I initially wrote this on May 26, 2013 and am re-posting it here for reference. This is my very first update since moving out on my own and starting my adventures as a working student in Dressage.
Yup that’s right! I’m in the south now, what would you expect me to say? “Y’all” I’ll use, but you will not hear me say the mid-western “youz” or “youz guys.” That is just way too far beyond accuracy for my taste. Although I do have to say some of the dialect has probably rubbed off in my speech because folks here start trying to guess where I’m from and they’re quite accurate, especially when they say, “I’m thinking either somewhere up north or the west coast.” Well, the answer is yes. I’m quite the confusion for people with my Oregon phone number and speech, but my Wisconsin driver’s license and plates. It’s fun.
North Carolina has been treating me splendidly so far! I’m very pleased with my living situation here, I’m getting along well with the people I work with and for, and the landscape is just breathtaking! I am enjoying seeing this older part of the country with the brick and stone architecture, and I can’t wait to do some exploring!
Now, I must talk about the horses. Firstly, the travel down here with my three boys went without a hitch (yes, there was a hitch on the truck and trailer, I know what you’re thinking, and haha 🙂 ) A week ago I secured a free lease position for Gunner and Cody and have made plans to go out to visit and ride them twice a month. Pepper has been thrown full fledged into the training program here and after only 4 weeks he has improved so much! The horses here are all really huge and expensive warmbloods bred for this sport. It’s a completely different world than I’m used to, but that’s what I signed up for! They all have custom fit saddles and the tack gets cleaned everyday! Yeah, my little boys definitely look out of place among them, but I’m a firm believer that size does not matter, and Dressage can benefit any horse even if they are not champion quality. Pepper is starting to look more and more like a Dressage horse, as his mane is now pulled and he has lost his winter fuzz! Now to get more muscling on him and he will be set!
I have found a Presbyterian church here that I’ve been attending for a few weeks now and I joined the choir this past week! It’s good to be singing again! The ladies in the choir that I’m next to swear that I don’t need to breathe when I sing and are thrilled that I can hit those really high notes! I’m hoping that this church will be a good avenue to meet people and hopefully make friends that are around my age. Haven’t been successful yet, but give it time.
The second night I was here, it was my birthday! Eliza Sydnor, the trainer I work for, told me that her family wanted to take me out to dinner for my birthday! I was thrilled. Well, when the car came around to pick me up that night, the man in the car with Eliza’s father was none other than the great Gerhard Politz! He is a renowned German Dressage trainer who now trains out of California. He was at the farm that weekend giving a clinic, and in my wildest dreams I never expected to be having dinner with the man! We arrived at the restaurant and the dinner party included: Eliza and her husband, Eliza’s father and mother Cindy Sydnor, also a Dressage master, Gerhard, and this woman who travels around with this mechanical Dressage horse and gives lessons to riders without having the horse to worry about! I was ecstatic! Here were four big names in Dressage sitting around a table, and I was included! What put me over the edge was that this acquaintance of Eliza’s went around to everyone in the restaurant and told them that on his cue they were all to sing happy birthday to me. With the all knowing ping of the fork on the side of a glass the restaurant hushed, and he starts up with this introduction of, “Today is the birthday of this young woman here, Bethany, future Dressage champion!” And off they sang! It was wonderful!
I am so excited with all the opportunities this will open up for me, and I can’t wait until we really get to hammer down on advancing me as a rider on some of the upper level horses here! The cost of these horses I can’t even fathom! And I get the chance to take Pepper as far as he can go and learn the proper steps of training a young, green horse! Hello Dressage.
Well, I’m off to church to sing!