Sunday, January 20, 2013

No Remorse!

If one followed this blog, and had no other contact with me - it seems that Hurricane Sandy swept us off the map.
This may be slightly delayed : But we are fine!
It is January. It is cold. I walked into my house on Friday night after work only to discover that my oil had run out. No Oil = no heat. Oh, and its a holiday weekend. Awesome. I also had 4 kids under the age of 21 in the house. What does this mean??? It means I fail as house mom. Speaking of Moms - I would like to take this opportunity to thank my mom for hiding a bottle of J.Lohr wine in my suitcase at Christmas. It is almost as effective as having heat.
We have 10 days until Florida, and if we were not ready to leave before I am sure we will be after this week as the blustery high will be 21F. Makes for an exciting week to run out of oil.
It also allows Tate to dorn his winter coat for one more week.
Speaking of Tate - he would from this point forward like to be addressed as Sir Horse of Honor. Go Tate! TATES WICKED HORSE OF HONOR VIDEO
Other exciting news - my British PIC Emily Dunn super spontaneously bought a plane ticket to the wonderful city of Newark, NJ and arrives Wednesday! Or is it Thursday? Hmm... I better check that. . . welcome to America, get to work we have lots of shiznanz to do.
First and foremost I am trying to get a super talented horse bought for myself! Her name is No Remorse, and she is a lanky red head and I think I love her. I know everyone really wants to own Tate so they can go to the WEGS and Rolex and Burghley and Olympics...but if you can't get in on the Frenchie and go to Four Stars, you may as well get in on a horse ready to dominate the Novice at Rocking Horse II, right?
My plans for the No Remorse Syndicate are to get people together that are new to eventing. I want to offer a low risk experience that is fun and enjoyable to draw more people into the sport. I am offering 10 shares of the horse, and I am encouraging groups of people to get together to buy individual shares. I have sold a couple - hoping to keep up the trend!
My priority will be to make sure syndicate members are having a fun and social experience, even at the smallest of events. That way if it takes me until the spring of 2045 to get to Rolex, the syndicate family won't even notice.
All joking aside, I do think this is going to have to be the approach to keep drawing new owners in. We have to make it fun all the time, foster that family and team atmosphere, and make owners feel like they are the priority even if they only own a novice level thoroughbred.
If I learned one thing in college, it is how to throw a great party. So here is to 2013, the potential of me having a horse, Tate and his accomplishments, not having oil but the pipes not bursting in my CreepHouse, and EMILY DUNN'S return to America!
Excuse the cheesey background music. I am having fun figuring out this new age technology.

See you all in Ocala!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Seeing Is Unbelieving

Today something happened:

Grays. Lots of them. Out of Nowhere.

Then later something else happened:

trying to do this :

Rookie Mistake.

Long story short: I am getting old.

This got me thinking.  "Hey Megan, you are getting old...what the H are you doing with your life?"
I said, "I'm getting ready for Frankenstorm! Back up off me."

But for serious. I have been so excited working on Young Riders this past month. It is re-inspiring me on a professional level. Fundraising is fun. I am pretty sure I have raised more money in the last 10 years than I have made in the last 28. And people never cease to amaze me with their generosity. People have been bidding away at the silent auction online : - You could be one of those people.

I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the next 'step' is going to be. I get so close to so many ideas, then I watch something like this: 

Cry for ten minutes and decide - if I can't be a professional event rider, and I don't have enough money to be a professional show jumper or dressage rider, and I am not really into barrel racing - that leaves only one option: professional vaulting.

Which brings me to my final sign I am getting old: I have lost my gray haired hatin' Mind.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Very Long Engagement.....

photo credit: Will Baxter

No, I am not engaged. But if I was it would be more like, a very long relationship, a short engagement and a shotgun wedding. Followed by a very brief honeymoon phase, a quick panic, and a very long divorce battle.

But I am back, with a vengeance. So maybe this blog should be called Back With A Vengeance.
Well, actually, vengeance isn't really the correct word either.

Punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong.
revenge - retaliation - requital - reprisal - retribution

So lets just call it: I'm Back.

After a year long hiatus from my own personal blog - a time spent writing for the almighty Eventing Nation and using John and Samantha for shameless plugs and media attention - I have decided I much prefer writing for myself.
Thanks to John for putting my name in headlights. I hate to pull a Justin Timberlake, but I gotta leave the team for now and see if I can make it on my own. Hopefully this will lead to several number one hits, some movie deals, and some extremely hot, albeit older, boyfriends. The most important factor - I want a best friendship with Timberland.

Hi Blog. I have missed you.

So what has changed this year? Well, I have one gray hair. We did NOT go to the Olympics.  Tate (almost) won Burghley. I am now the Area II Young Rider co-coordinator.

My dad tells me I need to start taking jobs that pay me money. I have given up trying to buy a horse and live the riding dream. That ship has sailed off and subsequently been eaten by the Kraken.


So I suppose I am going to spend the next 6 months trying to figure out how to triple my salary, and if that doesn't work I may just pull a west coast move out of left field and get rich somewhere in Silicon Valley. Actually Napa Valley is more my style.

But the reality is, I am moving to Long Valley.

Our Pittstown chapter is soon closing, and we are moving to bigger and better things up the mountain. A giant indoor, a horse walker, and a haunted house built a hundred years ago. (I told Sarah I didn't think the house was haunted so she wouldn't freak out. There is NO WAY that house isn't haunted.)

I have multiple projects juggling at the moment. I am really excited to kick off fundraising for Area II Young Riders at Virginia Horse Trials next weekend. I am also helping launch a sweet new online educational platform for horse people (stay tuned), we are beefing up Sinead Halpin Eventing to the next level, and I also really want to get back involved with my hometown non-profit - the TCB. (I can hear my dad right now asking me when am I going to have any time to actually make money)

I really need to get better at making money. Because I am exponentially great at spending it. (to be discussed at a later date)

I have printed this out and have hung it over my desk:

This blog lost shape quicker than normal. But have no fear, there is much more randomness where that came from!

Welp, See Ya Later.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ricky Ross Ima Boss...Barack Obamas a boss and he don't hate a hoss

A few quick thoughts on the day:

1. TATER is back in work. Happily walking alongside his old French pal Foxypants (something tells me frenchies dont really use the word OLD or PAL) I celebrated by taking sineads checkbook to horsemans outlet and getting him new booties, a new fancy hoofpick, and some beetpulp.
ok so maybe those items lack any real fun, but some of us have others to think baloo and zeppo.

...and then theres Sarah

2. Welp, so much for spring weather. I am not really a fan of WARM days and COLD nights. Because I hate blankets. however - the other day felt exactly like Ocala. It was perfect during the day and just cool enough at night. Today...not so much. Back to heavyweights and gloves and heated seats and quarter sheets and one miserable Sinead Halpin.

3. This uproar on the Horse Slaughter must stop. #1 - youre all being quite dramatic and it is bringing down the mood of my daily facebook stalking fun. I will not say much on the matter because I don't want too many of you to defriend me or throw eggs at Tate next time you see us, and I support everyone in forming their own opinion on political matters 100%. But don't be the Christmas and Easter - only churchgoers if you know what I mean. Do your research - find out what you're talking about before all the educated people make of fun of you publicly. I took political debate, and I was good.. you have to have more than an emotional blob of tears and threats to really make a difference. (start by researching how a bill becomes a law and other policy making processes of our government....can you name all three branches of government and do you know how many members of congress there you know who your congressman or woman is or for that matter what district you reside you even you know who the Vice President is????) Research the history of this issue in our country, and figure out constructive ways to bring about change. Let me tell you - burning down the white house and publicly facebooking death threats to the Commander in Chief Prooobbbabblllyyy not the greatest places to start. (anyway someone already burned down the white house - guess what  - they built it back... and about the death threats on facebook...dont say I didn't warn you when you are sitting in the newest version of Guantanamo Bay by yourself getting waterboarded)

Don't get me wrong - I love that my horsey family is finally showing some passion about policy making - just do your homework. When you know what you are talking about - other people who know what THEY are talking about will listen and then everyone will know what they are talking about so there will be less anger and confusion and more change! Do work son!

Who knows, maybe you will even start watching CNN and getting the Washington Post and NYTimes.  (yes, I am a democrat. I live in the very republican NJ-7 I have a moderately republican rep and his name is Leonard Lance. Funny enough NJ-7 was one of the races I had to oversee in the 2008 election for the DCCC. . . We lost. )

my point being - if you are not happy with something happening in the govt - your REPRESENTATIVES are there for you. they want to keep their voters happy -
so learn their name and their phone number and stop blaming everything on my black friend Barry.

I also invite you to google this issue as there are plenty of great articles from both liberal and conservative publications on the matter. . . or if you are really feeling eager - read the actual bill that effects slaughterhouse inspections!
Here is one of many lovely flow charts:

horrayyyy for US GOVERNMENTTTT


now back to my Rick Ross pandora station.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanks-Taking 2011

Happy Holidays my brethren! This year has been fast and furious if nothing else, (be honest - how many people fell in love with boys in 2001 that had acura integras or honda civics with body kits and NOS? was that just me?)  and alas - winter is fast approaching. In case you don't have a calendar, just check the thermometer - oh wait, that would probably indicate that it is late spring.

I thought I would take a moment during my office hours of bill generating and florida planning and turn down my P.Diddy and the Bad Boy Family Pandora radio station to reflect for a moment in the most private and personal way - social media.

This year has been one of learning and growth for myself, my team, and I also feel the eventing family as a whole. I find myself constantly developing and growing into who I am in this sport, a head groom, a rider, a manager, and trying to achieve as many cameo appearances on eventing nation as possible.

I also am trying to find a place for my non-horsey side of life - trying to commit to running and health, (then quickly ruining my hard work when baby sarah brings home cheesecake from Walmart - fresh- ) and visiting friends from home and college as much as possible as their lives have all taken such a different track. I have stopped trying to explain exactly what I do to my friends - mostly because by the time I feel like I have given my job description justice, my friends -who are moms, dads, political media buyers, managers, CEOs, stock brokers, DoD, teachers, photographers, social workers, and government contractors, tend to be politely doodling, texting, or facebooking, maybe even all at the same time. (or they get that distant know what I am talking about!)  But if they take anything from my failed attempts of describing my sport in layman terms, they unanimously reply "you at least are doing something you love".  - which, is true.

I tend to spend most of my down time going to weddings, funerals, and baby showers, and while I have no desire anytime soon to get married, die, or procreate - seeing my bffs go through all the normal rites of passages helps me truly appreciate what  I do and what I have. I still get to see how my life would be or could be if I decided to change paths. And I do miss it sometimes, the normal life, but I know from the bottom of my heart, I would miss this more. (that and, if I still worked in political media with the amount of free food and wine and liquor and presents...I would probably be 564 pounds)

I know a lot of you were born into this, but there are some of us that were just following a feeling. kind of like that scratch on the weird part of your shoulder blades that is impossible to reach? heres to those people that go against the grain in whatever you do, even if all signs are saying 


and heres to the people that believe in them! (special shout out to dana romano and kristin michaloski for helping me get my own operation underway)

and heres to PDIDDY and the BADBOYFAMILY radio station and my homies I don't get to see enough!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I finally got the shepherds hooks I deserve!

Well, it has been an unreasonable gap in blogs. For this, well... what can I say? Its hard to ball as hard as I do.
The competitive season has dramatically calmed down compared to hartpury, burghley, plantation oh my!!
At first, I welcomed this. In fact, I welcomed the break so much I decided to rent a barn in my 'spare time'. I have always wanted to have and develop a separate business, and I am lucky enough to have a boss like Sinead that trusts my judgment and time management as well as encourages growth and independence.
Although sleep may be deprived, there is nothing like running the show...and lord knows it is what I do best. I get my first two horses in on November 1st and Kepferle Equestrian...which may soon be dubbed MegKep Equine Enterprises will be back up and running.

I also have signed up for a tough mudder. Although, I am not nearly the runner that Lainey is, being an ex-smoker from age 14-24 (JUST SAY NOOOOOOOOOOOO) this is my first year of really being able to run, and I love it. I have a long way to go, just completing a few 5ks, but I am excited to keep at it. As far as the TM is concerned, mine is in Nov. I hope to complete as much as possible - not so much worried about the fire and water and shock therapy...more so worried about scaling walls.

Between my new horses, my fulltime job, running, and teaching my all of my up downers through to my young event riders I hope to one day scratch and claw my way out of credit card debt and into a new truck/car/ boat/plane/mansion/limo/all of the above.

Speaking of limos, sinead recently celebrated a big naturally we rented a limo.
that is a complete sidenote and has nothing to do with my that pertains to my personal life, and I like to maintain a real professional tone here.............

The real purpose of this blog is to thank baby Sarah, and all the girls that have helped me this year.
Sarah has grown very much since she came to NJ in january. She is more and more confident every day. Today, particularly, Sinead was off teaching in NY, and I had to ride a couple of horses for various clients - while we had much to do before our big open house tomorrow. I came back from riding ready to start stressing out and throwing around random jobs, and to my delight everyone was tasked and working hard - sarah's attention to detail is nearly as anal as mine now- cleaning the metal bars on the stall doors, putting matching saddle covers on saddles, folding the blankets just so, noticing when the hair changes patterns on taterball or any other pony for that matter...she is really the best working student any head groom could ask for. And I am very lucky she is my right hand dirt monkey. So here is to sarah rupert, and the other hard working reliable few and far between out there...keep on fighting the good fight - now sarah, stop reading this blog and fetch me my tea.

(picture is me and my new thank you to sinead for letting me buy the really really coooool super duty shepherds hooks!)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Shants or jorts? Update post hartpury straight from your moms! ...or ogbourne st. Andrew!

Well week one complete and successful indeed!
Tate was a bit tired all week until Saturday.....then he was back to his old self pushing me out of the way, kicking the wall, hollering to his party people, throwing his head around in his princess dance after a cross rail...the usual.

Sinead and I spent the week with Tate, running the gallops and eating English breakfast. Everyone on the yard at maizey manor is super friendly. 
Its pretty cool to grab a book and walk out to the ring on flat days to see it full with Talented riders and horses from about five different countries. Although I did learn to stay hidden otherwise you very easily get dubbed the popper scooper and that scooper is not the ideal job in a full ring. Too much pressure.

Tate has a very large stall next to elizabeth powers horses, and he quite enjoys his automatic waterer and haylaige. While Tate is out in the afternoon Sinead and I strap on our nikes and head to the gallops....well, Sinead straps on her tesco ghetto pre-tied shoes.. The first day up that hill was a bit rough and i got a glimpse of what ot may be like to have emphysema, but it gets easier everyday. I even ran the three star on Friday at hartpury....ok so maybe it was a cic and I stopped to walk all the combinations, but I still ran. There were hills!....

We had an early start for Friday as we headed to hartpury for sineads dressage. Tate got a ride with Catherine burrell  on her lorry and Sinead and I drove behind...thinking we had time to stop for a coffee because surely it's going to take the lorry longer than it's going to take us on those windy little roads .....wrong . These brits don't play no games on the highway. Skirrrtttttt! With three little heads bobbing happily in the back munching away. 

Sinead's test was not their best, but Tate was feeling good and his lateral work gets better everyday. It is so great we have had this opportunity to come over here and work out the kinks before the big event in a couple weeks.
After dressage comes karaoke in the pub ...naturally, and a brief dance party with toddy and bettina....Coleman was on the floor dancing as white boys do, and Sinead was dancing as sineads do....I usually pick a theme for my dance parties and my theme for Friday was cruise director. So although we were listening to Justin timberlake, I had a constant replay of the love boat and copacabana playing in my head.

I digress.

Saturday was show jumping, and it was also the day that taterball came out of his jet lag. The last one down, but he is jumping very well and his confidence is high.

The next day brought cross-country. Everyone spent a lot of the weekend toying with different game plans for Sunday. The footing was not ideal, and the track wasn't the most inviting....but for us, being that we havent had an opportunity to run since rolex, it was now or never. The more the course was walked, the better Sinead felt. Tate at the end of the day is going to jump if you give him a good canter and a good line. We had also entered blenheim just in case the hartpury outing didn't go as planned, and as his caretaker I am glad we have that option for his best interest....but as megkep the consumer, I really really wanted to go to burghley because they have really good lemonade. 

Sunday came, and Coleman was the first of the Americans to head out. All a bit nervous, but at the end of the day each of these riders trust their horse or they wouldn't be sitting ontop of them in that start box heading out to a three star track. Will planned to take his experienced horse twizzel just beyond the first water and the pull up, that's all he needed and wants to make sure he stays safe and sound for the cci in a few weeks. 
Pawlow and faudree were just a few ahead of Sinead, and I had a chance to see them finish, will smiling, and nat in the coolzone. Sinead set out at 12:12. Tate looked great in the warmup, and after i saw his princess dance I knew he would be fine. UnfortunAtely from the vet box I could only see the first three fences, and the last....but he made it over them all. Tate and Sinead came through the final flags fist pumping...ok, maybe I was fist pumping and Sinead was just smiling, but the first thing out of her mouth as she jumped off was "onto Burghley!"
Thank god, I'm really thirsty! I thought to myself.

Tate recovered well, his breathing was great, his legs look great, and he is happy as a clam that we finAlly let him run cross country. 
I stuck him in ice, Sinead wandered off to watch some more, and I packed up the rest of our stuff. 
After about two hours and no sign of Sinead who normally checks in quite frequently, izibs groom Emily had already loaded their two horses and they were waiting on me and Tate. 
So, I could either be the ass who send their horse home with people kind enough to have waited around all day for it, and make them unload him and care for him while I find Sinead in the large crowd, maybe get a pimms and watch the rest of xc....or I jump in the lorry with my horse, and send out mental vibes to Sinead, hoping that her inner Sherlock holmes kicks 
In after she sees an empty stall and hears far less your mom jokes floating around from barn to barn, and realizes I've upped and lefted....whelp see ya later.

Kinda hard to communicate when no one knows anyones numbers by heart and we've both run out of minutes on our ghetto you really have to hone you skill of willing something to be.  Skill of the will.

She found us in the end. 

So overall it was a good weekend for the americans. We have made our plan for the next couple weeks and have learned from our mistakes made over the last few days. Aside from that and picking out some good studs, and a throwing back a shot of whiskey after watching that burghley course walk with CPT mark...i think all we have left to do is kick!

Bring it on burghley house 

I've got to go distract nat for five minutes so I can sneak in some of my laundry. 

PS for a good time google videos of CMPs wedding.

Pps in reference to my title.... Will Coleman is very jealous of my running attire. Shants, as he calls them, although i prefer jorts...or 'running pants' works too, are the way of the future. Move over lance armstrong...without a bike...ok so I cannot reference any famous long distance runner I just want to say usain bolt because he has a cool name, but will, or big willy c as I know refer to him, made a valid point that usain only runs for like 100 Ya, I'm on about nothing now. Ciao ciao. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What's faster......flying or swimming to England? Part two.

Soooo.... We left the vetport, I made friends with the shipper bladeblah...
Richard and I go through a brief security check at fedex terminal, then sit and have some tea and coffee while we wait for our our escort down to the plane.
By this time it's about 0130.
Those of you who know me..well at least know the megkep passed age 23...I go to bed by 930 pm. So I'm dragging by this point...the edge of excitement had long worn off between all the waiting and, well ... the waiting.
Thankfully for my e excitement neurons, the best was yet to come.
We are escorted to the Tarmac where I find Tate ( oh ya, haven't seen him in a while) standing quite patiently in the lorry. The guys had put the chute up that led to the cargo compartment where Tate would be spending the majority of the evening.
Once there I saw loads of fedex employees loading large cargo palates onto the plane via a very treacherous looking lift and some rudimentary, albeit successful, roller system.
After yet another hour of waiting and a brief nap in a fedex truck, I started snapping pictures....which of course I cannot share at this time because my pos computer has crashed but I will do asap.
Pretty unbelievable stuff.
The time came to unseal taters lorry, and load him up.....insert story of the shankymajigger here.....
Thankfully I loaded Tate without problem and no one had shut down the airpot, nor sniper rifle t he French princess.
Richard and I jumped in with Tate for the ride on the lift. We cruised around to the scale then onto the lift we rolled.
Richard played it cool....Tate played it cool...I played it cool ...on the outside. Definitely on the inside I was screaming like a little girl whose barbies hair was just cut off by her g I Joe carting older brother.
( is that too personal of a reference for you to relate....???)

Long story short we made it safely in the plane. Tate was surprisingly at home munching away. Richard and I got the galley a lll to ourselves, where I promptly fell asleep for three hours. Thank god so eons hired a professional groom to look over my horse :)
The pilots were amazingly nice and I didn't even have to name drop or change into more professional attire to get my in flight fruit basket and muffins!!

Once in England, safely on the ground, we unloaded via the same method ...rollers and lifts...except everyone had accents, the sky was cloudy, and my hair instantly went flat....I was in heaven.

We navigated our way to the vet isolation building to be cleared....I sat with Richard and my shipper to my final destination who was fab...believe his name was Darren. They kept proving how gullible I was with little bits of 'information' my defense I'm usually so good about picking up on those sneaky types, but I'm telling the part about riding in the back with Tate really shook me and my judgement of jocularness.

After they were all done making fun of me and warning me how dry the pubs were where I was headed to, we set on our way.

I have been to England twice. I lived here in 2007 working for Former British team member Helen Bell up in yorkshire, and then I came over for a few weeks in 2009 to visit and look at grad schools, one being hartpury where we happen to be headed in a couple of days! I really do
Love it here. The history, the smell of haylaige, the tea, the weather, the chocolate, the horses, and especially the general .." just get on with it" attitude. I am so happy to be back here, and am really looking forward to the exciting month ahead I get to spend helping out an exciting rider on an exciting horse at an exciting time.
The trip may have been long, but it went extremely well, and I am sure it was worth every hour, mile, and gruff story I heard along the way...
Next stop ..the pub, then onto hartpury for a little pre burghley pipe opener for the tater!!

And I know there are tons of editorial mistakes but I really do not know how to operate Apple products. Like I said in part one, good luck decoding!!! Xoxo