Thursday, February 25, 2010

Up to Stanford!

These past few days have been a real treat for me and Ringo, as we've headed up to Stanford for a one night sleep over of good food, good instruction, and some much needed massage therapy for my perennially cricked up back and neck! So, after an AWESOME jumping lesson with Brian Sabo on Monday, we packed up the trailer and hit the road.

As soon as I arrived at Stanford, I dropped Ringo off in his overnight stall (thank you, Red Barn, for accommodating us!), gave him his lunch, and sped off downtown to get some lunch of my own. Now, don't get me wrong, the food in the greater Atascadero area is fine, and I'm hardly wasting away down there... but compared to my favorite haunts in Palo Alto, there's no comparison. Knowing for the past week that I was coming up for a brief 24 hour window, I had spent hours (literally) contemplating which of my favorite eateries were going to make the cut, and how many I could possibly fit in without inducing some sort of stomach explosion. First off for lunch? Sprouts, a salad place on University that makes really fresh and tasty design-it-yourself salads (as well as other things). I even called ahead, so when I got there all I had to do was get up to the counter and pick up my butter lettuce treasure. Awesome!! One thing I really haven't been good about at Gina's has been making salads (which were a twice daily staple at Stanny, loaded up with peas and edamame - my favorite!!), so this one definitely hit the spot. I ate it so fast I was a little green around the gills for my dressage lesson a half hour later, but it was totally worth it.

My dressage lesson was fabulous. Ringo was a little tense and spooky in the crowded indoor filled with jumps, but we exploited that as a perfect test for show atmosphere and spent most of the first part of the ride coming up with strategies for working through those nerves. By the end of our warmup, Ringo was loose and swinging, barely flicking an ear at the circus activity around us (and there were definitely some things going on that had even me having to remind myself to focus!). We then worked on my sitting trot (always) and improving Ringo's medium trot. We weren't totally successful in that last venture, but while trying to improve the medium we ended up improving the working 110% so we counted it as a success anyway. Good man, Ringo!

After the lesson, I let Ringo chill out with his old buds in the Mare Motel while I caught up with friends from the Stanford Equestrian Team while picking up some Sprinkles cupcakes on the way (check!). It was so good to see them all again! Later that night we went out to a very yummy Indian place in Mountain View (which was probably a little too classy for our collective garb of horsey-smelling shirts, breeches, and muddy tall boots, but whatever) that had also been on my "must eat" list for the trip. It didn't disappoint!

After passing out on my friend's couch at 10:30 (literally, with head-bobbing and everything), I got up the next morning to feed Ringo and head over to San Marcos for the real purpose of the trip: to see Wazir!! Now, let me just say: Wazir is a genius. He is a massage therapist that I got connected with through Vanessa, the coach of the equestrian team, and I can't even begin to thank him for the change he's helped me make in my body. He was the person that urged me to go get my neck checked out again (where I found out it had in fact been broken all that time ago) and since then has been slowly breaking up scar tissue, opening up joints, and working out knots. I usually feel like about two inches taller after seeing Wazir, and today was no exception.

After that, it was a quick race back to the barn (with a stop at The Sugar Shack, my favorite candy store, on the way home - check check check!!) for another awesome dressage lesson. This time, the loosening up period was much shorter, and we got to do a bit more work. We really made some steps forward in the medium trot, and his leg yields and shoulder ins were feeling as good as they've ever felt. We practiced some movements of the test for this weekend, and then gave Ringo some serious good boy pats and put him away. What a star!! Then I raced off to pick up my friend for lunch at the Creamery (another check off the food list). Then, more goodbyes, a brief interlude into some University bureaucracy (lovely), and more goodbyes after that. At 4pm, Ringo and I were on the road again, heading home. What a fun trip!

This weekend is Ringo and my first horse trial of the year at Twin. It's supposed to rain all weekend, which should be... lovely. Wish us luck!


rachel! said...

I'm a regular reader and have been loving following your and Ringo's (and Kiki's!) journey this winter, and enjoying the beautiful photography on your other blog. But today you have me totally craving Hobee's tea & coffee cake and a veggie burger from The Counter! I have a friend who lives in Mountain View, and I only get to escape MN to visit him once or twice a year.

Anyway -- thanks for taking us along for the ride! :)

Beckz said...

Good luck!

Rachel said...

where has your blog been all my life? Loves it!

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