Rebecca Howard's Journey towards the Olympics, part 1

We have a very special new addition to our EN guest blogger team.  Rebecca Howard is one of my favorite eventers because she approaches our sport like all of us should–by looking to excel at every level as an athlete, from fitness, to nutrition, to the psychological game, to the development of her horses, and so on.  Rebecca is both incredibly talented and very shy and one of our goals for having Rebecca as a guest blogger is to show how her strengths off of the horses transition into success on the horses.  Rebecca joins us just under two weeks away from the start of the lovely Fork horse trials in Noorwood, NC, which is the next major step on the North American path to the Olympics after Poplar and SoPo this weekend.  Check out Rebecca’s website, and The Fork’s website for much more.  Thanks for writing this Rebecca and thank you for reading.  All I will say, and I am convinced that this is the one and only time I
will say this in my life, is–thank you for hairdressers.


Sinead’s caption: “Rebecca and the cow got stuff to say!

From Rebecca:  

Hello! This regular blogging thing has never really been a strong suit of mine, somehow other stuff seems to take a priority. Tuesday was absolutely, positively my evening to blog… however Sinead – in Southern Pines for training sessions – came on out for an evening visit at the Fork. Hence we hung out solving the problems of the world and instead just sent a picture to EN of me… pretending to blog. Realizing that John would not be fooled by the photo for tooooo long… I have found quality blogging finishing time during the requisite spring visit to my hairdresser.

In short: so far so good for 2012!  The horses and students have had a good start. We have migrated north back to the Fork after 7 weeks in Florida. With Riddle Master (Rupert) I feel like the season is just getting started as we are about to cross the threshold from training to competing. January and February are mostly about getting fit, getting better and getting prepared for the season to come. This is the time to really lay out what the priorities are and progression is to lead into and through the season. I particularly love this time with Rupert. His work has gotten more and more about the little details, and that is a fun and new place to be. The early months are exciting because there is the anticipation of the competitions to come and the luxury of imaging them going perfectly and successfully!

Rupert and I are lucky to have two good 4*’s under our belt so we are not planning on Rolex this spring. Our year is about getting the two of us to peak for an event “they” are holding at this place called Greenwich Park! So far the plan is to be out at Southern Pines then The Fork, Jersey and Bromont–and then to see where the chips lay come selection day.

With the Olympics still 4 months away it is a sometimes confusing balance of “OMG The freakin’ Olympic Games are ONLY 4 months away” combined with … “There is STILL 4 months to go until the Olympics” I have been really conscious of not doing too much too soon and just being smart with and enjoying the practice time.

Back at The Fork, the farm is in full horse trials mode, in preparation for the eventing invasion to Norwood, NC or the “Redneck Riviera” as owner Mr. Cogdell affectionately calls it. After Southern Pines this weekend, we girls in the barn have the job of getting the XC course flagged, the arenas set… as well as some scheduled evenings of arts and crafts- we are in need new flags for the Show Jump course this year. We have bought out the local–and not so local–supply of doweling and red and white felt. Dowling is a hot commodity this time of year, who knew?

All for now and I promise I will not rely on Sinead’s trick photography or my hairdressing needs until the next blog.

    – Rebecca

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