Last night I once again dressed my horse in his purple Rambo. A Rambo in late May??? Sure it was the light rain sheet model, but seriously. I’ve had it with this weather. Watching the flowering plants in my garden has been a study in botanical arrested development. This has been one S.A.D. spring. So now that I have sent off the last of the freestyles that need to be in clients’ hands for June shows (Ayscha’s going to love her new Gaga music), I am packing up my wieners (husband and dog) into the VW van and driving south until I start sweating and have a need to apply sunblock. I fully intend to see no horses while I’m gone, so you can expect my occasional posts from the road to focus on Mormon encounters in Utah rather than the latest about Totilas. 


Before I go, I want to share with you an email I received from Para Dressage rider Ashley Gowanlock the other day. If you haven’t hung out with the Para crowd you’ve been missing out on some inspiring experiences. A Canadian team, including Ashley and her horse DonnyMaskell, is heading off to England in July in their well organized assault plan on next year’s Paralympics in London. Here is Ashley’s message:

Hello all! I know some of you I haven’t spoken to in quite a while, but I thought it was time to bring you all back into the loop as the ramp up for London 2012 has begun.  The Canadian Para Equestrian team will be traveling to Europe in July to begin the Canadian European tour in order to gain valuable international experience.  I just recently found out that I have been selected as one of the four members of the team and we will be flying to England at the beginning of July to compete at Harpury college in an international dressage competition from the 12-17th of July.  Following that we will be traveling to Bishop Burton and competing from the 22nd to the 24th of July.  There you go there is a little bit of catch up.  I wanted to thank all of your for your support in spreading the word about Para Equestrian and the Paralympic movement in general it is my hope that you will all continue to spread the word and join the movement.  I will keep you all updated about the results.  

Blessings Ashley Gowanlock 🙂


One under-publicized fact is that the wonderful injection of funds to equestrian sports from Own The Podium these past three years is the result not only of Canada’s Show jumping medals in Hong Kong, but also of our Para riders having medaled at both the 2004 and 2008 Paralympics (Lauren Barwick won individual gold and silver medals in 2008).  I predict a best-ever result for Canada in 2012 – yes, I know it’s far out in the future but my crystal ball has served me well in the past. I also know how determined and hard working all our Para equestrian athletes are, and how well mounted the team is at the moment. Yep, I see hardware in our future for a third consecutive Paralympics.

The next time you are at a dressage show, take a wander over to the ring during one of the Para classes. I guarantee you will be both fascinated and moved. And if you really want to see how brave some people are, have a look at this article about Para jumping in France (yes, the French again, one upping everyone with their craziness).  

Here’s to the sun shining on all of us over the next few weeks, and here’s to EHV-1 being stopped in its tracks. And now, I’m off to pack my shorts.