Quarantine-cation_Liesl

Several of you ask about my daugher a lot. So, here’s an update. Liesl, that’s her in the photo, is winding up her second year in college, a biochemistry major. She’ll be glad for next year since all of the “big” chemistry classes will hit and she’ll be done with distracting core curriculum.

She and her mom were preparing for a trip to her favorite locale during spring break — Disneyland, which she has been going to regularly since she was a little girl. We have family in SoCal, so getting to see them and go to Disneyland makes for a very nice package. On March 9th, the college canceled all classes the week before spring break. Since spring break was the following week, everyone presumed that campus would be open after the break, on about March 30th.

Then, we got word that Disney was closing all parks worldwide. Scratch the Disneyland trip!

On the 16th, the college closed the campus for the remainder of the term. Classes would be entirely online beginning after spring break. Summer classes may also end up being entirely online. So, she would be home, shades of grades 5-8 when we home schooled. But, there were other perqs.

In late winter of 2007, Liesl fell in love — with an older fellow. No, not me. A 18-year old palomino Cobb pony. In the 12 years since, Liesl has become an accomplished and recognized dressage champion. In January she was in need of a horse that could push her into the Grand Prix level.

After a 6 month search, she announced her discovery — a 4-year old, pure blood Andalusian mare, the daughter of a Grand Prix dressage champion sire. We received the papers to prove it, from the  Asociación Nacional de Criadores de Caballos de Pura Raza Española, in an elaborate royal purple portfolio.

What followed was a progression of interviews with the breeder’s representatives, shared videos, and finally a trip by Liesl and her mom to Florida in July to test and vet-check the young mare. When you pay a lot for a champion bred animal, you sure want to make sure it’s the real deal. The breeder took an immediate liking to Liesl and agreed to sell the mare to her instead of other bidders. And that’s how a Florida girl by the name Gitana BZ, came to live in Colorado.

Even with online classes, Liesl has been able to see, groom, feed, muck and ride Gitana almost every day. Her new trainer, a Grand Prix competitor herself, has brought both both rider and horse along quickly up to high levels of dressage expertise, amazing for a 5 year old. If the virus hadn’t just killed off all shows, possibly for the rest of the year, they probably would have racked up a bunch of ribbons by now. On the bright side, Liesl and Gitana have lots of time to prepare when show season resumes.