Monthly Archives: December 2013

All moved in…

The three horses are totally moved in, happily settled and are now enjoying some down time till Lindsey arrives tomorrow.

Ivars and I are now moved in to the wonderful rental house and after a brutal hour or so at Costco; we are moved in with the pantry and fridge full.  We’ve figured out the light switches (or at least enough of them that we aren’t bumping into things in the dark of the night!!!), run a couple of loads of laundry and enjoyed a glass of wine while watching the sunset from the upper deck.  And, lucky us, it was the first time for us to see the “green flash” that sometimes accompanies some sunsets and sunrises!

Ivars, a glass of good California Cab, a beautiful sunset...a wonderful day.

Ivars, a glass of good California Cab, a beautiful sunset, the end of a wonderful day.

The "green flash" doesn't photograph well with my phone!!!

The “green flash” doesn’t photograph well with my phone!!!

So today I have a day “off” !  Moving done, horses happy, dinner planned!!  I’m going to fill a thermos with my favorite tea and head to the barn to sit and watch Shannon ride!!!  We rarely get the luxury of sitting and watching as Shannon and Steffen ride in the early morning and we’re normally getting ready the horses ready for our lessons with Shannon.  So day is a major indulgence for me…whoo hoo!!! I’m headed to the barn!!!

Ivars has a couple of lectures to listen this morning and then he’s going for a much anticipated ride on his bike up the Coast highway.  (Peter is mucho, mucho missed this trip!!!)

Off to Arroyo!!

V

 

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We’re here so let’s get at ‘er!!!

After a snafu with our hotel reservations, (it included an overbooked hotel and a blown up  AC unit in said hotel) we spent the night in a very nice golf course resort an then last night in the Hilton near the barn.  Needless to say, the backseat of the truck looks like a homeless family lives there…checking in and out of hotels every night!!!  The Hilton took great care of us though, comped  the first night at the golf resort and upgraded our room which now includes a free breakfast buffet!  Thanks Doubletree Hilton!!!  I’ll have a  happy, well-rested, well-fed hubby this morning!!

The horses looked great yesterday.  All got on the treadmill, on the Vibe Floor and William got a bit of a buck and roll in the stallion pen.  William and Fred are still a bit tired but Lance is soooo ready to get back to work!!!  Overall, all three horses handled this trip very well.  This is the fifth year we have traveled to Del Mar (3 years by commercial horse transport and now 2 in the Jamco).  This year they have come off the trailer a bit travel weary but so bright eyed and almost up at normal energy.  My thoughts keep going to Genesis Organic Horse Feed as the cause of this change.  Genesis has been the big change in the overall management this year and I think it shows!!!

In the afternoon, we met with Carla and Perry and got a rundown on the house.  We are so grateful to Carla and Perry that this rental on their new, amazing home in Solana Beach has worked out for them and for us this winter.  Thank you Carla and Perry…we’ll take great care of your new digs and it will be ready and waiting for you in June!!

Our first sunset over the ocean this trip...many more to come!!

Our first sunset over the ocean this trip…many more to come!!

So off to Arroyo and then to unload and unpack at the house…pinch me!!!  Really!!!  I am so grateful.

V

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Hey Shann….we’re baaack!!!

Yesterday was our light day of driving.  Vegas to Del Mar.

We watched the sunrise in Vegas as we loaded the horses and we were on the road by 7am.  The night in Vegas was very  restful for the horses.  They slept and drank and ate and were bright-eyed  and raring to go when we arrived at the barn to load them.  Thanks again Linda and Neil Montgomery!  Our horses loved your place!!

The drive from Las Vegas to the coast is quite dramatic.  Ups and stunning downs.  Driving up peaks to 4000 ft several times and the accompanying amazing downhill stretches.  The desert plateaus between the peaks were vistas that took up the whole windshield!  And the colours…soft hues of blues, greys, purples and pinks!!!!  Breathtaking!

The drive was great yesterday partly because the traffic level was moderate as we drove south.  The traffic around and into Los Angeles can get really heavy at times  It makes driving 3 much loved horses, in a very long trailer, a bit nerve wracking!!  But we timed it right and everyone had a great drive!

We arrived at Arroyo at 12:30.  The horses came off the trailer with a feel of “Hey!  Look we’re home again”!!!!  Lance passaged all the way to his stall (I think he was very happy to be back at Arroyo!!!)

"Hey!  Look!  We're home!!!"

“Hey! Look! We’re home!!!”

Our arrival at Arroyo Del Mar was so seamless this year.  Flying Colours in Alberta last week, Flying Colours in California this week.  Thank you Shannon Peters…for so many things, at so many levels…thank you.

So….Lindsey arrives on Wednesday.  I’ll spend the next three days helping the horses recover from the long trip (treadmill, vibe floor and massage).  The weather is forecasted to be around 22/23C so they will be very comfortable and recovery should be be doable in 3 days!  By Wednesday, they will be ready for work again!!

Oh my goodness…I love my job…

Is it 8 o’clock yet???  It’s Sunday…we’re going first to Pannikin for orange buns and tea and then to the stable!!!

V

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The end of day two…on the road!

Day two of our travels was Idaho Falls, Idaho to Las Vegas, Nevada.  11 hours of driving and once again some spectacular scenery.  The horses again, traveled well…water buckets filled several times, hay bags empty by the end of the day.  And now thanks to wonderful hospitality of Linda Montgomery, they are enjoying a good roll and a well deserved sleep in Linda’s beautiful stable.  They will be well rested for the last leg of the journey today.

We left Idaho Falls at 6:30am, -14C (6F), so double blankets in the trailer for the first leg.  When we fueled up in Provo, Utah and I crawled around them and pulled off the top layer of blankets.  There was snow on the ground all the way through Utah to the Arizona border.  Once we descended into Nevada, the temperature was around 18C (65F), balmy and beautiful!

The scenery is spectacular in that tiny bit of Arizona that falls between Utah and Nevada.  If you have never driven it, you really must put it on your driving bucket list.  It is desert at it’s finest.  We’ve done it several times now and it never gets old.

The steep up and downs and twisty turns are hard on the horses in the trailer so driving through this section is quite slow for us.  We have our 4 horse trailer configured for this long trip into 3 box stalls.  In general, they are more comfortable with this box stall set up for lengthy trips.  They can move around a bit, drop their heads to eat off the floor and drink easily from their buckets but on the steep twisty roads, I think the 4 horse, tie stall configuration would be more stable for them.  They could lean on the dividers and chest bar as they need.  But the tie stalls are too confining for 3 days in the trailer so we’ll drive slowly and let them find their balance…and we’ll enjoy the scenery!!!

 

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Sunrise in Utah yesterday

Utah

Utah

Arizona!  And the snow is gone!

Arizona! And the snow is gone!

Enjoying the view!

Enjoying the view!

Beautiful.

Beautiful.

Another curve...

Another curve…

Such a gorgeous drive...

Such a gorgeous drive…

The end of another long day...my truck needs a bath!!

The end of another long day…my truck needs a bath!!

So today is Vegas to Arroyo!!!  They all are going to sooooo enjoy their stalls at Arroyo tonight!!  They’ll be in familiar surroundings and will be able to rest and recover from the long trip.

Off to find diesel for the truck and breakfast for the husband!!!

V

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On the road to Arroyo Del Mar…Day One!!

We had a great day yesterday.  A bit over 15 hours on the road, Wetaskiwin, Alberta to Idaho Falls, Idaho.  The day included a vet inspection at the border (about 1hr) and 14 hours of stunning scenery viewed through the windshield of the truck!

All three horses traveled very well.  They were all a bit worried all day, not sure where I was taking them…again!  But they almost totally finished their very “stuffed full” hay bags and drank well.  Once we arrived here in Idaho Falls, they all really enjoyed a good roll in the lovely large stalls here at Parkwood Equestrian.

Thanks to my wonderful husband and his expert use of my phone to get some shots yesterday.  (He also is becoming a pretty slick “texter”!!!  He had to handle the info part of the trip and spent some quality time discovering “texting” from my phone!!!)

Some photos of our day…

Christmas Day and we're almost totally packed!!  Ivars is "Pack Man" extraordinaire!!

Christmas Day and we’re almost totally packed!! Ivars is “Pack Man” extraordinaire!!

Sunrise in Alberta, about 5 hrs into our trip.

Sunrise in Alberta, about 5 hrs into our trip.

US/Canadian border, heading south.

US/Canadian border, heading south.

The mountains in Montana (and a very lovely trout stream!!!)

The mountains in Montana (and a very lovely trout stream!!!)

Montana

Montana

Montana

Montana

 

And more Montana...

And more Montana…

 

Idaho!!!!

Idaho!!!!

Sunset in Idaho...

Sunset in Idaho…

So today is a much easier day…Idaho Falls to Vegas.  No more mountains, no more tight, twisting turns and it’ll be getting warmer all day!!!  The high temperature for today in Vegas in 16C.

So…off to fill water buckets and load 3 ponies and we’re on the road again!!!  No winter blankets this morning guys!!!  We’re going to Vegas!!!

V

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On the road again…soon!!

As the departure date gets closer (Thursday!!) we are madly organizing our very large packing task.

Three horses, one rider, one coach (and one very supportive husband) for 4 months in California makes for some very tall piles of VIP and very interesting odds and sods to be packed into the horse trailer.

A printer.  Yes.  Our life will be much easier with a printer at the house.  Show entries, declarations to compete and the occasional fax. A small printer is coming along.

Foam rollers.  Yes.  A small “travel sized” hard roller and our MELT rollers.  Essential tools for any athlete!  Young and old!!!  The foam rollers are coming along.

The puppy blanket.  Yes.  I find California damp weather cold.  So I know not -30C cold but with open aired buildings, not very efficient furnaces and damp, grey weather days a big soft, cuddly blanket that looks like a big, happy puppy is coming along.

What’s not coming along this year is Lance’s heavy winter blanket!!!  He has been so healthy this year (read feed change…Genesis!!!!) that he has not been getting so cold at night here at home.  I know, crazy but it’s just another one of the many positive changes I’ve noted in my horses since our feed change to organic Genesis.  Love Genesis!!  Yeah, Lance’s big winter blanket not coming along.

Ok, so I better get my butt in gear this morning!!!  Many rides on the schedule for today and much packing!!!

The 11am lessons on a very chilly (-32C) morning.  The chestnut hour at FCS!!

The 11am lessons on a very chilly (-32C) morning yesterday. The chestnut hour at FCS!!

So the brutal weather has abated this morning and it’s going to be a lovely day!!

Off to hitch the trailer and start organizing the tack room…getting ready for the big “pack” day on Wednesday!!!

V

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Merry Christmas and Thank You!!

Merry Christmas!!!  We had a great afternoon yesterday; lotsa smiles, lotsa cookies and lotsa carrotts for everyone in the barn!

Thank you so much for helping us inaugurate Lance’s new Grand Prix freestyle.  He was a little surprised at times as the pirouettes and the tempi changes were all “in the wrong spots” (in his mind!!!!).  He’ll learn the pattern now and everything will make much more sense the next time he does it!!!  So thank you for all your kind words and applause…he loved it!  Thank you to Karen Robinson from Applause Dressage Freestyle Design.  She did another wonderful job.  The music and pattern are wonderful and does really suit Lance and Lindsey!

Warming up for the freestyle.

Warming up for the freestyle.

Lindsey and Lance nailing the timing for the extended trot line!!

Lindsey and Lance nailing the timing for the extended trot line!!

Lance loving the meet and greet after the freestyle.

Lance loving the meet and greet after the freestyle.

Lance loves to hang out and chat!  He probably was checking out the mugs of hot mulled wine!!

Lance loves to hang out and chat! He probably was checking out the mugs of hot mulled wine!!

Lance being Lance...

Lance being Lance…

So we’re into the final week of work here at home.  We’re all getting so excited about heading south!!  It’s getting close!!!

A wonderful day ahead…off to the barn!!

V

 

 

 

 

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