“Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” – Lewis Carroll
Do you ever feel like you’re working flat out, as hard as you possibly can, and just barely keeping up with the bare minimum of what needs to get done? The last two months — three months? — have been an absolute blur. Shit, it’s not even two full months. I got to ride a grand total of three times in May. THREE. And so far in June I’m also up to a whopping three.
At the end of April, I packed up the truck and headed down to California to prep for the May Horse Trials at WSS. Our show was on May 11th, but I committed two full weeks of work down there to get things ready. And it was a good thing I had the time — because of the late rains in California this year, the entire team worked around the clock to get the footing and arenas ready for the coming show and we just made it. Like by the skin of our teeth.
actual depiction of me when forced to paint cross country fences
And then because I was distracted by a billion things during the show, I somehow managed to lose a signed-but-not-yet-scored dressage test. FOR FIVE HOURS. AT A ONE DAY. Right as the riders were about to riot for their scores one of my team members found the dressage test, on the legal size clipboard with all the orders of go attached, in the horse ambulance out on cross country. How fucking embarrassing. (And talk about where bad dressage tests go to die.)
But we pulled it off. And I finally got to sleep after that.
I got to come home for a lovely two weeks, and then back to Cali it was for beach time in San Diego! Because my friends are the best, they encouraged me to crash Kate’s barn for a few days, where I watched lessons, took lessons, and ate tacos and salad pizza. (Yes, salad pizza. It’s a thing they sell at Mod Pizza. It’s shockingly amazing.)
We also went on the world’s most gorgeous trail ride. I want to go back RIGHT NOW.
I thought that the June show would be a breeze to prep for compared to May. After working from 7 am to 10 pm (or longer) for 15 straight days, how many more hours could I put in? Especially in a much hotter month when the hours from 3-7 pm are pretty much unbearable on a tractor or in the sun.
A lot more, it turns out. I tried to enact a bimodal sleeping plan where I would get to work at 5:30 am, work until 1 pm or so, nap from 2-5, then get back to work from 6-midnight. But instead of napping from 2-5 I just ended up working in a building with air conditioning. So I just cut down on my sleep to an ABSURDLY small amount (for me — I am a 9 hours a night kinda girl) and became sliiiightly manic in response.
BUT it absolutely paid off. EVERY possibly aspect of our June HT was better than the May HT. Even with me majorly fucking up a portion of the footing on cross country at the 11th hour (literally the Thursday before), we ran a MUCH better show, with way better footing, and a way better competitor experience.
All the while, I was remotely managing the team at home to get 8000 hazelnut trees planted and the irrigation put in for them. I mean, my partner helped a lot obviously, since he was there. But let me tell you, a kinda hinky irrigation system for 8000 trees does NOT present you with a small number or problems to solve. And we have 4000 more plants to get in the ground this month, ifyoucanfuckingbelieveit.
I’m honestly a little scared of what’s in store for me before the August show. Our team has been mashing so hard on improvements to the facility, courses, fences, amenities, rider experience…. basically everything. I know there’s still a long way to go before we measure up to one of the big venues like Woodside or Twin, but as a new and growing venue, we are turning into a really cool place. We are ambitious, and it seems like we keep conquering these semi-insurmountable goals by working together. I just know there’s going to be some kinda crazy big project that we take on before this next show to improve things even more.
But I get an eight week reprieve before I have to think about any of that for a while.