Adding the Letters

After 16 months of classwork, I am officially done with my MBA! It’s been a lot of work: I’ve taken at least two classes every term (and three this summer), all while working full time+, traveling to compete (in the Before Times), starting a new role at work, buying our first house and moving to a new state during lockdown, and navigating the chaos that is the world right now. I’m still waiting on the final confirmation of one class on my transcript, but the grades are in and I managed to finish out with As in all of my classes. It was definitely dicey in places and I wasn’t sure I’d make the grade I wanted, so I’m very pleased that I was able to finish strong and maintain that 4.0.

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Taken directly after submitting my last assignment. Balloons and champagne courtesy of WBH (World’s Best Husband), world-weary gaze courtesy of Maggie

Not to be cheesy, but this whole school thing would have been impossible without the whole cast of characters in my support system. My barn friends, who have kept me entertained and kept an eye on Frankie for me, my trainer for keeping him fit and ready for the sporadic times I was able to show up (and even got us in the show ring way more often than I expected), my family and in-laws for sharing food and family and love, and of course my husband. He has dealt with more mental breakdowns, exhaustion, tears, absenteeism, and overall craziness than he should have had to in the first 18 months of marriage, and he’s done it all with his characteristic unflappable support. I don’t know what I would do without him.

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Maggie also doesn’t know what she would do without him. Girl is OBSESSED with her papa.

To celebrate, I decided to take last week off entirely. I set up an away message at work, shut down my laptop, and turned off all notifications on my phone. I definitely have plenty to catch up on this week as I get back in the swing of things at work, but it was SO SO SO WORTH IT. And I think you know why: I spent literally every single day at the barn. Several hours. Every day. With my perfect boy. I feel like a different, better person.

What I also learned during this amazing week full of saddle time is that WOW MY STAMINA IS NEAR ZERO. By the end of the week I was comfortably trotting 6-10 laps and cantering 5-7. If that doesn’t sound like that much, you’d be right. It isn’t. I am just that out of shape. It’s frustrating because I have the muscle memory so my body knows what to do, I just don’t have the strength or tone to maintain anything for very long. I’m extra grateful that Frankie is fit and forward right now; I’m not sure I could handle trying to get both of us back up to speed.

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My favorite view through my favorite ears ❤

The plan right now is to take this week to keep building my stamina on the flat and re-enter lessons next week, tentatively planning for a group jump lesson and a private flat lesson as time permits. We’re keeping the jumps low for 2-3 weeks to see how I survive and then I’ll move into another group jumping a bit bigger if we’re feeling comfortable. That will take us to the end of August, when I think we’ll have a better idea of how quickly I’ll be able to get fully back up to speed. While it seems crazy to think about now, I do still want to aim for the Highs at Piedmont at the end of September. I won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work out – we can always go be the defending champs in the Lows – but I don’t see the harm in setting my sights higher.

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Remember when we used to jump this height because I do and he has such better body awareness now and I have better timing now and I’d REALLY LIKE ANOTHER GO AT IT

 

I’m also getting to diversify my riding a bit this week which I’m excited about! Frankie’s leaser is taking him to their first away show to do the equitation and some jumper classes, and I can’t wait to hear how it goes. In the meantime, my friend has very generously offered to let me flat her GORGEOUS horse Meeko so I don’t lose any opportunity to get in the saddle. He’s of similar unicorn status to Frankie with the added bonus of being an absolutely lovely mover. I’m excited to learn more about his buttons and practice on a different ride.

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v v v excited to learn how to manage and encourage his big floaty gaits

Moving forward Frankie still is in his half-lease situation, and I don’t plan on ending that any time soon. The kid is a super hard worker and the whole family has been wonderful to work with, and it’s been so satisfying to see them figure each other out. However, this does mean I’m only riding Frankie 3x a week which is definitely not enough to get me back in shape for the Highs. Feeling very grateful that between Meeko and some other options, I should be able to maintain a solid 5-6x/week schedule, and may even get to lesson on some of these other horses!

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Sweet Meeko!!

Frankie recently got a massage showing no major hot spots and got his regular SI injection and is feeling super fit and forward. I’m beyond excited to get back into training mode with my bestest boy ❤

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I promise he’s excited too.

14 thoughts on “Adding the Letters

  1. carey 08/03/2020 / 10:41 am

    YAYAYAAYAYAY! Congrats on a major accomplishment! And congrats for surving a full week back at the barn after some time off!

    Like

  2. the_everything_pony 08/03/2020 / 11:06 am

    Woot!! Congrats on finishing school! I bet that’s a relief and opens up sooooo much more time for your unicorn ❤ Happy riding!

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  3. Nadia 08/03/2020 / 12:36 pm

    Congrats on achieving your MBA! That’s HUGE!
    I’m glad the lease situation has worked so well for you and Frankie. Hopefully you can find a way to get show ready now that school is behind you!

    Like

    • Olivia Pechstein 08/03/2020 / 12:39 pm

      Thank you!! And yes, it’s been such a great lease situation, I’m grateful for how well it’s working out!

      Like

  4. Stacie Seidman 08/03/2020 / 9:41 pm

    Congrats on the new hard earned title! And I’m so excited that you are officially back in the saddle! Can’t wait to read about the upcoming adventures!

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  5. Liz 08/05/2020 / 7:14 am

    Huge congrats on school! I’m glad you thought to take a week off after, I know it was just what you needed. ❤

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    • Olivia Pechstein 08/05/2020 / 9:02 am

      Oh man I could totally go for another week or two off haha, it was very sorely needed!!

      Like

  6. eventerinprogress 08/05/2020 / 7:45 pm

    Congratulations, that is MASSIVE! So glad you get to keep riding at a full time schedule even though Frankenbean is caring for his little one. Riding so many horses is such a fantastic opportunity, sometimes I really wish the Aussie system was a bit more similar to the US one.

    Like

    • Olivia Pechstein 08/06/2020 / 7:12 am

      Thank you so much!! I’ve been super lucky to find saddle time through the generosity of friends, I’m grateful they’re willing to share their ponies with an out of shape ammy ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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