Well a mixed week... spending the week at HITS was very interesting. I have always found the best way to learn something is to submerge yourself completely and then take away what you like and leave what you don't. There are always some nerves when trying a new venture and I certainly felt a bit out of place not knowing really the schedule and not seeing to many familiar faces. But I certainly walked away feeling confident in the ring and my horses did as well. Tate won one of his level 4 classes ( Intermediate level) and placed 5th in the level 5's ( 4' ft advanced), He also finished 3rd on Friday in his second level 4 class. Geoffrey was very good in the Grand Prix ring but when he got in smaller arena on Friday he was a little bit more difficult to keep settled. The key things I took away from the event was how crucial it is to keep putting yourself in these pressure situations, I jumped 9 showjumping rounds in 3 days which would take me nearly a whole season with two horses in pure eventing. I also learned my warm up is key and I needed a plan. My horses came out different everyday as did I so I created a few different warm up plans. If I felt my game wasn't quite right I created a plan for that, if the horses were tired I made a plan for that, If they felt board or irritated made a plan for that .. this really helped me get better prepared for Sunday mornings when the horses don't feel quite like they "always" do.
The very sad part of the weekend was that Phil Linde passed away. This is Karen O'Connor's dad. I can not recall how many Thanksgivings, Christmas's and everything in between I have spent with Joanne, Phil and the O'Connor. I am very lucky to have been so close with this family and consider them part of my family. I attended a beautiful service on Saturday followed by a warm friendly and appreciated reception at Karen and Davids home in the Plains. I am never less than impressed by the how all us get so wrapped up in our own life's but when something like this happens everyone drops what there doing and comes together if only for one day to celebrate,mourn and remember those who are closest to us. Phil we will all miss you dearly and loved sharing in your warmth,hospitality and humour.