Monday, August 18, 2008

Looking Good!

The Heat Was Back

Spent the morning watching the team show jumping. So disappointed to see Authentic refuse a fence. He was shaking his head as Beezie Madden headed him towards the first fence of the triple, paid no attention to her or the jump and leap aside at the last minute. Then he kept shaking his head when he did jump and knocked a rail down. Very uncharacteristic for this horse as I have seen him jump many times. He is one of the most reliable and consistent jumpers on the international scene.

That left Beezie's score of 11 faults as the drop score for the team. But the US still ended up tied for first with Switzerland. As a result, 9 teams will go into the Nations Cup finals tomorrow. I get kind of confused as to how the individual medals are awarded as tomorrow's round also includes all the qualifying individual riders. A think the scores from the previous days are dropped for individuals who start tomorrow anew, but the team scores carry over. I THINK!!

Anyhow, that effectively used up the morning. And by then it was pretty hot and uncomfortable.

I headed out to the saddle shop's tent sale. The drive to their Cream Ridge store takes over 45 minutes from here. To top it off I got stuck behind a very slow moving horse trailer on the way.

At the sale, I bought some Ariat sandals on sale for my cousins at Christmas, a new lunge whip, a pair of waterproof pants for over my breeches and boots (I have "outgrown" the ones I have for winter riding), some fly spray, some Betadine, and a big bucket of feed through fly control. I was going to get the Solitude IGR, but the Farnum rep was there and after a discussion about ingredients, I settled on Farnum's Simplifly which is half the price.

Of course I ended up having a long chat with him. Ironically, his wife trained at Morven Park where my first real professional trainer had studied. (His wife had been short listed for the US Olympic Eventing team as had my trainer--whose horse broke a bone in his foot--but it must have been at least 10 years apart.) Then, as we talked, I discovered his wife had also trained with Lockie Richards!!

Lockie was my clinic mentor for over 20 years. I rode with him every time he came to the US, starting off with Russell, then going to PJ, and finally ending with Toby. He is the one who taught me to teach Toby the flying changes. He was one of the most marvelous teachers/trainers I have ever known. I miss his wisdom and insight. He would have been such a help with Tucker. The Farnum guy had nothing but praise for him as well, and we had a nice chat about that as well.

Then, one the way out, I heard someone call, "Jean! Jean! It's Jay!" Lo and behold, it was a guy who used to hack down the road in front of my house. My road is heavily traveled by trucks and he used to ride a super little Quarter horse that never batted an eye when traffic passed. (Narrow road with almost no shoulders. Used to scare me silly seeing him ride by. Eventually, I convinced him to take the dirt road through the farm up from my house to get back to the woods so he pretty much didn't have to ride on the road at all.)

Anyhow, the last time I saw him, he was going to retire from his job as a New York fireman and was trying to buy the horse. Then I heard the deal fell through, and I caught a quick converstation with him at a photo shoot for the farm we are trying to save. He was pretty down about it all and was talking about maybe having to give up riding.

Well, that never happened!! Instead he answered an ad for a horse for sale out in the Assunpink--a HUGE wildflife refuge about 20 mintues from here with miles and miles of wonderful hacking trails and.....the headquarters of the Monmouth County Hunt. He bought the horse, a 4 year old paint, and has been riding ever since. He has even gone fox hunting paying the capping fee. I have rarely seen anyone so happy. I was positively delighted!! He had a friend with him with a gorgeous Arabian gelding in her horse trailer. I am not a big fan of Arabs, but this was was a classic beauty. In short order, she and Jay invited me to come hacking with them.

I boarded Toby and PJ at a barn adjacent to the Assunpink for close to ten years, so I know it well. I'd not risk taking the frolicking Tucker, but Toby would be fine as he knows most of the trails, and Chance would have a grand time if he were fit. (Hope the no shoes would not be an issue for him.) I can trailer back to my old stable to park there, but it would be fun to ride with some people from the other farm too. Maybe I will venture over as fall comes in.

Where is this leading? I managed to spend the rest of the day at the saddle shop and got home in time to feed.

Then, while the horses ate, and I ate, I loaded up my Internet only to have it kick out several times more rebelliously than Satchmo had for Isabel. In other words, my connection kept cutting in and out.

I called my DSL provider again for some tech support. I guess the first call took well over an hour. The tech ran all kinds of tests and by then it was 9:30 or so. He asked me how often it happened and I said several times during the day. (And it had cut out during the dressage!! Eeech....) He said he'd call back in about an hour to see if it had done it again as it was fine as we talked.

He hung up and about ten minutes later, I lost the connection again. I rebooted and it worked for a good long while. Then at about 11:15 it started slowing down, cutting off the live feed from NBC of the women's triathlon (my test video). I ran a speed test and it was almost down to half the speed we'd had before. The phone rang and it was the tech calling back. I told him what was going on. He ran some more tests and then told me someone would run more tests and call me back tomorrow night.

Why then? Where he was and the tech support group was 9 AM. More outsourcing from US companies to India???

The ultimate result of all this long narrative is that I never did ride, or swim today. However, when I went out to feed the Boys their midnight snack, I did lunge Tucker. I had to look hard to imagine a limp!! If I did not know he had been lame, I would not have noticed a thing. As it is, he MAY have looked a little teeny tiny shorter on his left front.

If it is not miserably hot tomorrow, I will ride him lightly to see how he feels.

But, note to self. Make sure I dress him in the bug armor. The B52 flies are definitely out there ready to do bombing runs on horse rumps. I do not want to be in the saddle if an attack starts.

Hey, at least I had fun today. It was a nice social outing. *G*


  1. Sounds like you had a great day chatting and catching up with people!

    Its horrible here at the moment wet and pretty chilly for August the one good thing is the strip of grazing mine are are is getting churned up so less grass:)

  2. Another good place to buy Ariat footware is
    Ariat Fatbaby Saddle -Fun, flirty styles designed to show her Western lifestyle