Hi guys! Still here and still kicking, albeit weakly.
You haven’t heard from me in a while because I’m a little less than two weeks away from graduating from my MBA program and it’s been a BUSY summer. I’m taking three classes while still working full time and two of those are capstone courses, so I haven’t had much time to do anything besides work and …more work.
I knew it would be tough going for this final stretch, so I set myself up to power through: I told all my friends and family to ignore me for 7 weeks, I put Frankie into training and half-leased him out to a junior rider at the barn, and my momma has spent a few weeks here helping take care of the dog/house/everything I’m neglecting. It’s been pretty relentless and I’m eager to have some free time back in my schedule once I finish, but all this really has made it manageable. I’ll be finishing out strong instead of dragging myself to the end.
But enough about school, let’s talk about Francisco! In short: he is an angel, I am floppy. I’ve been on a very very very sporadic riding schedule since March, to the point where I get sore from trotting a few laps. It is humbling. Meanwhile, he’s still in training and getting ridden 6x a week and feels simply lovely. He and his kid have been doing some local hunter/eq classes and the judges seem to love him, much to my surprise. And the kid just adores him so he is thriving with the attention. The whole family has been so great, it’s a really nice set-up for all of us: the kid is getting to learn and grow on a safe horse, Frankie is getting loved on and adventures off property, and I have the peace of mind knowing that my creature is staying in work.
We also got a new pro at the barn who is taking some of the training rides and so far I’m thrilled with what she’s doing. She’s super patient with all the horses and rewards the try, which is definitely what helps Frankie feel confident in his work. She also took it upon herself to get Frankie good at trot jumps – something he has always been atrocious at. No joke, three people (including me womp womp) have fallen off him trying to trot a jump. It’s just awful. But no more! I popped over a few little jumps over the weekend and we officially have a real rideable nice trot jump installed. Nice to have that on my 14yo packer.
I am hoping to do some close-to-home shows this fall, with my sights set on Piedmont Jumper over in Upperville at the end of September. I love the showgrounds, it’s a relaxed schedule, and it’s an easy trailer ride from our barn so no need for stalls. I think it’ll be a great way to get back in the ring in a safe way. I am still holding out hope that we might be able to step back into the Highs at that point; Frankie honestly feels the best he’s ever felt in terms of fitness and conditioning. My trainer has said that if I can get myself in shape and up to speed, she sees no reason why the horse can’t go do the job.
So, you know. In two weeks I’ll be back at the barn and will be spending the month of August completely sore as I try to leg back up to 1.10m from 4 months out of training. Very casual. Wish us luck.
I’ll see you all in 11 days when I will officially have my MBA!