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Wow….I haven’t posted since October!!!! Florida is dashing by and I am so busy, but prospering!!! Got down in late October and jumped into my regime. Every morning, CARDIO! Usually running for 30 minutes but this last week, as I hate the cold, I’ve been doing 35-45 minutes on the elliptical. Found a personal trainer at a local Crossfit gym and 3 afternoons a week, he’s kicking my butt. I am starting to see results though and if nothing else, I am sitting better and more effectively on the horses.

I’m at the barn by 9:30 every morning. I have set my sights on doing Prix St. Georges in the spring before we go north. Just now I’m concentrating on the new Fourth 2 Test. I think it’s the best of the 3 new tests that USDF came up with. The old Four One was lovely but the new on is kind of choppy and not well suited to a lazy horse at all. Four 2 has a good flow. If I do REALLY well with it, I may skip Four 3 all together and just go on to the PSG. Rafi is rising 16 and now is our time while she is sound and young enough to make the final push to Grand Prix. With my fingers crossed and good management, and  putting in the good work that we’re getting done now, I hope that next year sometime, that I may get a dream come true and actually pull off the Grand Prix. I’m trying not to look too far ahead but I am making short, medium, and long-term goals to that end.

It IS good to put this in writing.  Makes it feel real and attainable.

Callista had a tendon sheath problem in November and doing a routine ultrasound and x-ray, we found bone chips in three fetlocks. Three weeks ago, she underwent successful surgery to remove them and her prognosis is great. Her legs are tight and healthy. She’s been walking under tack for a week now and if it would stop raining, she would start the trot today.

Raining is the reason I have time to write this post at all.

Arie, the 2009 Christmas Horse, is doing very well. He’s still a little young for his age but is learning that the work just doesn’t go away and he’s starting to accept the bend  and the bit connection well. He’ll have his first show of the season this weekend. Still doing Training Level although he’s looking very Second Level-ish at home. But I’m simply not rushing him. Jen still has the ride, although I’m climbing on more often now. At my age, 5 yr. olds are best left to twenty-something year olds! Especially the mischievous ones.  BTW, he grew…alot…I tell everyone he’s 17.2 but I refuse to stick him as I REALLY don’t want to know. He’s also filled out a lot since I bought him…I’d say easily 150 ~ 200 lbs more!  Thank goodness he’s not wide….he’s about the same as Rafi. Which after years of riding rounder barreled horses, I’ve become enamoured of narrower animals. This is relative of course…none of my horses are really narrow. And Callista is wide…But I actually love the illusion of longer legs {mine!}…so Rafi and Arie are very good for my vanity!

Back to the actual riding…COLLECTION and IMPULSION. These thing color my dreams. Rode my first canter pirouettes and tempi changes on Rafi a few weeks ago. The piaffe simply gets better all the time. This last week or so I’ve gone back to pretty basic walk, trot, canter work. I am trying to nail the lively collection and new uphill balance we’re finding. I want that capacity to move back and forth within the gaits from very collected to extension. So, while I am practicing and using all the lateral work and the walk pirouettes to solidify her obedience to the seat and half halts, I’m really all about the driving aids at the moment. Rafi doesn’t know what hit her{LOL}! She’s used to mom getting on and not asking SO much. I was her relaxation after Cathy worked her. Alas, for her, not anymore.

But she’s doing great and the partnership just gets better everyday. So I’m shooting for my first show in January. Depending how that goes, I’ll either add Four 3 at the second or third show after or I MAY just  jump to PSG.

Life is really good just now…