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!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Update-Horse Shopping and Italy!

Life has been so exciting the last few months. It seems every weekend I was flying somewhere and something new was upon me.  I made a quick trip to Oregon to Nike.  I always love going there.  This time they let me sign the athlete's wall.  I put a big 'dressage' under my name to represent! I then went to California to a friend's wedding.  It was fun because as all barn girls know we prefer boots and dirt but once in awhile a dress and a pair of slinky pumps are a nice change.  I went with a vintage 50's look, wavy hair and all. I was then off for a quick friend weekend in Angelfire snowboarding. Ok my friends snowboarded and I cooked and spent most of the time in the warming house.  But that's another story. I visited my mom's Dual Credit class to see her teaching and now have a date for 'prom'.  As a girl who never had her own school prom this seems like it will be fun!  Another excuse for a dress and heels. I next dashed over to Welly World to support my bestie (and big sis) Genay in her U25 season at Global.  Of course, there were so many of my friends competing it is also a great way to catch up with everyone. I stayed a little longer than I expected because I wanted to help out the USET with the AEGT and decided to sing again with my friend Anna.  Maybe next time we should try a duo. We might win if we pool our clapping fan base.  As soon as I got home I left for my current adventure-horse shopping in Europe.  I left on Valentine's Day which was a bit of an omen because I came looking for my horse partner.  I found 2 great horses that I'm vetting now.  I think I am already in love.  But then again, any horse shopping girl knows how easy it is to fall in sort of love with them all. But it is that true connection we look for right! Ok so too much Valentine sap, even after a week.  But maybe the romance stayed with me a bit longer because I took a four day break from shopping to dash down to Italy.  I knew with my new business adventure I would most likely not have any free time for years so I took advantage of the distance and the days I had waiting for the next appointment to see Rome, Milan and Florence. I have to say I have never seen a city more beautiful than Rome.  It might be a new favorite.

I head home in the morning to Detroit to get busy with the new property.  Grandma and mom have been working to update a few things and the new arena footing is scheduled next month.  I have to say that business ownership is a lot different than competing. As a business owner, everything becomes about surviving economically so that you can pursue your vision.  I've met with roofers, footing people, plumbers, feed people and potential employees.  I'm really grateful for all the experiences I've had at NAJYRC, D4K and the YRGP among others.  They have all helped me to obtain the valuable skills I need to make the transition from youth rider to adult business owner. I learned about setting high expectations and everything from contracts to feed needs.  I learned so many details from so many excellent trainers about how I want to run my barn.  Having been a working student under 6 different trainers and owners I gained a lot of insight in to what I want to do.  I think it will be interesting to see that 'my' way is an amalgamation of pieces from every place I've worked.  This step has been 14 years in the making. Every day it feels more and more real.  A life in dressage has always been my goal but now I am beginning to have the concrete financial independence to do so.  I can not thank the people enough in my life who helped make this possible.  My parents, my Uncle James and Cousins Amy and Ava have to be particularly noted. So do all my trainers Mary, Mary, Bre, Jeremy and of course the amazing Christine. The photographers, freestyle designers, vets, massage therapists, PT guys, barn grooms, insurance agents, have all been the foundation of my dream.  IRH and Custom Saddlery have been my rock for so long.  I can always count on you.  By the way Johnny if your reading this I'm bringing home two new babies!  Nina thanks for coming to my rescue the day before Germany and overnighting me two amazing helmets for the trip. Finally,  I have to unequivocally express how invaluable my Nike family is to me. Your support has been all encompassing. The confidence you give me and the faith you have shown me is beyond measure.  The excitement of our working together and the doors you have opened for me have been without parallel.  I'm excited about all our future projects together.

So I fly home in the morning and my two new geldings will be following shortly.  For those of you horse people reading this one is a Sezuan and one a Furst Romancier. I can't wait to see what we can do together boys.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

On a chilly Michigan Christmas morning; I sat down to write about the first month of my adventure in property ownership. Instead my mind wandered to all the ways that so many people have supported me in this venture.  I have been awed by how many ways I feel their well wishes.  I have received hundreds of emails, messages and calls of support.  I wanted to take some time at the end of the year and the beginning of a new stage of my life to thank several personally.  First, I am so grateful to Andrea Landis for sending Ross, her footing man,over to help with updating the arena from a great jumping arena to a dressage one.  I also am so thankful for so many people like Jessica Rattner and Sandi Carlton who run barns and have volunteered advice and support any time.  Christine you are forever in the top of my thankful list for so many reasons.  I am working on ‘Christine’s Corner” platform for your clinics.  I am adding lots of extras like a heat lamp and coffee pot.  I hope above everything you will be proud of what I hope to achieve here.  I can’t wait for you to see how many of the things you taught me I am incorporating here.  Lendon and Charlotte B. have reached out to give me support and advice.  Lendon and I are working on some great ideas for D4K programs here.  I think I am almost as excited about all the young riders that will pass through the gates and hopefully have fun, learn something and most importantly become lifelong dressage enthusiasts as I am excited about the amazing horses I hope will pass through the gates as well.  I also have to give an amazing thank you to my sponsors.  IRH and Custom Saddlery have already contacted me about some interesting opportunities to help with making the stables profitable.  Above all thank you Nike for your undying enthusiasm and support.  I am so thrilled at our long term plans and excited for you to come to Michigan.  I can’t wait to show you the hard work and dedication a life of horses entails.  Finally, a deep thanks (although I know as family you don’t feel it is necessary) to my Uncle James, Grandma and Mom and Paps for helping me to make this happen.  You have always been behind me in any and every way you could.  I am eternally grateful.  I learned what family means from you.  
So what have I been doing up here in the great white North?  I have worked and met with companies that deal with things like footing and alarm systems.  I have made calls to waste management and feed stores.  Jessica Hainsworth and her mom flew in from New York on a very dramatic filled flight to tour the facility and make plans for our future partnership.  I am so thrilled that Jessica loved it here and I can’t wait to implement so many of our ideas.  Finally, we have been working on some construction projects.  That’s right, construction in Michigan in December and January.  I have to thank little Matt, Jack, big Matt and Grandpa for sacrificing so much of the holidays to come to Battle Creek and help out.  We did throw in some fun and built a snow fort (ok wall) and had snowball fight and decorated gingerbread cookies for the tree. We had Mom’s endless great cooking and we all gained weight, I am sure.  But who won’t add inches to the waist line for homemade cinnamon roll French toast and double chocolate chunk brownies?  I am back in Texas for a few weeks and looking forward to a quick visit to my big sis Genay in Wellington to support her and Anna  this season.  Then it is back to Germany on February 1st.  My family is a little stressed with all the events there but I feel that if I let fear keep me from my goals and dreams, they win.  I will live my life to its fullest in spite of those who would hope to cripple others with fear.  So I will be on my Lufthansa flight February 1st!  I will be there training, working and horse shopping.  I can’t wait for 2017 and all it brings.