Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

Mom, Nathan and I are planning a trip to Kentucky at the end of April to watch the Rolex. Mom and I have been before, but this is the first time we've taken Nathan on a trip that didn't primarily revolve around lounging around on some beach. He's been so supportive of my riding and showing - and he seems interested in learning a few things, too.
I wanted to share some of my photos from Rolex 2007 - it's never too early to get excited for a vacation like this!


I've been working on connecting with Keenan lately; getting him round and on the bit with his legs reaching more under him to give him more impulsion. Sarah started working with me on it about a month or so ago, but it's now just starting to make sense. And I'm starting to realize it's more than a horse dropping his head and lifting his back. When I connect with Keenan, he's more ready to go where I ask and adjust his step if need be. It is literally like we're having a conversation - one of those good ones, with lots of witty banter and "oh my gosh, I used to love that show when I was a kid, too!!" The last two lessons have been stupendous because I haven't been trying to boss him around and say "this is where I want to go," but talk to him and say "this is where we should go together." And after every course, when we stop to let the next pair go, he turns around and nudges my boot...and then turns around and nudges the other boot - like he's patting my back and saying "I liked that, well done Mom." It's an amazing feeling having such a great teammate.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

picture time!

Thought I'd share some of my favorite Triple Rise pics. There are some great ones on TREC's Facebook page and on their website,

Casper and Treasure, watching the Halloween party from their stalls.

Lena and Henry, being cute, looking for treats!

Baby Lex!

Titan and my husband Nathan, being silly.

My first picture with my guy Keenan.

Kate and Titan, on their way to winning another championship!

Me riding Juliet (Dance With Me), the mare I leased last year in the Northwest Spectacular show in Wilsonville.

Jessie and Patches, lighting up the equitation ring!

Juliet, Nathan and I at the Mother's Day Classic, my first "real" show.

The highlight of my season, being Co-Reserve Champion Pre-Adult Equitation at Early Summer Classic with Juliet. Kate and Titan were the other Co-Reserve Champs! A good day for Team TREC!

changes and pleasant surprises

There's a lot going on at Triple Rise this time of year. It's only January, but we're all preparing for the 2010 show season and for some of the girls, that means it's time for new horses! My mom and I bought Keenan back in October and since then a fleet of new horses have come to call TREC home and some veteran horses have new moms.
Kristine and her mom bought "Q" (Elusive Q) from a well-known stable in Portland and brought him home shortly after I got the Keenster. Q is a towering dark bay Thoroughbred with a heart of gold. He loves to make friends with anyone in his vicinity.
Mike and Mollie (barn owners) bought "Beau" (Beaudacious) as a lesson horse and he and Gabby have become pretty close. Gabby was leasing our trainer Sarah's first horse Szarka and now she's helping Beau learn how to relax and enjoy life a little more - he didn't even know how to eat treats before Gabby!
Jessie sold her horse "Patches" (Patchwork) to Anna just last week and brought home "Cody" (show name TBD) only yesterday. Jessie told me near the end of the show season that she was planning on moving up in the show world and would be selling Patches. I've always just adored that horse and, at the time, lamented the fact that I was too big for him. But then I realized I was being silly, that such a good, quiet, gentleman of a horse should be a first horse for one of the younger girls, "like Anna," I thought to myself. And lo and behold! I'm very excited to be keeping Patches around, and Jessie is ecstatic that he is staying where she can still see him every day.
TREC is also the home to "Tootsie," a new young pony that Sarah is finishing for a client. She's an adorable little blonde thing who lives next to Rapper and adores him.
I can't wait to see what this year will bring with the group of new horses and new owners at TREC!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

meet the team

Meet Keenan, my hunter. He is a 13 year-old Thoroughbred gelding. Keenan is a horse who answers to just about anything. The Jockey Club knows him as Mr. Keegan, the OHJA calls him Frampton and around the barn he's know as Beans, Beanhead or Keenster. He does not like being groomed, he thinks the driveway is a racetrack and he likes to perch on your shoulder like a parrot.

This is Rapper, my first horse. He is a 15 year-old Arabian gelding, with great Polish and Crabbet lines. He was sweepstakes nominated as a youngster, but as fate would have it, he was happier being my 4H partner and trail buddy than prancing around a ring. He loves to eat, has a crush on a filly a fourth his age and twice his size and finds nothing more satisfying than a good roll in the mud.

third time's a charm

After two attempts at starting and maintaining a blog, I had a revelation: I should blog about something that I actually care about! Maybe I'm being too harsh when I say that - after all, I managed to keep my first blog (a melodramatic account of my middle-most college years) around for a solid three years and my second was meant to document the lives of two newlyweds finding their way in the world. Hardly longevity and subjects to scoff at.
Still, lately I've seen my husband's eyes start to glaze over slightly when I have yet another story of my horses' superequine feats or when I state that the thing I'm most looking forward to on a Sunday afternoon is conditioning my field boots. I see his eyes roll when the bulk of the mail is horse magazines, Dover Saddlery catalogs and flu/rhino reminders from the vet.
But I can't get enough.
I've loved horses my whole life. At the age of three, I was confidently feeding carrots to the neighbors' Quarter Horses. By age eight I had started a still-going-strong Breyer collection. Next I was galloping around my backyard on a broomstick horse, dreaming of riding in the Rolex or the Breeder's Cup. I began actively riding in 1995 at age 10. I also volunteered with the Oregon Special Olympics at their yearly Equestrian Games. When we studied persuasive writing in language arts, I used it as an opportunity to convince my parents that I was ready for a horse of my own. It worked. Mom and Dad bought me my first horse, a registered Arabian gelding named TBM Meghans Rapper, when I was 12 and he was three. A dozen years later, he's still with me and we've since teamed up with a Thoroughbred hunter named Keenan and a wonderful riding facility, Triple Rise Equestrian Center. I've been training with a great hunter/jumper instructor for the past year and I still can't believe how much I've been fortunate enough to accomplish.
I don't just dream of galloping around a course anymore. I no longer go to horse shows to watch and sigh. I'm out there living my dream. Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes the laundry doesn't get done when I'd like it to. And often I wish I'd become enamored with a less expensive sport. But this is my heart and soul. I'm so blessed to be able to feel such passion and joy for what I love. I hope you all enjoy my stories from the barn and fall in love with the horses - and the people! - as I have.