The Reality of Daily Riding and Training

Pam Stone's thoughts on why a good ride is a good ride wheather abroad or at home.
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I don’t know about you, but this is the time of year when I grab a cup of coffee and before banging out the mudroom door on the way to barn chores, I enjoy a quick look online to check out various websites (including you-are-never-going-to-make-it.com) just to see who has won which selection trial and who’s in the running to make an international team this year, next year or, looking ahead, the Olympic Games of 2016. The names are often the same, but like many, I find myself daydreaming of international glory.

Which dream, Aunty Pam? you may ask: the Olympics? World Cup? Pan Am? Aachen? Nope.

The Sunshine Tour in Spain, baby!

That’s right. While the big shots are imploding under the pressure of not being the drop score and losing sleep over pulling off the final piaffe and passage of their freestyles, I will be strolling through this whitewashed hilltop town of sun-drenched southern Spain. There will be no nerves I can’t smother with a glass of red from the region and the perfumed air of local orange groves. All I have to deal with are a couple of small-tour tests and then it’s off to the local beaches in this Moorish-inspired area of Costa de la luz …

But then my alarm clock goes off and I hit the snooze button of my dreams … followed by the realization that neither have I the talent nor the sponsorship of someone like Steffen Peters, only a mad love of being inexplicably drawn to cheap horses with a myriad of issues. 

So no Sunshine Tour for me. But you should see how well this little half Selle Francais/half Morgan that’s come into my barn to be backed is doing on her 20th ride under saddle! And the off-the-track Thoroughbred that arrived with a bolting problem in the canter? No big deal. He was just chronically crooked and scared. Will anyone read about them?

Nope. But that doesn’t make the triumph any less. 

And I suppose I can always find a cheap bottle of Spanish wine at the local grocery store. 

Pam Stone was a stand-up comedian before committing to dressage full time and earning her USDF bronze and silver medals. She teaches and trains from her Stone’s Throw Farm near Landrum, South Carolina (stonesthrowfarmdressage.com).

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