From Endurance to Dressage
I am going to apologize right now for three years of unimaginative and uninspired gift giving. And truth be told, my loved ones would probably tell you that it goes way beyond the last three years. I simply have no creativity when it comes to gift giving. The folks in my hemisphere are quite used to flat envelopes and jewelry sized boxes that contain gift cards.
I like gift cards. People get what THEY want when you give gift cards ... say unimaginative gift givers. Inspired gift givers still manage to give you something YOU want, but you don't know that you want it until you open it. That's when you realize that you've wanted that gift for like ... FOREVER.
So again, for the past three years that I've sent a blogger a gift, I apologize for my lack of inspiration. I just don't have that particular "gift." I am pretty sure Tracy is going to see my name for next year's blogger gift exchange, and she's going to have to draw straws to see who gets stuck with me. Don't pick the short straw, people.
I came home on Saturday to find this box sitting on my kitchen counter, and I knew immediately what it was. I quickly checked the return address to see how far it had traveled: Virginia. I find it incredibly inspiring that a complete stranger (Nicole from Equinpilot) was willing to go through the hassle of mailing me a Christmas gift from 3,000 miles away. How great are horse people? Pretty damn great, I think. You, Nicole, are better than great; you're exceptional!
The first thing I saw upon opening the box was a "packing slip" verifying the contents of my 12 Gift Sampler. I love number three, "3 Cheers for the 3rd Blogger Gift Exchange."
I peeked inside the box only to discover that it was crammed full of horsey delights. Plus, it all smelled really good. Inside were two pairs of bell boots, one for each boy. And they're made out of some super rubbery rubber that is going to be easy to put on - a huge pet peeve of mine. I don't know who in the heck some of those bell boot makers think we are, but I cannot stretch what isn't meant to be stretched!
As I dug deeper, I pulled out bag after bag of different kinds of horse treats - eight different kinds actually. Speedy G will be in Heaven. His owner is not only unimaginative when it comes to gift giving, but she (ahem, ME) also fails as a treat dispenser. I buy the incredibly boring, but also cheap, snacks in Costco-sized containers that probably taste like cardboard. But hey, nobody complains so they must be okay.
I wasn't exaggerating when I said the box was crammed full of stuff. I also pulled out a bag of tack sponges - boring, I know. However, what you don't know is that I am too lazy/cheap/boring to buy new ones. I currently alternate between two tack sponges that are so thin and worn out that my finger pokes through both of them as I try to clean my tack. Sometimes, I simply abandon the sponge and just use my fingers as that's what I'm already doing.
I now own 12 band new tack sponges. I solemnly swear to THROW AWAY my other two. No, I will not store them as back up sponges. I will not make the bag last for twelve years. In fact, I will try to use a new one each month. Try ... I said. I won't actually promise not to hoard my new treasure pack of tack sponges.
As if all of that wasn't already enough to make me feel like someone had taken the time to figure out what I need, there was one more gift, elegantly wrapped in a red and tan bow. It was actually number one on the packing slip, but I had saved it for last as it was specially wrapped.
When I slipped off the wrapping, it took me a moment to realize that I was looking at US - Speedy and me. I gasped in delight and immediately snapped photos to share with my friends and family. Nicole had found a photo of Speedy and me and somehow cross stitched our likeness. Don't ask me how as it looks like magic to me, and I don't want to know as I prefer to believe in unicorns and magic.
By the way, here's the original photo:
So once again, a complete stranger has managed to touch my life in a most unexpected and heartfelt way. I hope that Nicole can feel my deep appreciation for her thoughtful gifts. While I don't know her, it is obvious that she is a compassionate woman who is genuinely thoughtful and relishes spreading good cheer to those around her.
Many thanks, Nicole, and I hope that everyone* at Sixpence Farm enjoys a healthy and successful 2016.
*Including: you, Dottie, DaVinci, Winston, Rosemary, Roscoe, Comrade, and Sonny
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at Second Level. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
4/10-11 SCEC (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
5/23 TMC (*)
6/12-13 SB (***) OR
6/19-20 El Sueño (***)
6/27 TMC (*)
7/3-4 Burbank (***) OR
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
7/25 TMC (*)
8/14-15 RAAC (Q) (***)
8/29 TMC (*)
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read