Monday, February 18, 2013

Plan B

So much has happened since last time I posted and I needed some time to get my thoughts in order, so bear with me as I try to explain everything....

Everything that I have been working for has had to shift. Of the many ways I occupy my time, one of them is my full time job as a high school English teacher. Due to the nature of the job, we do not get vacation days and we only receive a limited number of personal days (3) that we are permitted to use throughout the year. I used my personal days for Regional Championships because at that time none of this was really in the works and there weren't any shows on the schedule. As the schedule was decided, there were only two opportunities for me to choose from in order to show and attempt to achieve my qualifying score. Both options involve a good deal of travel. Option one and the most economically feasible was Wellington Florida in March. In November I approached my immediate supervisor about this issue wanting to know what my options were concerning days off beyond my personal days. I explained the situation and what I was working to accomplish. They made it sound like getting the days off would not be an issue-I could take unpaid leave. Fast forward to 3 weeks ago. I am happily making my plans and when I try to confirm exactly what they were willing to allow me to take I am told that my request cannot be accommodated because it would set a precedent (my para-phrasing here)and they would have to approve unpaid leave for whenever people wanted to travel.

If you are scratching your head, as I did saying "huh, don't you understand what it is I am trying to do here? This is so much more than just travelling...." then thank you. And I do understand the districts point of view, but I was requesting at a minimum two days-Thursday and Friday and offered to teach summer school (something that I have done for the past two years) for free (flex time)-I usually earn close to $800 in order to have just those two days off. Basically I was told that (paraphrasing again!) "its nice to have goals and you have a great story, but we don't want to support you." I am not impressed and the only thing I can respond with is this. Game. On.

This leads me to the two options I have left:

Option One Give up. I don't even feel the need to elaborate here-its self explanatory, being that there are so few opportunities for Para riders here in the United States, I give up live a satisfactory but unfilled life as a 2nd level dressage rider.

Option 2

Go to Sacramento, California and attend the only other CPDI*** Dressage Show offered this year. More expenses, and another 11 hours of travel. So....guesss who's going to California! This girl! Admittedly, the whole idea of travelling that far is overwhelming, the logistics of how I'll manage to get Bastian there as well as myself is a bit much to think about. I will happily take suggestions on shippers, overnight locations and if anyone else wants to go....I here the horse show is really

35 hours. 35-friggin-hours. I have it mapped out in the event that I am driving/hauling B and it works out to just over two weeks with travel time, recovery time, showing, then driving back. Instead of the 4-7 days that Florida would have meant. Now I am faced with more hotel fees, more gas money, more pet-sitting money for my sweet little Lucky dog and Doodle.....okay I'm getting whiny here, I'll stop. Like I said; Game on. I will be going to California and I cannot wait. Bastian and I will get our chance to show in an international ring against the best of the best.

So to continue on the bad news front, Bastian has had some hind end wonkiness, so I had the vet out today thinking maybe its just his hocks-he is 9 years old this year and we have never done anything joint wise. Alas, it was not hocks. We actually have an awesome mix of things going on....He has a splint on his left hind leg. Solution was an injection (can't remember off the top of my head), then he was off mildly on his right front, we blocked his foot and his ankle before he was sound. Then a-gazillion x-rays later and we have (insert big fancy word here) changes. (I don't have the vet report in front of me-its still sitting in my tack locker at the barn...) So injection there of stuff (different stuff than his splint injection), followed by 5 days of hand walking (hooray!) two weeks of bute and back to normal work in 7 days. If he's still off when we go back to normal work then I call back and we re-evaluate. I need to give a huge thank you to Dr. Berthold from The Cleveland Equine Clinic, he was so easy to talk to and he knows his stuff. I feel very lucky that I have such a wonderful vet clinic so nearby-they have always taken excellent care of me and my Chestnut Nugget of Joy. As long as he's sound we have a few more steps to complete over the next few months, but Bastian should be 100% in time for CA. Unfortunately my stress level has skyrocketed. I bought a box of little debbie cakes on the way home and well...they are almost gone.....

Here is our updated schedule:

KDA Spring Show, KY (May)

CPDI*** Rancho Murieta, CA (and because I am travelling I will again miss the June WPDA/Grand Haven Show :( )

Lexington, VA (July-still only a maybe, depends on if anyone else is going!)

NODA + Encore (July)

WPDA Summer Sizzler (August)

Para-Nationals, KY (October)-providing I Qualify at CA!

Regionals-Lexington, VA -October

It also looks like there is a training session with Robert Dover at some point for Para-riders, keeping my fingers crossed that I can A) be selected, B)its a reasonable distance and C)it doesn't interfere with my silly school

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley, -Robert Burns (1785)

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