Friday, March 27, 2015

All About April

I haven't blogged about April in ages mostly because there hasn't been much to report.  She's been turned out now for over two years, not sound on her left front foot with no real chance for a life as a performance horse, sadly, due to her size and the soundness issues which are mostly genetic.

So we have been contemplating nerving her as a last resort so we can ride her and give her a job, which she seems to want badly. The vets have looked at her and I tried this winter to make the plunge but the winter weather was always an issue.  She has to be in a stall for a month and then slowly brought back into work after surgery.

But all of a sudden she is sound.  We pulled her shoes, gave her a new farrier and now she seems to be sound.  The vet is coming to see her in about ten days and then we'll see if we can just put her back in slow work (with a trainer, with a round pen) so that by early summer Ron will have a horse!  Stay tuned.

NYT Article About the Winter Equestrian Festival

This article is quite entertaining, found in the New York Times about competing in Wellington. 

Interestingly, it interviews some of the most wealthy members of the sport, all hailing from Manhattan no less.  Trust me, this is not reality, no where close.  This article should be titled, "How the One Percent Who Ride Spend Their Winters in Wellington."  Oh, well, entertaining to say the least.  Enjoy!  It would be nice to be in Florida this weekend as our temps hit the 20's, again here in Virginia.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring into Equestrian Fashion

I am loving the new fashions coming out for those of us who ride.  The options now for clothing are endless as long as you have endless pockets.  Here are some of the fun items out there for those who ride (or for those who want to look like they ride):

Love these vintage-inspired riding breeches from Tailored Sportsman. The Tack Room in Camden, SC had these in stock but am told they have sold out. Will find out for sure.  These are lovely!

Love this Coolblast shirt from Dover, for much less than the EIS version. Love the aqua one and the orange.  If you live outdoors in the spring and summer these shirts are great for anyone who gardens, rides, mows the lawn, anything.  Look good, stay cool and keep your skin in tact.

The pastel colored breeches are my favorites.Tailored Sportsman makes some great colors, loving the aqua ones.  Can you tell that is a favorite color?  The shirt is from EIS, which I also love. These are from The Tack Room in Camden, SC.

I love these helmets from Samshield with the bright colored trim but these are not hats to wear in the show ring. So this would be an extravagant purchase to say the least but are they not cool? They come in four colors off the shelf or you can order one as well.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Equestrian Finds - One Kings Lane

There's some great stuff today if you like equestrian decor.

Join the Club

For generations, country clubs have been a home
away from home—a place of leisure, sport, drinking,
dining, and socializing. Accept our invitation and
bring their stately comfort and tradition to your home
so that you too can enjoy the good life.

Happy hunting!

Much More Than March Madness

March Madness is upon us and there are three NC-based teams still in the hunt:  UNC, NC State and of course, Duke.  As a young girl I attended the ACC tournament in Greensboro many times and was reminded last night (thanks to ESPN) of the history that unfolded in my backyard that is now legend, NC State's 1983 run to the Final Four and a National Title game against UNLV which they somehow managed to win against all odds.  Coach Jim Valvano's vision, courage, enthusiasm, leadership, and whatever other words you chose to use to describe him at that time, are unfathomable and a model for all of us, not just in our sports endeavors but in how we approach anything we do. 

You can view his speech at the ESPY awards in 1993 on YouTube.  He was so sick he threw up on the plane the entire trip and Coach K (who was one of his best friends) said he didn't know how he made it to the awards at all, not to mention that he was able to walk to the stage (with help) and deliver one of the most iconic speeches given by anyone associated with the sports world. I love stuff like this.  He passed away not long after he gave this memorable speech.  His players said that he gave a version of this speech at every game.  No wonder they played their hearts out for him.

There are other things that come to mind when I think of how some people, sports teams, horse/rider combinations are able to achieve what others can only dream about.  George Plimpton calls this The X Factor Serena Williams calls it just another day at the office, I mean tennis court.  Andre Agassi calls it just "focusing" every now and then so he can win The Australian Open when most thought he was over the hill.  I recall a sports psychologist saying that you have to learn to focus and practice how not to become nervous at the big moments, because no one, not even Michael Jordan, can play at the top of their game when they are nervous.  Then you view videos of the clutch shots Christian Laetner made again and again, so Duke could make it to the Final Four for four straight years, winning two national titles along way.  Focus was never an issue for him when it mattered the most.

We should take the lessons we learn in sport and use them every single day.  I want to win at whatever I do, don't you.  I want to be a better person every day, no matter what the odds.  Don't you?  Use the lessons of Laetner, Valvano, Coach K, Serena Williams, McLain Ward and his iconic horse, Sapphire and put them to use.  While I'll be hoping for a WVU upset on Thursday night, I'll also be thinking of the other lessons from March Madness.  Thank you Coach V for giving us so much to think about this March.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Time Capsule Tuesday - Vintage Sega

Now that Sega has retired (she is now 21), I appreciate the many years we had on the horse show circuit even more.  Looking back on our 10+ year horse show career (a long career for a AA show horse), I know how fortunate I was to have such a special horse.  We conquered many goals together and it was more fun than words could ever describe.  If you are lucky you'll have the gift of one special horse in your life. I am truly blessed.

This photo was taken at one of her last AA shows.  She was very "up" that day and was spooky in the ring which was unusual for her (you can see it in her eye), but that being said the train that came through near the horse show ring did not phase her in the least.  At this show your horse needs to be "train proof."  Sega loved the show ring, she was like a diva walking the red carpet at horse shows.  She just performed and loved every minute of it. We went out twice last year in the pleasure division (she won the tricolor both times) and am thinking that we may try again once the weather warms up, just for old times sake.

This was taken in Ocala, FL much earlier in her career.  She was so good in Florida and when she won the circuit title there when she was eight, I never took her back, that was my promise to her, although she probably would have loved doing it a second time. 

This was also taken in Ocala, very early on. She would flop her left ear over the jumps so it was always difficult to get a good photo of her over the jumps.  This was probably her first or second year showing at 3 feet.  She got better every year.  Her best horse show year was at age 13 when she won classes everywhere.  Some just get better with age, like a good wine.

Hug your horse, your cat, your dog, your spouse today and be thankful that you have them in your life.  Life is short and oh so sweet!  Ride on Sega!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Two Extraordinary Homes on Tour

This weekend I ventured to North Carolina for a quick visit and was lucky to find the annual Junior League House Tour in full force on Saturday.  We went last year and loved it, this year was no exception.  There were two extraordinary houses on tour this year and I snapped photos of the exteriors of both homes, interior photos were not allowed. The first one is about a year old, sitting in the middle of the nicest area in town, down a road with maybe five houses on large parcels of land.  I could have moved in.....

 My other favorite was totally different, built in 1988 and it is for sale. The photos do not do this house justice, it was charming beyond belief, well lived in, cozy but fine.

 The owner has an active blog and you can see more photos of this treasure here.  Enjoy!

Welcome spring!
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