Posts Tagged ‘organized events’

haute école.

April 29th, 2012

I let out a sigh. My breath made a puff in front of me. I was sitting on the cold, hard bleacher watching as the crowd once again fell into an eerie silence. She entered the ring pacing her body with the gait of the springy Bay she rode. This was it. This was what […]

 

I let out a sigh. My breath made a puff in front of me. I was sitting on the cold, hard bleacher watching as the crowd once again fell into an eerie silence. She entered the ring pacing her body with the gait of the springy Bay she rode. This was it. This was what we had traveled so far for. Ever since she opened the front door on that Christmas morning fourteen years earlier, squealing in delight at the sight of her first horse, she had been working non-stop to get here. My mom said a silent prayer beside me. Her competitors stood critiquing any wrong twitch. It was her moment and she took it.

Welcome to Hackettstown, New Jersey! A short flight led me to the doorstep of one of New England’s most breathtaking countrysides. As we weaved around the mountains, climbing higher in elevation, I sat gazing out of the car window. Each piece of land seemed to be out of a stylish magazines. The old red barns, the beautiful spring colors, the amazing homes all nestled and hidden cozily in perfectly manicured woods. I was very impressed and couldn’t stop thinking of all the photographic opportunities in the area. :)

But I wasn’t here for me. I was here to support my younger sister, Lisa, who rides on Florida State University’s Equestrian Team. Lisa has loved horses for as long as I can remember. We grew up riding an old gray mare, but after childhood Lisa took her riding skills to the next level…she started training for 3-day eventing. Once she started college she decided to get involved with one of the many equestrian teams at FSU. She settled on the dressage team as she knew the coach very well. Over the past year the team has competed with other colleges earning points on an individual and group level. At the end of the season, those who qualify are given the opportunity to compete at nationals. Lisa was the only person on the FSU Dressage Team to receive this grand honor. Her first year on the team and she was the only one to make it to nationals [insert sister pride here]!

The competition was held at Centenary College, a beautiful facility nestled in the mountains of Jersey. Schools from all over the country traveled with their teams to be their competitors’ supporters. Lisa was adopted into the Florida teams, cheering on both University of Florida and the College of Central Florida. Saturday is dedicated to team riding and Sunday to individual riders. As Lisa was the latter, we spent the first day watching, critiquing, and learning from the mistakes of others. We saw how the judges scored, and which schools served as the best competition.

Sunday’s sunrise came all to quickly. Breakfast was skipped by Lisa, who was too nervous to eat anything. Mom and I were starved and in need of our morning caffeine so a Dunkin Donut stop was a must. Lisa’s ride was to take place shortly before noon. The morning hours flew by as I watched the solo riders. Lisa sat studying her test and watching the horses move. Finally her name was up. She would be given a short warm-up period and then it would be time for her to impress the judges.

She entered the ring, circling the arena with her horse. The whistle blew and she trotted up the center line. The halt was perfect. She bowed to the judges and it began.

The rider must listen into the horse, in order to judge when the moment for an aid has come, which aid is needed and how intense it must be. He must know how to create or wait for the right circumstances, to prepare the horse. ~ Gustav von Dreyhausen

Lisa got off her horse smiling, but was quick to criticize her ride. Her division was the closest with only 4 points separating twelve girls. Everyone was incredibly proud of her. Her hard work and talent were evident on her spectacular ride. Congratulations Lisa!

Below you will find something fun and different! I have put together a short slide-show to try and capture the anticipation and excitement leading up to Lisa’s ride. We would love to hear feedback about this new feature! Let us know if it is a “Yea” or “Nay!” [hehehe.]

breaker

One Little Monkey.

March 18th, 2012

The first year of life. Is it not the most dynamic and full of so many changes? Watching as your wee-one grows each and every day, developing their emotional responses and motor skills. These first 365 days are the corner stone of your baby’s life. A celebration for this wonderful milestone is joyously welcomed. Friends […]

 

The first year of life. Is it not the most dynamic and full of so many changes? Watching as your wee-one grows each and every day, developing their emotional responses and motor skills. These first 365 days are the corner stone of your baby’s life. A celebration for this wonderful milestone is joyously welcomed. Friends and family come from afar to spend a few hours relishing in this accomplishment. Baby J was no different. Excitement filled the air when we arrived. Last minute details were being placed in their proper positions, and a feast that any king might be jealous of was lavishly placed upon the tables.

Baby J’s mom did an absolutely incredible job organizing and prepping for this beautiful celebration. The theme of course was monkey but the girly details made it a perfect fit for this darling little one.

The friends that attended Baby J’s birthday were mostly under the age of 5, so the entertainment was such an exciting bonus. Mr. Monkey actually attended and entertained the birthday girl and her guests with songs, dancing, a parachute, and bubbles!

And then it was time for the song and cake! As Baby J’s utensil skills are still being developed, and her parents wanted her to enjoy her birthday dessert, they had a “smash cake” made for her. I have seen this technique tried a few times…mostly ending with the child losing interest in the cake or not understanding the idea…but not this little doll! She figured the concept out very quickly and had the BEST time eating her treat!

Enjoy your day Miss J! We were so honored to be able to attend your fabulous party and can’t wait to watch you grow. Stay on the move and we shall see you soon!