From Endurance to Dressage
One Day to Go ...
Preparing for vacation is exhausting. I definitely need a vacation after all the work it has taken to prepare for this one. I am sure some travelers can simply toss a few things in a bag and catch a flight, but I am not one of them. I wish I could do it, but I am too much of a worrier.
I've spent the last few weeks confirming reservations, arranging tours and guides, buying tickets online, and exchanging currency. I've also had to do some shopping, get a pedicure and haircut, and wash my car. Even I am rolling my eyes at those last few. Who is going to notice a fresh trim? Probably the same person who is going to watch my car get dusty in airport parking.
For most people, that's the extent of their preparation. If you own animals, the work continues. I had to arrange a house sitter to care for our two dogs which took three pages of directions. In my defense, I had to explain the alarm system, my cleaning lady's schedule, and what to do when the gardener comes.
But the preparations didn't end there. I also had to prep for the horses which took a whole truckful of supplies because all of my feed was approaching empty. Even though Izzy gets alfalfa/oat cubes as his main diet, I also feed him a small amount of hay each day to supplement the cubes. There was less than a 1/2 bale left, and all three of my feed barrels were nearly empty.
Thankfully, school let out this past Friday which meant I had most of the week to get everything done. On Tuesday, I unhooked my truck from the trailer to get hay and feed. It was good timing because I also had to get it smogged in order to pay my 2016 DMV fees which are due this month. The smog technician didn't even bat an eye when I pulled into the station with a truck load of hay.
Buying hay and feed is easy; unloading everything is not. I spent several hours stacking hay and filling feed barrels. Everything also got a good spring cleaning: the feed barrels got dusted out, old hay was raked up, my first aid box got reorganized, and all of my boots and pads got hung out of the reach of the mice. Unused stuff seems to attract them.
My friend, KG, also came over to make sure she knew where everything was. She's going to be doing turnout and fly spray work for the first 9 or 10 days that we're gone. Then she's going on vacation so any turnout or fly spray will be up to my barn owner for the last week.
On top of all that, I've also been riding. I won't miss scooping poop or dragging the sprinklers around, but I am going to miss my boys. I know they'll be fine while I am gone, but it's really hard to trust that others can do just as good a job as I do. Scooping feed and using fly spray are tricky job, don't you know?
Are you a throw-it-in-the-bag-and-go traveler, or are you more like me? Please share your own "Going on Vacation, Here's My List" stories.
6/9/2016 06:20:25 am
Enjoy your vacation, and safe travels!
6/9/2016 01:20:01 pm
We go away for 14 - 16 days every year, and while I love our travels, it is really hard to leave our animals. I WISH I had someone to ride Izzy, but there isn't anyone around here who can do it. He'll be a rocket on a string when I get back. Penn is lucky to have someone who can keep him going.
6/9/2016 06:58:31 am
Going out of town is an epic undertaking for us. It usually involves dropping one or more horses off at the trainers, making sure all the feed and hay is stocked, not to mention dog and kitty food and and and. Luckily we have two house-sitters who know the drill pretty well!
6/9/2016 01:22:27 pm
In all the years we've traveled, we've NEVER been able to get the same house sitter. That would definitely makes things a little simpler. Even though my horses are boarded and the owner lives on site, I am there every day so it's sort of like they're at my own house. I still have to leave care instructions, but at least the feed and cleaning is already taken care of. with no additional instructions needed
6/9/2016 08:53:43 am
Definitely more on the OCD end for extensive planning with lists!
6/9/2016 01:27:31 pm
I remember doing endurance rides before I had my own trailer - it was a pain. Now that I have a trailer, I keep duplicates of nearly everything so packing is much simpler. I just toss in my bridle and saddle and most everything else is already in there.
6/9/2016 09:15:52 am
Definitely on the OCD list, except I have to transport horses to be boarded while gone, figure out and pay for kenneling for a small dog, plus someone to come and check on the cats at the house. Of those 3, amazingly the small dog is the most expensive. Then..because of real life OCD, I have to double check all outside faucets, inside faucets, several times on departure day, because...they might turn on by themselves! Plus double check all medications are with me....constantly. However..once I reach my destination. All cares are cast aside! And I really do enjoy myself.
6/9/2016 01:33:21 pm
Our house sitter is actually one of the most expensive parts of this dang trip! Getting someone reliable to stay at the house and care for the dogs was much harder than getting my horses looked after.
We did complete self-care up until this last year so going away was always this massive project of organizing people to feed and clean and ride the horses while we were away. Now we have the option of paying for stalls to be done so we just do that when we go away. Now, the horses are actually easier to leave than the dogs. The worst is when we're going away to somewhere with no cell phone coverage. Then I really need to overplan everything. And also spend the whole time I'm away worrying.
6/9/2016 01:37:32 pm
Taking care of our dogs required far more planning than taking care of the horses too. One of the hardest things about this trip is not being in easy cell phone range. We have international cellular plans, but they're limited. We use a lot of hotel wi-fi to keep in touch, but with the time difference, it is always hard to reach us. As much as I worry, I truly let it all go and ask our friends and family to pretty much take care of whatever the problem is and then we can deal with it when we come home.
6/9/2016 11:37:24 am
A major plus of full care board (and 24/7 turnout) is that my horse doesn't need very much special preparation if we travel. I make sure he has fly spray or his winter blanket available based on the season. I do worry about him though, because he requires rescue allergy meds if he has a flare-up. I leave his meds and instructions, but an acute attack in my absence could be really bad for plenty of reasons.
6/9/2016 01:39:20 pm
Harley definitely has a great set up! It might seem mean to say, but I wish my horses didn't need me every day. It would be a lot easier if they lived Harley's lifestyle.
6/9/2016 01:39:48 pm
Thank, Tracy. We hope to. :0)
As a house sitter, I know how hard it is to leave based off of my clients requests. I love animals though so I love doing it. I used to just have pet rats and lived in a shared house, however with the recent leasing of the farm it is much harder. My boyfriend lives with me and has a dog, we have 3 mouser cats, and now my horse trainer's retired horses and my new additions live at the house. I am never concerned over Riesling because he has full care, although I'm super bummed I have no one to ride him. Generally I can coordinate with my horse trainers to stop by the house and feed the horses that live there but it still is a lot more stressful. I'm pretty much a pack a bag and go girl though
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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 the lower levels. 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%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: