So I can finally announce this now that it's official!!
SUNNY AND I ARE GOING TO CALIFORNIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D:D:D:D:D
I had kind of decided a while back that I WANTED to go. But there were a lot of things that had to fall into place so that I would be able to go!
#1 was the money thing. How the heck does a regular person afford something frivolous like a trip to California??
We all know anything including horses is crazy expensive, much less taking them on a random trip to another country!! And being a horse owner on a budget, this is something that I am doing all by myself. So Jessica's crazy money saving party started a couple months ago. I will fully admit that in the past I haven't been the greatest with money! So saving up several thousand dollars over a winter seemed like an incredibly impossible task. But I'm doing it!!! I can hardly believe it! I'm over halfway to my goal amount, which I should reach easily the way things have been going, I'm already past the hard part (Christmas!). This whole saving thing is really making me think hard about what the heck I've been doing money-wise all those years! But I guess when you want something bad enough you'll find a way make it happen!
After I determined that the money would be in place, the #2 thing was work. My general eventing schedule is going to be very different this year, with a lot of traveling as well. And I work my butt off at my full time job to be able to afford myself and my horses. My work was aware of the horse side of things when I started with them, and have been absolutely awesome about working around my events and clinics and everything else. Going to California for 3 weeks and then taking more time off over the summer was a LOT to ask of them, but my boss is very awesome and gave me the go ahead!! Luckily summer is a slower time for us so working around vacations and things is more doable then vs other parts of the year. So I am so incredibly happy and grateful for that. A huge shout out to my boss C for being so understanding and accommodating:)
So Sunny and I, and my friend Jenn and her boy Aloan (check out their blog: http://smart-equine.blogspot.ca/) are heading down together! We are still exploring a lot of options but for now this is our tentative schedule for the trip:
March 7 after work-Head down to Jenn's barn a few hours south of me near Calgary. March 8-Leave Jenn's barn-we are staying overnight in Salt Lake City March 9-Arrive at Twin Rivers Ranch (so we can get a cross country school or two in beforehand!) March 12-Head to Copper Meadows March 14-16-Copper Meadows Horse Trials (we are planning on staying at Copper afterwards) March 24- MY BIRTHDAY!!!! Trailer to Galway Downs March 28-30-Galway International Horse Trials
Then we will either be leaving to head home the 30 or 31, just depending on what time we get done on Sunday.
I am SO EXCITED. Seriously you guys, I have not been ANYWHERE. I don't even have a passport yet (it's on it's way though!), and Sunny has had one for 3 years, haha.
There's SO much to do though! We still need to finalize a lot of things. We are tentatively planning on taking a borrowed trailer down. We will be really roughing it though, no living quarters or hookups anything, but we'll deal. Anything is better than a tent! The cheapest quote we got for commercial hauling was $1000 each way per horse, and we figure between the 2 of us, trailering down ourselves shouldn't cost that much. It will be expensive still, don't get me wrong, but not $4000 expensive. Plus it will be nice to have our own transportation and a way to get around. Someone asked if we were just going to stay in a hotel the whole time we were down there, and I just about laughed in their face. I don't even want to think about what 3 weeks in a hotel would cost!! I also need to figure out how we're going to get 3 weeks worth of feed for 2 horses down with us, or maybe we can buy some down there? That might be interesting.
I'm currently looking to see if there's any clinics and trainers around South California that we could potentially ride with while we're down there. We're not going to go hog wild or anything, but if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them!!
Sunny has been going REALLY well lately. Our flat rides lately have been just incredible, she is like a totally different horse, even from just a month ago. Our counter canter is seriously amazing! We're even starting some lead changes. I am optimistic that we aren't going to *totally* suck at dressage this year!! The chiropractor was out on Saturday and commented how good and strong she was looking/feeling, and Sunny only needed a few minor adjustments, I was really happy about that. Now I just need to get MYSELF to the chiropractor, my lower back has been screwed up since I fell down the deck stairs in December, and sitting the trot has been extremely difficult for the past while. Most of the time my back is so tight I can't stand straight up or bend down unless I take a time out and prepare myself and do it slowly. And I HAVE to sit my trot for dressage down in the states! I have made an appointment for Monday, so hopefully we can get all that sorted out! I am definitely way overdue, I haven't been to the chiropractor since high school!!
While I'm on a roll, I might as well post the rest of our proposed schedule for this year. So the things with asterixes are not set in stone, it just kind of depends on how things are going. Lots of options for June, as well as the later part of the summer.
May 17-19 Chase Creek Horse Trial **Jun 14-16 Aspen Farms H.T., OR June 28-29 Cochrane Horse Trials OR June 14-15 MREC June Horse Trials, OR Jun 28-30 Inavale Farm HT Jul 12-14 37th Annual Whidbey Island H.T. course maps on website July 24-28 Event at Rebecca Farm **August 15-17 Alhambra Summer Event **Sept 06-08 Aspen Farms H.T. **Oct 30-Nov 02 Galway Downs International Three-Day Event & H.T.
If California goes well I'll be able to do the CCI* at Chase Creek, but even if I just get 1 more qualifying score down there I'll still be able to do the CIC*. And Rebecca Farms' CCI* cross country looked like so much fun last year, so we're aiming for that as well!!! Seriously, check it out! SOOOOOO much fun!! :D http://en.mycoursewalk.com/course_walk/fences/1439
As far as moving up to Intermediate goes, I definitely want to, we'll just have to see how things go for sure, because you never do know with horses, but Inavale in June or Whidbey Island in July may be where that happens if things are going as planned. But for now I'm just concentrating on improving everything and really rocking it out at prelim for the first part of the year:)
Here is our helmet cam video from last Thursday's lesson, Sunny was a bit fired up that night! Our one little course from 2:50-3:55 was basically Sunny saying F-U! and trying to run away with herself, lol. But we got it together and had a really nice last little course. I noticed I say "Hey" and "Oh my goodness" far too much, haha.
A ground video of our last little course, we ended on a good note at least!!
Did conditioning sets in the indoor on Monday! Did 3 sets of 3 mins trot and 3 mins canter, no breaks. Sunny was soaked but recovered quickly and I was surprised I wasn't totally dead after, haha. So it looks like both of us are in better shape than we thought!! Going to continue doing that once a week and increase intensity as we go so we are ready for California!! :)
So that where we're at as far as our plan for 2014!! It really is going to be the year of the horse! :)