On Monday, I was able to get a “make-up” jump school with my trainer because I was doing a mostly non-horsey thing all day on Saturday. I say “mostly” because the group I met up with are horse people. But we didn’t touch a horse, promise!
So you are going to hear about Saturday first … some close friends were going to be in the area and we planned to meet up near Fredericksburg, a German community in Central Texas near a LOT of vineyards, cellars, and tasting rooms, as well as some great state parks. A trip to Fredericksburg would be a fun vacation for anyone, whether you’re from Texas or not. Although, probably don’t go in August.
First, we hit Becker. The tasting was pleasant and the people pouring were super nice. It was still a bit chilly, but we decided to grab an early lunch outside from the food truck.
This lunch turned out to be the most memorable thing I tasted at Becker. Those were some damn good tacos. It’s not that the wine wasn’t good, but I was just not expecting bad ass street tacos at a vineyard.
Next, we hit 4.0 Cellars as none of us had been yet. This tasting room was hopping, and I had the two most memorable wines from this trip at this place — a Montepulciano, and a very light, airy white called Roussanne. The Montepulciano was probably my favorite.
With Inwood being right across the highway, we decided to stop there before dinner–and fair warning, this paragraph contains an f-bomb or two. The tasting was good, but I must say the guy pouring annoyed the crap out of me. I don’t mind surly people, which he was, but that wasn’t the problem. I am not a big wine person but he was trying to tell me that terroir was bullshit and had no basis in scientific fact and it’s just a selling point blah blah blah … sorry, wut? So all of France is … wrong? Whatever, dude. It doesn’t matter if terroir has no basis in scientific fact or not, it’s a whole effing concept, very well-developed, related to the aspects of WHERE a grape grows influencing the character of the wine made from the grapes. OF COURSE it’s a selling point. And it’s not a concept exclusive to wine. But as an example … you think you want to drink a Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley? Or one from Central Texas? Oh, wait, how hard is it to actually even find a Pinot Noir from grapes grown in Texas? You mean the Tempranillo grapes produce better here? Et-fucking-cetera. You get what I’m saying. The wines on the tasting menu were all pretty delicious, though. I wish he had just told me more about those and said the word “phenotype” a little less. I wasn’t there for a mini-lecture on Gregor Mendel and the pitfalls of American consumerism — just pour the damn wine.
Now on to my favorite part of the whole trip: GERMAN FOOD. We headed to The Auslander in Fredericksburg and ate all the schintzel and spaetzel and German potato salad which is not a salad at all and some of our party even ordered gigantic glass boots full of beer called “Das Boot.” I opted for the Chimay.
Okay, back to the make-up. Eli warmed up nicely and proved pretty composed, so I asked my trainer about working on ME, my position, using my seat and core to regulate Eli’s pace and all that kind of thing. News flash: riding is hard. Riding well is even harder. It took a number of tries for me to get to an appropriate distance to the first fence and then balance Eli without pissing him off before the second fence. This is the last time through the line:
(Thanks for filming, Vicki!) I like to pull as a knee-jerk reaction when really what works best is allowing Eli to take the distance he wants at the first fence and focus on lifting my shoulders and stabilizing my core and stop messing with my hands … all the same stuff we’ve been working on. We finally got some decent lines in and called it a day. Not my best riding to date but workable.
Of course he jumps so consistently over the fences themselves, so at least I don’t have to worry about that. He is the perfect horse for me in that respect. Eli earns his apples every time, too. I hope to get to a lot of clinic-inspired flat work this week, which will hopefully translate into me riding better between the fences.