Seems like Fair Hill was months ago... but it has only been 6 weeks - I guess when the world stop spinning, you can finally take a breath and see everything around you.
The trip to Florida was bigger than normal with more horses than ever making the migration down for the OCET - 32 and still counting... So fun to see my perfect little house again - and all my photos, books, etc that I leave behind for the summer. And I just dig Ocala... in all its oddity and quirkiness - the people are so true and kind, the roadside BBQ is plentiful, and pickup trucks are a norm. I did go out for a Saturday night with the girls that work with me to the Urban Cowboy - and my little Honda Accord was dwarfed in the parking lot of trucks... a guy tried to pick me up that night; he was originally from New Jersey and he scrubbed operating rooms, when he found out what I did for a living he basically shot himself in the foot (don't worry, wasn't going there anyway....) when he said "hu, hu... I spend my whole day trying to be clean and you spend your whole day getting dirty..." Real winner!!! I was in bed by 12:30... the rest of the crew hours after me!
I thought I may get a bit twingy going back to Chattahoochie Hills with two training level horses.... Our time there before the WEG was so hot, buggy, dry and really not too much fun. I was VERY pleasantly surprised... Getting to see Jess and Clark is always fun, we found little parts of the town that I wish we had known about during training camp. I never thought i would say this - but I am looking forward to going back... I did also have a good laugh watching Lauren riding a baby around the novice... her air vest worked great when he bucked her off in the cross country warm up when he spooked a bad rider running at her... she did win the division, one of the hardest fought wins!
I followed that weekend up by spending a day grooming for Lauren at Rocking Horse... it did refresh me a bit to not be somewhere so competitive again - and everything a young horse does well is so great... she did win almost all her divisions again!
last, but not least... the LAST event of the year for the OCET - Ocala... I don't know if I was more excited about it being the last event of the season, or the fact that my brother and his family was coming to visit me for the first time since I started working for Karen and David...
Hannah unfortunately hit the dirt on Ms Mar's Harbour Pilot (William) - Hannah has had a pretty solid year - sadly it ended with David driving her to the emergency room to rule out a broken collar bone... she is back riding already, shoulder still sore, but what doesn't kill ya makes ya stronger!
Karen's young horses were great... looking forward to a big winter for them both. And Lauren is the training champion - more ribbons...
My brother Rich and his wife Kerry are the nicest people I know.... well - I vote more for Kerry as she can deal with my wacky family and my brother and raise two kids and run a business and still smile all the time... The Corcoran family left northern San Fran for a little farm time - what is cooler than riding tractors, going on pony rides and playing in the water jump? Well, when you are Sam and Miles... not much! It was so great to see them - they live so far away and my time off is so limited that I don't see them nearly enough... We followed that day up with time in Orlando with my mom at Harry Potter and a fabulous day at Sea World (thank you Alice for the passes and for setting up Steve... it was amazing!)
Thanksgiving morning was a nightmare though! I had to leave my mom and my brother (they we flying out that morning) and co early in the morning to get to the farm to help with chores, cook a big breakfast and put a turkey in the oven... bad number 1; then I get on the expressway the wrong direction... bad number 2; and had to pay a toll to turn around.. 3; and then got lost as there was no re entry... 4; then get a phone call that one of the young horses is colicing... 5; then am 8 miles from getting off the interstate and get pulled over for going 82 in a 70 mile an hour zone... 6;
But I did come home to a great group that had the horse looked after, helped chop vegetables for the breakfast and had the kitchen ready to cook a turkey in time for the Patriots to kick off!
We ate so obscenely at dinner with 26 people for sit down dinner at Karen and Davids... followed by 6 different types of pies courtesy of Karen's mom, Joanne, who happily doesn't know the meaning of moderation! I missed my own family so much, but with the Ramsays, and the Gregorys - my sadness was curbed.
The horses are all back to work... Doodle is SO fat and sassy - he doesn't know he has done anything wrong and we have long chats on our walks; horses are great listeners. (Can't seam to figure out how to rotate this photo... Doodle watching the young horses jump) He had his first swim today at Kesmarc - along with Nike and Quin trying their legs on the aquatred.... all very good! They are great there - great to be able to cross train them! The horses have all come off their holidays so well... Lucky us! (Karen watching Quin in the aquatred)
The temps are low for Florida tonight, 30 degrees for a low, and Scott has just made falafel for dinner.... The next few weeks are all about walking and trot sets... and getting ready for my holiday to Australia with Scott for a few weeks of nothing but sun and reading my book and maybe a trip to a vineyard or two?
Off to throw the horses some hay...