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.