Nationals!!

May. 9th, 2016 10:54 am
spirithorse21: (Dash and Sam Painting)
IHSA Nationals were this past week, and they were totally awesome. I had two IUET girls competing, and I was very proud of them. Our Region and Zone are pretty weak compared to the rest of the country, so for us to even be there was quite an honor. To have one of my girls to come home in the ribbons and both to be nationally ranked was amazing. Emily brought home a 10th place ribbon in her Intermediate Flat class, and Chloe finished 13th out of 16 in her jumping class. Hers was a little hard to swallow because she had been sitting on a lovely, lovely round until the second to last fence. Her eyes were dropped all the way to the big-ass oxer and her horse ended up popping it because of that. Everything else was picture perfect. Without the pop, she probably would have been in the ribbons too!

All in all, we learned a lot, we have things to work on next year, and we're all really excited to get going. I have high hopes for us! High Point Team for our Region and then take the team to Nationals as well. We will have our work cut out for us, especially after watching all those other fantastic riders out there. I've always been up for a challenge though!

spirithorse21: (pcusa praise)
I don't even know where to start. April 5 thru 12 was such an amazing time, a real bucket list kind of week. Perhaps I should start with the highlight. *grin*

IHSA Zone 7 Championships were at West Texas A&M in Canyon, TX. Region 1 was well represented and the entire region had a great show. Purdue will go on to Nationals with individuals as well as one of the 16 teams competing for team titles. They also have the Cacchione Cup rider for our region (he used to be our rider).


For our part, IUET had an exceptional show. Chloe took Reserve Champion in her Novice Rider Over Fences class, which will send her on to Nationals for that division, and Emily won Champion in the Intermediate Rider Equitation on the FLat, which will send *her* on to Nationals. Let me tell you, both girls has bee-u-ti-ful rounds. Chloe had one minor bobble to the swedish oxer on the center serpentine bend, getting a deep chip into the fence, but then sat it well to make it look acceptable. She had a wonderful ride on a little black horse, and even got a perfect, steady 6 in the line where everyone else was getting a 7 (it was supposed to be a 6, so good on her!). Emily had the flat round of a life time. It was poetry! The class started with 10 riders and after the initial SOP, the judges singled out four riders for additional testing. The judges called for no stirrups, and Emily just beamed--she is a rockstar no-stirrup rider. That round of testing eliminated two more riders, but it was still down to Emily and one other rider. Still without stirrups, the judge called for a lengthening of stride in the posting trot, which Emily nailed. They never asked the riders to resume a regular working trot, and Emily never faltered. She posted like she had stirrups, she never lost rhythm, she never bobbled. Then they asked for canter and it was a near perfect transition. I think at that point the only thing the judges cared about was getting the correct lead in the transition, because they only cantered half a lap before being asked to come into line up. With the riders in line up I headed back to the other side of the ring and the other Region 1 coaches were all like, "Well, you should have that one in the bag. She nailed it!" She sure did! So both my girls are now on to Nationals at the Kentucky Horse Park.

The Rest of the Story )
spirithorse21: (A Toast to Friends)
This has been a productive summer at home. My gardens did very well for my first year with so many beds and plants to manage, my friends supporting my "CSA" are willing to do it again next year, and we got lots of house projects done. I hope to finish the last two in time for Samuel's birthday party next weekend!

In order of spring to end of summer: )
spirithorse21: (Dream Wolf)
In June, I commented on [livejournal.com profile] herecirm's random assignment meme and was given a writing prompt. I then immediately dropped off the face of the earth and haven't written anything since. I swear to you all, I'm not dead or depressed. I have things on my mind, but I just haven't felt the right kind of inspired to write about them. Today, I finally stumbled on a thread to fulfill the writing prompt, so, I am here to bring you my response to "Write about four characters who wouldn't normally be seen together, but by some circumstance have been forced to spend time in each other's company." If you want me to think of some random prompt or somesuch in return, please feel free to comment.

[livejournal.com profile] suraineko, I don't recommend that you read this.

A little back story. Things have been a little rough around here lately. Not horrible, really. Just rough enough to make me introspective. And it's the two year anniversary of Dash's passing and nearly to Samwise's passing too. When I'm introspective, music is heavy on my mind, and one that I always think of when I think about death is Death Cab For Cutie's What Sarah Said. This time, that kicked off a whole little story line.

Without further ado... )
spirithorse21: (Dressage)
So, I wanted to do a whole story with photos blog, but I don't have the photos and I'm feeling kinda fractured mentally. Buuuuut...sound horse is sound. We have been working for a couple of weeks now, just doing trot sets on the race track. We are up to 3 miles on continuous trot work. When we reach 4.5 or 5 we'll add arena work and gallop sets. I haven't decided what the gallop set goal will be that will trigger a return to jumping, but yes, sound!horse!

Also, I need to write a post about feet in general. Soon. Very soon.

Teased enough?
spirithorse21: (A Toast to Friends)
I posted another blog on my family website. This one is all about cake! There are fun food and cute Samuel pictures too. :)
https://johnsonfamilyzoo.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/its-not-a-celebration-without-cake/
spirithorse21: (Tree of Light)
I have been seriously neglecting my family blog, Boots, Bibs, and Basil. NO MORE! I updated it today, and I will do another one after this weekend.

This one talks a bit about my garden and has some progress photos that I haven't shared yet.
https://johnsonfamilyzoo.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/back-to-our-roots/
spirithorse21: (Growing Family)
Health has not been the only change around this household. Perhaps the biggest news is that Jeremy finally got a new job! He left Liberty Mutual almost three weeks ago and is now working for Eli Lilly, Indianapolis's largest employer. For those that aren't familiar with Lilly, it is a large drug company, and while everyone may have very mixed feelings about the pharmaceutical sector, Lilly is very good to its employees. We are thrilled that he is working with them! He is still working as a paralegal, but his job in infinitely more interesting and challenging now. Plus, he isn't just doing discovery and motions. It more like he is overseeing the department, making sure discovery and motions are accurate and follow the SOP for Lilly, and he gets to attend any trials that occur. He's most excited about that, I think. He is already planning to travel to Delaware toward the end of September for a trial, and will have to visit the state sometime this spring for a sight visit to approve the location. The area of law he is working with now is largely patent law, so he's out of his element, but he always learns so fast. Plus, he is super eager to do well, so he's doing everything he can to learn about patent law.

The only downside to this job is that it is a short-term employment position. He will be doing this job for two years, and then there is an opportunity for the position to be renewed for two more years. So long as Lilly isn't having financial problems (it has been unstable now for years), he will most likely re-up at that time. After four years though, the job is gone (almost certainly). At that time he will either need to find a different position with Lilly or move on. The *exciting* part though...the VP of the legal department has already mentioned that if Jeremy does well and impresses the VP, that guy could then refer Jeremy to an outside firm for legal experience, and then rehire Jeremy in a few years as a full-fledged lawyer. It's not very common for Lilly to promote paralegals to lawyers because they feel paralegals lack the experience Lilly wants, but it is also a possibility. Just, not as likely. We are kind of aiming for impress the VP, get referred to a firm, get hired back. You know, unless something else comes up or Jeremy decides this isn't for him after all. Still, it's so nice to have options on the horizon. Like, real options, that feel tangible and positive for Jeremy. He actually *has conversations* with me *about work* now. It's amazing!

I guess another down side is that he will be working longer hours. I have to adjust to his later evening arrival time, and that he will be bringing work home often. I haven't quite made that switch yet with meal preparations or evening organization, but we'll get there. I don't begrudge him the hours, I just have to get my shit together.

For my part, work continues to go well and I will talk about that in much greater detail when I talk about horses as a whole. Suffice for now that I am happy for Jeremy, keeping the house together, getting ready for a garden (also its own blog), and dreaming of better things to come.

Now Samuel. Oh dear little Samuel. I could probably write about him for days. *grin* He is two and a half now and ever so much fun. He tests me continually, but is good-natured about it. He still loves being outdoors the best, and is always exploring. Preschool continues to be a positive experience for him and I really love the Montessori school he attends. This year he is going three days a week, half days. Next year I intend to enroll him in five days a week, half days. I am just so pleased with the socializing and education he receives, it has been a wonderful fit for us all.

His love for horses is growing! My mother-in-law is out of town for several weeks (Jeremy's sister had her first baby yesterday! Cay is there to help and visit), so Samuel has been coming to work with me more often. He comes with me to IU on Mondays, and I have been trying to make time for a ride date each week too. When we go to IU, he hangs out with Sara, the stable assistant, and they often go visit the minis. This last week, he felt one of them needed a hug. *awww* When we visit Doc, he helps me get all of our stuff out, then at the end helps me put all of our stuff away. He is pretty patient about waiting to get on the horse, and then will stay up there as long as he is comfortable. His attention span isn't so much an issue as his physical comfort. For instance, we rode around the race track twice one day, and started on our third round be he got cold so we went back. Then yesterday we went out for our first full-fledged trail ride. It was a beautiful day, a little windy, but he had his wind jacket on so he was perfectly comfortable. We made it all the way around the short side--though I did have to get off with about 1/4 of the trail to go because Samuel was tired of sharing the saddle with me. lol! I can't blame him though, there wasn't enough room for both of us, and he is used to riding bareback with me, not with a saddle. Without me taking up room in the saddle, he was perfectly content up there. He also now calls Doc "his horse" about half the time, and the other half "mommy's horse". I love it. I hope this enjoyment for riding continues his whole life!

When we aren't playing with horses, we just have other little adventures. He loves riding his tricycle while we walk the dogs, he loves going to the zoo and the children's museum, and he loves visiting his friends. This summer, I hope he'll help me with the gardening, and I imagine we'll find some fun little adventures to go on as well. Maybe even some camping trips with the horses.

It's hard to believe he's coming up on three already. They grow up so fast! This spring and summer we are going to work on potty training. He shows lots of interest, but our schedule has made it difficult to commit to it hardcore. I think once I am done teaching IU in a couple of weeks, the schedule (and weather) will allow a lot more time for this endeavor.

I think that about sums us up. I'll leave you with some Samuel pictures that I adore. :)

Enjoying a bareback ride on Doc with Mommy


Trail ride at Strawtown. This is after I dismounted, but he was a content little rider the whole way, and Doc was a saint.


The mini needed a hug!


Helping Mommy get lease ad photos of a client's horse
spirithorse21: (Dash and Sam Painting)
Tomorrow will be a year.


It will practically be a year and 7 months too.


I still miss them so much. Those two pictures still make me misty, but at least I can look at them now. They are beautiful images, I'm thankful to have them. Just....hard to look at them.

Wanderlust

Mar. 3rd, 2014 12:23 pm
spirithorse21: (pcusa praise)
So here's the thing: I've been saying for...10 years? now that I want to move to North Carolina. I tried to convince Jeremy to just do it out of law school. That would have been the thing to do. We didn't have a kid, we didn't have a ton of debt (aside from student loans), we weren't tied to any jobs. We should have figured it out then. But we didn't.

Only, I still want to do it. Of course, now it has to be carefully planned. Jeremy has to find a job. I have to find a job. We have to think about schools for Samuel. We have to think about how to get all our stuff there. We have to consider our debt load. You know, be a grown up. I hate being a grown up.

Jeremy found a job posting (finally!) for the area we like (Asheville) and now the dreamer in me is all excited. It's stupid. It's just a job posting. He applied last night, but seriously...it's just a job posting. But that's me--I grab on to something and I can't let go. Fortunately, over the years I've learned how to not be disappointed by these wild dreams and hopes. Thank god, because dude? I'm looking at houses all because of a freaking job posting. How childish am I?

But hey, a dreamer's got to dream. And as long as I'm flying high and dreaming, maybe I should do something constructive about this desire of mine. Like, find a job option. See, maybe if I found a steady, reliable job that offered a reasonable wage, we could think about following that with or without a job for Jeremy. Crazy, right? *sigh*

So...I need a way to find equine professional jobs in the Asheville, NC area. It's the industry I have the most experience in and the most earning potential in. I know that doesn't equate to a great deal of income, but it's something. Thing is, where do I look? I feel like finding the elusive equine professional job is not easy because they aren't exactly well advertised online or nationwide. Perhaps I do not know about a certain network? Anyone have suggestions?



These kinds of views. These are my goals. I love the mountains, the pine trees, the lifestyle. Give me this to call home!
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Take two

Jan. 6th, 2014 04:04 pm
spirithorse21: (Default)

Oh god! Maybe 2014 isn't going to be kind after all. Worst. Night. Ever! Husband, baby, and I all three had a stomach virus. You don't even want to fathom how hard it is to take care of a toddler when you can barely take care of yourself. We eventually gave up and went to a hospital. And did I mention this all happened during a terrible winter storm where the city was under a weather emergency? Oh geeze, I'm glad we're all on the mend now!

Disconnect

Dec. 22nd, 2013 05:34 pm
spirithorse21: (Dash and Sam Painting)

Well, my MacBook Pro is most likely dead. It happened very suddenly and randomly... The battery ran out of power and once it was recharged, nothing. A friend is trying to fix it, but he says it doesn't look good. :( also, our Internet connection has been having fits. We may have it solved now, but we're not totally sure yet.

Considering all this, I am reading when I can from my iPod, and postlude rarely. Things are pretty good though... We're almost ready for Christmas, which should be fun with Samuel this year. Samwise is doing well and I can't wait to get doc back home. That is a story for another day though.

spirithorse21: (Dash and Sam Painting)
Today, I am hosting my first Thanksgiving. It isn't at my house...I'm at my parents' place in Terre Haute. But my father is recovering from hip replacement surgery and he wanted to enjoy Thanksgiving and I said I'd make that possible. I took the week off from work, came down here Tuesday, and today shall be glorious! On Tuesday I cleaned and went grocery shopping, I baked all day yesterday, and now I've been up since 6AM and there are just a couple of dishes to put together before enjoying a day with family.

We are having a 20 pound bird. One pound for each person coming to Thanksgiving today. Whew! We sure do know how to celebrate here...come one, come all!

I hope you all enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.
spirithorse21: (pcusa praise)


I didn't realize how close to home it would hit, but this was looping in my head this morning. Love Alison Krauss.

The lyrics, for anyone interested:
God's given us years of happiness here
Now we must part
And as the angels come and call for you
The pains of grief tug at my heart

Oh my darling
My darling
My heart breaks as you take your long journey

Oh the days will be empty
The nights so long without you my love
And when god calls for you I'm left alone
But we will meet in heaven above

Oh my darling
My darling
My heart breaks as you take your long journey

Fond memories I'll keep of happy ways
That on earth we trod
And when I come we will walk hand in hand
As one in heaven in the family of god

Oh my darling
My darling
My heart breaks as you take your long journey
spirithorse21: (Tree of Light)
Nov. 3. I haven't actually been writing the last three days, but I worked a little nugget of an idea over in my head all the way home today. I'm not crazy about the title, but everything else is just about right.

The Last Quarter

It was the kind of day you
would have loved—
the sky blazing blue, stripped
naked of its clouds;
the sun working early
to free the grass
from a hard and heavy frost,
leaving the green blades
surprisingly sugary and juicy
for this early November day.
You would have stepped
from the shadows
and paused
to soak up the sun’s warmth
and then trotted along
beside me, polite
and collected, but eager
to be free in that field
cutting the grass close
to the ground and munching,
content,
and at ease.
spirithorse21: (A Toast to Friends)
Samuel as a Lion for Halloween.
2013-10-24_19-04-58_547

Baby lion kisses!
2013-10-24_19-04-37_877

That is all. *grin*
spirithorse21: (pcusa praise)
So, we took Samuel camping for his first birthday. These are the results: )
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Basically, it was awesome!

HOUSE!!

Jul. 23rd, 2013 01:16 am
spirithorse21: (A Toast to Friends)
So not only do I have a house, but we're living in it and unpacking is coming along steadily. Samuel's room is the only one not in chaos, but that is as it should be. Our bedroom is about 3/4 done, the kitchen is now unpacked but will still need some work on storage arrangements, the couch is sitable, the office is usable, and I have a washer/dryer being installed on Wednesday. Thank god...I have SO MUCH laundry to do.

I will take pictures soon. Just had to share that we're in and progressing.
spirithorse21: (A Toast to Friends)
So, I'm making some online changes. Not here. I don't think I'll ever change what's going on here. It's like my own private journal...shared with a few friends of course.

No, I'm going to try a family and business blog. again. I deleted the weebly one I made for the family a while back and I lost my Naturally Gifted Farms website when Apple discontinued web hosting. I never really got serious about hosting the site elsewhere because it wasn't generating anything useful and therefore was a waste of money. Then I made a facebook page for the business and that was pretty much all I needed at the time.

Anyway, changes. I'm kinda over facebook. Not the privacy stuff, I don't care about that. Dude, if you post something online you'd better realize it's there for all to see if they care to look! No, it's all the clutter and spam, the posts disappearing, the push for paying to see stuff, my business page getting lost in the shuffle. Add to that all the OTHER people threatening to quit due to the privacy stuff and I'm just...over it.

So, I'm trying out Google +. I got an account ages ago and now I'm going to use it. We'll see if it catches on. Please feel free to look me up. I hope it will be my replacement fb (though for now, I'm not deleting my fb account). It will have loads of Samuel photos, and then other photos too, plus those status updates we've all gotten used to on facebook. https://plus.google.com/u/0/106498979412404779342/posts

I'm also set up on Word Press now for the family blog and the business blog. I have missed writing...meaningful writing with thought and care, maybe some research. I miss creating poetry and also news reporting. So, I'm going to try to put those skills to use to write weekly blogs about stuff people may actually want to read regularly.

The business blog address is http://naturallygiftedfarms.wordpress.com/ I plan to post about shows, foxhunting, clients, successes, issues, goals, training, and hobby farming (because starting this spring, I am going to get *serious* about my own backyard farming. And when we get our own house, I'm getting chickens). I hope to manage this once a week, and I've already got some ideas in mind.

The Family blog address is http://johnsonfamilyzoo.wordpress.com/ and this will be filled with posts about my family, but also about the things I'm learning as a parent. I'm hoping what I'm learning is stuff other people *want* to learn. I'm amazed at how much info is not compiled easily for new parents. Things like starting kids on solids and how to combine meals to keep the kid from getting compacted or suffering diarrhea. Anyway, I'm sure it will be a bit like reinventing the wheel, but hopefully I will have *something* original to add to the ideas.

So yeah. Eventually I think I'm going to delete my facebook account. And please, follow me on google or word press if you're interested.

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spirithorse21: (Default)
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