Sigh... it's been a long first two weeks of school, and as you've been gathering the blog has taken a hit as a result.
(But look how cute Kiki is! This was from Twin)
I've been feeling really overwhelmed since coming back to Stanford. It came to a head tonight as I was biking back from team meeting (in the rain... WHY). I have two jobs on campus (both of which I'm excited about and am so so thankful to have... but that doesn't mean they don't take up a lot of time), the horses to take care of, dressage team, polo, trying to start a photography business, getting started as a sports photographer for the school paper (a college dream!), serving as the art editor of one of the campus art magazines, trying to have a semblance of a fun/normal senior year... and school somewhere there too. I feel like I have nothing to complain about because these are all activities that I enjoy, but I just don't have enough time to get everything done with the quality that I want and it really frazzles me.
To ease this off, I decided to drop one class (which I realized wasn't really going to be useful towards my degree anyway) and take the quarter off from polo. While polo was one of the highlights of my fall last year, it's a huge time commitment, especially on weekends, which are my only chance to really focus on Ringo and Kiki at the moment. Fortunately I love the people on polo and so know that I'll be able to keep in touch with them, and hopefully pick up playing again for fun in the winter or spring. I still feel like I have an uncomfortable number of balls in the air, but I'm feeling a bit more settled. I'm definitely excited to start my jobs on campus (and even more excited to start getting a little inflow of cashmoneys as times have been pretty absurdly tight of late).
Meanwhile, because I've majorly sucked at giving updates recently, here are some quick and dirty updates of the ponies:
...Is awesome. Pretty much 'nuff said. He's been ticking along really nicely, and it's exciting to feel him getting stronger and more confident week by week. We had a great lesson with Brian Sabo a few weeks ago that really left me glowing. We did our first real 4 tempis and Brian said that we could probably have done 2 tempis that day if we put our mind to it. The actual changes were great but our straightness was pretty wandering, leading Brian to say that we needed to get that in line so that when we started 1's we wouldn't end up in the next county by mistake. When I laughed and said that I didn't think we'd have to worry about that for a good long while, he smiled and said, 'sooner than you think.' Definitely a lesson to look back on with a smile =)
(Relaxing after a good ride - look at his cute little feet!)
For Ringo's plans, I'd love to take him to one more show in early November to keep picking away at our bronze medal, but don't currently have the funds. So, we're playing it by ear, and in the meantime are enjoying a lot of playing around with the double bridle and many, many, many counter canter serpentines to try to keep building balance and strength in the canter. In other words, we may not get to show, but life is still very, very good.
Kiki has been improving in leaps and bounds since the lightbulb moment of a few weeks ago. I've ridden her almost exclusively bareback, which has been insanely fun, and have even jumped her bareback a few times. I tried her in a school saddle today that fit her quite well, and she felt great. I've also had two amazing lessons with Dayna: one where she rode Kiki and gave me some excellent, highly specific advice about what to do next (DO NOT SACRIFICE THE OUTSIDE REIN FOR ANYTHING!! ... And keep kicking!!); and then another where I got to show how well I'd absorbed that advice. The second lesson was one of the best rides I've had on Kiki ever. She was steady in the bridle, not leaning, and showed off this lovely floaty trot that just felt wonderful beyond wonderful.
(Enjoying an evening bareback ride - her topline is getting so nice!)
As I talked about previously, the goal originally was to go to Galway but that has now been scrapped, which means that Kiki is off the hook until 2012. I'd love to get her out hunting this fall/winter, and take as many lessons as I can afford (which is, currently, not many... but we will see). But if we kept moving along in the same way we have for the past few weeks, I'd enter the new year a very happy lady =)
(Takin a tour of the parking lot)