Oh The Places You Will Go…

Yep it’s been about a month since I last posted, my bad. Let me sum up these last few weeks for you:

Paris and the Loire Valley– It was amazing, enough said. Had a blast, met up with old friends from Belgium, and we raged.

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16 years and we swear we still look the same! (Emma just had a more British accent haha)
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#yolo #wheninParis #Bouvet-Ladubay

The best part was visiting the French National Riding School. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures, but let’s just sum it up to they have 350 horses, teams consisting of a trainer, student trainer, groom, and stable boy for every 8 horses, and the set up of their barn is amazing. They feed 4 times a day through automatic feeders, automatic waterers, and they even have these removable floor tiles between a small hallway behind the stalls with an automatic poop mover (like a conveyor belt) underneath that automatically moves the poop to the muck pile! #dreams

Oh and in their indoor dressage ring, they tilted these giant (ornate golden framed) mirrors, which I thought was genius. You can actually see yourself in them from across the ring (which is the size of about 2.5ish football stadiums). Brilliant.

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We also made a friend who took us around in his private plane and showed us Saumur from above. This is about 2/3 of the school’s facilities. Couldn’t even get it all in one shot!

Then I made the mistake of coming home.

Broke up with my boyfriend (it’s all amicable, just wasn’t working out, but still a stressful adjustment), we both have been apartment hunting like crazy since our lease is up in T-60 days, and then unfortunately we had to put my sweet bunny, Luna, down last Friday. That was probably the hardest thing for me to ever do.

Having worked as an vet assistant and owned numerous pets, the answer has always been clear as to when to put the animals down. Never easy, but clear. With Luna, her arthritis in her hind legs was getting progressively worse, and although she had some good days and some bad days, the bad days were starting to outnumber the good ones, despite all the treatments in the world we tried. She didn’t seem to be happy anymore, wasn’t well rested, become uninterested in eating even her favorite goodies, etc. and it was time. Literally didn’t leave my apartment for 3 days straight and couldn’t form a coherent sentences without bursting into tears. I miss her so much 😦

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Going to miss this sassy snuggle buns 😦 

On a brighter note, I’ve started taking cross country lessons for the heck of it at a local barn where the owners (husband and wife) rode under a friend of Denny Emerson (blanking on the name) and Karen and David O’Connor, so they seem legit. The second time I rode there they handed me a big bay horse named Duncan (dumb name IMO but hey it had 4 hooves and a heartbeat so I was happy). They had just gotten him 5 days before, and he is ADORABLE. He’s one of those rare four year olds who is brave, has a positive attitude, and doesn’t know what he can’t do. They want to take him to the three star eventing level, and they asked me to school him around and work with him. Naturally I did not say no! So that’s one new fun project for me in a training realm. Should be interesting, considering I’m still learning cross country, but he and I get along like two peas in a pod, so it should be fun to say the least! (all Duncan photos courtesy of Vintage Virginia!)

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And we’re learning how to frame! #someday 
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He even smiles like a Duncan haha
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I’m on him, I swear 

Back to jumper land, I’ve been riding two horses mostly: Addy and Gopher.

Gopher thinks he’s either a lap dog or Lab, not sure which but some strange combo of the two. He falls in on the right but is also dull as hell on his right side when trying to turn left. It’s a fun balancing act. He also feels like he has a shorter canter than he actually does. It’s very deceiving.

Addy is great. I’ve been working on getting her to bounce, and she is becoming a nice little rubber ball. Also she keeps dragging and shlepping around corners, so I’ve been working on squaring her up and balancing her more around her turns to prep for our instructor’s never boring coursework. We’re usually good over fences but sometimes need that extra encouragement to anything wide or that doesn’t have a lot of fill. Usually just a spur, cluck, and flash of my crop does the trick though. Her mind seems anxious though, so I spend a lot of time during the flatwork trying to get her to relax more, which pays off come coursework time. She’s much less “huffy and puffy and train wreck-y.”

Also, I started doing the 5 hours of riding a week last week. Rode 3 horses for 4 hours on  Sunday and had a lesson this week, so we’re off to a great start!

Well I guess that just about sums up the last month. Sorry for being MIA, but I’m back in the saddle! #likeIeverleft #jokes #yallgonnamakemelosemymind

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