Hello everyone! It’s been a while since my last entry, so I have a lot to talk about.
I’m in my fourth week of chemistry research and it’s going very well. The first couple of weeks were really hectic; I was so overwhelmed by the workload and concerned that I wouldn’t be able to finish the project by the deadline. The hard work seems to have paid off, though, since now I’m actually a week ahead in my schedule. After making and purifying the starting materials needed, I’m now synthesizing six vanadium complexes that I hope to begin applying to cancer cells by next week.
But enough with the “boring” chemistry stuff – the horse stuff is going great too! Romulus and I have already come a long way and I’m excited to see where we are at the end of the summer. But what’s really special is what we did this last weekend: we rode in the dressage clinic with Charles de Kunffy! The three-hour theory sessions each morning (the clinic was three days) were wonderful and extremely informative. Charles has a lifetime of horse/dressage knowledge and is a great speaker. The auditors asked plenty of questions and the atmosphere was very relaxed.
Even though I learned a lot in the theory sessions, being able to ride for a half hour each day with Charles was incredible. I have to admit that the first day was pretty nerve-racking – it was my first clinic and the idea of riding in front of 40 or so people (watching me very closely) was intimidating! But once I entered the ring, I wasn’t thinking about the audience anymore. It was just Romulus, Charles, and I. Charles zeroed in on our problems in about 30 seconds (seriously!) and we got started. The ride went well and when I got off I said to my Mom, “Hey, that was fun!”
The second ride was a bit rough, since Charles had me hold my right hand completely steady on my thigh the entire ride. Every time it moved he would say in his Hungarian accent, “Is your right hand on your thigh?” or “I saw that!” and I would have to fix my hand again. I felt bummed after that ride, but I’m really glad he pushed me because my third and last ride went really well. Things just clicked. I was able to sit much deeper into the saddle and move with Romulus. My back wasn’t hollow and my elbows and hands were much steadier. According to everyone watching and from what I could feel, Romulus was moving beautifully. To my surprise, when I got off several auditors congratulated me on my progress over the weekend. Everyone had seen a big change and I sure had felt one! That made it all worth it.
Unfortunately, I had to jump right back into work on Monday without any time to just rest, so I’ve been really tired. I think I’m catching up though. The next step is to sign up for the June 30 dressage show at Copper Creek Farm, so I need to pick which two First Level tests I’m going to do. More in the next blog!