Monday, December 27, 2010

To Switzerland or Not to Switzerland?!

To Switzerland of course! Well, maybe. Thanks to Mother Nature, Jakob and I had a lovely stay in Cleveland Hopkins Airport today. We spent good quality time chatting it up and people watching, while waiting in line to confirm our rebooking at Continental. When we finally did get to the ticket counter to confirm our new flights to Chicago later this evening, I had the distinct pleasure of being told I needed to be confirming the ticket at United. What?! So, we "hurriedly" waited in line at United. When they called our flight number to the desk, the clerk informed me that I needed to be in the Continental line. Right...the one I just stood in for over 2 and a half hours only to be told I was supposed to be in this line. Hmmpf! In the meantime, our seats got given away, and they would not even allow us to fly stand by. So, after a fun six hours we went to dinner at Olive Garden, where Jake fell asleep on the couch waiting for our table. He was a real champ and I am truly blessed to have a great kid. Undaunted he informed me that we should try again tomorrow, so, here I sit on hold with Continental yet again waiting, waiting, waiting.....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fun in Frigid Florida

Monday and Tuesday I had the pleasure of taking one of my clients from the cold North to sunny Florida to do a little horse shopping. We arrived at the Orlando airport to find that the temperature was a balmy 40 degrees, and the wind was blowing up a gale that would have sent Dorothy clicking her little red heels together for Kansas.

We arrived at Iron Spring Farm in Ocala and met up with Alex Robertson, who showed us a beautiful Friesian named Tsjesse. He was a real doll (Tsjesse of course!) and pet of a horse, but no slacker as he has shown successfully up to Intermediare I. Iron Spring is impeccably kept, with immaculate grounds, barns and buildings, and everyone was very friendly and welcoming. We both had a great ride on Tsjesse, saw a few younger horses, and then began the trip back south to Mt. Dora and Apopka to see our third horse.

In Apopka, we met our friend and trainer Nancy Smith, who was instrumental in setting up the remainder of our trip. She arranged for us to try Donatella, a stunning Westphalen mare that she competed to Grand Prix. Unfortunately, due to daylight we had to cut the riding short and decided to overnight in Mt. Dora instead of making the drive to Wellington, in order to give her a second try on Tuesday.

The day dawned clear and cold with temperatures hovering just above 25 degrees!!! Poor Dolly was shivering as I got on to warm her up even though she had a nice toasty quarter sheet on. I feel so priviliged to have had the opportunity to give Dolly a try...she is one special girl!

We continued on to Wellington, where it finally broke into the 50's by midafternoon, and saw several lovely horses. The best was waiting for last though and it showed up in a gorgeous chestnut Hanoverian mare named "Who's That Girl" aka "Gorgeous" to her friends around the barn. Gorgeous has the most amazing walk, a super trot and lovely canter. She is very kind and really tried her heart out for both me and my student.

Despite the cold weather and a misadventure or two, (WHERE's the tollbooth?!!) we had a great time and made it safely back to Cleveland around 10:30 pm Tuesday night. Now the real work begins, watching video and deciding which horse is the best match, and arranging second rides and vettings. Thanks to everyone who made this trip a success and everybody cross your fingers for "Gorgeous"!
I'll keep you posted. Literally.
Till then,