Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tis The Season

Dad, Blazer and I at the 2010 NAJYRC
I want to start by saying a big happy birthday to my Dad!!!! My Dad is by far one of my biggest supports for everything that I do. Although he doesn't know much about horses he is always the familiar face reminding me to have fun. In typical Dad fashion, he worries and questions everything that I do, but at the same time supports me to make my own choices. He is my first call when anything goes wrong and the first call when I have exciting news to share. He is my number one fan and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Dad's birthday always marks the beginning of my holiday season. With the holiday season comes the eventing world "down time". I think it's fairly common with us eventers that down time is actually down time. For the majority of us we find it hard to sit still and need to occupy our time in other ways. Give your horse a break and try something new on your own. This winter I've taken up spinning and yoga. I find both of these to be very helpful in my balance and posture. I've always known people to use these things to help their riding but this year is the first time I've really given them a try. I have to say, I think there's a lot of truth to what people are saying. Come the spring season I hope I can find time to keep these things as part of my regular routine.
Winter is often a time to set new goals. What do you want to accomplish next year? Where do you want to be a year from now? A year from now I'd like to have at least one horse (preferably two or three) competing through the fall season. I'd also like to try and expand my client base and bring in some new business members to the team. I see 2012 as being a real growing year for me. I will be finishing my associates degree at NVCC and hopefully transferring to GMU to finish my bachelors. I've also got some exciting new plans to find a barn to base out of (more on that later). Whatever happens in 2012, I'm ready and exciting. Until then I'm going to enjoy this month "off" and enjoy some family time before I head south and the real work begins.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Putting My Head Down and Going to Work

Since my last post I've been cleared to start strengthening my shoulder. In the next 6 weeks I should be back on a horse and getting ready for the spring season. That being said, I've been seeing a lot of gym time over the last couple weeks. Since most of my strength has come from riding my whole life I decided to start seeing a personal trainer. Theory being to have a set of eyes to tell me when I'm compensating for my shoulder and to get tools that I will be able to use from here on out. Well you know what they say, things are always better in theory. What I wasn't prepared for was how difficult a good old fashioned work out really is.
Through my years of lesson I've had trainers tell me "put that horses head down and get to work".
With the release of the 2012 training lists I have done my share of reading and stalking. While I will keep all opinions to myself on the contents of the lists. The talk has given me more motivation. Motivation to do better this year in hopes of one day being at that level. I know that I have been very fortunate to accomplish the things that I have thus far in my life but I haven't even scratched the surface of my goals. I could not have done any of this without a support system. A system that I only hope to expand on in this coming year. I've been lucky to have ridden some pretty cool horses the past few years and I hope to keep that going. I'm brain storming better ways to expand my education and team for the future (suggestions welcome!). I hope to one day be one of those riders that I look up to today. I hope to be someone's role model and help give them a chance that I've had.
Pushing myself and working through the weakness of my shoulder put it into perspective. It's always clear on a horse which side is their weak side, which hind leg has to work harder, which shoulder drifts, and we as riders are constantly pushing them through the weak moments. For Blazer it was his left hind, I was constantly asking him to try harder, to be even, to stay straight and soft through both hands and legs. He never gave me less than 100%. So as I try for one more push up or one more rep of some weight contraption I just figured out how to work, I think about my horses and all the times I've asked for one more shoulder-in or one more transition. I've found myself saying "Laura, just put your head down and get to work!" Well, it must be working because all the doctors and therapists say that I'm weeks ahead of schedule in recovery. The search for new horses is starting and I'm excited to get down south and get going with the spring season, just have to keep working on getting those shoulders square!

Friday, October 28, 2011

On the Mend

As I'm sure many of you have gathered, I had shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum 5 weeks ago. After selling Blazer to a fantastic new home I decided it was time to do something about my shoulder. Over the past five years I have dislocated it three times and put off surgery to continue with Blazer. Surgery went well and I started physical therapy 7 days later. It is still at least another month before I'm totally back at it riding. However, I've started the search for new prospects.
The plan as of now is to head down to Aiken for the winter again so I am hoping to have a new young horse starting down there. This winter will be a focus on rebuilding, my shoulder, and my team of horses. Ideally I'd like to find a couple nice horses to be competing this season. For now I just have to keep pushing through the physical therapy so I'm back better than ever this spring!