Competition

Being new to the ranks of “authors,” I’m learning all the time.  Sometimes this strikes me as funny, since one of the reasons I retired from the military was because I was tired of learning a new job every year or so.   But one of my recent lessons in writing has been the cooperation I’ve witnessed among writers versus the competition so prevalent among competitors in other professions and venues.

Writers truly seem to want to help each other.  My foray into writing came to fruition due to just such encouragement.   A stranger I met in Las Barrilles, Mexico, gave me the advice one of his writing mentors provided him:  “Just write.”  I was fortunate to have come across a website which provided many of the tools, and positive support, to get started – www.write4kids.com.  And I’ve since been lucky enough to join groups of other writers in forums such as www.jacketflap.com and to follow many writing blogs of interest.  Maybe the formula is simple in that writers like to write, so it reasons there would be much out there in the written word…but there’s probably more to it than that. [Read more…]

Endurance

“Endurance” seems an appropriate topic today, in celebration of the 33 Chilean miners rescued, following their 69 days trapped underground.

In horse parlance, the Endurance discipline tests the stamina of horse and rider as they race to compete a long course; at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) it was a 100 mile course.   When my husband, Jaime, and I volunteered to support the WEG, we were pleased that our second assignment would be supporting the endurance competition.  We both had great interest in the sport and admiration for the athletes, even though we hadn’t participated in endurance riding – yet.   Hey, the senior member of the U.S. team, Jan Worthington, competed in the Games at age 70.  Talk about hope and endurance! [Read more…]

Wowed at the World Equestrian Games

I am one of those fortunate women whose husband also enjoys horses.  Okay – don’t hate me for that.   But because of this shared interest, we get to do a lot of things together that many of my other horse friends don’t share as couples.  When we found out the World Equestrian Games (WEG) would be held in the U.S. for the first time ever in Kentucky, it was an easy decision that we would attend.  I had to be a bit more convincing when I suggested we volunteer to support the Games.  After a year’s coordination with the volunteer staff, we received our assignments as Horse Inspection Stewards, scheduled to support Reining, Endurance, and Dressage.

As we approached the fourth place we had been told to park at 5:00 a.m. on Sep 24th, we decided our real mission as volunteers was to “work out the kinks in the system.”  A sense of humor always helps in these situations, and it was a warm, dark morning, with very few people in the Kentucky Horse Park.  We sported our Ariat-provided cobalt blue Competition Support Volunteer uniforms and credentials, which we had picked up on Day One, and looked as if we knew exactly where we were going.  We were scheduled to support Reining, which the WEG describes as “a Western sport that displays the precision and style of horse and rider.”   We wound our way to the Reining barns and met up with some other Competition Support Volunteers and the head Federation Equestre International (FEI) Reining Steward, Eric.  Success!  Eric politely informed us he didn’t need us for at least another hour, and to just relax.  So, we relaxed while observing the early morning routine of the grooms, trainers, and exquisite equine reining athletes, mostly American Quarter Horses.    [Read more…]