Saturday, April 1, 2017

Devonwood DX

 Nellyda Anslow, rider and Abbey (aka Cat Power), 8 yr old thoroughbred mare taking a corner in the stadium jump round at Devonwood DX Derby, Spring 2017.

Three cheers for this amazing thoroughbred mare! She did so well at her first competition away from home. We made the trek up from Inavale farm in Philomath to Devonwood, a gorgeous facility up in Sherwood Oregon for the first of the DX series.  Abbey won her class both Saturday and Sunday, finishing on our dressage scores for our division both days with no jump faults or time penalties... and we took third place on Sunday in the next division up, which we just tried on for size. 

She exceeded all of my expectations, and we had a blast doing it.  She loves jumping, so this was really a good scenario for her.  All of our damn cold winter nights these last few months, schooling jumps alone late at night in the indoor arena, after work...  I guess it paid off! 

Now, for some well-deserved time off for Abbey, and even some equine body work next week (yes, that is a thing).

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

perfectionism: not for humans

"Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people.  It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life...  I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it. "

~ Anne Lamott

~ Anne Lamott

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Larry Bergman: RIP

 Race car driver
 Renaissance man

Most importantly:  friend, generous soul, rebel spirit, intelligent mind, kind heart.  Larry, you will be dearly missed.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Olympic Distance: how to get there

I walk into the locker room of the Osborn Aquatic center. The echo of water sounds, and the chlorine-laced smell of warm, humid air instantly make me feel happy.

I am training for an Olympic Distance Triathlon.  Of the sixteen week training plan, I am in week zero, getting my body back into its memory of training-- training for something, anything. A large part of my motivation is my equine partner... If I shall expect my horse to get progressively more fit in order to compete in equine triathlons over the next few years, I had better be fair and join her along the way.

Week zero has included several short runs, and today, my third swim. The true training starts next week, week 1, and from there I will follow a 16 week plan to get my brain and body ready to tackle a 1-mile open water swim; a 25 mile bike ride, and a 6.2 mile run.  If my life depended on this, the run I could do today. The bike ride I could do today.  The swim:  not a chance.  The three together...  well, that's why I'm on a training plan.

I slide into the pool during the quiet hours.  I waste no time getting into the rhythm of the freestyle stroke, my face under the water, my breathing instantly transformed into a stream of bubbles and a metronome that keeps time with my arms, my legs. I instantly relax. I am in a very bright orange and pink Speedo. My hair is tucked into a black cap. I have goggles on.  I become a water creature for a brief period of time, everything sleek and simple.

I have no idea what this looks like from the eye of an observer.  I imagine the life guards watching me, wondering if they will have to pull my corpse from the bottom of the pool tomorrow.  I imagine the swim instructors cringing as they try to teach others how to swim correctly.  I keep going. 

Emily taught me to swim a few years ago in the Eel River.  I am forever grateful for this.  I was forced into my first triathlon; nearly didn't make it to my second one; and hope to make this next effort, my first Olympic distance, something other than a complete shit show.  I have a way of sabotaging my 'races' whether running, or triathalon-ing, or what have you.  Maybe 2017 is my year?

Stay tuned for the mortal woman's journey to the Oregon Dunes Olympic Distance Triathlon. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

totally worth it

 A small break in the winter storms a few weeks ago.  Abbey, coming in from pasture, covered in mud (dressed in her winter blanket) and impervious to the the beauty surrounding us.

 Same day, a few hours later. Mud dusted off, saddled up, and away we go, into the wonder of our fabulous green world... 
 Jump schooling in the fog... I love this mare. She is where all my money and time go.  I have no complaints about this.  I'll be poor and happy, thank you very much.

 Swedish Oxer. First time through! She jumped it like a pro.

 This is Bentley, Abbey's next door stall-neighbor (and newest boyfriend). He's just a baby, an adorable, tall, handsome thoroughbred gelding, 4 years old, and still growing into his LONG legs.  He's straight off the race track, having raced his last race just a week before he came home to Inavale. Our off-track thoroughbred tally is growing:  Rat, Sophie, Clyde, Sully, Abbey, Allana, Theo, Bishop, Roy, and now Bentley.  Welcome to the pack mister! You survived your racing career and made it to horse heaven...

He apparently never saw snow until last week. He just stood there snorting at it until we showed him it was safe to walk on the white stuff.... I love these babies.

Thoroughbreds, the lot of them: amazing, wonderful horses. 
 Horse clothing is big, heavy, hard to clean, and costly.  Abbey in her 3rd blanket of the season (with Bonnie in the background hunting for barn mice... ).  The barn flooded when the snow melted a few days ago-- her spare rain blanket got wet in storage, her current one was slowly soaking through (despite repeated waterproofing treatment) and I woke this morning panicked that my horse would be shivering when I got off work today.  I ran to the farm store tonight right after work and got the last 78" Rhino in stock... and delivered it to my girl tonight... along with carrots and horse cookies, of course. 
 She has no idea why she's wearing this blue plaid thing I just paid $200 bucks for...

Now to get the other 2 blankets into the drying rotation in my sunroom...  Endless horse-laundry! 

Rider's + horse's perspective on the wide open spaces we live for... Hoping for another day like this soon.... Winter is not for horses or people.