I wrote this on the plane back from Gladstone, but it has been a crazy week so I just couldn’t edit and post it until today!
Why I am so late is that I had a taste of independent adulthood this week and wow; being completely on your own is a challenge. As most of you know when I moved to Washington and then California to train my parents wouldn’t let me go alone. I mean, no 16 year old is that responsible and there are all the safety and legal concerns. My grandma lives with me and is like my substitute mom and dad. We have a really unique grandparent-grandchild relationship because at times it is more like a parent and at times a grandparent. Anyway she is the cool grandma that bakes from scratch, soaks whites overnight and hand dries jeans! She is really amazing. Anyway, when I came back from Gladstone she was on vacation with my Uncle James.She really needed a break from living with me I think. Imagine 67 and 19 always alone together every day. I can be a bit tiring!
Well with her on Crooked Island, I came home to dogs, dishes, laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, bills, mail and all sorts of jobs on top of my already busy daily schedule. I have to admit, her stuff kind of sucks. Thank you so much grandma for making sure I eat healthy, have clean clothes and get enough sleep. And I won’t ever admit this, but being totally alone all the time is really quite quiet and boring.
On top of all that it has been a week of change and preparing for a busy summer. Lots of plans. I am heading to Michigan this week to speak at the Midwest Youth Festival for Lendon Gray and I am really nervous. I have been practicing my speech, but I mean what do youth riders really want to know from me? I try to pass on everything I can think of that might help them. I hope people see my wanting to share not as a sign of “I think I know all the answers” but that I really want to help. The more we share information the better the whole industry gets.
I am also excited to see all my Michigan friends. MaddieGutherie I hope you have time to sneak in some girl time! If any of the other Michigan EDAP girls are coming, please FB me and we can catch up.
Gladstone was its usual amazing self. It has always been and probably will always be my favorite venue. I love the closeness and casualness of the atmosphere. I love the way everyone just hangs out together. I feel like such a kid among stars at Gladstone. I started a signature hat! I got so many signatures;Guenter, Christine, Steffan, Debbie, Robert and a dozen more. I think maybe we should have them all sign one every year for each region’s fundraisers for NAJYRC! That would pull in some funds for the youths. Anyway, in some aspects Gladstone is just like any other horse show. There are the same highs and lows; the same triumphs and disasters. The only difference I think is here you have the experiences in front of all your heroesand they have theirs in front of you. It can be both rewarding to do something great with Jan watching, but it can be devastatingly embarrassing when you mess up. Particularly if they mention it to you or god forbid your trainer!
You meet so many amazing people. The stands are full of the diehards. People have to get airline tickets and make cross country treks to get here so most of the viewers are seasoned critics. There are some of the usual grandparents and friends who were brought for support. It is fun to hear all the short and sweet descriptions in the stands trying to explain dressage to a newbie. It was fun this year for me because I was educating Sheryl and Shade (her daughter) about our sport. It is interesting to see the perspective of us and our work from the outside. Particularly, from someone who is an experienced marketer of Olympic sports and Olympic athletes. In some ways we are the same, and in some ways very different. I like that.
Anyway, one of the busiest summers of my life is about to begin and I can’t wait to share it all with you. In July I may be getting a chance to go to Aachen with Christine! I am so excited I can hardly sleep sometimes. I can’t even begin to think of an analogy of the excitement in her voice when she talks about it. Her whole face lights up. She speaks about it with a combined excitement like it’s the North Pole and we are going to Santa’s workshop or that we will be seeing something so amazing and incomparable; like the Northern Lights or a 75% off everything sale at Nordstrom’s shoes!
Well that’s it for now. I’ll write from Michigan. And thanks toLendon and Kim Boyer for putting together the Midwest Youth Festival and thanks for all you do for youth dressage every day!