Sunday, February 21, 2010

Officially Official

Sunday afternoon, and I am sitting in the Reno Nevada airport, watching the snow fall. Last night it started before sunset, and has kept falling. It reminds me that this happened to us just last week at home! But here, they actually have snow plows, and are prepared for such weather.  Our flight is delayed so far, about an hour, but we have no place else to go. I will resist the urge to give a slot machine any money.

Last night we had a nice sized group for our annual awards banquet. It ran super smooth, and they really did a great job of keeping things going. I got to see many of the folks we met at rides this past season, and visited for a bit. Every time I turned around, someone else came up to say hello, or tell me congratulations, and that they had followed the blog all year.

Thew larger National Awards are of course, given at the end of the evening. I found that the longer I sat there, it did seem I was a tad more at ease about reading my speech. Still nothing I was comfortable with, but figured if I could just get going, I could keep rolling with it. Kind of like push starting a car. Just needed to get up to speed, to turn things over,  move on forward.  They did a wonderful tribute to 38 year old Elmer Bandit, the highest mileage horse in NATRC, along with many other awards that he has won, who had to be put to sleep the 14th. Not many dry eyes in the place. Then a tribute to Doc Larson, who was a wonderful gentleman from So. CA who helped build many a trail, be involved with his whole family in NATRC and endurance over the years, and was an ambassador to trails all over CA. He passed away this past year. I knew Doc from our days in So. Ca.    So with the wonderful tributes, my emotional roller coaster was in full speed.

When they finally announced me for the Presidents Cup award, I headed towards the stage, as they did a brief intro, and it was time to get on with THE SPEECH. (gulp)  I started to get emotional, but after about the first 10 words, tried to just keep moving. I had put ear plugs in, so I'd not be distracted by hearing myself out of the sound system, and that REALLY helped. Only a few bobbles, and then a bit of emotions at the end, and I was done! Whew!  friends have joked it is easier the second time, but we have no plans to do this again. Of course, I had no plans at the beginning of the season to try to win any grand awards.

So, we are officially Official, the 2009 NATRC Presidents Cup winner. The trophy is engraved with our names, we have a new horse blanket saying so, and a beautiful belt buckle.

Now if the weather cooperates, we can get home and show Hank. Think he will be impressed? Maybe if there was food in it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


It is almost here.  In less than 24 hours we will have our big awards banquet and we will receive the award we aimed for this past ride season. As I watch a bit of the Olympics, I look at the faces of the competitors, and know a bit about the thoughts they have as they get read to compete, or afterwards waiting for scores, or later, as those who won, stand up there waiting for the awards presentation. I'd guess many have pictured standing on that podium receiving a metal for doing well. As I drove across the country to all the rides, I know many times I thought ahead towards February in Reno. Thinking about the awards, and the acknowledgment. Wondering if I had the horse, and the ability to reach our goal.

And now as I sit here in the Reno hotel room, I look BACK at all the rides, the experiences of the season. And I know after tomorrow night, I will have another memory of the award presentation itself.  I'm excited, and still SO nervous! My mind has been in a blur much of the weekend, so I can only imagine how tomorrow will be.  Maybe I'll go shop in the trade show to take my mind off if it for part of the day. lol

Monday, February 15, 2010

Arabian horse Gallery / KY Horse Park

The Arabian Horse Trust is creating The Arabian Horse Galleries at the Kentucky Horse Park.  It will be a "museum" of the Arabian horse and it's place in the world and in our country.  Since the Kentucky Horse Park is the premier site for information and displays about all horses, plus a venue for many international equine events, the Arabian exhibits are very important.  There will be a section devoted to distance riding, and the directors of the galleries are well aware that Arabians do this better than any other breed.  As one might guess, they have received no contributions from the distance riding community.  It's time we change that so the Arabian horse community knows how much we all use and value our Arabians.

Info on the Galleries:

Contributions in any amount are needed.  Those of $1,000 or more come with recognition on the permanent Donor Wall.  That dedication can be your name, a favorite horse, or in memory.  Donations can be made by check to THE ARABIAN HORSE TRUST or by credit card online.

Here is the address contact for the Arabian Horse Trust:

 at the Kentucky Horse Park
c/o The Arabian Horse Trust
99 University Avenue SW
Atlanta, GA 30315

Link to donate

Feel free to cross post

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Awards and fear

Last weekend, I drove up to Oklahoma City for our NATRC Regional Convention. I was only able to get away long enough to go to the awards dinner, then drive back home that night. So much time away last year, and I just could not bring myself to ask the neighbor to come by to take care of the animals for the weekend. Our Region has some wonderful year end awards that are not just the class placings, but breed awards, special recognition awards etc. The points are only from rides within our own region,and do not include any that riders might have earned riding in other areas of the country. Hank won his horse class, and I won my horsemanship class. Then we won so many other things, I was feeling embarassed going up again and again as they were calling my name. I asked James Keene, who has also won the Presidents Cup with his wonderful Foxtrotter mare in the past, if he felt that same bit of embarasmant they year he won so many awards, and he said yes. I know we should not be embarrased by doing well, as we worked hard, and earned the awards. But it was still so odd for me to keep going up and getting all the beautiful trophies etc.

The last award the Region presented me with, was an awesome embrodiered jacket, with the NATRC log on it, and our names on the front. I KNOW I will wear this jacket a bunch!


Next weekend is our national Convention in Reno NV.  Over the past ride season, I thought about this convention many times. Wondering if all our hard work would find us there receiving the Presidents Cup.  But part of the receiving of this award, means the winner is to give a bit of a speech. Here is where my FEAR comes in. I am terrified of public speaking. Did you know that according to studies, public speaking is a bigger fear than death. Fear of public speaking is reported to be the number one fear of American adults . Growing up, through High School etc., I never had to give a speech, and even managed to avoid reading out loud in class. I am OK with talking to small groups of people, and even speaking up (often out of order...bad habit), but to stand up in front of a gathering, and speak, and on a microphone is something I do not look forward to at all. Even during the year when competing, knowing I'd have to do this, if I won, made me question if it was really worth it. At the regional convention, I was asked to say a few words, and I panicked. I could barely squeak out "thank you" without taking the microphone in hand. I tried to get hooked up with some Toast-masters groups, but by the time I looked in to them, they were in parts of town too far away, or only met once a month, and I just could not get it worked out.  I have the speech written, worked over, and fine tuned. I have read it to my husband, but still, the thought of doing so at the convention is stressing me. I joked I'd like them to have a big screen, hooked up to a keyboard, and I would just type it, and folks could read along on their own.  I know I will survive it, no one will laugh at me, hopefully with me if needed, and that people speak to audiences all the time, but that is not making my fears subside.  And don't tell me to picture anyone naked. That's not working for me. I hope I can manage to stand there looking down and just reading my script I have written. if I can manage THAT I will be thrilled. To memorize it, and look at the audience? (snicker) Not looking good.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Records were broken!

I have neglected the blog. Mostly it was sort of a time off for me. It is winter, I have not been doing a lot with Hank and the other horses, and I am really not one to post about things like "what I did today, what I watched on TV, or what I had for dinner" Just not thing I find interesting, and figured most folks wouldn't either. Now, the WEATHER is never a dull subject to me. I do enjoy looking a photos from others when they have a blizzard, or serious rain and mud, or even beautiful sunny days. Love those cloud photos, and other things weather related. This year has sure had a good amount of weather to talk about. Today, it is my turn, then I'll do another post on what else I have been up to.

We can get snow here in No. Texas, but usually very little, a dusting, maybe a few inches that will melt off the next day. Christmas gave us a bunch of snow that blew in, caused drifts, and lasted for weeks in some ditches.  Today we set records. Seems today was the highest snow fall in one day for the area in 100-something years. I measured 9" with my ruler in the yard around 5PM, and it is to keep falling until after midnight. I'd guess we will stop with about 10 to 11" when all done.  The horses have been gathered around their round bale all day, their blankets have kept them dry, and the dogs have not ventured out for long, before heading back to their warm beds.

We will enjoy the spectacular beauty of it until it all melts again, and turns to that nasty, sloppy snow-mud. Much worse than rain-mud!