It's almost 110 degrees F here in Arizona during the day. I rode Altivo out with friends at 5:30 am and schooled Ebro in dressage at 7 pm. Fantastic rides on both. So grateful for these two. 
 
 
Love the new stable in Arizona. They take great care of the horses and I love that there is ALWAYS hay in the feed bins. Due to the economic crisis in Spain the quality of care at the hipica where I boarded in Barcelonawas declining rapidly before I left. They were feeding the horses less, to the point that if the owners didn't complain and stay on top of it, the horses were becoming emaciated. I had to buy significant amounts of extra feed just to keep the weight on my horses. This is no longer an issue here. 

The crowd at the new stable is quite social and I've already attended two barbecues there. There is a great fire pit and picnic tables in the desert adjacent to the riding rings. Everyone brings something and the fare has ranged from BBQ chicken and beer to bratwurst and moonshine. It's a great group of people and I'm very fortunate to have met them. 

Ebro and Altivo love going out on long trail rides through the desert and dry riverbeds. I also school them in the ring. 

Super busy getting my life started here in the states again and it is getting incredibly hot. The horses will get a bit of a summer break for a few weeks due to my upcoming visit to Barcelona to see my family and work travel the following week. It is so hot that the best hours for riding are before 8:30 am or after 6:00 pm so I'm sure they won't mind a break. They will get daily turnout. I rode Altivo a bit today in the ring and gave him the "spa treatment" with a bath and mane and tail conditioning. He was beautiful when I left, but I know he'll be covered with dust by tomorrow! I had planned on doing the same for Ebro but I was so hot and dehydrated after Altivo I couldn't do it. I thought I was going to pass out. 

I've learned the hard way that drinking water without electrolytes is not a good idea in the Arizona heat. I made this mistake on a long trail ride one day and spent the rest of the day with nausea and a splitting headache. I now bring Gatorade which works much better. Bought some long-sleeved modern Western-style shirts and a cowboy hat to protect myself from the sun. Holy crap it's hot! 

Adopted a new small mutt. Looks like a German Shepard stuck in a Chihuahua body. He's super cool and can already hang with our big dogs. His name is Just Jack.  I've also been reconnect with old friends and have done a lot of socializing, as I am without my family for a few more weeks. 

Attached are some pics of Ebro in the Collserola forest outside of Barcelona on our last ride in Spain. Other pics are Altivo after his bath today. Then one pic of Just Jack. 

Life is good. Scratch that...it's great! 
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Ebro in the Collserola, Barcelona, Spain. It was our last ride there.
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Ebro in the Collserola, Barcelona, Spain.
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Altivo after his "spa day"...a.k.a. bath
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Clean Altivo.
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Just Jack.
 
 
"The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears."
~Arabian Proverb

Altivo (formerly Herrador) and Ebro now get turned out Monday through Friday (in addition to riding or other exercise). It is very likely that Altivo, who had been raised living in a box stall in southern Spain, had never been turned out prior to coming to Arizona. I had asked the stable to turn them out separately to ensure they wouldn't get hurt. But tonight I decided to see what would happen if I turned them out together under my supervision. The result was fantastic and they had a ball! 
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That is 15 year old Thoroughbred Ebro, who broke his left hip in 2011, in the lead. Five year old Altivo, a PRE (Andalusian), was like a little brother trying to keep up!
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Ebro's shake makes it look like he has no ears here!
 
 
Wrapped in Bubble Wrap, Locked Safely Away
by MTP

You say I should be afraid? Ever vigilant? Stay home, out of harms way? 
This is the key to a good life you say? 
One not lived????????????????????????
Double u T F?
FEAR!!!!!
The world?
People
Climate change
Earthquakes
My own shadow?
The boogeyman
Germs...hand sanitizer in my purse at all times! NO, NO, NO!!!!!
Getting lost
Getting hurt 
TERROR!!!!!
Travel
Muslims
Christians 
Jews
GOD 
damn
Atheists
homosexuals
heterosexuals 
pedophiles
anglophiles?
Why not fear them all????
Liberals 
Conservatives
How can I even get out of bed in the morning? 
Guns
Pot
Border crossers
Gangbangers
HORROR!!!!!
And I should teach and preach my kids to be fearful too, you say?
We should be wrapped in bubble wrap, locked safely away? 

You say I should live my life in fear.
I say, fuck you. 
 
 
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
-Martin Luther King, Jr. 

I really do believe, with every molecule of my being, that what you focus on becomes reality. Direct your attention to the wrong thing, and you give that thing strength. I am surprised and impressed by my countrymen's and women's response to what happened yesterday in Boston. Unexpectedly, American's are focussing on the positive, on the good, on love, on peace, on community, on the strengths of our great country. This focus makes these things stronger. Oh, the irony! Last night I let myself have a brief but intense cry for the people directly affected yesterday. But that's it. I'm done with the tragedy. My attention is only on the positive now. And on what I can do for the world from now forward. Because what I focus on becomes reality. Contrary to the intent of this act, my pride in my country - the United States of America - has increased exponentially. 
 
 
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"Keep calm and carry on." -the British government
 
 
Note: Lots more pics below.

After arriving in the early morning hours on a Tuesday from my one-way-this-is-finally-it-I'm-moving-back flight from Barcelona to Arizona, I made it to my first day in my new job about 6 hours later. I was only there for 3 days before I had to take a trip to Washington, D.C. for a 5 day meeting. I was able to take some time during my stay to see some of the D.C. sights that were in walking distance from my hotel. Fortune was on my side and the famous cherry blossoms, a gift from Japan, bloomed while I was there. Wow, what a sight! Back home now only for the past two days. Everything feels very comfortable and extremely easy! 

I went grocery shopping for the first time. I read labels really carefully to find the products with the least amount of unidentifiable crap in them, something I never paid attention to before my move abroad. Most of the major brands have major crap in them, I've found. My most exciting buy was cottage cheese, something I have been deprived of in Spain for the past 2.5 years! Daisy brand, made only of cultured skim mild, cream and vitamin A, was my pick. As an interesting exercise take a look at the labels on the other cottage cheese brands next time you're at the store. Gross. It was also exciting that someone bagged my groceries for me and even helped me out to my car! In Spain we had to bag our own and as for help out to the car....ha, ha, like that would ever happen. 

I was able to spend a lot of time at the barn yesterday on the horses' first day after their arrival here. I really like the stable and the people I met. I turned both horses out. Altivo was a bit of a maniac, as to be expected of a 5 year old horse who just had a major international trip and is in new surroundings. He settled down after blowing off a lot of steam in the turn out. I went back later in the day and took Ebro on a short ride through the desert and groomed both horses. The scenery is gorgeous. There is definitely more dust here than than was in Barcelona and Altivo's eyes were watering. I bought fly masks that cover them from ears to nose so I think it will help keep the dust out. Ebro behaved and it occurred to me that the deep sand in the washes will be very good for the horses and it is where I will point them if they act silly or have "extra" energy to burn! The sand will be the equivalent of the big hills in the Collserola. 

Today I will see how Altivo is adjusting and plan to take my first ride on him. 

All in all, a great first two weeks back in the states. There are so many great and exciting things ahead! We caught the travel bug in Europe and are permanently infected. There are so many amazing things to see in the U.S.!
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Sculpture garden.
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Natural History Museum. An early hunter/jumper about the size of a dog. ;)
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Natural History Museum. Modern horse. There was a great exhibit showing the evolution of the horse.
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Foyer of the National Art Museum.
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Street in Venice, oil on wood, 1882, John Singer Sargent. National Art Museum.
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Saint Jordi! Saint George and the Dragon, oil on panel, c. 1506, Raphael. National Art Museum.
 
 
...after 7 days of travel from Barcelona, to Amsterdam, and Los Angeles. They look great! 
 
 
The boys, Ebro and Altivo, will arrive in Arizona tomorrow night! For those of you new to the blog, they are my horses I have just imported from Spain after moving back to the U.S. recently. After my family, my animals are the best things I have in my life. 
 
 
That's code for Ebro and Altivo are now in the U.S.A! I received an email that they are doing very well and have normal temperatures. They will be released to the ground transport company in 48 hours and will be hauled to Arizona within the next few days. I hope to see them by the weekend!