Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kia Ora from the Ultimate Frequent Flier Joe Meyer

Hi All,
I'm on the plane again. We are two hours late departing, but I have managed to snag four seats and due to the delay the drinks are free! I'm returning from a fantastic week in sunny Barcelona with my girls Lexi and Vivi. Lexi was out of school so we managed beach, Zoo, dolphin show and plenty of park time. Was just fantastic! The other week was spent in cold, grey, raining and miserable England. It has been the wettest April on record for 100 years and May does not look much better. Not only Badminton was cancelled but many other events as the ground is just sodden. As I left Aston le Walls was canceling days and there is a question mark over Chatsworth CIC which consequently was cancelled as well.  After a week teaching it is with huge relief I head back to #eventingsunnyfl  I feel sorry for organizers, riders, owners and sponsors but you can't change the weather but I can change the country! 
Walking with Claire Lomas

Since my last blog we have been to the Ocala Horse park. Classic imp placed 8th in the CCI 1star and Lough Rynn was 4th prelim and little barefoot supermare Violet Rain won the prelim. She was the only horse to finish on her dressage score. What a fabulous mare and thanks to her new owner Sarah for giving me the ride. She is now off to her new home in Ohio and I may be able to sneak her back for the AECs  Karen Bells Boots and Archie (by Arch), he really needs a name, were great in the 4 year old class although Archie (and I'm really going to name him soon) was a touch on the green side. Topliner, our jumper, placed 5th in the welcome at RMI at the hits show ground. We left out the Grand Prix on Sunday as it was pissing down and the footing as slippery as a greased pig.  Nora Macdonald Yaney has been a fantastic owner giving me the ride on Toppy. To repay her my Blue Heeler Minnie trotted over to her place and ate two of the new born ducklings. Looks like a trip to Sparr building supply for some new ones when I get home!  

While in England I was lucky enough to get up to London to walk with Claire Lomas. Claire an eventer had a riding accident 5 years ago and was paralyzed from the chest down. With the aid of a revolutionary robotic suit she has just completed the London marathon. It has taken her 16 days averaging 2 Miles per day. She is truly remarkable. Through the rain, weather, people and media pressure she just kept going and smiling.  Her walk #claireswalk has raised over £150,000  for spinal research and still counting. If you would like to donate to her very worthwhile cause go to www.get-Claire-walking.co.uk

I have read a few blogs and one of my favorites lately is from Brian Murphy at Rolex.  Not just because I ride  Lough Rynn for him and Sara Kozumplik but for the pure satisfaction of his insight, hilarity and a touch of naivety ( he won't mind me saying).  its so refreshing to to have an almost outside perspective on top level eventing.  We have a very tough sport. There are massive highs and lows from whatever level you are looking from. I always feel desperately sorry for horses and people with injuries. With all the best training and preparations and things still can go horribly wrong leaving yourself thinking that your hard work is all for nothing.  Will you be competitive in the same position next year? The year after? Or at all?

Rolex winner Mr Fox Pitt gave us another lesson on why he is world number one on a horse that actually looked still slightly green in places, if that is possible for a horse that has won two 4 stars! Other combinations have really stepped up to the plate and thrown the cat amongst the pigeons for team selections. It should be an interesting few weeks coming for selectors of teams worldwide.  I am feeling a bit sorry for myself in not having a sound team contender for NZ this year but will be looking forward to cheering my teammates and fellow riders from other countries from the telly by my pool.  Just wanted to throw in however, with all the NZ team contenders still struggling for qualifications at last minute that Snip is still fully qualified and still full of run and jump!

I'll leave this long overdue blog on that note. Next months report from Chatt Hills.....

Haere Ra

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

You Can't Steal Second and Keep Your Foot On First by Lauren Lambert

Barn at Greenhill Farm

Like a plot to any great story, there's an exciting stage of rising action that leads to a climatic event. But after the climax, things begin to get back to normal and life goes on.  Florida was an epic adventure, and the climax was followed by a huge falling action.  In fact, it felt like running full speed into a brick wall upon returning home. I wasn't sure what my plan was, or really even my purpose- the dream situation didn't pan out, and plan B hadn't been thought through.  It drove me to actually take a few days off, a type of mental health leave.  A day or two after being home, I called up Mom and expressed my feelings- and just like any good Mom, she knew what I was going on when I couldn't begin to explain.  "Post-travel Depression" she explained in only a way Martha could, yet she was uncharacteristically  sympathetic, and brought a smile to my face.  "Just wait until you complete your first 4*, or worse, have a baby!".  It was a relieving conversation, and I got a grasp on myself and began to make something happen.     
Slowly, it seems, over the past month things have started to fall into place- I have rented my own barn just next door to my mother's operation in Goshen, Kentucky to provide some space for growth of a seedling business, L.M. Lambert Equestrian, LLC.  Welcome to sleepless nights filled with conflicts of the mind firing ideas, concerns, questioning every little thing, and did I mention financial worries?  But as Frederick B. Wilcox said, "Progress always involves risks.  You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first."

So I've taken a whopping $1,500 (from a timely insurance claim check) and thrown it whole-heartedly into my own business.  I believe I can make it, and the good news, there are some really special people around me who want to see me succeed.  Without the guidance and support of a very close group of people like my mother and father, Sally Abell, Ann Banks, Alex Gerding and the best boyfriend, Drew, all of this would not be possible.  And to a great group of sponsors Hallway Feeds, Equithrive,  D.A. Stubbs Woodcrafting- I am very thankful for your support.

While the business side of things are rolling, there is something very interesting that is going on on the riding side; After working for show jumper Derek Braun for a year and spending some quality time in David O'Connor's arena this winter, a rider has been brought out in me that actually surprises me at times!  It's great to feel confident on any shape, size and sensitivity level, and to get on and jump anything and feel confident, ride accurately, and be sure about my riding is a very amazing feeling.  I'm certainly not perfect by any means!  But it feels so good to be on the right track.  Years of learning and dedication... and many years of learning and experience yet to come.  

We will begin the summer show season in Kentucky with Maze Daze at the Kentucky Horse Park the end of this month.  It has been a month since our last competition (which was necessary to allow some regrouping time!) but I am chomping at the bit, and looking forward to taking Sally Abell's Honour Mission up to Preliminary.  This horse has been a tough egg to crack, but things really clicked by our last outing at Chatt Hills and a bond has formed.  Lil' Birnie will be prepping for his novice debut, and I am excited to be helping a friend, Callie Linden, keep her horse, Hickory Smoke, going while she finishes up med. school at the University of Louisville.  My favorite little Opera Ghost sustained an injury in Florida.  He is recovering nicely and I cannot wait to have his mischievous little butt back in my barn!   The action is beginning to rise here as the summer creeps in...  Here's to a great last chapter, and high hopes that the next one's even better!