Apr 30, 2009

Kentucky Derby - New Plan

Problem solved. I will be watching it while working out at the gym!

Dorothy Lyons

OMG you guys!! I just wasted an enormous amount of time at etsy. It is disgusting how much time I can waste when I should be working, writing on my blog, writing my book, doing laundry....

BUT! I just bought Blue Smoke by Dorothy Lyons. I don't even know what it's about and I am still.too.excited.

I LOVE Dorothy Lyons. I must have read Harlequin Hullabaloo (aka Bluegrass Champion) over a gazillion times. It always struck my fancy because it was a different kind of horse book (i.e. set in the world of 5-gaited Saddlebreds). All the horse books always seemed to be about hunter/jumper, the wild west or, like, some inane story about how a young kid somehow becomes the next great jockey in some ultra-important horse race. Don't get me wrong here -- I loved those just as much as the next girl, but they were what I considered a 'known' formula. I just wanted to have access to something that was a little different, you know. I even liked the Linda Craig series because it was about Western Pleasure and trail riding. With Palominos! I suppose you could say that I tend to romaticize what is exotic to me.

Anyway, I'll review my beloved Bluegrass Champion here one day (yes, I'll even address the cruelty of tail setting). But in the meantime, I just had to brag about my delightful find. Somewhere on the web, it is mentioned that Blue Smoke is about Quarter Horse racing. Ha! I see a theme developing here.

Apr 29, 2009

QH Dressage

Oooooohhhhh.....One more thing before I have to go start cooking dinner. I have been in front of a computer screen for like 12 hours now. My eyes no longer function properly.

Pending AQHA Executive Committee approval this month, Dressage is going to become the newest event in AQHA competition. Thoughts: A) It's totally weird that Dressage hasn't been part of official QH competition before, B) I had a lovely QH mare growing up who went to 2nd level and I ADORE Quarter Horses; C) I NOW LIVE IN PRIME QH COUNTRY! I AM A DRESSAGE TRAINER! HIRE ME TO WORK WITH YOU!! IT WILL BE AWESOME!!!

Sorry, that did require all caps.

Rodrigo Reining

Anky Reining

Celebrity Reining

If you call international dressage and jumping riders celebrities, that is. I kid, I kid.

Anyway, it was the US riders versus the European riders, with names such as Anky van Grunsvan and Rodrigo Pessoa participating. You totally have to check out the two videos I found on Youtube. I must admit Rodrigo and Anky did a great job. And I LOVE that the crowds watching reining patterns are totally nutso!! I really mean this. I would love for people to get so into Dressage and Jumping that they cheered their lungs out. God, the English disciplines are sooo boring and controlled sometimes.

Plus, this is old news to some but I just discovered that Anky made an announcement at some point last year that she will compete in both Dressage and Reining in the 2010 World Equestrian Games. And that makes me insanely jealous, though why I don't know. I now live in a big reining area; I am perfectly capable of starting to learn that too. And then it melts my heart a lot and I realize I might like Anky. A bit. Ugh...I might need therapy for all of the conflicting emotions battling in my body today. :)

Kentucky Derby Fever

Or rather the lack of it, I suppose. Don't get me wrong -- on one hand I am really excited about the Kentucky Derby. I woke up this morning trying to make my TV work without access to cable or satellite, which I'm pretty sure is nigh to impossible anymore. I am seriously contemplating calling Time Warner out Friday afternoon to install cable just for horseraces. Which is crazytalk, right? Amiright? Okay probably won't happen, but still...

But on the other hand I feel very conflicted about Saturday's upcoming race. It occurred to me in a dream last night (I have the weirdest, yet most mundane dreams) that this Saturday will be the anniversary of Eight Belles' death during last year's Kentucky Derby. I admit it made me feel a little creepy for wanting to watch the race again.

It's not like I cried or anything after the tragic 2008 race - I wasn't personally connected to the filly - but I remember feeling very badly for having watched the race and her subsequent breakdown. It was a vaguely guilty sensation. Like I had a direct contribution to her demise, and I suppose there is some truth in that. Beyond that however, what actually made me feel worst of all, was the shame of knowing secretly it hadn't lessened my passion for horseracing. For, as much as I rail against some of the depraved aspects of the sport, it's not as if I have ever stopped watching it.

Here and there I rant about this or that, but in the end I still turn on the TV or make a trek out to the racetrack. As a spectator and sometimes bettor, I know that I have a share of complicity in the breakdown of a lot of these young animals. But while the industry may be rotten, I have faith there are plenty of individuals participating in it who are not. Spectators of the sport who are also thoughtful and educated about its failures will go a long way towards changing the industry. At least that's my naive hope. I suppose that shunning horseracing could exact a similar sort of drastic measure, but I don't think I am capable of doing that. Or maybe I just don't want to. Look, I don't enjoy watching a horse break down in the middle of a race, but I know it can happen. Moreover, I know my pleasure horse can take a wrong step while romping in the pasture and need to be euthanized. Horses are fragile creatures. Maybe the only thing we can do is to stop referring to the majority of racing accidents as 'freak' accidents. Let's talk about the deaths and the injuries, and let's keep talking. Constantly. Changes need to occur from deep within the industry (starting with the breeding shed). Those won't happen without having people who love the sport also criticize it.

I don't know. As you can see I am deeply conflicted on this issue. Some days I think I am just trying to justify my cheap thrills, but on days when I am feeling more academic (like today), I sit and expound on how my role as critic and commentator will revolutionize the industry. In the end I know that I will be watching the Derby this year and rooting for someone to PLEASE win the Triple Crown finally in my lifetime. And dream of the day in which I will make an obscene amount of money (winning it in the lottery is okay, too) and make my foray into the racing industry as an insider, where I will challenge every hallowed notion of the modern racing establishment. And win!! //end 8 y.o. bunnyrider fantasy

Apr 24, 2009


Okay, I admit that I think Twitter might be just another thing that will fizz out quickly. And it might be dumb...I refrain from passing judgment just yet.

But I'm on it now. Look up Bunnynorider. Eh, who knows, maybe it'll be fun.

Apr 17, 2009

You do like me!

Hey, so I actually have a bit of a following. Who knew? People do like me! Anyway, it made me realize I should come back and do my thing, whatever that is.

I have moved now - to Central NY - and hopefully will find some students to start working with again. And I always have this, my outlet.

I apologize to anyone looking forward to more posts. Hopefully you'll stop by again, and I promise to be back for good.