First Quarter Complete, Week 4, Virtual Tevis 2022


Awareness of the outside world. While we wait to find out what BA.4 & BA.5 are up to. WHO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard & CDC: Variant Proportions


Total. 27.5 miles, 14 rides, 12 hours 22 minutes, 2.21 mph, 26:59 pace.

This Week. 1.34 miles, 2 rides, 1 hour 34 minutes. MPH & pace, as above.

Notes. Despite low mileage this week, we are still slightly ahead of the curve. Took weekend off from VT for schooling other things, as was the plan. [Virtual Tevis Announced For 2022]

[Help From Above, Week 3]
[VT archives]


In other news. The Trouble with Titles. Did you know the “quarter pole” is 1/4 mile from the end, not 1/4 of the way into a race? TIL.


30-Year Barniversary


Awareness of the outside world. The Chronicle of the Horse: Jung Leads Dressage In His Return To Land Rover Kentucky CCI5*-L, Berreth, Apr 29, 2022. Click over for video of Chipmunk. (Can’t find direct link.) That’s how you do Eventing Dressage. Yeah, it’s horse world rather than outside world. Anything done that well bears amplifying. They also larked through the cross-country and won on a world record score. His horses always look so happy with their jobs.

In the Spring of 1992, we moved into a rental house with a barn on the property. We’ve had the horses in the backyard ever since.


Travel. Maybe we would not have gallivanted around the globe. At least we would have had the option.


People. Barn friends. Riding companions. Folks to cheer for; folks to cheer for thee.


People, lack thereof. Barn drama. Railbirds. Barn rules.

Choice. Want more hay? Here ya go. Change feed, try supplements? No problem. Want to live out your days as a pasture ornament? Have at it.

Inevitability. I can’t imagine having done it any other way.

Horse At Home Posts

[This Is Why I Don’t Board My Horse]
[Advice Sought, Kid Wants Horse]
[10 Little Things About Having Horses At Home]


Word Of The Week, Anniversary


Married 34 years ago today.


Process note. I had originally envisioned the word as a swirly, lacy design. Eleven letters in a festival of interlocking swooshes, dynamic swoops, and clever hidden shapes. Curves are hard to render digitally. Curves are even harder to render digitally when you can’t draw what you have in mind on a piece of paper. Apparently, I am not a swirly, lacy person.

[Anniversary Hearts] 2021
[Letter Art: I is for I Love You] 2016
[26 Years] 2014
[Good Things] 2013
[Husband Training] 2012
[Aftermath] 2000

Been There, Done That: Congratulations and Best Wishes


Picking Up The Other Fork, Train Take Two, Fiction Pieces In Search Of A Plot


Me: I almost got on the train with him.

Julia: A complete stranger?!

Dani: Was he cute?

We sat at a cafe in Southern France, exchanging what we had done while our Term Abroad program been been on spring break. I had chosen to spend four of the seven days traveling on trains. On the way home, I had almost be diverted by a pair of roguish eyes.

Dani would have gotten on the train. He would have fallen in love with her. All of his traveling companions would have fallen in love with her. Dani was like that. Everyone warmed to her.

Julia would not have gotten on the train. He would have gotten on her train. He’d be here right now. Waiting in cafes while she was in class. Julia made you believe in reincarnation. In another life, she had been royalty. Or commanding general of a large and victorious army.

Then there was me. Trailing along behind these two women like a chunk of dirty ice caught in the slipstream of a comet. When I say I almost got diverted, I exaggerate. I chatted with a young man at the train station while waiting for our respective trains. When his train arrived, he asked me to go with him. I said no.

It never seriously occurred to me to do anything other than come back to class. Was I really that boring a person? I’m not saying I should have, but maybe I could have at least considered it.

Shook self. I was in France. I was sitting on a cafe terrace in the sun. I wasn’t in **** in winter. That wasn’t nothing.

Didn’t like who I was? Then do something about it. The next time opportunity blinked its blue eyes at me, I would act.

Fortunately for me, the next pair of blue eyes belonged to Claude.


Unfortunately for me, right as I was making my resolve to be more adventuresome, the Société de la Perle Bleue was making their plans. Edouard, their leader, was adept at sniffing out just that mix of naivete and recklessness that they could exploit.


I sat staring at my reflection of train window.

I was two days late for classes.

I was going to get yelled at. By the professors. By my host parents. By my parents.

What had I done? What was I thinking?

I don’t know.

It had seemed like such a good idea at the time.


We sat at a cafe in Southern France, exchanging what we had done while our Term Abroad program been been on spring break.

We drank beers.

We reveled at not being in **** in winter.

In the cafe table was a newspaper. Water rings blurred the headline,

Accident Ferroviaire!


Wait I thought you graduated from YYY. What were you doing at ****?

I did graduate from YYY, but I started at ****. During a term abroad, I met this guy at a train station …

~~~ curtain ~~~

Note one. Another hat tip to Liz Goldsmith for the comment a few weeks ago. [Pondering A Fork In The Road, Non-Fiction]

Note two. Unlike last time, no underlying explanation necessary. The multiple storylines are clearly a narrative device. Would be cool if I could get the the strands to intertwine over time. [If I Had Gotten On That Train, Fiction Sketch]


New Equipment, Horse Sweatshirt


Awareness of the outside world. JPL: Rover’s Backshell Seen From the Air, April 27, 2022.


Rodney’s old man cardigan, WeatherBeeta Anti-Static Fleece Cooler Standard Neck. [Changing the Blanketing Protocol]

You know how you can go out with a group of people and some folks are hot in a t-shirt while other folks are chilly while wearing a sweatshirt? Rodney and I are firmly on Team Sweatshirt.


In Which We Learn Things But Not The Things We Were Setting Out to Learn


Awareness of the outside world. BBC: Why do billionaires want to own the news? Hooker, 2018.


This post was supposed to be an ears photo from last weekend of us at Falcon Hill Farm applying the clinic lessons to poles and maybe a tiny crossrail. [Thoroughbred Theatrics, Rodney at the Ellen Beard Clinic]

Did this happen?


On Friday, Rodney had an itch on his side. By Saturday morning, he had a tiny, insignificant, slightly swollen bug bite. Right under the girth.


That’s okay, I’ll hop on bareback and we’ll plonk along for the Virtual Tevis.

Did this happen?


You may be sensing a trend.

Well, yes, we did achieved VT mileage. Casual it was not. I keep thinking that tossing on a bridle and going for a walk is a low-key way to interact with a horse.


No transgressions were committed, but I did have to interrupt the trail walk with bit of dressage to talk him down out of the trees. This from a horse who does not like the sandbox.

I am finally (finally!) hearing him. Does Rodney like bareback?


Much like group classes, I am declaring this not a necessary life skill for us. [Theatrics]

Plus, the dismount was even worse than last time. Not sure why it is so hard to swing off this horse. I don’t remember bareback dismounts being this much of an issue. The decanting, shall we say, lacked grace.

I tweaked something across the front of my chest. Spent two days and one sleepiness night thinking it was indigestion. Who pulls a rib muscle?!? Pepto is wonderful stuff. Does it help with muscle errors?



Overthinking Saddle Seat Lessons


Awareness of the outside world. BirdCast. “Real-time predictions of bird migrations: when they migrate, where they migrate, and how far they will be flying.” BirdCast: About


tldr: Saddle seat lessons. Amusing sideline or distraction that is dissipating my energy?

Ooooh that looks interesting

I like the horses.

I like the horses so much that I am considering breaking my life-long attachment to Thoroughbreds. [Picking Classes For My Imaginary Horse]

The people are welcoming. [Where Everybody Knows Our Name]

So I take a few lessons. Maybe catch a show.

It’s a few days & one show

I get out of the house.

I see people.

I learning new things by watching.

I enjoy a program I can have success with. Not just ribbons, but being able to simply get on and ride.

But it’s not just one show

It’s a slippery slope, or to put it more kindly, a warm comfy blanket that is almost what I want.


I can’t just lesson & leave. [Have You Got All Day? Anatomy of A Saddle Seat Lesson]

Similarly, one show becomes a second show because why not it’s local becomes a third show because then I get points toward a year-end ribbon.

What’s wrong with three shows spread over entire year? Because it’s not the year, it’s the Saturdays.

Saturdays are a finite commodity. This year will have 53 of them. One third of them will be during the winter/off-season. Add in a handful that are not horse-available due to storms and non-horse life events. That means three shows are closing in on 10% of the available Saturdays.

Even if it was one show

Shouldn’t I be concentrating on my own horses and my own progress toward what I claim I want?

Do both? In theory yes, especially with the understanding of Stepping Stone Farm, who are kind enough to accommodate my flittering.

In reality? See slippery slope above.

Stop doing what is comfortable and convenient.

Start moving. Remotivating the horse shopping would be job one. [Status Of The Horse Hunt, Needle Pegged at Overwhelm]

This assumes that I would take the energy from saddle seat and redirect it. [Energy Usage].

Maybe I’d just sit in a lump. When I took a blogging break, I didn’t magically have more space in my life, as one might have assumed. Nope, Hello Lumpville, Population me.

Plus the stomach-wrenching horror of it all.

To refresh. Nervous wreck before lesson. Fine during & after.

Is this a prompting from my subconscious that I should heed? Or it is a weird glitch in my brain that I should ignore?

Am I overthinking this?


Doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

Saddle Seat Posts So Far This Year

[Squad Goals, Another Class For My Imaginary Horse]
[Back In The Saddle, Saddle Seat Style]
[Mindset Monday, The Crux]
[Saddlebred Attitude]
[Ears, Bubba at SSF]
[An Array Of Ears]
[Saddlebred Steadiness, Optimus at the Ellen Beard Clinic]
[Catching The Judge’s Eye]