Snow and Blow

Did a quick trip up to Connecticut this weekend for Dressage4Kids’? Weekend Educational Program, which I’ve done every year since it started 10 years ago, and which I guess I haven’t escaped just because I moved 1,000 miles south.? This was the makeup weekend since the original program was the weekend of the big 3-foot snowstorm there.? We originally had over 300 attendees registered, but this weekend we only had about half that number.? It was a great program as usual with fabulous speakers.? We also had 20 New England judges show up for an annual judges forum.

Cell phone messages were flying back and forth Friday as speakers were braving another storm.? One way or the other I spent 12 hours sitting, either on a car, on the tarmac, in the air and then waiting? at the airport for another 5 hours.? But, we all made it.? I was reminded again what it takes to be a healthy effective rider well into the Social security years when I got an email from Fern Feldman at 7:30 a.m., sending me a message from her gym as she was checking up on my flight.? Now, that might not seem significant, except I knew Fern had driven home to CT from skiing in VT Thursday night and was headed out to ski again on Sunday.? Fern has at least 5 years on me, but she rides two horses a day, including a grand prix dressage horse.? Golly, if I tried skiing now, I would just? break my body.? I guess working out every no matter what your schedule (or your level of tiredness), really makes a difference.? She had planned to pick me up at noon and then we were going to spend the rest of the day at my old barn with friends there, and I had dug out all my winter gear that I hadn’t seen in a year. But, the weather ruined our plans again.? I was just glad to make it in.

Last week I missed a couple days riding because we had high winds here in NC, which is not a problem with the usual indoor arena in the north, no matter how cold, but with covered arenas that don’t have sides, wind can really make a difference.? I decided longeing instead of riding would be the better? part of valor but I soon gave that up as well since I was getting a sand facial from blowing footing.? Most of the time I really love our covered arenas in the South, which are much cooler in the summer than either indoor or outdoor rings, and usually plenty warm enough in the winter since the temps rarely dip below freezing.? Serious wind, however, is another matter.

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