Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Sooo... it's been an entertaining few days...

Let's see.  Chelsea was an absolute superstar at Glenarden on Sat, so that was TONS o fun (story on GRS blog :). Made even better by bringing home second!  Woohoo :)

Then Sunday was Ride for Riders -- a clinic benefiting riders who've been seriously injured.  I was one of the clinicians and Brena took Bella to ride.  I had a ton of fun teaching dressage and xc.  I had a break right at the beginning so I got to watch Brena's stadium which was brilliant!  Sadly though on xc she jumped ahead of Bella into the ditch *sigh* -- leading to an early end :(  She was having a great ride till then though!  We'll have to go back out again and reintroduce ditches *g*  On XC I had a group of greenbeans and had SO MUCH FUN with them :)  By the end they were doing ditches, banks, water - everything.  The water was definitely the biggest challenge but we got the PT group to come give some leads and soon enough we had everybody in :)  Was so much fun!

This morning I took Athena to another farm to school stadium w/ my coach.  I'm upgrading her this weekend and was a little concerned about jumping a maxed combination cold; especially with our recent lack of control -- so he set a course that included a triple and an in-and-out and had us warm up over a couple random little fences.  Not *quite* show atmosphere, but closer than schooling at home where she's seen everything dozens of times.  She was definitely looky, but did WAY better than I'd anticipated so I'm a lot happier about the upgrade idea :) Height is a non-issue at this point, but related distances are sometimes...  Interesting :)

hahaha so while I'm typing this Sasha's whining and attacking the couch.  None of her toys have gone under there today so no idea what's up.  Finally give in and move the couch so she can look -- and sure enough, one of her bones is under.  No idea how long it's been there, but she was right.  hahaha she grabs it and books it to her blanket.  I have an awesome puppy :)

So after my school, my coach was riding a young horse -- having never actually seen my coach ride before, I asked if I could stick around and watch :)  Really - when do I ever have time to do that?  But since I had such an early start (7am lesson off-site!) I had asked Rebecca to come do the barn in the am, so by 9am I was essentially done for the day.  A couple stalls to muck when I got home, but not much.  So with permission we stuck around -- Chelsea had my pony, so I was watching my coach ride and playing with my camera.  All good.  And then the dreaded question "so, what should I be doing differently?"  uh oh...

hahaha why dreaded?  Well let's see...  Three times in my life my coaches have asked me that.  The first one I had *just* started teaching beginners and she was a solid rider.  I legitimately couldn't see anything to tell her.  She was happy with me :)  The second one, I was still a very novice coach -- a couple years of teaching beginners by this point, but still at the w/t/c x-rail stage.  However -- she hadn't ridden in years and was *very* rusty.  So I veerrryyy hesitantly picked a really beginner mistake and she laughed and laughed.  We're still friends a decade and half a country later and she still occasionally reminds me of that one *g*  But the last one - by then I *had* developed a reasonable eye.  I really respected this particular coach and when she asked me, I hesitated.  The PC side of me thought I should go with what worked with the first coach "it's perfect, I don't see anything" :)  Even if it wasn't true any longer *g*  But the ego side of me which doesn't want to fail in front of somebody I respect said to tell the truth.  I knew enough not to say anything unless asked, but I was asked, soooo...  I was very diplomatic about it, but suffice to say it did not go over particularly well.  *sigh*  

So now several years later, faced with the same discussion, from somebody I respect, who's pop quizzes I very rarely get 100% on *g*  Which is the main reason I really enjoy riding with him -- he pushes me to be a better coach and trainer as well as "just" riding.  Sooo - do I answer the question?  Well first, CAN I answer it?  hahaha there's a moment where I'm right back to being 15 and having no idea what to say.  Fortunately that didn't last long and I had an answer or two.  Then whether to vocalize them?  So I test the waters a bit, telling him that critiquing my coaches has not worked out entirely well in the past...  Figure I'll leave it at that.  After all, there're only so many coaches in this area that I'm interested in working with -- annoying *another* one is probably not a good idea *g*  And the one coach I ever rode with who really got it and is as much a smart ass as I am, sadly is too far away for me to ride with regularly.  I only get to spar with him at shows now  hahaha So anyways, alienating the one that's currently helping me seems like a poor life decision.  But there's that ego again...  Presented with just the right tone of challenge, part of me feels the need to answer. So then he tells me that his asking is a sign of respect for my knowledge and he's not going to be annoyed with any useful advice.  ohhhh there's that challenge again.  Now I pretty much HAVE to say something useful.  So I start with what worked with the second coach -- the blatantly obvious.  This time it didn't go over so well -- he mostly rolled his eyes at me (or whatever the dignified version of that is; I'd clearly failed the pop quiz.  Not so useful.  Ok then fine, throw out the real answer which got a surprised look and careful consideration.  Wow.  Kewl :)  And then the horse's owner appeared so end of conversation *g*  But I definitely got the impression I'm not in trouble for it this time. And I think I passed >;-P  Yeah me :)  Now we see what happens in next week's lesson *g*  But I suspect it'll be all good.

Ok get Athena home and unloaded and go to teach Chelsea (who got up super-early to come help me with Athena) and Rebecca (who did all the am chores so I could go play :)   Both girls I quite enjoy teaching so that's always fun.  But what made it entertaining is they both switched horses for today -- Rebecca on Nick and Chelsea on Bella.  And in the last 5 mins, I decided we'd do "really big jump day" :)  Well Rebecca matched her height record and Chelsea surpassed hers -- she and Bella got to 3'9".  And I have to say, I LOVE watching that pony jump :)  And fortunately at the last second I thought to pull my camera out, so we even got a picture of it!  Sweet.

Then got to go home early since thanks to Rebecca, I only had five stalls and pm feed to do.  Tried for a nap -- my dream afternoon really.  But Sasha wasn't having any of that *sigh*  Oh well.  Dinner out with family was super nice and my evening was mostly veged in front of computer and tv.  Not terribly productive admittedly, but still at least relaxing :)

And now it's very late again.  And Sasha starts grade 3 tomorrow :)   So I'm off!


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