Happy New Year from Virginia!

Tuesday marked three months since I moved up to Virginia. Sometimes it seems like I’ve been here forever, and other times it seems like I just got here. I have settled into my role with the USEA, and more or less understand my duties and responsibilities. I am responsible for content management, planning and tracking on our website and social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

I haven’t updated this blog since before I moved, so let me attempt to summarize the whirlwind that is the last three months of my life. I live on a gorgeous farm with the most lovely lady ever, Kate. When I first arrived Katy, who lives in a cottage on the property, welcomed me by saying, “Welcome to the compound. Kate is our fairy godmother!” I laughed, but have come to learn this is all true. Kate is a fairy godmother to all the people who she knows. I’m very lucky to not only know her, but also have her watching out for me!

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The House. 

Mom and I drove Justin up here two weeks after my move date. The two weeks I spent waiting to get him were slow-going to say the least. With all of my traveling he spent the fall essentially out of work, so since hes been up here we have diligently building up his fitness – starting with long & low walks. As much as I wished we would’ve been ready to do lessons or shows in the late fall, I am happy to report he is fit as a fiddle now and in great lesson programs with Allison Spivey and Lynn Symansky. We have our eyes set on schooling shows through the winter to prepare for a spring debut in Area II.

IMG_3268One of his first hacks at the farm. IMG_3343A view that doesn’t get old. IMG_3535

Justin and his pasture mate Dutchess. 

Justin lives on the farm with me, and I can’t describe how much of a fairy tale it is to look out the window and see him grazing. He is on turn out 24/7 (which he absolutely loves and I can barely get him to leave the pasture to go for a ride!). We are on the back side of the winter solstice, so each day I get a bit more sunlight to ride after work. I cannot wait for daylight savings to spring forward! We do the majority of our fitness work on weekends when we can ride out for miles! The land I have been invited to ride on is amazing. I am so very appreciative of the welcoming landowners in my area!

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I have also been very lucky with my first “real” winter so far. Friends and coworkers have told me horror stories of first snowflakes on Halloween, or blizzards on Thanksgiving, but the last few days have been the first really cold ones of the year. The temperatures have dropped to 10 degrees the last two nights, but its warming up today. I received many Christmas gifts to keep me warm including insulated tights, jackets, wool socks… I have the entire set up!

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A particularly cold morning. 

I came on as the fall season was finishing up, and have been working here through the quiet of the off season. Competitions pick back up in the more southern states this weekend, and soon after I will be traveling to cover upper level shows. At these shows I will take photos, write press releases and promote the Events online. First on the calendar is the Caroline International CIC & Horse Trial which is late March. The rest of my year, that I know so far, includes CHC International in Atlanta in April, Rolex Kentucky CCI4* the weekend following, Richland Park in Michigan in August and of course the American Eventing Championships which will be held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in September. Those are the “biggies” and there will be some more here-and -there.

Both of my parents and Kody have come up here for visits, and I was able to go home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Both holidays were very nice and made me appreciate spending time with my family so much more! I’m not sure yet when I will go home again now that the holidays are over, but hopefully not too long from now!

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A weekend with Kody in D.C. 

Hopefully I will do a more regular job of updating this through the year!

 

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