Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Road to Rio

Well, I just renamed this blog the Road to Rio.  I haven't written in this blog since last spring, as updates were being kept in so many other places, that this more personal place for reflection got neglected.

I figured it was time to start gathering all my thoughts, organizing them, and move forward.

The end of a journey is always difficult, no matter the outcome.  Rocco is and always will be a once in a lifetime horse, but because of the long travel back east, what started as a long shot chance, became a glimmer of hope...but I perhaps always choose to believe in the improbable.  Even for those who had their time to shine in London, I suspect there is a level of "what comes next"?

With the sudden and unbelievably unexpected passing of one of our teammates, many of us were shook to our core, and wondering how our team would move forward.

But as people of passion so often do, we find our strength again, find renewed commitment, and keep on swimming, keep on swimming.

I have been out of the saddle (more or less) since August.  I wrapped up my teaching gig, as I realized I was running myself ragged trying to juggle 10-12 lessons, along with my acupuncture business, which continues to quietly and organically grow.

It has been a necessary and (mostly) welcome break, mentally and physically.  I think sometimes the best way to gain perspective on a situation is to step back completely.

Through all the ups and downs, I realize that my heart is still 116% in this sport, and I realize that ability and desire are just not enough to succeed.  It truly takes an enormous amount of dedication, countless hours of training, planning to get out to the the important competitions, a network of sponsors and supporters, and a team of people making it happen.

Moving forward, I am looking at all the puzzle pieces I will need for a successful campaign.  Some of these are very intimidating pieces.  Funding.  An incredible international caliber horse.  But, I know I have the support of an amazing community, and with that, anything seems possible.

Thank you all, until next time...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A day to contemplate, then back to the whirlwind.

Hello friends -

I apologize that I have not been very diligent about keeping this blog updated. I'm afraid I fell down the rabbit's hole of work, riding, teaching, fundraising, planning, plotting, work, marketing, training, and realized yesterday I hadn't taken an actual "day off" in some time., I stayed home, and while there is certainly still some planning and plotting going on, it feels very good to rest my body a bit.

Life is good. Work is great - seeing about 15 patients a week, teaching 5-6 riding lessons. A really nice balance.

Riding is amazing.

I really believe that every horse that crosses your path teaches you a lesson, provides you a gift as it were, for a reason. Pavalina and Tammy gave me such gifts - confidence, joy and the "spark" that I was missing after WEG.

Rocco is unlike any horse I have ever met. He is kind, friendly, funny, hard-working, yet absolutely stunning. I will freely admit I get intimidated by having such a nice horse to work with. That I am not good enough, that I can't manage it, that he is too powerful. I ask for a medium trot, and my heart flutters just a bit. This week we had an amazing moment in a lesson, where I just had to let go of that fear, and let Rocco shine. It was a beautiful thing. I honestly think the trust between us blossomed in that moment, and I am so excited to see where the road ahead leads for us.

I cannot thank all of my sponsors and supporters enough, and would like to in particular thank Melissa Mulcahey, for giving me the chance in a lifetime with her amazing horse.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

200 Days till London.

I guess the saying goes "time flies"...I'm not sure it really flies, but we certainly find ways to keep ourselves far too busy. I think my last update was after the Saugerties CPEDI. A lot has happened, and yet, in some strange ways, I stand exactly where I was.

In October, I flew back East to clinic with Robert Dover, and get another chance to partner with Pavalina. The trip had multiple purposes for me. I wanted to really know if Pavalina was "the one". She is talented, but she is a tricky ride, and I knew there were a lot of complicating factors (eg, I live in Washington, the horse lives in Pennsylvania, and the next competitions were in Florida). In addition, the return to Gladstone (the clinic site) was an emotional prospect - I had last been there in 2006, just 6 months after Margo's passing.

The clinic was full of realization...the biggest being that I need to continue to do my homework to define myself as a rider, and let my own light shine through...let go of the shadows and memories and expectations I have been carrying.

I had no real roadmap coming home from the clinic, unsure how I would proceed to London. I got a very unexpected call after Thanksgiving, asking if I could help support the team that would be competing in Australia....on less than a week's notice. My teammate had been having some health issues, and with only 3 riders planning on going, the leadership felt it would be prudent to bring a 4th, in case any rider (or horse) had an issue, to preserve a team score. to Melbourne. Talk about a trip that came together by the seat of our britches!!! We spent the first 3 days looking for horses (including the day we arrived, following 20ish hours of flying). Wednesday we got our new mounts moved into the showgrounds, and Thursday held the jog. Whew. The show went very well. The incomparable Paralympian Becca Hart an I shared an incredible Holsteiner mare, "Tammy", and we had a lot of fun. I am also pleased to report that we also kicked a little butt (along with Teamies Mary Jordan and Donna Ponessa). Go USA :-)

Back at home...December brought the arrival of Rocco. Oh, Rocco! He is the absolute joy in my day right now!! He has been out in pasture for about a year, due to an injury. He is coming back into work incredibly well. He is bar none the most talented horse I have ever met, and on top of that, he is truly kind and hard working. I am smitten. There is joy in every moment I spend with him.

I don't know what the future will hold for Rocco and I, but I do know there are 200 days until the London Olympics. I also know that nothing happens unless you take risks. I have taken a few big ones in the past few months, and I suspect that 2012 will mean pushing myself even more.

As always, I couldn't do this without all of your support. Thank you, thank you, thank you.