First, thank you all for the well-wishes and support. After the last post, the phone, Facebook and my email filled up really quick with support and good tidings for the upcoming trip. A few close readers even sent some wool knit products as a surprise, which is beyond generous.
All of this was actually rather unexpected.
I've always kind of done my own thing. Notoriously, sometimes stubbornly and stupidly have gone my own way. I don't expect support because I was raised taught you do what you feel is right, and often times, it means going against what is popular or what other people feel you should do. The support comes at a time when I'm transitioning from the image of being the amateur / organizer to a professional rider. That one image has dominated the conversation all year, and breaking with it while still keeping parts of that identity, such as the organizer part, is tough. So when people actually flag wave and support, it's a very pleasant surprise.
Right now, there's a lot of holiday bustle at the barn and trying to finish up the last part of the year. Haiku is working three days a week, and going swimmingly. She's doing very well for herself and maturing quickly into lovely dressage horse. She is talented, and is very reflective of her pedigree gait-wise. When she gets more strength and maturity she's going to be much like Gal's Undercover, not uber flashy, but very much a power horse.
Sinari has been back out walking and keeping company with Haiku when she hacks out. Recovery is slow, as are all things when it comes with being older and tendons. At this point we put the idea of lease on hold until she's fitter. She's the same as ever, chipper, but five laps around the arena and she's pretty winded. I can only guess what her resolution is going to be in the New Year.
Flair's drop date has been set, she will be here shortly after the new year. I wish we could have shipped sooner as I would have liked to had more time with her before leaving, but there will be plenty of time after I get back to continue the relationship.
The big news is that Danzador has been sold, but will remain close to home (actually, same stall, same facility) as the other half of the ownership has obtained my share and now owns him outright. He truly is a lovely amateur's horse and should be happy being spoiled.
Cleaning has also being going full throttle for my departure.
I dumped my tack trunk out and sorted through all the odds and ends. Gone are the old, outdated, half full bottles of God-know's-what, evicted is the last of the summer laundry, gathered items in for repair (those five muzzles will be reinforced...), halters that were too destroyed were tossed, those that looked salvageable went in, took home the quarter sheets, the fleece and knits for washing, monogramming to go with the girls. Even the feed bins were wiped, labeled and sterilized.
In are the fresh supplies for the girls for the three or four months I'll be away.
Shampoos, soaps, liniments, a 90 plus day supply of feed and supplements, fresh supplies of medications, clean pads, rags, standing wraps and fresh sponges that aren't harboring strange new life; topped off spray bottles, and put back clean brushes. Everything has been Sharpie'd, taped off, tagged or monogrammed so none of it would be lost or "confused" with other items.
There's still a few more things to purchase. Like bungee cords, a wash garment bag, a new trash bin for a separate type of feed, a few locks, and maybe if they're on sale- box fans.
Things that aren't going with the mares, or won't be used, will go home.
Thankfully, the human side looks easier to pack, as all the laundry from the prior trip was stuffed into the laundry basket as soon as I got home. But even then there are bits and bobs everywhere. Taking a chapter from my running friends, I went to the Under Armor outlet to get some base layers. Also, thankfully SmartPak was having a sale and I found a pair of nice schooling gloves and liners so I don't experience bleeding fingers again (or being cold).
My leave date has been also appointed as well, I'm officially out January 12th, with the Haiku leaving on the 31st. Sinari will be staying field boarded through winter.
Which makes planning a show season a little tricky and with the focus on the USDF BC's it means hauling, and with one, maybe two qualifiers around Kentucky and Ohio, it means also making sure the truck and trailer are in running order when I come back.
I also sat down with my students and began developing their plans for the 2015 calendar. One part of me wants to stay and push their development more over winter, the other part of me goes, I can't develop them unless I come back more developed. It's a tricky Catch 22.