Crazy Circus

I initially wrote this on June 23, 2013 and am re-posting it here for reference.

Greetings from the land of sweet tea and turnip greens!

Let me start off by saying how privileged I feel here in North Carolina in this working student position in Dressage. With a place to live on site and my horse with me in the program, I couldn’t ask for a better situation. All I have to do is work like crazy for 5 1/2 days a week swimming in the damp, hot air, and let me tell you, it is exhausting! But I’m learning a lot, and this is just the beginning. Between battling overheating, sore back and feet, and the never ending war with flies, this is exactly what I want to be doing to work my way toward achieving my goals. Throw in working retail for one day a week, singing in the church choir, living with my coworker who is both a vegetarian and gluten-free, differing political and religious views around the barn, and you have the crazy, wonderful circus that is my life. I do have to admit it has been great to be around other horse crazy people all the time, and I really do love my roommate, we get along and co-habitate quite splendidly.

Summer Sunrise

Summer Sunrise

I have entered the world where “tea” only refers to iced tea, a “hack” is the equivalent of a trail ride, fungus is rather prolific on the horses, turtles are constantly crossing the roads, thunderstorms give no warning of arrival, cardinals are observed flitting between the trees, Andy Griffith is mentioned in more than one church sermon, I respond to “darling” or “honey,” English is still spoken but quite indescernably at times, horses are mindbogglingly expensive, German can be heard spoken in the stable, and lightning bugs light my way as I’m strolling up from the barn at night. Once again, such a different culture.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of driving only 20 minutes away to another beautiful Dressage training facility for a very informative clinic by Suzanne von Dietze. She was born and raised in Germany and now lives and trains in Israel. Yeah, that’s what I thought…..there’s Dressage in Israel? Apparently. Somehow, we were blessed enough to get her into the states, and in my neck of the woods for that matter, to give a two day clinic. It was the best one I have ever attended. I took 10 pages of notes and since my trainer was unable to attend she took my notes and copied them and we have discussed them and begun to incorporate them into our training program. Suzanne focuses on the bio-mechanics of the rider and only works on improving the rider’s balance and stability in her clinics, and even though no one was concentrating on what the horse was doing the changes in the horse once the rider was better balanced and using the aids more effectively was amazing! I really wish I could have ridden in that clinic! This next weekend we are having the renowned Gerhard Politz back at the farm, and sadly, I do not get to ride in his clinic this time. Maybe next time when my horse and I are more ready to handle the scary man who will “get all German on us” to get results.

Pepper coming along!

Pepper coming along!

I do have lots of good news!! First, my parents and Danae are coming south to visit me this next week! They will get to experience: all the aforementioned southern observances I have made, what a typical day for me ensues, all my lovable ponies, of course, the scary German man, and the quaint hospitality that the “bunkhouse” has to offer. Secondly, Pepper is coming along very quickly. I’m slated to ride him in the next clinic coming to the farm on July 11, and we’re going to try and shoot for showing him a bit in the fall! Thirdly, Eliza, the trainer, and her husband, are happy to announce that she is pregnant and so this means that when she reaches the point where she doesn’t want to ride anymore, we will get to ride all the horses in training here and receive lessons all the time! That will definitely help to escalate my experience! And of course the blessing of a child will add further joy to this circus. And last but not least, I have found a wonderful family who is also in the horse business, has the same outlook on life, and who have “adopted” me as one of their daughters! It’s great to be able to go to a place that has the all familiar and much missed family situation coupled with great discussions.
Well, I’m off to more adventures!
Stay tuned.

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