30

af1896e111e348d9f7a764b39591bc64I woke early this morning from a lovely dream about horses to my cat Amber walking purposefully across my stomach to my face.  Apparently she was hungry.  As I got back in bed for a few sweet moments of snoozing, I realized, quite suddenly, I’m 30.  I’ve been 30 for 6 months now but for whatever reason, I became 30 at 5am this morning.  Turning 30 was no big deal, or so I thought.  It’s just a number right.  But after 6 months of being 30 I feel differently.  I know, I know, 30 is still young, but it’s different from being in my twenties.  In 10 years I’ll be 40.  That’s a crazy thought.  What will my life be like?  Will Clay and I decide to have a kid?  Will I have several horses?  Will I finally own a farm?? Will I even recognize my life? Suddenly it feels like I have things to accomplish and I need to accomplish them now.

10 years ago I could have never predicted where I would be when I turned 30.  I had no concept of being an adult and having a life beyond college.  I thought by the time I was 30 I would magically own a 100 acre horse farm.  Specifically 100 acres.  And that’s where the planning stopped.  I remember vaguely thinking I would have cute dishes.  20 was a big year for me.  It was the last year I was competitive in hunters, I got my first car payment, and I moved out of my parent’s house.  I also met my first love and began the hippie phase of my life.  I don’t remember this but my mom said I told her I wanted to live in a tent in the woods, and I was serious.

At 30 I have a home, a wonderful fiancé, 3 cats, 1 dog and a horse.  I also have a very grown up job.  It’s so grown up that I feel weird telling people what I do for a living.  Financial Analyst.  My 20 year old self would have never believed it was possible.  Not only am I dealing with math everyday, I’ve become “corporatized”.  I truly don’t mind my cubical.   I wear pencil skirts and trousers and black pumps almost everyday.  I wear studs in my ears instead of dangly colorful earrings.  I don’t own very many knit items anymore.  I love shopping whereas I used to hate consumerism.

c4940a5369fb984499a4b6ac656dfe02At 30 I have clear definable goals.  I want a horse farm (a small one though…not 100 acres).  I want to earn my bronze, silver and gold USDF medals.  I want to make more money.  Money.  At 20 I really didn’t think money was important.  Love and living life was important.  It’s not that I’m totally driven my money now, but I understand better that I need money to live the kind of life I want.  The kind that involves horses and traveling and doggie daycare.

Say I’m fortunate enough to achieve my goals.  What then?  Will I regret not having kids?  Will I want a simpler life?  Will I be more driven in my career?  Will the precious friendships of my thirties survive or will they melt away like so many of my friendships from my 20s?  And why, all of a sudden, am I questioning everything?

William Solyntjes Dressage Clinic

On the Bit FunnyI audited a William Solyntjes clinic back in January at Majestic Farm and am just now getting around to posting my notes.  Overall the day was awesome.   I saw some fantastic riders and horses and some fantastic aspiring riders and horses.  I was happy to see many different breeds of horses and riders at all different levels.  Going in I was slightly worried all the riders would be Prix St. George or higher and while I love watching them ride, I don’t learn as much since I’m light years away from those levels in my own training.  Even though each horse & rider pair was unique from the next one, there were the same overriding themes throughout the day.  The focus was on stretching into the contact and keeping the correct inside bend. Even the upper level horses took time to work on these basics.   William kept saying flex them to the inside then send them down with the outside rein.  Inside flexion, outside down. Inside flexion, outside down.  Inside flexion, outside down.  Even though Nicole has told me this over and over, hearing it from someone else and for 6 hours finally drilled it into my head.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked Nicole how I half halt on the outside rein without loosing the inside bend.  It’s all about timing.  Wiggle the inside rein for flexion at the poll, THEN squeeze the outside rein to get them on the bit.  Simple right?  Ha!

Here are my favorite quotes:

  • Squeeze him like a tube of tooth paste.
  • Neck down, shoulders up.
  • Don’t let the problem find you.  Go after it and find it yourself.
  • Chewing is the window to their soul.
  • Take a lot, give a lot.  Take 100%, give 100%.
  • Speed kills.

I hope I can work with William Solyntjes one day.  I’d love to hear what he has to say about the Savster.

In other news it’s finally above freezing!  A balmy 48 degrees.  I am so excited to get to the barn and ride in comfort that I can barely stand it.

Winter Blues

8d24fc500f1f58b226fe8ad9d47a4086Missing Savy hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday.  I was soooo excited that I would finally be able to ride more than once this week, but the super scary snow/ice storm blew in at exactly the same time I wanted to be on Savy’s back.  I still stopped by the barn to visit and give her a quick grooming (despite the stern warming from my mother), but it’s not the same.  A rushed visit with a curry comb and a hoof pick is not enough to satisfy my barn/Savannah craving.  I’m actually only writing this post because I miss her.  Writing about her makes me feel more connected to her, weirdly.

I worry that our connection is suffering.  With Savy being in training 3 days a week and with the frigid weather, there’s not much I can do at the barn.  Once it’s below freezing I feel bad even taking her blanket off to groom her, and I feel so completely confident that Nicole and the barn staff take such excellent care of her that I don’t even need to check on her.  I’ve decided to make her bran mashes so that she at least remembers me as the lady who brings her yummy awesome treats.

Yes.  I realize I’m pouting.

In other news I got to ride my trainer’s horse Star.  He’s super fancy and super fun to ride.  He’s for sale and the lady interested in him asked for a video with someone else riding him.  Here’s the video 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su6hKK5ddoc

While I was on youtube I found a video of this awesome barn!  I want this place!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqNyJGBjk-w