Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Dakota shows first one and first two

As I mentioned before, Dakota got a 65% on first one and a 63% on first two. The main things to work on with him will be more prompt canter departs, more relaxation in canter, and trot and canter lengthenings. Everything else went great, especially considering I had barely ridden him for a couple months. Now that I'm riding him three days a week, we'll be more in tune with each other. I've been messing around with walk-canter-walk, and it's pretty good given how new he is to it. Walk-canter especially is going to come quickly for him.

He is just such a fun, honest ride!



Saturday, September 16, 2017

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

SO MUCH has changed since my last post. All in good ways.

I quit my job in publishing. My last day was August 31. I've been in book publishing for more than twenty years. I was at this last job for three years and four months. My prior job, in Oregon, ended when a new asshole of a CEO came in and decided the book team, while profitable, wasn't profitable enough. Without even discussing it with me (in fact, I never even talked to the dude), he cut my team from six to two. They told me I could stay or go. I felt so angry and betrayed (I had worked at that company for eight years) that I decided to go. I was out of work for six months, and even dabbled with the idea of going pro with the dressage thing, but then this most recent position became available, at a press I had worked for before, and it seemed like a great opportunity. So my husband and I moved to Lubbock, Texas, and I started work. It was not good basically right from the start. I wasn't told the truth about debt the press had incurred under the previous director. I wasn't told that the subsidy would be cut by a third right off the bat. I was forced to lay off several staff in an attempt to balance the budget (which was unbalanceable given the meager subsidy). I was continually hounded for not finding a magical way to balance the budget. Through it all, I and my most excellent staff worked our butts off to put out some great books -- and no one at the university seemed to care at all. I was anxious and stressed all the time, and I finally got completely fed up. If I sound angry and betrayed, it's because I am. I quit, and again, no one at the U seemed to care at all. Since I left, two more of the staff have found other positions. Prior to my departure we were at seven, now they'll soon be down to four.

My husband picked up a job driving a school bus to keep us in insurance. Our main source of income (we hope) is going to be flipping houses, starting with the one we're living in. We've done a LOT of work to it, and we hope to have it on the market in two to three weeks. Then we'll do another move-and-flip, hoping to turn that one around in three months. We'll probably do the move-and-flip thing a few more times, and then our hope is to be able to have a permanent residence and flip other houses. We're also available for home renovations. Ted knows how to do almost everything and has all the tools, and I'm pretty good at probably 70% of the tasks (my father was a home builder for much of his career, and I picked stuff up through osmosis). We're thinking about eventually looking for an acreage property outside of town and starting with a tiny house.

I've also decided to once again see if I can find some dressage students. I've had one nibble so far. I'd been planning to go pro once I got my bronze medal, but given the situation, I'm forging ahead on it now. Unless things go terribly wrong I should be able to get my third level bronze scores in April at Texas Rose Horse Park, and April isn't all that far away. So, when I renew my memberships I'll be changing categories to pro.

I am so HAPPY since I quit. I haven't been this happy in years (since before my father died, in fact). In the mornings I go to the barn. I ride Clair five days a week, and Dakota three days a week. Then I come home and work on the house. Projects progress quickly when you have most of the day to work on them! Last weekend I hosted a clinic with Suzanne May and Gwen Packman Swanbom on Friday and Saturday and then managed a schooling show on Sunday (and also rode both horses in both the clinic and the show). It all went great, and I didn't have to go back to work, utterly exhausted, on Monday, so my stress level stayed low. Clair and I got a 58.9% on third one (still lots to work on) and Dakota got a 65% on first one and a 63% on first two (such a good boy). So proud of those kiddos.

I'm blessed that my last job compensated me very well and allowed me to pay off a lot of debt. My mother has been very supportive both emotionally and financially, so we have a cushion if the flipping business doesn't take off immediately. I hope we can make a go of this, because I feel so fulfilled with the current arrangement. And to be frank, I'm twice-bitten from working for "the man" and would just like to be my own boss. I haven't had a good boss I could respect and trust since 2006 (I'm looking at you, Noel Parsons)!

I'll have another post soon with video from the clinic and the schooling show.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Willow's filly at three months

She's a monster! Willow is 17 hh -- wonder if this girl will beat that?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Dakota at the Suzanne clinic, day two

R works some canter and some shoulder in, and Gwen gets on.





Monday, July 31, 2017

Clair at the Suzanne clinic, day two

I get the sticky change myself! Twice!

First Gwen gets on and gets it, and a little trot extension to boot.



My turn:




Since then, I've gotten that change over a ground pole several more times. Without a pole (like at the schooling show) we don't quite have it yet. So we'll keep working over the pole for the foreseeable.