It was great to get to Fair Hill last week – I missed my eventing community. I got to catch up with my friends and fellow grooms, got to see “that girl” Lauren fresh back from her summer trip to England and other riders that I hadn’t seen in a few months. The weather was actually dry (first time in my 11 years of going) but cold which was tolerable. I hadn’t been to Fair Hill in a few years, in 2012 my boss Karen O’Connor was having her back operated on and the last 2 years I have found myself at Pau CCI**** in the south of France.
Fair Hill cross-country separates the men from the boys so to speak… it’s epic, no room for mistakes, your horse HAS to be fit, and you need to ride gritty.
My main job there was to be the Professional Riders Organizations (PRO) representative for the weekend but had some time to help former working student Bobby Meyerhoff with some braiding, etc. – his horse, Dunlavin’s Token, is the kindest horse, I took care of him at Rolex and now have a major crush on him – whatever Token wants…
The weekend was safe with some disappointments for some, but no horse or rider went to the hospital and the show jumping was a good test and it was close to the finish. I indulged in the famous crab bisque and enjoyed looking at the fall colors that I miss living in Florida.
It was fun to see fellow groom Emma Ford – we have traveled many many places together and it was great to catch up on our summer adventures and compare notes and hear each other’s tales. She and I are both passionate about horsemanship and horse care and teaching people how to look after their horses better. She has written an awesome book with Cat Hill – everyone should have a copy – lots of pictures and how-to information, good stuff.
I hadn’t seen my great friend Joanie Morris in months, and it had been years since we had gone that long without actually talking on the phone or seeing each other. We were both busy that weekend, but it is nice when you see someone and even though its been months, it was as if I saw her 2 hours ago.
I caught up with friend Bonnie Mosser that weekend too – Bonnie was a competitive ski racer that also was/is a great rider. We traveled a bit together in 2007 and 2008 where she was a ounce away from making the teams on those respective years. She left the upper level world a few years ago, and now teaches some, but I love chatting with her when I see her. She has such a fresh look on what is actually happening in our fishbowl world. She taught up at GMHA in Vermont this summer for an amazing adult camp that they put on and met Scott. She was telling me how she enjoyed watching him teach and how he likened much of riding to a paperclip… you hardly ever have to jump on a turn in eventing, everything was on a straight line and then you make your turn – I like that analogy, I said – she carried on with saying – isn’t that how we should live our lives? Finish the job in a straight line and then make the turn? Well, yes – don’t make a turn in the middle – morally, emotionally, literally and figuratively…
Was great to get back home to Florida even for only 48 hours. Now it’s off again to Galway Downs International. I replaced my turtlenecks and wool socks with sleeveless shirts and flip flops. A few from the east coast flew out and I am wearing my PRO hat again helping with the flight and whatever I can do to help this awesome event – Robert Kellerhouse does an unbelievable job putting on an event with almost every level and makes everyone feel like they are the most important…not an easy task!
Its Halloween this weekend and I do get a bit sad not being near Salem, MA where I grew up – That area knows how to do Halloween, it is likened to a national holiday, everyone is serious about dressing up and there is mutual respect for effort that has been put forth for the costumes… and its not just “sexy nurse”, “sexy teacher”; women get to wear something that fits those who are not a size 4 – I struggle to get excited about it anyplace else… Be interesting to see what Halloween at Galway brings!!
Home again next week – looking forward to unpack all of my bags – from The Netherlands, KY, Fair Hill, and everything in between. Get my life straight – before I turn again….