Welcome to the dressage spot, a place for the young (or young at heart) dressage riders wanting to gain information on the sport of dressage, training tips, equine health care, maintenance and fun!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Saturday, for the first time in weeks I felt a bit better! All the therapy, rest, massages, and great advice from so many friends and family started to pay off. Britta you have magic hands and I personally cannot WAIT until you move here. I think a week or two more and I may be able to be back in the saddle. I do not want to push it as young as I am I don’t want forty years regretting not taking the time to fully heal. Sjapoer and I have a lot of work to do to be ready for the spring season with this big set-back.

So I am using my time this weekend to rewrite and update my long term strategic plan for USEF. I have my update conference call Tuesday afternoon and I want to be prepared. I know I have mentioned the LTSP in my blog and interviews before. For those of you who are new readers, it is a way for everyone to guide their training by establishing both short and long term training goals. For the youth riders selected to participate USEF and Jeremy Steinberg discuss the goals with you and check on your progress. It is kind of a way for them to stay connected and help if they can to bring us along in our dressage goals. But I encourage everyone to incorporate the tenants of the program into your riding and your life.

In essence you have to break down your goals. If you want to be at a certain place in 5 years, in 3 years or next year then what do you need to work on this month, in the next three months to get there? What can you do? What can your trainer do? What can your parents do? What can you not do? What are some of your biggest obstacles? How might those obstacles be addressed? For example, do you need an outside clinic? Do you need to do outside core training (like me).

Anyway, I am working on my update now because these last few weeks of injury have changed my goals slightly and given me some new things to add to my plan. Also I have to adjust for going to EDAP’s RDHMW in January, so all of those have to be rewritten.

I have also been using this time to get ready for the holidays. This is the time to thank everyone who supports all your riding endeavors all year. My family likes to make gifts. They may seem cheesy and perhaps not as flashy and expensive as some types of gifts; but they take time. Time today seems to be the most valuable commodity there is. So I was taught that taking time, using your own hands to make something; putting in your individuality, your creativity and your thought made the present more valuable than anything from Macy’s. So think about your list. Don’t forget all the people that work at the barn, the vet’s office, the farrier, and all the dozens of people that keep you and your horse healthy and happy all year. My family also takes plates of baked goods to the firehouse and the police station to thank them for their work. As a kid I thought this was so cool. I even got a tour of the fire trucks once.

You might have seen the pictures on FB; Sjapoer got some gifts from Ms. Lochhead and Mr. Kearney at Gatorade! When they heard about Sjapoer’s dehydration at NAYRC and how we couldn’t get him to drink anything but Gatorade they jumped right in to help him with his Gatorade thirst in the future. Finally, he has a bucket worthy of his size! Thanks again and I’ll keep you updated on his adventures as I promised.

Finally, I wanted to say to everyone have an amazing Thanksgiving! Although I may not get to see my family this year I wanted to share some of my traditions with you. That way even if we don’t get to do them maybe you can. Every year my mom cuts out a bunch of fall leaves from construction paper. They are so colorful, like the fall paintings nature has made outside. They are red, orange, amber, brown, golden and so many hues. We go outside on a walk the day before and look for a downed branch. When we lived on the ranch this was easier. Now we go to the park. We always find the most interesting branches. This makes every year’s tree unique. We put the branch in a bottle or vase with stones to weight it down. We take yarn and a hole punch and put a hole and tie a string on each of the leaves. Then everyone writes on their leaves what they are thankful for. We hang them on the ‘thankful tree.’ After dinner while we are all digesting and stalling before pie and coffee we read the leaves and we have to guess who wrote each leaf. It is really fun and also a great way to include guests in the festivities. They feel like family right away. Another one we do is over the Thanksgiving holiday we make Christmas paper chains of red and green paper alternating. On each ‘link’ of chain we write the names of someone (horses, dogs and other animals count of course) we love and wish a merry Christmas. We make the number of links equal to the days until Christmas. Then every day we open one chain like a calendar count down. We read the name on the link and we make sure on that day to somehow show our love for them on ‘their day.’ It is a really neat way to take time over the holidays to remember what we have to celebrate and to slow down for a minute or two every day. I miss those traditions as I get older and as I am living away from home.

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