including the Pan Am Games selection mandatory outing. Much more on that can be found anywhere eventing is reporting on including; and Gabby Ledger and Franklin finished 2nd in their debut preliminary together. Franklin is a lovely horse, brought up through the ranks by Ralph Holstein, a great Ohio rider. Brett Huard and her Thicket's Ticket also scored a 2nd place finish in their preliminary division on their return to competition following Brett's injury earlier this summer. Others from both Cobblestone and Blue Hill Farm were also there, so check out those results.

Meanwhile, baseball was cancelled in Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York for the weekend. Saturday morning, I headed out to Blue Hill and rode Symphony and Cole and lunged JD, then helped get the horses and barn situated for the storm to come. Headed back to the city in a moderate rainfall, which steadily gained into the evening. No power outage in town and altogether uneventful for us. Henry and I ventured out Sunday morning to check the aftermath. The Schuylkill was pretty impressive (picture) and many things were closed, but some (including DiBruno Brothers) open, so we scored breakfast goods and then headed home. Today is a beautiful day, almost perfect, sunny weather as a follow-up. Baseball resumes this evening and Monday night football will be on as well. I'm ready.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

In Which Keegan jumps with Heath Ryan

So yes, I bought another horse. A lovely Danzig grandson whose JC name is Peyton to Marvin. His USEA/USEF name is VS Pass Play and I've decided that his barn name is Keegan (after English soccer legend Kevin Keegan and also after (keeping up with the alcohol theme started with Meritage and Coleraine). So, I bought Keegan a couple of weeks ago, but left him with Kate Chadderton because Blue Hill is not just full, it is overflowing and the girls are still alternating their summer times off, so they are also shorthanded. So, having not seen him since the vet check, I blithely sign up to ride in a jumping lesson with Heath Ryan (no one said I approach this stuff sanely or systematically). I drove down yesterday and see a horse flinging itself about at the end of the lunge line. Turns out it is Keegan. Kate says, "he was a bit feisty yesterday, so we thought we'd give him a little lunge" I'm wondering what happened to the dead quiet horse I bought, but ok lunging is fine. He got a little bath and turned out and I wandered into the arena to watch some flat lessons. Very impressive. Maat was riding her lovely mare and doing all kinds of stuff that I consider generally impossible, Sally Lofting came with two students and they were doing more what I consider normal these days while getting lots of tips and exercises. The horses all improved visibly in the hour of their lessons. Heath is a very good teacher and uses a lot of short lateral work, transitioning from a few steps of shoulder in to a few steps of half pass to straight, all very correct and precise. He emphasized maintaining the activity of the gaits all the time and the horses all looked great, both when he was riding them and when he was teaching their riders how to do the same.

After watching, fetched Keegan in. Oh, goody, another pigpen. He had rolled and rolled while wet and had dirt over every bit of him. Spent a bit of time brushing and currying feeling thankful that he is another plain bay so the dirt doesn't really show. It was moderately windy and he seemed a bit fresh, so I walked him up to the top arena and then got on (yea, my jumping saddle fits him, though I will need a longer girth). There was a lot of tenseness and a fair amount of leaping sideways, though not too violent and usually triggered by something identifiable, so we took it slow. Heath and our co-lessonees Jacquelyn Dickey and her lovely mare Ke-Ke were very patient ( We started with walking over a set of poles. We then proceeded to trotting over the same poles. Leaping sideways occurred when it was not our turn and Ke-Ke hit a pole or Heath was vehement in his teaching, but during our turn, Keegan was settled and focused.

Next came the real exercise goal of the day, accuracy. We started with a single pole on the ground and Heath showed us where he wanted the front feet to go. We missed some of the time, but Keegan actually listened pretty well and we did OK. After generally sorting the single pole, we headed over to the poles. They were set in-bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce-twostride-bounce, so 7 efforts in all. The goal was to come to that accurate spot and then adjust as needed through the grid. Both Ke-Ke and Keegan required some whoaing through the grid to get it right, but both got better and better. We did the poles in both directions. Harder with the bounce to two-stride at the start of the line. Then, all but the first and last pole went up to cross-rails. As predicted by Heath, it was actually a bit easier to get the right distances and to know how much to push or whoa while in the line. After getting that, those five crossrails went up to verticals. And who would have thought, my totally clueless boy was quite the star. Keeping the canter around the corner was the most difficult part of the exercise. He clobbered three rails the first time through, but then was foot on the next couple of times. I pretty much couldn't quit smiling. By this time, we had been at it for 95 minutes and the leaping had diminished to a bit of a spin sideways and even that was dissipating. We finished up with a pole bounce to cross rail, 3 strides to little oxer and that was easiest of all. Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy. I felt like a learned a bunch and also confirmed my choice of the next eventing partner, though Kate agreed that she might need to cut back a bit on the large amounts of grain he was getting to add some weight. Katherine Rizzo was kind enough to come and take photos so there will be pictures to follow. Watch this space.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Big Horses

I usually ride small horses. I mostly own small horses. I am fairly used to small horses and always think that I could go the pony route. Yesterday, I scheduled lessons at Blue Hill and at Cairn O'Mount and ended up on big horses. Symphony is a lovely mare who belongs to Peter Berk. She is at Blue Hill being a dressage horse for a while and is very good at it, but she is big, really big, big enough that I was feeling the need for a step stool to get the saddle on her. Thank goodness she kindly put her head down for the bridling part of the program. Riding her was great. A looong way down, but there was no fear of falling as she was quiet and sweet and generally easy to ride despite my legs feeling a bit as if they were sticking straight out. We had a very nice time and a fun lesson. Then off to COM for Wednesday evening Ladies' (and Chris) jump. I got to ride Mac, Susie's lovely 4 year old hunt horse. He is also big, not as tall as Symphony, but altogether large and solid. Also a very sweet boy and a good jumper, though he was a bit happy about the whole thing and there was a moderate amount of low level bucking involved, but we had a lot of fun and capped off the evening with dinner at Red Hound with Lesley and Julie (Mac wasn't invited, but I'm sure he didn't mind).

Friday, August 12, 2011

Another one

I am now the proud owner of ........ Well, deciding on his name is taking a little work. His JC name is Peyton to Marvin and his current barn name Thunder. Sorry, Kate. That is not happening. I'm leaning toward Pass Play, so it would be VS Pass Play for Victory Sport Horses as I have purchased him from Kate Chadderton. Love it when buying a new horse nets not only the horse, but a new member of my horsey circle. Kate is a great person and I'll be looking back to her for horses in the future (well, maybe not. I should not be buying any more horses anytime in the forseeable future). If anyone can think of an excellent barn name to go with Pass Play, please send it along. Hopefully, you will see us out and about this fall.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cole and Eli

So 2011 has found me adding two more horses to the string. Tag was sold, but came back which was a bit odd, but he is leased to what I hope will be his permanent future home. Finn is still for sale, but I have faith that he will sell eventually. Meanwhile, for myself, I bought Coleraine, aka Cole. He is a mostly TB (or maybe all TB, but no papers or pedigree history available), 15.2 plain brown wrapper of a horse, but he has been a star (see the previous post about his run at Fair Hill). Right now, he is on stall rest, the result of a splint. This is not the end of the world. Splints happen, most heal, and on you go. Of course, I am sure that it happened because, after our run at Fair Hill, I started planning a show season. Just courting trouble, so stay tuned for more Cole news after a few weeks.

Meanwhile, Eli arrived last week. I was a little bit worried the first couple of days when reports from Caitlin were that he was both very cute and quite naughty, but he has been settling well, getting a bit better each day and yesterday went off on the "baby pack" hack during which Caitlin reported he was happy to be in the front or in the back, jumped a 3 railer and a couple of big coops and crossed streams. Her conclusion, "Eli loves cross country!" So now, I get to eagerly await the possibility of his show season, but refuse to make any plans just to be on the safe side.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

In which I compete again for the first time in a long time

Cole and I went to the starter event at Fair Hill on Saturday. It is the first time I have been at an event or jumped an entire cross country course since March of 2010. It is the first time I have done so on a horse of my own since August of 2008 (on Keebler). So I was pretty rusty. Decided to go BN despite Cole having been xc schooling a grand total of once. Off he went into the trailer with Ben and off we went to Fair Hill. Steph was psyched to see that if you go my way, there is a Starbucks en route. When we arrived, Ben got off the trailer and tacked up. Cole was a little unhappy, but not too bad and fine once I pulled him off and let him graze. We headed over to the dressage rings, where he was only interested in grazing and then back, where I was able to tack him up on my own, no worries, no drama. We headed off to the dressage arenas again, where he warmed up as if he went to shows every week and then put in a lovely test (except for the slightly slow canter departs). The judge had nice things to say as we left the arena. I took a few minutes and walked him partway up the path to the xc to let him put his feet in the water. It took a bit of convincing, not too bad and we walked back and forth a few times, but he is definitely not auto about the water yet (xc schooling one time). I zoomed up and walked my sj and xc courses (thanks to the husband of a fellow competitor who ended up giving me rides up and down Saw Mill road in his lovely Mini Cooper). Cole was a bit unhappy about being by himself when I got back (Ben was already off jumping), but again settled once I was there. Tacked up again and headed off to jump. Crossed the little creek on the way up again, definitely braver this time (but there was also a horse a little way in front of us). Warmed up quietly and then headed into the show jumping. One rail due to almost falling down around a corner, but very willing and no issues, so off to xc. Headed out boldly and in great balance. Jumped the scary ditch at #4 with a pop and a twist (I was very glad for my new and nicely sticky Wise-Air saddle). Stopped at fence #7 (I was probably thinking too hard about my strategy for the water and not riding as he had been so good to this point). Turned and popped over no worries. Took him through the water backward first and it was a bit of a battle to get him in. He was very good when I turned him around and sent him through forwards. Another stop at fence #12 (rampy thing with straw stuck in it). He just seemed very distracted. Finished up very well. Walked quietly back and got cleaned up and back in the trailer with Ben. I went and picked up my dressage test, holy moly a 29.5, smashing my prior best score of 34.3. First time I have ever been in the lead (tied in this case) after dressage. We'll get him out xc schooling a bit more and then I'm going to be having way too much fun with this boy!

Monday, June 6, 2011

What's up

On a usual week in the life, some little things happen. A paper gets accepted or rejected, I have a good riding lesson or a not so great one, we try a really lovely Shiraz at a restaurant and are able to get a case very reasonably. And then big stuff happens, but it is far removed from my everyday life and involves no one I know. There is a natural disaster, a president is elected, a crime is committed, music awards and sporting championships are won.

But this week, the big events that are usually spread very thinly crowded into my life. Last Tuesday, True Prospect Farm suffered the horrible loss of the barn and 6 horses plus injuries to 5 more and to 3 riders in a barn fire. These are not strangers on the news, but friends and colleagues, horses I know and have seen at many events. I've given a bit of money, rounded up a few things that might be useful, expressed my sorrow and been proud to be part of the eventing community that has stepped up to help in so many ways. Despite all of this, on Friday, Caitlin Silliman completed the sale of my young horse Tag to the perfect home with a dressage rider in Florida. His new owner heard of the fire and called, very worried before the sale went through. Luckily Tag was down the road and is well and will be heading off soon. Kudos to Caitlin for dealing with all the sales details, while dealing with Hoku's injuries, all the losses, moving into a new home... This is a real horseperson and I'm proud to have her as a friend.

Meanwhile, Henry and I looked at "Country Homes" in Kennett Square and environs. I've been wanting a place to spend some time out of the city and closer to the horses and Henry has agreed that it might be fun. We found a place we quite like,

This morning we made an offer on it. Then on Wednesday, Henry heard that his promotion to Full Professor at Penn has gone through, so we headed off to celebrate.

Saturday, I headed down to Waredaca to volunteer. All was going well until just as SJ was ending, I received a call from my brother that my mother was not doing well. Less than a half hour later, she took her last breath. My brother was able to be with her and said she was very peaceful at the end. I spent Saturday evening with my extended Waredaca "family" and was immensely comforted by their kindness and care.

So in a single week there has been a family death, a close at hand tragedy, a new home (or at least the potential of one), a promotion and a horse sale (my first since 2004 - and that one I have since bought back). The small things happened too. A paper was accepted, another submitted. I jumped my first course on my new horse, which was the first time I have jumped 8 fences in a row since March of 2010. We had dinner on the roof deck of our city house for the first time. Henry found baby lobster tails and had another culinary triumph last night. Thank goodness, life goes on.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


It isn't juggling the time and the stuff; work, working out, riding, volunteering, teaching, family, friends, house. You do it or you don't and you get used to prioritizing, and eventually figure out that you have to say no sometimes. I am a long time expert at this game. What I'm finding harder to juggle is the emotions. The grief and guilt of enrolling my mom in hospice and then being 2500 miles away, the sadness and feelings of helplessness over the True Prospect Barn Fire (I know anyone who reads this blog has already contributed and is dealing with their own feelings about it), and then at the same time the fun of house hunting in Kennett Square and my pride in Henry's promotion to full professor at Penn. Yesterday evening, I left work and talked to my brother about my mom while I was walking to the restaurant to meet Henry for his celebration dinner, then after dinner spoke with Caitlin's mom about what she needs and looked at my schedule for today which includes work, riding my horse, teaching, more work, hopefully a workout and trying to pull together stuff for Caitlin. That piece of the juggling is fine.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

In which a rare bout of insomnia is rewarded

It is rare that I have trouble sleeping. I sleep well in planes, trains, automobiles, hotel beds, hotel floors, various time zones... But last night, sleep was elusive, so I got out of bed and flipped on the TV, where the Phillies and Reds were starting the 16th inning, yes really. I ended up watching until the end of the game, which was the end of the 19th inning, a walk-off RBI by Ibanez to score Rollins, making Wilson Valdez, the starting 2nd baseman who pitched a scoreless top of the 19th the winning pitcher. I love baseball.

Monday, May 9, 2011

In Which the world provides a sad and ironic happening

Yesterday was Mother's day. You all know that. The MLB was sporting pink bats, pink magnetic necklaces and pink arm covers. I was planning a day judging SJ at Fair Hill and then a quick call to my mom, hoping that she would be able to speak to me. My mom has been declining for the past 3 years, both physically and cognitively. It is tough to watch as my memories of my mom are all of a super strong, positive, independent to a fault woman.

We were never really close, but we had our moments. A mutual love of a good brunch, her trying to teach me about flowers, joking about my brother, sharing stories about my nieces and nephews (her grandkids). And, I have never for a second doubted that she loves me and is proud of me and of my brother. She is one of those women who has done so much and achieved at work and in her personal life (she spent the year after she retired working tirelessly on the John Kerry presidential campaign), but whose center was always her family. No matter how far her cognition has eroded, she remembers me, my brother, our families and Scooter (the dachshund). Family is always family for her. She kept pictures of my ex-husband's kids on her refrigerator beside those of her grandkids. She and my dad have been divorced since 1986, but she was still at all the family events on his side of the family and as long as she was able, continued to be in touch with him and concerned about his life and health.

So, yesterday my brother called and she is in the hospital with pneumonia and it is not looking good. Can they get her through this, probably, but in many discussions over the years, my mom made it very clear that when it is time, it is time and she wants no heroic measures. My brother and I are in easy agreement on this (thank all the powers for a sibling in accord during these difficult times), so we will enroll my mom in hospice and I will fly to California in a few days and we will spend what is likely to be some final time as a family. I feel guilty to feel relief as well as sadness, but I know we are making the right decision. My enrolling her in hospice, she will spend her final time at home with the family. I cannot be so eloquent, but I want to thank my colleague for this article that really spoke to how hard this can be even when we know it is what our parent wants:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Here's to you Mr. Robinson

I grew up a fan of both civil rights and sports. Jackie Robinson became a Brooklyn Dodger in 1947 and in 1949 won the league MVP award. The following year, Cooper, Clifton and Lloyd joined the ranks of the modern NBA. Now, football was ahead in a way as there had pretty steadily been a few black players (although none between 1933 and 1946). George Taliaferro was drafted by the Bears in 1950. The NBA saw its first black head coach in 1966 when Bill Russell took over at the helm of the Celtics (losing that year to the great 76ers team). Baseball was a bit slower, with Frank Robinson becoming the first major league manager (of the Cleveland Indians) in 1974 (while he was still playing). Football took until 1989, which the entire NFL should be deeply embarrassed by, to see Art Shell as the first head coach (of the Oakland Raiders, apparently Al Davis is capable of doing something right). The first NFL quarterback was Marlin Brisco, a 14th round pick for the Denver Broncos in 1968. I remember seeing him play. My favorite baseball player was always Willie Mays and I devoured books about his upbringing (in a time when there were not black players in the major leagues)and subsequent success.

I am surprised and appalled that now, all these years later, people can still consider race when they consider the success of Donovan McNabb as a quarterback or Herm Edwards as a coach. I don't get the same sense in baseball and basketball, although I know there is concern about how players born in the Dominican Republic are treated by major league baseball. Still, I would like to think that sports has played a role in showing us the way to equality and teamwork despite race. If you haven't, watch the movie, "Remember the Titans" Read the book, "Double Play" by Robert Parker and then cheer for your favorite team without any concern about the race of those you are cheering.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

the morning cuppa

Those who know me well (and many who don't know me that well) know that my morning starts with Earl Grey tea - hot (to quote Captain Jean Luc Picard. Love being able to quote Star Trek) regardless of temperature. It doesn't really matter what brand of Earl Grey, but it must be Earl Grey. My current favorites are the Two Leaves and A Bud (available at Saxby's including in 30th Street Station Philadelphia) and Numi (conveniently available at the coffee stand in my office building). But it *must* be Earl Grey. Yes, I do carry around Earl Grey tea bags just in case the spot where I find myself in the morning doesn't have Earl Grey, as happened this morning at (or in case they have run out, which I've even experienced at Starbucks) Great food, no Earl Grey (well there was Earl Grey made with their hot water and my tea bag). I'm happy to pay for the tea, heck I'm happy to pay for the hot water, but if wherever I am has Earl Grey, I will just buy theirs, not use my own, although at work, any cup after the first is made with teabags kept in my office. There is just some luxury about being handed that first cup of tea (Earl Grey tea that is) in the morning that gets the day off to the right start.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Let's face it. People aren't very good at returning calls these days. If you don't have something they want right then, often times the calls take a back seat to the more pressing matters at hand. Article Source:

I wouldn't have thought this prevalent, until this week. I'm waiting for call backs from 2 equine dentists (3 days and 2 days) in the hopes of getting Tag's wolf tooth out. I want to pay these guys to do work for me and no call back. I'm waiting for a call back from the Radiology Department (6 days) to schedule the MRI on my stress fracture. I have a referral from my primary care physician and from the sports medicine orthopedic surgeon, but no call back. I'm waiting for the swimming instructor (one week) from the Sporting Club to call me about swimming lessons. Once again, I want to pay for a service, but can't arrange it without the call back.

Are people just too busy in this world of increasing technology and contact points? Is my business so minor in the scheme of things that they just don't care? Have people become so addicted to texting and email that they no longer no how to use the phone (and by the way, other than the radiology departments, they have my cell numbers and I'd be happy for a text).

I think I'll make a bunch more phone calls and see if anyone calls back.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Small in the end

Turns out Tag has a very ouchy blind wolf tooth that our vet thinks is the root (pun inintended, but noted) of his issues. She did a very thorogh evaluation and is fairly certain there is nothing more major going on, so one dental visit being scheduled. I am excited to see Caitlin start working with him. I'm betting she will bring out his capabilities. I think he is going to be a really impressive dressage horse with a bit more time and help from someone much better at it it than I am. So look for updates.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The world is small

I think we all know this. And with the internet and associated Skype, Facebook, etc. It seems ever smaller - in a good way. I have had several small world events in my life and thought I would share a couple. The most recent came in Aiken, where one of the tack vendors at Sporting Days had a lovely border terrier named Wesley. She used to breed them, has recently relocated from Nebraska to Aiken and (the small world bit) knows my University of Pennsylvania officemate, Helen McDermott, also a border terrier breeder.

After I bought Tag, I "friended" Sterling Graburn on facebook. I was posting a little note on his wall and noticed a post from my friend Jenna, so I texted to find out how she knows Sterling. Turns out they went to high school together.

And the one that started my collection happened in 1991. The internet was moderately new, but I had been using email for a few years. I was emailing my friend Bill Minarik who was in geology grad school at RPI. I asked the computer room (remember we are essentially pre pc here so using terminals in a common room) at large, is Rensselar One of my classmates, hailing from ouside Montreal said, "yes. Who do you know there". When I told her she asked me to ask him if he knew her cousin, Nathalie, who was doing a masters's degree in geology there and if so, could he tell her cousin that Josee needed her mailing address. I added the note to my message and when Bill wrote back a couple of days later, his message ended "Nathalie's address is the same as mine. She is the new woman in my life I was telling you about". Bill and Nathalie have since married.

What reminds you that the world is small?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So much for Plan A

This happens a lot in the horse life and not so infrequently in the rest of life. We make plans, the universe laughs, sometimes moderately, sometime rolling on the ground. This spring is feeling a bit like the latter. The original plan, head to Aiken, get my brave and easy guy out xc schooling, do a couple of little events with probably decent dressage scores for a change, head to California for a long weekend, run the first half marathon of the season.

Yeah, well. Brave and easy guy has developed an odd bolting behavior. We're thinking it is not just naughtiness as it happens unpredictably and he seems almost as upset by it as we are. The vet will be coming out to look at him next week to see if we might be able to diagnose something tangible. And after 30 years of running completely injury free, I believe I have a stress fracture (tibia). Won't have a definitive diagnosis for me until I see the sports medicine guy next week, but after 30 years of running and sharing running stories, I'd be a bit surprised if I am wrong. Wish figuring out the horse was as easy.

Plan B, work with the trainer and the vet, put competition plans on hold. Put running plans on hold and work on the swimming and lifting (well, I've been wanting to get back to more serious lifting so here is the opportunity) and see how the spring develops. I think I'll put some more energy into planning my book. It seems less subject to the whims of the laughing universe.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Eventing Nation

Eventing Nation is a recent addiction and not quite as consuming a one as the COTH forums, so I didn't know my little story had been posted ( until Cyndi Kurth let me know about it. They even referenced this blog.

The weekend did not go as planned as Tag began a bolting behavior on Friday. Mmmm...not good. We started him on Omeprazole and then Sally wondered if he might be getting his tongue over the bit or caught in some other way that scared him, so Sunday, I lunged him and tightened his flash two more holes during the process (it had been fairly loose). This made a huge difference. No fidgeting with his head and excellent behavior through the ride. Lunging, tightening and a jumping lesson on Monday morning provided the same excellent results. We will continue the Omeprazole as it may be the reason he is playing with his tongue/mouth more is related to tummy issues and it probably can't hurt (other than my wallet). Horse training has a definite component of detective work or foreign language psychology or something in it. It would be nice if they could just talk!

Looking forward to progress as we have our last two weeks in Aiken.

Friday, March 4, 2011

As time goes by

It seems that it takes me longer to start eventing my greenies and that I start at lower levels and progress less quickly. It's not like I started as a crazy kid. We're referring to the last 14 years here. Perhaps it is a misperception on my part. So Tempo, puchased August 1997. First event, unrecogognized bn May 1998, first training level October 1998, so 9 months to first event and 5 months first event to first training level. Sold December 1999. Gizmo, purchased April 1999, first event novice at khp July 1999, first training october 1999. 3 months to first event and 3 more months to first traing level. First prelim 10 months later. Tobe, bought November 2004. First event unrecognized bn July 2005, first training March 2006. 8months to first event, another 8 to first training level. Keebler, bought November 2006, first event unrecognized bn July 2007, same 8 months, then first training November 2007, 4 months later. Finn, bought April 2009. First event entry level February 2010. 10 months and he made it clear he wasn't moving up. Tag purchased April 2011, first event at entry scheduled March 2011. 11 months and we'll see how he does. Looking at the pattern, I think it is based on the horses and the availability of xc schooling. Hopefully Tag will figure it out quickly. I'm ready for the fun of moving my own youngster up through the levels again

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hospital Cafeterias

When I did my dissertation, which involved interviews at over 30 medical schools, I had this idea for a side project "guide to hospital cafeterias" It was amazing to me how many of them had not a single healthy option anywhere in sight. The best that I remember (15 years later) were Stanford, Cleveland Clinic, and Pittsburgh. I was reminded of this when I went off to our cafeteria today and discovered it had changed (name and presumably management) since the last time I was there. The salad bar looked better. The soup relatively unchanged, the pastries better, the hot food potentially better, but hard to tell. Interestingly, all the nutrition information signs that had been posted in the former cafeteria version were gone, so I'm back to guessing about what should be healthy (lentil soup and plain yogurt made the cut). There were also a lot of food displays, but I couldn't figure out if they were just for show. Most notably, there were cupcakes for sale on a table. I have less than zero interest in cupcakes, but on the table were large bowls filled with raspberries, blueberries, and nuts. I wanted a bowl of those, but wasn't sure they were actually available. The other downside was the $1.09 price tag per piece of fruit. Really??! $1.09 for a single banana, tangerine, apple or plum. On the upside, if you wanted to spend the money, there were blood oranges available, but I am pretty sure they are 4/5 for $1 at the terminal. Seems it would make more sense to make the less healthy food more expensive. I rarely eat in the cafeteria anyway, far preferring the food carts. And lest you think that means hot dogs, at Penn the food carts are quite the gourmand paradise. We have the usual chinese, burgers, etc, but also Mexican/Indian (nothing like the chole kulche - chickpea curry - quesadilla), Organic Vegetarian Middle Eastern, and a Creperie. Less expensive, healthier and much less crowded dining options, plus as my office has no windows, it is an excuse to get outside when the weather is at all decent.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sally rocks Full Gallop and Tag jumps more

Sally was riding 3 intermediate horses at Full Gallop today. To write the end first, in case readers are only interested in the bottom line, she finished first, second and third. The Sally Cousins eventing team is quite a macine behind the scenes. Three horses meant 9 rides in a space of 3 hours and 12 minutes. Psychology qustion for the day- does one experince and/ or tolerate the cold differently when in the south where it is meant to be warm? It was cold, 28 degrees and dark when we arrived. It warmed up to mid-40s and sunny over the 5 hours we were on grounds.

We were back at the farm by 12:30 and I had another little jumping lesson on Tag. He was very good and bravely jumped the little gate. I can feel all the scope in there. Luckily, he is very quiet about the whole thing, though his engine definitely clicked more firmly into gear once we stareted jumping. I am excited to see what Sally does wiyh him over the next two weeks and psyched that the philly weather forecast is quite good.

And speaking of working out

A very brief comment on the results of the high performance training fitness test. Did you notice all the winners were the younger team members. No Karen or Phillip anywhere. I am guessing not a lot of upper level riders beyond some age point really evev want to use their knees for umpteen squats, but I could be wrong. Still, it shows even top athletes have to contend with the toll of getting older.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tag jumps

Not that Tag hasn't jumped before, but we have not jumped together for over three months and I haven't jumped at all for almost two months. We had a little jump lesson with Sally. Other than a touch of excess exuberance after the first jump, he was very good, quiet and well behaved, though mostly just trotting over the little exercise. More tomorrow after Sally does her gang at Full Gallop, finishing all 3 phases befor 11am.

On the non-horse front, if you want to start a business, consider a fitness center in Aiken. The Gold's Gym is absolutely packed. 60 people in Zumba and over twenty in the 5:45 am classes. It could be just some combination of the new year's resolution crowd and winter folk, but if at all consistent, Aiken could really use another gym

Sorting it out in Aiken

After a 12 mile run on Sunday morning, followed by brunch at New Moon Cafe (during which I think I sold 2 ipads and met someone who breeds trakehners here in Aiken), I headed out to ride Tag. We had the proverbial good news and bad news. The good news, Tag was great. Totally his normal, quiet self. Perhaps a bit less willing to keep his nose down, as there are so many interesting things to look at, especiallly after so much time in the indoor. We did wtc around the jump field, no worries. The bad news was that the "emergency" saddle did not fit him at all. Nor did it fit me at all. In fact, it is good he was well-behaved as I doubt I could have stayed in that saddle through any bad behavior. So, back to the drawing board. Megan Pappler kindly offered the loan of her saddle, so Monday, I tried it out, but also too narrow. Last attempt was an old county profi at a reasonable price from oak manor saddlery in Aiken. It fit acceptably well, just needing a bump pad to raise the cantle. It is also comfortable enoough that I can imagine riding a green horse over his first xc jumps in it without immediately picturing all sorts of dire outcomes. Jumping lesson Tuesday, so we will see how it works in real use. Where did I put that neck strap?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A non-horse post to address the coth forum challenge. I want the equivalent of dreamhorse for cars. On dreamhorse, you can enter search parameters like height, sex, price, breed whatever and it will find all the horses that mztch all those characteristics. I have spent a lot of time on autotrader, vehix, edmunds and msn auto and they don't work like this. I am looking (although Henry would tell you I have been looking for 6 years and just like car shopping, not car buying) for something with the following characteristics:
1. Hatchback
2. Short exterior length for city parking
3. Good gas mileage
4. Reasonable price
5. Good safety profile
6. High long term reliability
7. Good handling
8. Manual transmission

Looking for all of these thing in endless reviews and car comparisons, the currwnt short list includes the vw golf tdi. I currently own a golf and it does well on all parameters, maybe a little pricey. Going tdi ups the mileage. Mine has been super reliable, but mixed reviews on that. Other options are the volvo c30, but car & driver thinks it is a dog, and I admit to being a car&driver groupie; and finally the nissan juke, but who knows anying about it? If anyone has thoughts or opinions on these or other options, I would love to hear them.

There is also e problem of model creep. In 2005, I was pretty sure I wanted e rav4, but en Toyota redesigned it, makin it both undesirably longer and less fun to drive. The Matrizx was a thought, but no manual transmission. Briefly considered the scion xd, but underpowered and lacking in safety features, ditto thhe suzuki s4. You begin to see the dilemma, but at least car shooping is really fun

Sporting Days and Tag arrives in Aiken

Various impressions of the day are in order, not a chronologic recounting. Chilly and rainy on and off. It seemed that every time, the rain stopped, the wind kicked up and the temperature dropped.

One of the dressage judges got the plan confused and did not arrive this morning. Doug Payne arranged his rides on his seven (yes, really) horses to step in and judge two divisions. Go eventers!

Best volunteer of the day was 7 year old Mia, our stadium score runner, who showed up about two horses before the end of the sheet through the entire day, never slacking, always cheerful. By afternoon, she was hanging out with us and doing the judging. Good at it too.

It was great to see Betsy and Jeff Minton. Betsy was my scribe for the bulk of the day and Jeff did a stellar job as stadium announcer. Looking forward to being able to hang out with them a some more during the Aiken adventures.

Ted Curtis stepped in after Texas snowpocalypse cancelled Tag's ride to Aiken. He is a private pro hauler. Apparently, it was snowing moderately hard in Alabama this morning, but he said it let up soon after leaving the farm. Ted was very complimentary of Tag's behavior and demeanor. Said he marched right onto the trailer like he did it every day (he has not been on a trailer for 3 months) and was perfefectly quiet in the back. They got to Sally's place a bit before I did and when I arrived Tag was happily sttled in a stall munching some hay. I am looking forward to riding him tomorrow. We will see how ADD he is out in a field instead of a dressage arena or indoor. Time to be an event horse

Friday, February 4, 2011

And more saddles than horses

Remember the post about how I've ended up with 5 horses? As if that isn't disconcerting enough, I have so many saddles, I am not even sure of the count (but we'll get to that). It is a new year's resolution to get down to 2, 1 jumping and 1 dressage. Meanwhile, if as you read this you think "I would love to have that saddle," then please contact me and we'll see if we can make it happen. All are 17.5 seat, variations of medium tree.

Jumping saddles:
This is easier. Saddle #1 is on consignment at Malvern Saddlery's A Bit Less, but I will be pulling it out next week to send on trial to a friend in California. It is a Devoucoux Oreka, a show-jumping saddle made for only a few years. It is black (all my tack is black) and I bought it after I sold the Albion I had for Tobe as that was a narrow saddle and Keebler needed a medium. I got a decent deal on it and it is comfortable and fits a lot of horses. Am now selling it because, while comfortable, it does my position no good and more importantly, does not fit Tag well. In addition, I'd rather have wool-flocked.

#2 Having made that decision, with Tag down in Alabama, had some time to shop. Started looking for County and Black Country saddles. They are expensive new and hard to find used (especially in black). I went to the Walsall Master Saddlers site and started emailing saddlers with what I was looking for. Ended up with a steal of a deal on an all buffalo Ryder Saddlery Vantage Glen was actually the saddler who made the original Albion prototype saddles and since I loved the older Albions, I figure this will be excellent. It would be coming over from England for the trade show held in Valley Forge Convention center at the end of January, all set

#3 Or so I thought until last week, I received a call from Glen that for family reasons, he would not be coming over but would ship the saddle at no additional charge. So the saddle is heading for Aiken, but I doubt it will get there this weekend, so I jumped on line to try to find an inexpensive "bridge" saddle. Thought about borrowing (and Hilda kindly offered her saddle), but with shipping etc and worrying about trashing someone else's saddle as Tag learns to go xc for the first time, I decided might be better to get something. Found a Courbette Pandur that was temping (great saddle if you like those old Courbettes, and only $350), but ended up with another Walsall made saddle. This one a Rosewood (no I've never heard of it either), but it looks great. Under $400 is getting it to Aiken today. Hopefully it fits Tag well enough.

Then there are the dressage saddles:
1) Bond Street saddle with memory foam. Bought in 2002 because I thought it might help me sit Gizmo's trot. In fact, it did, but he didn't love it.

2) Laser CM Ultimate adjustable dressage. I rode Gizmo in this saddle and then rode Tobe in it and started Keebler with it. At this point, I was working hard on my dressage and realizing it didn't help my position, so I started shopping for a saddle that would. Meanwhile, I lent the Bond Street to Jeff Kibbie for his horse Loki.

3) Devoucoux, Monoflap Milady, excellent deal from England. Comfortable and fit Keebler pretty well so I should be done.

4) CWD bought from a charity auction, good deal on a nice saddle, but I don't like the way it fits me so it was intended for sale. Don't love the way the Devoucoux fits Finn so consider other saddles

5) E. Jeffries, bought online for Finn. Then I decided to sell Finn and it doesn't fit Tag.

6) Hulsebos WB4, ebay find. Fits me, fits Tag. I figure I am done and then....

7) Ride Feivel, JD and Taldi all in Jessica's County Connection. Absolutely love it. Go looking on line and put out the word on Facebook. Turns out Lynn has one and is willing to trade. Hey, I have at least a couple that I know fit Keebler so I send her the Devoucoux and the Bond Street. She settles on the Devoucoux. I have

7a) Lynn's County Connection, but my horse isn't here, so we hope it fits Tag and as a bonus, she may be able to find someone in her barn to buy the Bond Street.

The rest of the dressage saddles will go to Skylands saddlery to be consigned as soon as I have a moment to do that, but if anyone needs a saddle.....

Thursday, February 3, 2011


That is really the only word for today's lesson on Taldi. What a wonderful guy. The real wow part of the lesson was the medium trot - a real medium trot with elevation and shoulder swing and extension of the frame and legs, so cool! We also did (or really Taldi was kind enough to do, despite all my flopping about) 3 loop serpentine with counter canter, half pass in trot and half pass in canter to flying change. I'm looking forward to riding Tag in Aiken this weekend, but it will be rather different

Monday, January 31, 2011

First Event of the Year

Not that I was eventing. If you want the thoughts of someone who was, read

I was there for a USEF officials' continuing education clinic. Our panelists were Brian Ross, Cindy DePorter and Tremaine Cooper and it was super informative and a lot of fun. The USEA has created a new syllabus, intended to be more interactive and including lots of case studies, fun with "judging" unusual events on SJ videos and a 4 hour walk of the preliminary course with Tremaine Cooper discussing the wide array of things that influence the quality, safety and rideability of a course. I had done the full weekend course design seminar with Tremaine 2 years ago, and it was good to hear from him again and actually hear even more depth about some of his thoughts than I remember from the course design weekend.

I also got to hang out with friends from Michigan, Maryland and Florida, drink some excellent wine and have Birthday Party #2 at With all that, it is possible that the highlight of the weekend was temperatures reaching 70 and my week's long run in shorts and a t-shirt on the West Orange Trail.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

proper birthday storm

Part of my family's lore is snowstorms for my birthday. It started when I was born in a snowstorm (in Madison, WI) major enough, in a city that knows how to deal with storms, that my mom was unable to leave the hospital for an extra couple of days.

Over the years, I had birthday parties canceled (bummer) and birthday parties turn into sleepovers (excellent) as a result of snow. My freshman year in college, I was sad and homesick because I knew there was no chance of snow for my birthday, but all improved when nature obliged with a rip-roaring thunder and lightning pouring rain storm.

Thunder snow last night and more than a foot of snow tops the cake on my birthday this year. And the timing means no party cancellation tonight. Perfect.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Trained horses

So, riding the trained dressage horses has been great. They are really nice horses, kind in addition to well-trained, so everything just seems easy. Of course, I am absolutely sure that Jessica is being much less demanding of me than she would be of someone who actually had the first clue about dressage. Still, this winter while Tag has been at his boot camp, I've gotten to ride Feivel (16.2 hand chestnut oldenburg gelding), JD (16 hand pinto Irish Sporthorse gelding, also known as "the pony") and Taldi (big bay Irish Sporthorse gelding). Both JD and Taldi are Carlingford horses, which I would guess are better known as jumping than dressage horses, but I could be wrong (remember than part about not really having the first clue about dressage - double for dressage outside of eventing).

So, I've gotten to do shoulder in (which I had done in the past), half pass at the trot and canter (new to me at the canter), serpentine with a counter canter loop (new to me though it does appear in dressage tests at intermediate eventing I think, or maybe 2*), 4 stride tempi changes (wow!!). And, it has all been hugely fun and has made me think much more precisely about where my aids go (although as far as I can tell, with all of these horses, you basically imagine what you want to have happen and it just magically occurs).

I am looking forward to getting Tag to some dressage shows as well as events this year and to the time when I get to do all these cool tricks on him.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Riding Tag at CMF

I spent the weekend down at Cotton Meadows Farm and had a great time. I was able to ride Tag 4 days in a row, including in the Wolfgang Scherzer clinic and even got in a 9 mile run outdoors (with temperature at 38 degrees, pretty good for this time of year) as well as baking a key lime pie and watching the Packers win the NFC. All good things. Debi took this video of me riding Tag. Given how bad I look, he looks fabulous!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wow, Tag is a dressage horse

I am spending the weekend at Debi Crowley's place, The downside is that it isn't much warmer here than at home (well, maybe a bit - high today is meant to be 38). I rode Tag yesterday after watching Debi ride him. With Debi on him, he looks totally like a dressage horse. Still obviously a bit green, but really moving forward, on the aids and tracking up at both the walk and trot and smooth and rhythmic and mostly on the aids at the canter. I had a lesson on him and he was really good for me too. I am so excited. I will be doing another lesson with Debi this afternoon, then riding him with Wolfgang Scherzer, who is here doing a clinic all weekend, so I'm getting to watch some nice riding as well.

The plan for this afternoon precedes the riding with a 9 mile long run, and I am truly thankful for the temperature difference, as 34 degrees versus 21 degrees (at the time I'm planning to run) will make a pretty big difference.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Favorite Yoga Assist

So, I was walking home from yoga this morning and thinking about differences in teachers and practices. One thought that crossed my mind is the degree to which teachers do hands on adjustments and/or assists. My favorite is where a teacher stands behind me in triangle and helps me fully open the twist. It feels great, but I can't get there by myself. I'm sure this is an allegory for life, but today I was just thinking about yoga

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wait, I can't possibly own 5 horses

I originally posted this on the Chronicle of the horse Forums, so you may have seen it there, but thought it worth publishing here as well.
So, how did this happen:

In Michigan, where board was less expensive and I could work off some of it, I had many horses, but when I moved to Philadelphia I started shedding them and sold all but the competition horse, Gizmo. As of August 2003, 1 horse.

August 2004, sell Gizmo to Veronique St. Maurice who goes on to do great things with him and in November 2004, get To Be Announced, an OTTB from Maple Shade Farm.

September 2006, Tobe injured. Have surgery done, rehab and place in a lease home (I still own him, but he is fully leased)

Dec 2006, buy the spotted menace, Keebler (now I have two).

December 2008, after a successful season at training level, Keebler was sick, recovered, but needed to rehab somewhere with more turnout. Sent him down to Debi Crowley where his rehab could also include lots of turnout.

March 2009, fall in love with and buy another OTTB from Maple Shade Farm, this one a Fingerlakes Finest, Finn (now I have 3).

November 2009, Keebler goes to Lynn in Michigan on lease.
January 2010, realize Finn does not want to be an eventer.

March 2010, leave Finn in Florida with Hilda at Ashmore Equestrian Center to be sold as a hunter, buy Tag, the warmblood muttly pony (bred to drive, but very cute - so now I have 4)

Ride Tag. Crappy economy, no Finn sale.

January 2010, find out that Gizmo now 19 needs a new home, so I buy him (now I have 5). He is leased to one of Cyndi Kurth's students - all is good.

But somehow, I have 5 horses when I really only mean to have one. It is clearly an addiction.