Little triumphs

 Busy, busy times for me and the family right now. I am on several big projects at my real job and traveling a lot. I landed to a windy 18 degrees on Monday which is about 60 degrees colder than I like.

But I am ever so grateful at this stage of my career to be doing something I love. It is a little triumph to go forth each day excited about the projects I am doing and   people with whom I work.
Lauren is headed off to Wellington, Florida this week to spend some time with friend Catie at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). WEF is a 12 week international competition where your favorite Olympic hero might be shopping in the grocery store with you (Hello Ian Miller!) or show up at the local restaurant (McClain Ward,  table for two?).

What an amazing opportunity!  Another triumph for the kid from Wharton who just wants to ride.

And speaking of horse triumphs, my mare Nova should be back to sound after some vet magic from Dr. Criner.

Actually this will be more than a little triumph. I had continued to work my girl and things just weren’t right. A few X-rays told us she had been hurting and now she can be pain free. I am so excited to have this special girl back working just when I should be getting cleared to ride.

Additionally in little triumph category it has been several weeks since poodle  Maui Jim has eaten or destroyed anything important. Last night Lauren and I were on the phone (I was still out of town) when I heard a horrible crash and the sound of broken glass.

We have a free-standing staircase in our living room. For months now we have talked about getting my old headboard out to the garage but it hasn’t moved from its position on the wall opposite the stairs.

Last night as we visited on the phone, Maui came racing through the living room making a galloping turn around the stairs and catching the head board with his foot on the way by. What I heard was the sound of the queen sized headboard smashing into the back of the stairs with enough force to knock the shelf displaying all Lauren’s Zone Final pictures cascading to the ground.

I guess the triumph here is at least he didn’t eat another FitBit or my glasses. Lauren hauled him off to his kennel to think about what he had done.

Rising two year-old Betty Sue has hit 1000 pounds and grown out of her second halter. She got a brand new halter with her name on it!  Little triumphs!

Finally, as a rider in any discipline as you get better and more educated about your equestrian sport you tend to trade in equipment for more technical, better made models.  Lauren has definitely gone down this path starting with a synthetic Wintec saddle, moving to some low cost but name brand models on to higher priced models. Yesterday after selling her saddle of three years she received her dream saddle.

We tested it out tonight to see if it would allow Feather’s wide shoulders enough freedom when they jump. And it did-well, that’s actually in the category of a big triumph!

Thanks for riding along my friends. Stay safe and warm!


The first of a new year always seems to invoke change in people.  Resolution’s seem to come and go.  New diets, more exercise, living healthy, spending more time with family and others seem to all be on the list.

Since we last talked I have had a few weeks to let the ribs heal.  I am getting around pretty well now.  The barn has been chaotic with trainer changes, cool weather and lots of riders. I have not been able to personally enact any of my fitness resolution’s-walking more–riding more–exercising more–as I am not quite ready for all that yet.  But I am making a concerted effort to change my diet/change my life.

I have tried this before.  What is different?  Well, a couple things.  When traveling recently I viewed myself in the well-lit hotel mirror.  Wow-when did that all happen?  It was surprising.  My mirrors are not full length.  They only show me from the chest up and are dimly lit.  Really, not a bad idea. I was startled to see how old I looked and how unfit.

What else?  Well, this new relationship that I had with Chris (oh, we broke up after the great rib break) made me realize that time is short.  I cannot just meander through life thinking I have plenty of time for everything.  I am getting close to 60 years old and need to do what I can to leave another 30-40 years on my personal calendar.

I am serious this time.  I have said that before but feel different this time as if something has changed.  Maybe it has.  There is no secret to the weight loss/exercise more thing except making better choices.  Chris told me it was all about willpower.  I guess it is.  But I felt insulted by that as if I could just “man-up” and instantly turn down the foods/serving sizes/candy bowls/peanut snacks that have all been part of day in the past. The old adage of “I can lose weight, I have done it a million times” definitely applies to me!

The other part of this is it is going to have to be a ‘re-make’ my life type of commitment and as I am being very open about it, I hope some of you come back and hold me accountable.  I want to make a joke here and say, “we will see how that goes” but the reality is this is not a joke.  I want to ride better and maybe show again.  I want to not ache and hurt to distraction each day.  I want to swim without wearing a swimsuit fashioned for the 1920’s.

I get this is not my usual fun-filled expose’ on life at the barn.  But maybe just today I can seriously commit to doing something for myself, my family, my horses and my job, to be healthier and thinner.  Amen.

Thanks for riding along.  I am back in writing mode and will be checking in so-plan to be on the trail with me soon.






What I did on my Christmas Vacation

I have not written in awhile I was probably asleep or busy.  Holidays do that to us. Mine started out beautifully and blessedly with a one day trip to Dallas for the premiere of the movie “Harry and Snowman”.   

Two of Lauren’s best friends from her first riding barn in Texas joined us along with one of the girl’s mothers and my granddaughter Jordyn.  It was nice to have the unhurried time in the car to visit.  The four hour (each way) trip seemed to fly by.  The girls usually in breeches and boots looked like high fashion kids.  Jordyn wore a beautiful dress and fashionable booties.  

Friends Kristin, Caitlyn, Lauren and Jordyn at the reception prior to movie.
For those of you who have never heard the story of the rescued $80 plow horse years ago by Holland immigrant, Harry deLeyer, look it up.  Read the books.  It is inspiring. I have loved the story since I was a child. Getting to Houston I learned that two of Harry’s sons lived here and both had training barns.  Many, many times Lauren has competed against them (sometimes even winning).   The movie was AMAZING! It is set to go into distribution in the spring.  

Go see it!  Jordyn has been told the Snowman story for years.  Many of the pictures and quotes in the movie she knew.  To watch her laugh aloud with glee as Harry told a fallen rider, “get back on, you are fine” and see her also cry at story as Snowman was reaching his end made sharing the movie even greater. 

Many of our riders got out to ride in the warmer than usual weather as we moved toward Christmas Day.

We made a lot of foods for our Christmas breakfast at Ally’s.  I had lots of great helpers in the kitchen. 

Christmas morning brought lots of cheer and happiness. Christmas is always better with kids. 

I got a surprise gift of terrific mascara.  I don’t know if the name is correct  but can say this is great mascara.  

We even got some much needed training time with Betty Sue. At almost 1000 pounds and 15 hands she is growing into a beautiful mare. 

Lauren was headed to Malaysia on the 27th.  Chris was headed in to visit for the holidays.  

Then I fell going out to feed the horses in the dawn under rainy skies.  Spent holiday time in the ER.  Broken ribs for me.  Cancelled trips for Lauren and Chris. 

The end.