Greetings to my wonderful readers!
Is anyone else feeling energized by the fresher, crisper air of this beautiful season? Ahhh….just take a moment with me and take a deep breath and savor this short time we have left before the winter sets in. Autumn is by far my favorite season and let me tell you I feel blessed to be experiencing it in picturesque New England, infamous for the vibrancy of it’s fall colors. Another moment of joy for me: the flies are almost gone! I’m looking forward to the day when I can pull down our summer decor strips of fly tapes speckled throughout the barn and even my apartment! Yeah, not a pretty sight.
The beginning of this month brought about a schooling show to which I took Real Gentleman (Rio, Monkey, Monk, Bugabaloo, or whatever we choose to call him at any particular moment). This was a real milestone for me as it was my first show since moving to New England under the knowledgeable eye of Mary showing 2nd level test 3, a huge jump from what I have shown in the past. I surprised myself that I didn’t even get nervous one bit, which serves to prove how much I have advanced as a rider in both abilities and confidence and that I truly was ready to make this leap in the show ring! The ride was a success as we nailed our transitions and glided through to about a 63%, claiming second place, only a fraction of a percentage off the lead. We were all very happy with the ride, especially the owner who Mary says is the only opinion that really matters anyway. This concluded Rio’s show season for the year gaining him the top horse in the nation for All Breeds at Second Level! Great job, Monkey! You are a thrill to ride and I can’t wait to see what next year has in store for us! I cannot express how grateful I am to have this opportunity to ride such a talented horse!
Since the show we have been schooling changes and canter pirouettes. I am over the moon as I had never ridden a pirouette before! Let me say…I think I’m addicted….A normal ride for me now consists of half passes, tempi changes, and pirouettes! How cool is that! I love Dressage! And with a couple wonderful school masters residing here at the barn I can practice on them too! Hello, upper levels…it’s nice to make your acquaintance!
Speaking of first experiences and bucket lists, Chris (a nice, godly, young man who is now courting me) and I decided it would be a good idea to get in an airplane, ascend to 14,000 feet, and jump out! Oh yeah! Man, that was fun! No worries, we were each strapped to a professional and we are alive and well. Man will do anything to try and accomplish that desire to fly. A quote comes to mind,
“That’s not flying! That’s falling with style!” And style it was! Check that one off the bucket list! Later that same day we went to a local state park consisting of humongous boulders upon which we climbed, explored, and discovered numerous caves. That served to satisfy my inherent desire to climb anything and everything that I can, aligning with my dare-devilish nature! Hey, I ride horses for a living, it just makes sense. They don’t call me Monkey Girl for nothing!
The following weekend I happened to have family in town. You see, my grandmother lived in NH at the ages of 17 and 18, graduating from high school here, and desired to come back for a visit. She was joined by my uncle and aunt and they planned this trip for the autumn season because, of course, why would you consider doing anything else? The funny part is they had this trip planned long before I even got the job up here. “Wait, you’re moving to Exeter, NH? We are going to be there in October!” What a small world it is. So, we all met up for a few dinners and took a day trip up to the White Mountains where if you have an idea of how the fall season should look, think again! Phenomenal! After driving the scenic highway, conforming to the tourist stereotype that is considered up here as “leaf peeping,” we stopped at the historic Mount Washington Hotel blessed with the view of Mount Washington by the clear skies. We couldn’t have asked for a better day. It was a blessing to see my family again as now these occasions are few and far between due to the geographical spread of everyone these days.
Although, my sister, Danae, is coming to visit me for Thanksgiving for almost a full week! I am so excited! She is both my sister and my best friend and no amount of mileage can change that! Danae, you are going to love it here in New England, feel free to stay and get a teaching job in this area, I won’t stop you. I know of a great church to join!
Last weekend my church hosted an autumn ball with a fun group of us contra-dancing the night away. The dress code was casual plaid and between the electric slide and Cotton-Eye Joe we had a good boot-stomping, hollering time! Along the same lines of fall activities, Chris and I completed a night corn maze armed with nothing but flashlights. That was challenging and the maze was very well done, even consisting of unintentional mud lakes to span due to 3-4 days prior of steady rain. That just added to the fun! I do have to say I emerged through the exit much less muddy than my maze counterpart.
I do hope this season finds you with such joy as it has brought me. Acorn squash has found it’s way into many of my meals recently and I’ve got some sweet potato sitting in my crock pot as I write this. Yummy! Get out there and do some leaf peeping of your own and I’ll be looking out for you to come my direction next year, for how can you resist?! Not only have I been a peeper of leaves but I have been peeping into my future of Dressage and I’m excited for what it holds.
God’s creation never ceases to amaze me with it’s complex beauty and the horse is no exception. The harmony required between horse and rider is a tear-jerking sight when accomplished and reminds me of the relationship of love and trust I aim to have with God. Thank You, Lord, for bestowing me with my gifts of animals and art and my desire to create following in Your image. I’m looking forward to what You have in store for me next.
And for this, stay tuned.
Until next time.