Might as well get around to an end of the year update on a cool date! Sorry I've been lacking. Due to a business issue I've been dealing with I haven't had much motivation outside of riding. Hopefully that is over.
While I didn't have the result I wanted to Polar and I got around the 3* at Fair Hill. It will depend how he comes out next spring what I do with him. The distances are starting to become more open. I'm not sure he has the striding for it when max oxer is involved. I would like to go to Bromont again. Loved it up there. Of course finances play a huge part as well!
Two T's finished the year out well. After Seneca he put in a confident double clear at Mayland II. He then had a break for the rest of the summer. I was planning on doing the Area II Champions at Morven in Training. But I took him schooling at Seneca and jumped several of the Intermediate combos. I didn't see the point of going Training! He was great minus a tack misshape at the 4th fence on xc. The flash some how came undone. As he goes in a Micklem I really didn't have any noseband! So didn't really have the control I needed. Georgiana and I were still thrilled with him. I schooled him at Loch Moy afterwards and he was super. Jumped several Intermediate stuff! I'm excited to see what he does next year.
Two of the sale horses, Eire and Bold Mandate went to a few shows and did really well. Eire has gained confidence and is loving eventing! She placed 2nd at Seneca and won at Loch Moy! Both Beginner Novice. She's ready to go Novice next year. Bold Mandate, "Manny", is a lovely horse who is super easy. He easily went around Loch Moy to place 6th in Novice. Only 1.3 points behind 2nd!
I'm heading to Aiken again for part of the winter. Let me know if you want to send a horse!
Now that is is summer I shoud finaly do a spring update! I haven't done much competing since Morven as everyone has been selling! I'm running low on horses to sell. If you need help in selling your horse contact me!
Polar did the CIC3* at Fair Hill. While I thought his dressage was good judges didn't agree. He show jumped well and ran around xc great to place 9th.
I went to Loudoun end of April with Two T's and Majestic Valley. T's was supposed to move up to Prelim. After a great dressage and stadium I jumped the wrong second fence on xc, argh! Val went to his first event after a few years of being a dressage pony for his owner. He went Novice and didn't forget a thing to place 4th! He sold shortly after.
Tried to move T's up once more at MCTA and I forgot the last sj fence. Polar ran the Advanced. He was either 2nd or 3rd after dressage, good in stadium. He was having a great go on xc and then I was flagged down 3 from home. They said I missed a fence. After a few minutes I realized I never even noticed the fence when I walked the course. OMG are you kidding me? Three TE in a row?!? Everything comes in threes right? Then I should be done for the year!
Polar, my Mom, and I made the trip up to Bromont for the CCI3*. I've never been there. I'm going back! It is beautiful, well run, and great courses! Due to finances this was the fewest runs I've done heading into a three day. I told myself to trust that Polar knows his job and doesn't need a lot of prep. He was the most relaxed he has been in dressage. I thought we'd be low 50's. Not a 60! Oh well. Polar was fantastic on xc! It was a huge and technical course. I had a stop at the max drop when I rode in too quiet. My fault. When I came back the second time with more power Polar hopped right off and made the turn to the wide one stride skinnies! He was the best he's been on xc since before his colic surgery. I was thrilled with him! He jogged up well Sunday morning albiet a bit slow. He thinks the jogs are stupid. I need to figure out a way to get him motivated for them! He show jumped really well. One rail was on him, the other on me. I'll try to hit some jumper shows this summer to work on that! He finished in 16th.
The following weekend Two T's, Georgiana, and I went to Senece. I finally remembered all my jumps so he could go Prelim again! 31 in dressage, double clear in sj, clear with some time due to the footing, and placed 5th! It was the best he has jumped and we are thrilled with him!
I then went to a schooling dressage show at Evergreen with Calypso Musique GSF, aka "Cookie". She is owned and bred by Greenstone Farm. She was fantastic to win Novie Test A with a 31 and tied for first (placed 2nd) Novice Test B with a 28! She was well behaved with everything and stood on the trailer like a grown up!
Maybe I'll get around to adding some pictures. No promises though!
I've been slacking on the news page again! I'll do my best to be better about updating! The winter in Aiken went well. I'm glad I was able to make it work to go down. It was a really good experience for all the horses. I went xc schooling more times than I do in about 6 months! I didn't do much competing. The little I did went really well. Maggie (check her out on the sale page) did two combined tests. Placing 3rd at 2/3" and 2nd in BN. My last weekend there I went to Sporting Days. Two T's went Training and had a great go to place 7th. Brassy did his first event at Novice, finished on his dressage score and placed 3rd! I went hunting several times with Paddy. Someone needs to buy this horse. He is so much fun!
The horses have continued to go well since back home in Virginia. As the hunt season is over Paddy is now starting to event. He has done a BN and a Novice at the Loch Moy starter trials. He is a blast! Just needs to realize that when I point him at a big puddle of water it's not a deep pond! At least I'm think that is what he believes it is as he has no issues with any type of stream/creek/river crossing.
Maggie also went BN at a Loch Moy starter. She was a last minute replacement for Brassy at Morven in Novice as he got a puncture wound. She stepped up to the plate and was great! She's a xc machine in the making!
Two T's went Training at Morven. He was great to finish on his dressage score to place 3rd!
Polar finally started his season at Morven. Ran him in the Intermediate. He was happy to be back at it. Jumped clear in sj and xc to place 3rd! Last weekend we went up to Fair Hill to run in the CIC3*. One rail in sj and a great xc go. Finished in 9th!
Josie had her foal by Flint GSF on the 20th. She had a lovely chestnut filly that I've named Fadila. Can't wait to meet her!
Greetings from Aiken! Currently in town with faster internet and I'll try to get a quick update done before this place closes. The horses and I have been having a great time. So nice not to deal with mud, frozen ground, or snow! Been out xc schooling twice so far. Two sale horses, Maggie and Brassy Self went for their first proper xc school. Both were super stars! Two T's has gone out once. Hope to get Polar and CP out this weekend. I'm doing part of Whiskey Road Hunt Week with Paddy. Will be busy with that next week.
Maggie went out for her first competition on Wednesday. Did a combined test at Apple Tree Farm. Overall she was very well behaved. Considering how green she still is she really impressed me! She finished 3rd in the 2'3" division. Having issues uploading the video. I hope to get that figured out so I can get it up next time I run into town
Until next time
Winter has finally hit. It snowed 2" Christmas Eve. It has now been snowing since 7 this morning and no signs of stopping! Enough already! Oh well, it's forcing me to finally get around to some inside chores like finally getting around to updating the website!
I'll just go over some highlights from the year so I don't end up writing a novel. T's finished out the year well at Training with a 5th at Middleburg and a 4th at Morven. He also was Champion at Foxchase Jumper and Reserve Champion (behind Polar) at Moriah Jumper in the 3'6" divisions. I hope to bump him back up to Prelim in 2013. Same time we will be happy to start cleaning up in Training and at jumper shows!
I wasn't able to have the year I would have prefered with Polar. Had two really stupid falls in our CIC3*s in the spring. He slipped going around a turn at The Fork. Almost went down himself, I wasn't able to stay on. Then at Fair Hill he ran a great clear xc. I think we were in 6th going into stadium. He punched into a one-stride then ducked out at the oxer. He never runs out in stadium so I know there was no way he would have been able to get over the oxer. I wasnt' expecting it. Tried to hang on but wasn't able to pull it off. Then I've been dealing with an issue on the buisness side that has cut into my budget. That plus the fact our FEI qualifications were expiring I decided to run the 2* at Fair Hill. I wanted a fun event and make sure that qualifier was out of the way. Polar put in his best FEI dressage to date. Ran a great, but slow, xc. Two rails in sj that was a little dissapointing. End of the day we had a qualifying result.
Not sure what I'll be doing this spring with Polar. Still dealing with the buisness issue. Thought it would be resolved by now. Doesn't look I'll have the funds to compete him which I'm really frusterated about. The FEI has also changed the qualifications. I think I may have to drop back and do a 1* with him! Yikes, if that is the case I'm going to be terrified on xc. Not sure wether it will be better to do it as his first run of the year when he's not all that fit or as his second run and hope he'll be a little more ridable. I may be trotting a few things!
The younger horses are all going really well. They are all up for sale at the moment. I also have a foxhunter in for sale. Taken him out four times so far. He is a blast to hunt! I'm having fun with himOn the bright side I've finally been able to make it work to go down to Aiken for part of the winter! With the snow I can't wait to get down there! All the sale horses are going, plus Polar, T's, and Quinn a client's horse. It will be a fun and busy time! There is a spot open on the trailer going down if anyone is looking for a ride.
I'll try to do a better job on updating this page. I've been mostly doing updates on the Facebook page as it's easier. Be sure to keep checking it out and don't forget to like it!
Until next time
I some how forgot an important development on my update yesterday! A bit of an out of sight out of mind. Manor Queen aka Josie, had her first foal on the 11th! A bay colt by Orleandro one of the amazing stallions at Greenstone Farm. I've name him Orvyn which means brave friend. Now to patiently wait and see what he turns into over the next four years!
pic by Carolyn Miller
Now that I'm on facebook I'm neglecting updating my website! Sorry, for the long delay. I'll try to do a decent recap on how the spring has been going.
Polar and T's went to Southern Pines II. Polar was doing his first Advanced since colic surgery. Actually since fall of 2010. He put in a decent early season dressage test. Cross country was big and a little more technical than I remember the course being. There were a lot of falls before I went. Fortunately I didn't see any of them. Polar was amazing around the course. Attacking all the fences and very happy to be back at it!! I was thrilled with how he went and that he still wants to play the game! He jumped really well in stadium. I forgot how to ride coming into the triple which caused two rails. Normally I have to knock the rust off around xc, this time it was sj!
pic by Kate Samuels
T's had a really nice dressage test. For the prelim we did stadium straight to xc. Right before my sj a storm was starting to roll in. When I went to warmup they said there was going to be a hold. Start going back to the barn, no we are going to keep going. Almost finish my warmup, after the young rider division they were going to stop Prelim and finish in the am. Then about 5 or so minutes later. Oh no, storm isn't coming this way we are going. Ugh, T's does not do well with the start and stop. When I went to the ingate someone whopped and clapped when the rider finished. That set T's off, he whirled around and bolted. He was ok in sj, but rattled which caused 3 rails. He did jump the rest well. I was worried about going right to xc with how his mind was. Unfortunately he stayed worked up and wasn't focusing at the job at hand and I pulled up. When his crazy switch flips it's hard to get him back!
The next weekend was Morven. I left T's at Prelim as it's not the jump that's the issue. He put in a great dressage scoring a 30 or 31. I tried a different bit for jumping. A few times he felt like he was going to start going sideways but the bit let me keep him under wraps. He started out really well on xc. Then coming off the big drop we got to a half stride and he got worried. So I'm going to give him a little break from eventing and work more on his submission. I'm going to have to get him worked up so I can then work on when he gets there he still has to listen. It's not the jump that's the issue. I know once I get it pushed through then he'll be good to go. He should be starting back up in June.
Following weekend I headed down to The Fork with Polar to do the CIC3*. I thought he did a better test than his score. But the best part was our better score was from Brian Ross!! The xc course looked great. We have always had a good run there. It rained on Thurs, then was a little windy on Friday. Footing looked like it was going to be perfect. I heard someone from the 2* say it was slicker out there. I put in bigger studs than initially planned. They were decent sized. Coming around the turn to fence 4 Polar slipped a bit but was fine. Jumped that combo and the following 2 well. Then making the turn to the first water his hind end went out. He managed to stay on his feet but I came off. One of those really bad luck things. I went back out to watch later and saw several horses slipping. It was slicker than most of us thought. By the time Advanced started word had gotten back and they had less problems.
We then went to Fair Hill this past weekend to do the CIC3* there. Polar had a nice dressage test. Could have been a bit more up but mistake free. We were tied for 4th with a 54. The ground was hard and I let him pick his pace around xc which gave us a good bit of time. He jumped well and didn't waver at any of the jumps. With the time we went to 5th. I'd rather have a sound horse on Sunday than a higher placing! Jogged up well Sunday morning. Always nice when the jury starts nodding before you pass them! Polar was jumping really well in stadium. Then coming into fence 9, a one stride, we had a bit of a mishap. Got there in 8 strides, he should have left the ground. For some reason he didn't and put in a 9th stride. Of course we were way to close for that and he punched through. It caused me to get a little off balance. I think I would have been fine if he jumped the out (or if there wasn't a jump one stride away). But he ducked out. Which as he never does there must not have been a way for him to make it over. As I was in the back seat, on a long rein, and not completely balanced I fell off. I tried to hang on but didn't make it. I've heard you never fall off the back of a horse. Well, that's not true as I did! As I was coming off my though was 'you have got to be f-ing kidding me.' I have never fallen off in stadium before. How I have two bad luck falls in a row is beyond me. It really bites!! One of those things you either laugh or cry. I choose to laugh!
Not sure what I'm going to do rest of the spring. They were both really stupid bad luck falls. Same time I don't think I want to do the 3* at Jersey off of two falls. So, do I do the 2*? Do the Advanced at Chatt Hills and if he goes well try to find the money to do the 3* at Bromont? Or just not do a three-day this spring. I can't really afford it anyways. I'm sure the horses would like me to be able to buy hay and grain!
I had a new ride along at Fair Hill. Sarah Hughes' Zeizos. He is a 17 hand (yes, I look a little small!) 7 yr old KWPN who has gone well at Intermediate. As he hasn't competed since June and we've only been together a short time I took him out at Prelim. The dressage needs work so I'll gloss over that. He was super on xc. So much fun to take out! Only 10 seconds over. As he's not that fit and the ground was rock hard I don't mind the 2 time faults. He also jumped really well in stadium. Just tapping the same jump I came off of with Polar for a cheap rail. Think it was something about the look of the jump. I rode him more forward and he also backed off a little in the last stride. I know how I'll be painting a few panels once I can afford paint! I'm excited about the rest of the year with him. He's a xc machine and a super jumper!!
pic by Holly Covey
So there is my "quick" recap of the spring so far!
Hm, maybe it's about time I got around to doing a news update?? Sorry it's been so long This winter has been very mild. Maybe an inch of snow total? After the past two winters I think we deserved a nice one! I still decided to go down to Aiken for two weeks with Polar and T's to start the season out. I stayed at a barn with Katie Wherley. It's a great place. The hacking is amazing, you can go for days! As those who know me it's the hacking that sells me on a place!
One of the great things about going to Aiken is being able to work with people who are usually too far away. I took several lessons with Sally Cousins. She was great and gave me pointers on my position that has helped out a lot! With T's I have the martingale pretty tight, which is needed. Sally said that I might want to use one with elastic and described what she felt with one horse that made her try it. It was exactly what I've felt with T's. So I bought one with elastic, just that little bit of give has made a big difference! I also took a few lessons with Stephen as well since I haven't seen him since last fall. Basically we spent the two weeks jumping or going trotting through the woods!
I started the competition season off with T's in the training at Paradise. It was the first time I've gone to that event. I heard the xc is beefed up. Which it was, perfect to see if T's was ready to go back at Prelim. It was spread out over three days. Normally I wouldn't have liked that. But with only two horses it gave me a little more to do during the day! T's had a good dressage for the first time out and first time doing dressage in over a week! I of course forgot the stretch circle. Whoops! I generally do that once a year. Good to get it out of the way. Cross country was the second day. T's was super, a bit strong, but very confident and enjoyed himself! Then back Sunday for stadium in the rain. T's put in his first clear at Training!! What a way to start the season out!
This past weekend was Pine Top. Polar was out for his first time this year in the Intermediate. Getting there on Friday was loads of fun. A huge storm rolled through and I was driving during the worst of it. At one point could barely see. Fortunately everyone slowed down and put brakes on. Only way you could see if anyone was in front of you. Heard a tornado was also in the area. It kept raining on and off. XC was pushed back to Sat and we finally did dressage two hours after original time. Polar tried to give me a heart attack before dressage. When I went to get his bridle something spooked him and he broke away from the trailer. He then took off and ran straight into a wire fence. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt that with the light he didn't see it. He got hung up in it and fell down twice. I'm thinking he's going to severe a tendon, break a leg, something. He got himself out and ran back towards the trailers. An eventer friend, Po, was parked next to me. Saw what was happening and was able to catch him. As she said, Polar is a very lucky boy. Just surface scratched. Of course being a gray he was bleeding all over himself. I had to find the TD so she could tell the dressage judge what happened and what the blood was from. Considering I was a bit mentally rattled and it was Polar's first time out for the year it was a good test. Scored close to what I thought, a 39. Mostly straight 6's.
On Saturday was did stadium in the morning. I nearly got jumped out of the tack over the first fence. It was a bit comically actually. I managed to stay in the tack the remainder of the course. Just got Polar a hair underpowered going into the last line, a two to a four stride, which caused him to tap out the front rail on the oxer going in. No big deal, I know what to fix for next time! XC was in the afternoon. I was getting a little concerned as he was quiet in warmup and going to the start box. I even got him closer to the box than normal and he was still quiet. When it was all I could do to hold him in the box when I went in at 3 seconds I knew we were good! Polar was very happy to be going xc and jumped really well. I tried out a different bit and it worked really well. I actually had a half halt! Being the first time out of the year I was conservative on time. Will go more for time next time out. Especially as I can get him back sooner now!
T's was back at Prelim after dropping back to Training last fall due to some bitting issues on xc. He had a great dressage to score a 33. 7s on both counter canters and a 9 on the last halt!! The courses at Pine Top are always maxed out. Stadium also had three tight roll backs. Of course two being to the left, T's harder way to turn. I wasn't' able to do one inside turn which gave us some time faults. The exciting part? T's jumped clear!!! Whoho! First time at Prelim and two clear sj in a row! Maybe he's starting to get more careful, time will tell. XC was big with several good questions. T's was fantastic. A few green moments but he never felt backed off or unconfident. I was thrilled with him. The only difference from the Intermediate coffin was I had a one stride bending to the left and Prelim had two stride bending to the right. Hardest coffin T's has seen and he banged right through it! I was also a bit slow with him. Being as he was strong at Paradise, first Prelim back in awhile, and he was getting wound up in warmup my main goal was a good confident round. I put the bit up one hole and it seemed to do the trick. Having T's go fast will never be a problem. It's the coming back! I started letting him out the second half when I knew he was being ridable. I'll also go more for time with him next time out.
A successful trip down south. Other than dropping my coffee pot on the cement floor, having it shatter, and the cd player in my truck decide it can no longer eject cd's while still in NC. I'll be listening to a lot of Third Eye Blind for awhile! Oh, I also picked up a puppy. Found him while trotting out in the woods. Think he's a purebred golden retriever. So far he's been a good dog! Named him Arty.
Now time to go back to work here! I have my two TB's to get back into work. Sarah Hughes' three lovely dutch warmbloods to get going. I'm excited about them. Two are at Intermediate. Having two more UL horses to ride will be great! I also may have a few sale horses coming in. It's going to be a busy week getting back going here and trying to unpack/reorganize!
My event season is now officially over for the year. My mom flew out and went down with Polar and I to the Virginia Horse Trials. This is one of my favorite venues yet I haven't been in years due to it's after three days and I'm not going away for the low levels. It was nice to be back! Friday started out with a surprise change to the schedule. When I was finishing up my first ride on Polar they annouced a mandatory meeting for Intermediate, OP, and Prelim Champ riders. Due to the predicted snow (!eek um what??) xc for us was changed to Friday afternoon. So Friday ended up being busier than expected! Wish I had know prior to doing the early ride as I wouldn't have. Polar obviously is still getting all his musceling back and I was a little worried about him working so much in one day. He did put in a really nice dressage test. The score didn't reflect it though. Think because he can't hold the collection very well. I was happy with the test though. He walked this time!
A quick untack, walk xc, and then it was time to get ready! The xc was a little small. At least for the purpose of holding Polar back. We did have an akward jump over the 6th. It was an odd looking skinny. A box with a smaller one on top, like a tiered cake. I don't think Polar read it well. I then killed too much time trying to get my stirrup back! A lot of the course was also running downhill and Polar was getting a bit strong. Our best jumps was the 3 stride combination of max size tables. Finally jumps I can let Polar gallop down to! The other combinations rode well. Polar's fitness was better. He wasn't breathing at all when I pulled up. Felt like he was getting muscle tired towards the end, but better than at Middleburg. Overall I was happy with the run. Though I was sad that was going to be it for the year!
It was odd having an off day after xc. Also very sad to wake up and see snow! It is way to freaking early for snow! I was glad I was able to stack on the layers when I rode later in the day. As while the sun came out and melted all the snow it was cold! Mom and I spent our free time shopping! The ponies and I got lots of great new (warm!) stuff!
I had planned on doing the jumper class Friday evening to get Polar in the collesium before it counted. The one time he has jumped in there he had 3 rails. He doesn't do that. With xc being moved to Friday I wasn't able to. Polar must have also been confused with the day off and felt we should be going xc as he was a lot stronger than normal and kept running through my half-halt. So not a great stadium and had 3 rails. I know it's the collesium as Polar jumps clear most of the time and having more than one rail is very rare. 3 rails has only been at Virginia! We still moved up 4 places.
It was a fun weekend and it was great having my Mom out. I did want to take 81 South instead of North coming back. I came close to crying when I got back to the farm and the fields were covered in snow. It has never snowed this early. I'm trying to see if I can get to Aiken for 1-2 months this winter. As it turned colder and snowed way earlier than usual I don't want to be here the entire winter! If anyone wants their horse to go to Aiken for some training and/or to be sold let me know!
Back in shorts and tank tops! The weather has been a bit odd the past few weeks. While I do have to start the day in winter coat and hat I'll take the warm weather while it lasts! I definatly picked the correct weekend to event. I was at Loch Moy yesterday with T's. I dropped him back to Training. Thought I had the bitting all figured out. Then he suddenly turned a lot more ridable so back to the drawing board! I wanted to go Training cause if I got it wrong we'd still be safe and not risk losing T's confidence. T's was fresh in dressage warmup. I finally gave up and just walked around. Not having a breastcollar or grab strap to hang onto and only in a nathe doesn't make one that brave to push it through! I rode quietly in the test as I didn't want to cause T's to fling the head up and gallop off. Was still good enough for a 35 and tied for 6th. T's jumped well in stadium. Had the narrow down as normal. That needs to not become normal! But he lightly tapped instead of hard hit. So improving. He was great on xc. The most relaxed he has been. There was a long gallop towards the end of the course. I let him move on a bit to make sure I could still bring him back. So far so good with the bridle/bit I have him in. Hopefully it will stay that way! The rail dropped him back and T's ended up in 10th. The important part is he jumped well and stayed in control!
I tried to get a late entry for T's into Morven. They had a huge wait list and I didn't get in. Right now I'm a little glad I didn't! It's cold, windy, and rainy. Not exactly a pleasent day. I'm being a wuss and spending most of it inside!
I went to Culpeper on Wednesday with Rheanna for what is likely my last jumper show for the year. I tried a different bit for our first class, Level 2. It worked at home, not so much at the show. So that didn't go as well as usual. I wasn't sure I still wanted to move her up to Level 3. Carolyn and I figured we were there, it was paid for, might as well. I put Rheanna back in her normal bit. Level 3 was the same course as Level 2. Rheanna was great and jumped brillantly! Our problem in Level 2 was the bit. I'm glad I switched saddles to the L'Apogee as she was jumping huge, especially over the oxers. I may not have been able to stay with her in the Barnsby. Had one rail when I got too deep to a vertical after a tight turn. Which was made tighter by how big she was jumping! I was glad I did the Level 3 with her. Her jumping has really improved over the past two months. If she doesn't sell over the winter I'll be working on getting her ready for Level 4!
Polar was back at it last weekend. He was in the Intermediate at Middleburg. Dressage was a bit what I expected. Overall good with a few explosions! He's been good about walking in the tests since last summer. Started out ok until he noticed people walking xc. Then he got worked up and the canter transition was interesting. He settled down and the rest of the canter work was good. Actually did the simple changes. Scored better than I thought he might, 36. Of course I forgot to get his test. I was interested to know the comments of each movement. He was great in stadium, putting in one of only 5 clear rounds.
The xc course was good and the footing was perfect. Polar was a spaz at the box so I knew he was ready! After giving the countdown and saying go, the starter said "he's ready to go!" The first four fences were smaller fly jumps where I didn't have to do any setting up. I do better when the first set up fence is #3. Fence 5 was a tall skinny vertical bending 4 strides to 6a/b the bank combo. I didn't get the transition all the way and have a stupid runout at 5. I need to be either more forward or more bouncing. Polar won't jump when I get him in that inbetween canter. After giving myself a smack to not make another dumb mistake Polar came back and jumped through it well. He was great the rest of the way around the course. Took everthing out of stride and was happy to be out there! I did feel him get a little tired in the gallop when we came back into the main field. He continued to jump really well. #19 was the last big table on course and I was almost jumped out of the tack! He launched into the water. I wasn't sure I'd make the turn to c! Did end up jumping that on an angle! Always fun saying 'well I'd like to turn now but we are still in the air!' Polar was breathing a little when I got back to the trailer. Cooled out quickly though. Considering he just started trotting mid-July his fitness has come along well.
It was great to have him back out. Aside from my one rusty moment the weekend went really well. Dr. Bowman came out this morning to check Polar out. He flexed well. So now to go over budget to see if I can afford anymore events with him. Plan A would be Maryland and the two-star and Chatt Hills. Fingers crossed I can make it happen! Polar was happy to be eventing again. I'd like to go out again this year!
This seems to be the month for the jumper shows. I went to River Chase with Rheanna and T's. Rheanna did the Schooling. At this show it was 3'3" - 3'6". I wanted to see how she would do with a bigger course and if she'd be readly for Level 3 at Culpeper next week. She jumped amazingly well as always. She placed 3rd, 1st, 1st, and was Champion of the division! I'm thinking she'll be ready for Level 3. Good thing about even rated shows. I have until the day before to make up my mind! Or the day off, but that requires more money. Nice to know that is a possibility if needed. It's interesting that when I started working with Rheanna I didn't think she'd have the scope for over 3'. Her jumping style has really improved and she's proving me wrong! Now 4' may be well within her capabilities!
T's was in the Modified division, 3'6"-3'9". I wanted to make sure leaving the rails up at Sandstone wasn't a fluke. He was clear in the first class and won. Second class he had two rails in the speed and did hit several others. The good part is he actually go mad after the second rail. Finally! Normally he doesn't care. Still was good enough for the win. In the jump off they put the jumps up. Which I was happy with as I wanted a bigger jump. I was happy that he came back and wanted to leave the rails up. He was clear in the first round. I knew the other people in the division. So only because of that I tried a really tight turn to the one stride in the jump off. I thought I would have one straight stride before the combination. Yeah, not so much. I don't blame T's for those rails! I was having fun and felt like giving it a go. So he was 2nd in that class. Pretty sure he was Champion as well. They were a little disorganized about the placings. Granted I also wasn't really paying attention as that wasn't what I was there for!
Back to eventing this weekend. About time! Polar went xc schooling last week at Win Green and was great. So nice to have him back. I'm keeping him at Intermediate. If he wasn't jumping well at Prelim I wouldn't know if it was due to him not being fit enough or not respecting the jumps. So we will see how it goes. It's over two days which is the best way to start him back. If he feels too tired on xc I'll pull up. I know as long as he's still a nut at the start box we will be fine!
I was back at Moriah yesterday for a jumper show. Rheanna was her usual fantastic self. She just keeps jumping better and better. It was the best I've ever felt her. She did the Schooling Jumper division. Moriah has it at 3'-3'6". Most of the jumps were at 3'3". Rheanna was 3rd in the timed first round. 6th in the jump-off. Which we didn't do as for some reason I can't ride the first fence in the second class there and had the rail. Came back and remembered how to ride in the power and speed and she placed 2nd. It's a bit tough remembering three courses in a short time frame. I lose a second here and there as I'm going ok, where do I go now? Once I get better with that she'll be winning!
For the best part of the day, Polar was there! I took him to knock off the cobwebs and to see where he is fitness wise. It was great to have him back in action. I was getting a little chocked up in the first round! He was happy to be out doing something. Still isn't as strong as he usually is over his back, which was expected. He was feeling a little tired by the third class. He did the Modified division, 3'6"-4'. It was on the small side, probably most set at 3'6". One one hand fine to get him back going, on the other I have a harder time riding him at smaller fences! We were a little rusty at a few jumps and I missed some spots. It's nice riding a horse who knows his job so well. He's like don't worry I got it! Polar jumped clear in all three classes, winning all three, and was the division champion! He's entered Intermediate at Middleburg. So far I'm still planning on going. I'm taking him xc schooling the week. Depending on how he feels I may drop back to Prelim. It's big enough there that I may survive!
It's raining! More than the past of just enough to knock down the dust. We are supposed to get 4-5 inches this week. They better actually be right this time. I have two horses I want to get into water. There are only a few puddles here and there left in the stream. Not exactly inviting for first time! I'm also galloping Polar every 5 days instead of his normal every 7. Would be nice if some of the gallops can be on soft ground!
I took T's to a jumper show at Sandstone yesterday. I wanted to do some experimenting. Can't believe I'm saying this - T's has become a little too quiet and ridable! He's been jumping better at home yet I haven't been able to carry it over to competitions. I put a shadow roll on him last week to see if it would help. Schooled him twice in it and no rails! It has helped in that I can get him more awake without the head straight up in the air! We did three classes. Frist was a 3'3"-3'6" class. T's was clear in the first round. I was brave and did some tight inside turns in the jump off. He kept the rails up and was third. Did both classes of the Modified division 3'6"-3'9". More jumps than I thought were put up to 3'9"! Funny how one hole looks that much bigger! T's was great, jumping clear and winning both classes! Which also gave him the Champion of the division. T's hasn't jumped clear since I think Novice. To do it three times and over two big courses was super! So far the shadow roll seems to help. A friend was at Sandstone who rode next door when T's was a racehorse. She couldn't believe it was the same horse. It is amazing to think of the transformation that T's has made!
Week started off with an earthquake and now is ending with a hurricane. While I never thought by moving to Virginia I would feel my first earthquake, hurricanes are typical! At least we are getting rain from Irene. At first it looked like it would hit just a bit too far East. Maybe things will green up again. Even if only for a few days it will be nice! I'm happy I'll be able to give Polar another gallop.
Here is the video of Rheanna from Culpeper last week.
We finally got some rain! Granted not nearly enough but at least the ground was a smidge softer for a day or two. I gave Polar a light gallop yesterday before the ground went back to concrete. I also jumped him for the first time since April last week. It's good to have my boy back! I have a fall plan for him. Which is written in pencil as my entire life is. I won't say what it is here as that is too permament!
I was at Waredaca on Sunday with T's. I went through a few downpours on my way there. At one point I didn't turn the windshield wipers down enough. It made that noise that they do. It freaked me out the first time. I couldn't figure out what made that noise! I keep looking in all my mirrors. Everything looked good with the trailer. Heard it again, and once again had a small panic. By the third time I remembered what makes that sound. And that is how long it's been since it's rained!
It poured again during dressage. Which I wasn't going to complain as we need the rain. T's put in one of his best tests to score a 31.7 tied for 4th. While jumping doesn't look good on paper I was happy with how it went. T's has become 10x more ridable in just the past few weeks. So while I've had to contain him in stadium before I actually needed to have more pace this time. Overall he is jumping better. Cross country he wasn't too sure about the toothbrush. If the skinnies have a flat face he's fine. When they come out and get narrower he's not reading them well. It will come with time. He was great every where else. I'll probably do one or two more horse trials with him this fall. He's going to go to some jumper shows. Then I can work out how to ride the new and improved T's in competition. We will also be schooling a bunch of skinnies! I'll be getting creative with making some in the ring.
Today I was back at HITS in Culpeper with Rheanna. I'm really starting to like the jumper shows. I'm planning on having everyone start going to them. Rheanna's jumping has really improved over the past few weeks. I've staring to take lessons with Wanja Gerlach and he's been a huge help. She was 6th out of 38 in Level 1. I had a brief lapse on concentration and missed a tight turn I was planning on. Doing more jumpers will be good for me as I need to start thinking a stride ahead of where I normally do. If I had made that turn she probably would have been 3rd. In Level 2 she had an unlucky rail at the 3rd fence. Not sure why she had the rail. It was good though. As any prior rails I've taken the blame for. As this one was on her and she's a very careful horse she wasn't about to have another rail! The rest of the course she jumped the best I've felt her. I was getting jumped out of the tack! She is so much fun to jump. She'll do one or two more schooling shows and then back to Culpeper end of Sept. That is if someone doesn't snatch her up by then! I hope to have pictures and video from today soon. *cough* Carolyn and Megan =) Thanks to Megan for coming today and helping with warmup. Also passing the time waiting between rides!
Yesterday I went to a jumper show held by Moriah Farm in Warrenton. Rheanna did the Schooling Jumper division, 3'-3'6". The one thing I'm not liking about jumper shows is the lack of a time schedule. When I asked when the Schooling division generally starts they said 12-1. Well, I didn't tack up until 4:30! At least I had someone on stand by to feed and turnout if needed. Which I did! Rheanna jumped really well as always. I'm not fully into the jumper riding, going really fast and taking crazy turns! So I'm not the fastest. The first class was the timed first round in which Rheanna was 5th. Second class she didn't really listen coming into the first and had that down. Then we got on the same page and she was great. Third class was power and speed. She was 2nd and won most of the office fee back. Not sure why she hasn't sold yet. Everyone doesn't know what they are missing out on! She is bold, careful, and a lot of fun! While the owners' and I want her to find a good home I'm happy for her to stick around so I can have the fun!
I took Monte to a dressage show at Evergreen Farm in Berryville yesterday. I'll admit I was not looking forward to it with the heat. It actually wasn't too bad. Heat index was only 105 and there was a breeze. Compared to 115 the day before it did feel better!
Monte was great and kept up his undefeated streak! We are now 6-0! He is getting stronger and more connected. Still have a ways to go, but it's getting there. He won Training 1 with a 67.91% and Training 2 with a 72.15% which also was the High Score for the show. The impressive part is he's not even close to what he will be able to produce! If you are looking for a wonderful dresage partner and like the color blue come out and try him! Everyone always comments on what a great mover he is. He is going places in the dresage world. I've added new pictures on the sale picture page.
It is freaking hot out. When I say it's hot you know it's bad! Heat index is over 100 and it's only going to get hotter over the next three days. I see a lot of hacking in the near future!
Fortunatly the unbearable heat held off for the event at Maryland. T's went Prelim and I've finally figured out the bits for jumping! Need to do a small tweaking for dressage and I think I've got it figured out for that phase as well. So not the best score, a 37, but not terrible either. I put T's in a mullen mouth for stadium. He loves it! It was our smoothest round to date. He tapped out the skinny. Need to work on that as he generally has that one down. The pelham for xc is working out really well. I'm not exhausted by the third fence! T's was super and jumped around clear. We were good on time. I didn't let him out until after the 11th fence. Had to circle after the 2nd water as he was a little nappy about turning back away from the trailers for the third time in the course. Only 33 seconds over. Now that I can bring him back without fighting in front of the jumps we are ready to work on going for time. T's (and I) have a slight break as he won't go out again until Waredaca. Which is good as he can take it easy in this heat!
Now for the Polar update. I've started trotting him. His incision looks great and I felt it was silly to keep walking till the end of the month. He's up to eight minutes of trotting. Incision is getting flatter by the day. Might be able to have a small fall season with him. We shall see. If he gets fit in time that's fantastic. If not that's fine. The important thing is he's happy and healthy!
Last week was a change of pace for me. On the 4th I went with a client to a hunt trail ride. In the slow group for now. The horse I was riding wasn't too sure of other horses coming up behind him. After the first five minutes he settled and was good. He is a fun horse to ride and it was a good way to spend the morning. Unfortunatly I couldn't stay for the lunch. I'm not one to turn down free food! But there were horses left to ride.
On Wednesday I went to HITS in Culpeper with Rheanna. I've gone to schooling jumper shows in the past. This was my first recognized one. Parts were a bit interesting. Like people riding around in baseball caps, or competing in standing martingales or draw reins. The whole not having ride times isn't my cup of tea. The nice part is you can decide as you go what classes you want to do! You do definatly need someone in warmup to claim a jump. Not sure if you can do it on your own. Guess you hope that someone won't mind you following over "their" warmup jump! I went down with a friend who does jumpers. Her trainer was there. I took a lesson with him on T's the week prior. He helped in warmup. It was good as he did actually warm me up, not just set the fence. It was the first time I've had an eye on the ground with Rheanna. I got some good pointers to work on! I did the Level 1, which is 2'11". Rheanna jumped clear to place 5th out of 40! I was too chicken to do a really tight turn in the jump off. I'll be working on those! As she was good I decided to do Level 2, 3'3". I've just started schooling her over that height. She was great, had two rails that were my fault. I pushed a little too much when I should have waited. It was a fun day. Carolyn, Rheanna's owner, was able to come out as it was five miles from their farm. She should get the video up this week. I'll post it once she does. It was a fun day. If Rheanna hasn't sold I'll be going back in August. We'll be ready to be competitive at Level 2 and possibly Level 3!
Saturday I took Mondfeuer, aka Monte, to a dressage schooling show at Willow Way. It was a well run show. Everyone was super friendly and it was a nice laid back atmosphere. The warmup wasn't great though. Was in a turnout and the footing was rutted. Wasn't able to do too much. There were mirrors along one long side towards the C end of the ring. Monte wasn't too sure about those at first and our first turing from centerline was interesting. It was also his first time really seeing the judges stand. We quickly got back on track and he put in a lovely test. He won with a 63%, Training Test 1. He was much better for the second test, Training Test 2. He also won that with a 65.71%. The judge loved him. Said he is going to be fabulous once he gains more confidence. So far Monte is four for four in wins! Don't know how long we will keep up the undefeated roll, but it's nice while it lasts!
Rheanna and Monte are for sale. Be sure to check them out on the sale page!
I'm now totally confused as to what day it is. Back to reguarly scheduled program this week. Hopefully I'll know what day it is soon!
Last but not least, Polar update! He's back on normal turnout. I've been walking him for just over a week. We go wandering around in the woods. He likes to go into the stream and play. Hasn't tried to roll yet! He's also likes to sniff the ground as we are going along. A bit unnerving when he does it going downhill! Good thing he has good balance! The incision looks great. I'm hoping I can start trotting sooner than scheduled. Sean hasn't replied to my text about that yet. Probably his way of forcing me to be paitent!
Surefire was last weekend. We had a break with the weather. Usually it's hot and humid. This time I was in a sweatshirt when I went out in the monring. Wish my brain showed up though! Not sure where it was but I was not with it!
T's went Prelim. He had a good dressage. The second corner on each counter canter we had to go down a dip. T's was good to hold the counter canter. I still need to get him a little more forward in the test. He was tied for 7th in a competitive group. Stadium I forgot how to ride. I'll take the blame for the cricket score. T's went a tiny bit behind my leg and my bad habit of gunning for the long reared it's ugly head. Thought I had buried it, obviously not! That is the one thing I can not do with T's. Which is good for me as it will teach me to wait! I think I finally found the bit for cross country. For the first time I was able to gallop on a loose rein. Didn't have to fight to get him back before the jumps. I did then realize he's not fully in front of the leg. Which I think is where he needed to be for the ridability. Now that that has improved I need to work on getting him 100% in front of the leg. He was good xc. Sticky in the water. The water at Surefire is known for backing horses off. I wasn't able to get him on a line to the b element after the roll top in the water. So had to come back around to that. My right contact also managed to get knocked out. It took me two jumps to adjust to my new way of seeing! After that T's was great and became better as the course went on.
I went back on Sunday with Indy in Novice. I managed to memorize the wrong dressage test. The judge had to get out of the car to show me the test! I wanted to find a hole to hid in. Slightly embarresing. When I was back at the trailer I realized I memorized BN Test B, not Novice Test B! Argh. If I wasn't such an idiot Indy would have been second after dressae with a 31. So after giving myself a mental kick off to jumping we went. The course at Surefire is more decorated than most. Other than the first rail down Indy was good. Not sure why he had the rail. It's unusual for him. I think he just tapped it behind. He went on to jump double clear on xc. He got front shoes put on today so now I can work on getting him ready for Training!
T's and Indy have a few weeks off before the next event. I'm going to hopefully have the time/finances to get several jump lessons and a few xc schools in!
I get to start walking Polar this weekend! I can't wait. I really miss him when I'm at the events. Can't wait until I can go xc with him again! He has stayed really good about the whole being turned out by himself and not where he can really see other horses. This weekend he also gets to go back out with Indy. Indy has also been good about being by himself this whole time. Sometimes they still manage to surprise us!
Yesterday evening was my day to ride two horses in Philomont. I got back late and went into the tack room to dish out the feed that gets soaked overnight. Walk in and step on a headless rabbit. Ugh, that was lovely. This morning I had to clean up the leftover bits. Why are the front legs are edible but the hind are not? Certain inner parts also must not taste very well. This is the second rabbit Emmy has caught recently. Guess I won't get worried until she takes down a fox!
The real point of this update is I managed to only buy one TB. Was very close to getting two but I came to my senses. I got a flashy and really cute three year old gelding. His name is Brassy Self. I'll probably keep the name. I was creative with his barn name, Brassy! Now I have to keep telling myself I have to sell him! Why do I have a feeling my great idea of getting a quick resale project is going to back fire? Resale Kate, resale. If any of you see me remind me of that!
But isn't he cute! =)
I was at Rubicon last Saturday and it ended up being a bit hotter than predicted! What, the weather guys got it wrong? Well, there is a first for everything!
T's went Prelim. He put in a good dressage test to score a 33. Would have been a 31 but I turned wrong way up the center line. I had the rest of the test correct in my head! At least we are slowly getting the score lower. He was great in stadium. Almost had a clear round but I mucked up coming into the last jump, a one stride, and he had the in down. Cross country wasn't his best. He was a little sticky starting out. Fence eight was the tent jump. Which is looking enough on it's own. They had it set behind a big oak tree so you had to choose which side to jump. Which would have made it a narrower type jump with just the tree in the way. To make it even more narrow there was another tent jump perpindicular to the one we had to jump, making about a 3 foot face. So we had to come around a tree, not too long to get straight, and run right along a white spooky jump for the last stride and jump a spooky white narrow. Yeah, T's was like what the heck is this. I decided to call it a day there. It's something that would have been work to get Polar over. It did call a lot of problems. T's wasn't the only horse who wouldn't go near it! I also need to do some bit experimenting for xc. I have a good bit for dressage and stadium. T's is really strong yet easily gets crooked. So I need something that I can hold him while kicking. I went down to WinGreen yesterday. Think I have a plan, just need to do some tweeking next school out.
Indy also went in Novice. The ground was hard and the poor guy is still barefoot. Of course we did dressage in the grass ring. Not the nice rubber mix rings! While Indy wasn't as springy as usual he was a lot more relaxed than at Waredaca and freer over the back. Yet he scored 7 points higher. I thought for sure he would be in the 20's. C'est la vie. He jumped great and was double clear both stadium and cross country. He felt fine with the ground. I think he's earned front shoes again! His jumping moved him up from 12th to 6th!
This afternoon I'm going to look at some young TB's. I may be picking up one (got that Katie, one!!) for a resale. The prices are really low. Which will allow me to still have a low price in the hopes of flipping quickly. If I can do that a few times it will help out with Polar's surgery cost!
First things first. Polar update! He started turnout last Saturday. Yes, the demolished fence is his doing. Exactlly what happened, no clue. I was checking him every few minutes and he was always calm. Then I heard a loud crash. Fortunatly he stayed in the field. I brought him back in, put up some more round pen panels to block that area, and put him back out. He's stayed calm ever since! Peter thinks Polar tried to jump out but I doubt that. Other than that moment Polar's been very mature about this whole thing. He's going out all night now. Hopefully I'll be able to section off half of the field so he can have more room.
I was busy competing last weekend. On Saturday I went to a combined test at Hunt Club Farm in Berryville. It's a new facility, my first time there. It's a nice place, very low key. A good place to go for horse's first time out. Rheanna did the combined test at Novice. She put in a good dressage test to score a 33. She easily jumped clear to place 4th. Everyone else must have jumped clear as well as she didn't move up in placing like normal! The plan with her is to find jumper shows to take her to. She loves to jump and that is where she will excell. Anyone looking for a fun horse to jump be sure to check her out on the sale page!
I also took a new sale horse, Mondfeuer aka Monte, as well. It was his first show. I just did dressage with him. As Monte is on the looky side I had originally signed up to do the BN test twice. I wasn't sure if he would be looking at the edge of the ring, letters, judge, etc. He was great though and the judge let me do the Novice test the second time. He was really impressed with Monte. They scored the tests like it was straight dressage. Monte scored a 74 both times, with an 8 on gaits! He is still on the green side dressage wise. He was ridden hunter style prior. He's already becoming more connected and framing up since the show. He has a bright future as a dressage horse. Time for me to get my DQ on and hit the dressage shows!
Sunday I was at Waredaca. T's was doing his second Prelim. He was good in the dressage scoring a 34, putting him in a tie for 6th in a very competitive and large division. I need to work on getting him more engaged and the scores will start dropping! The warmup for stadium was small. I wasn't able to get T's going. It carried over into the ring as I wasn't able to get a good rythmn going. Other than being sticky in the triple it was a decent round. I now know I need to ride more forward in small rings! Big skinny brush jumps was the theme for xc. Which is a question T's hasn't seen before. The first skinny was a toothbrush that you had to run by the bank and swing into. T's was confused the first time and we had a runout. He realized it was a jump the second time and went over! A few jumps later was the second big brush skinny. It was the "b" element of a narrow two stride line going downhill. I decided to go straight at it to see what T's would do. He was green and added a stride, but was very honest about it. The third big skinny brush was again a few jumps later. A big oxer about 2 strides after running down a step hill. T's was great at that! The first water was a rolltop in the water. Again, first time T's has seen something like that. T's slowed down in the water but was good with it. The second water was a big palisade drop. Biggest jump in T's has done. He was really good there! It was a great education for him and he came off the course a better horse!
I took Indy to do the Novice. He was taking Deeter's spot. Jim and Carolyn needed him longer than expected for collecting. Indy hasn't been out in over a year. I was able to take him for a xc school prior, which was his first time off the farm in a year as well! I've finally been able to work him consistently the past two months. Which is what he needs and has been going really well at home. I overshot my warmup for dressage. It's better to be quick with him and not give him too much time to think about it. While he was tense he held it together and scored a 30. With some extra encouragement we got through stadium. I wasn't sure how he would be on xc. He rocked the course! It was a lot of fun. So much in fact he's going to Rubicon this weekend.
Summer has arrived! It's finally warmed up. I'm much happier in the summer than winter. Though I do prefer the dry heat out West I'll take it! I took Rheanna to a combined test at Sandstone last Saturday. She went Novice and was great. Poor girl managed to lose her shoes over the previous two weeks. Robbie has had to work for Steve everyday and wasn't able to get her shod before the show. The ground was surprisenly hard over there. The footing in the rings is great, yet warmup was in the fields. I noticed that people were going around the dressage ring several times before the judge rang the bell. I figured I would use that as my warmup and not risk Rheanna stepping on a rock or getting a little sore. So of course as soon as I started going around the ring the judge rang the bell. So much for a warmup! Fortunatly Rheanna doesn't need much of one and scored a 32. Jumping was basically the same thing. I took her over a few jumps in warmup and then headed down to the in gate. Ended up hanging around longer than I though while they adjusted the jumps from BN. It was about 10-15 minutes. When they were ready off we went as the first pair. Rheanna was great. I didn't get her going enough until the 5th fence. Yet no worries, she's not about to touch a jump! She finished in 3rd. She gets shoes put back on this week so I'll be able to actually warmup and will go for the win this coming Sat!
Polar has had a few visitors. Dr. Donoho came out to remove his staples yesterday. Said his incision looks the best she has seen. So knock on wood, fingers crossed, sacrifice a few stink bugs (cause what else are you going to do with 'em?) things are on the right track. He gets to start turnout in two weeks. That will make him happy. My friend Regina came out to take pictures of two of the sale horses. She has two girls. The oldest, Monica, was born while Regina was working for me. She has always liked Polar. He is really good at corrupting little girls =) I was able to get the cutest picture of them.
Polar is home! As some of you know Polar had colic surgery on the 6th. This is a horse who has never been sick. The only time he's even been lame was once with a stone bruise. Also the first time I've had a horse colic. So for it to require surgery was a real shock. I've been through an emotional roller coaster the past week. Even the thought of losing Polar was too much to handle. I knew he meant the world to me. I really know how much now. To say I'm attached to him is putting it midly. Who knows what caused it. I think someone told him what I wrote about T's on my last posting and he got so worried someone was going to take his place. I went down every evening to visit him. He charmed everyone at Piedmont and was getting lots of hugs during the day! As one person put it "He's the resident heart throb!" It was so good to be able to bring him back yesterday evening. I've never been in this barn without him. When he's been gone so have I. The barn has been way too quiet. Ok, it was a little nice to dish up feed in peace ;). Polar is on stall rest for another three weeks. Then limited turnout in a small paddock. Looks like I'll have to move the round pen back down closer to the barn. I'm sure Polar will turn even more obnoxious than normal. As he's alive, healthy, and happy he can be as obnoxious as he wants to be!
I was suposed to go to MCTA that weekend. Obviously Polar wasn't able to go. T's was scheduled to do his second Prelim. I'm grateful that his owner, Georgiana, was completly fine that I didn't take him. As it was 2am when I made it home, would of had to get up at 4am to finish getting ready, then make a 2 hr drive, I was worried about falling asleep on the way there or back. Of course it didn't occur to me until too late that I could of have Georgiana go up with me. One could say I was a little distracted. I also didn't want to be 3 hrs from Piedmont in case things went south.
Words can't express how grateful I am to the vets at Piedmont for saving my boy. I don't know what I would have done if I lost him. Dr. Bowman came out as soon as I called saying Polar is colicing, still pawing after Banamine. Dr. Young performed the surgery. Dr. Donoho and Dr. Allen did the majority of Polar's afer care. I know they miss him but are thrilled he's healty and back home!
My parents are the best. Financially I would not have been able to do the surgery. I'm sure I still would have but knowing my parents would help out with the cost was a big relief. Nancy Naville and Lisa Synder were generous and donated some as well. I do have a bunch of stuff for sale. It is now all going towards helping out with the cost. Several people have already helped out. Thanks to Kim Pribble, Lisa Snyder, Hilary Moore and clients, also Hannah Salazar who also donated some items for me to sell. If anyone is interested here are links to the ads. I'll find out what I still have back in Colorado and may be adding to the books. Probably to the tack as well.
Besides the horses listed on this site for sale I'm helping with a TB herd dispersal. It's for Mr. Devereux, who I trained for for almost then years. His healthy is failing and they are selling all the TB's. Not in the best of shape but are true diamonds in the rough!
Polar says he'll happily take visitors! If you are in the area feel free to stop by! Not sure what the rest of the year has in store for him. First things first. Back on normal feed and turnout. Then he can start back in work. If I can only bring him back for one event I'll bag this year. If he can come back for two or more I'll think about it. Right now I'm just happy that I have my boy back home and he's his normal happy spoiled self!
It's May, right?? The horses were in medium weight blankets today, turned the heat on in my apartment, and I'm still on day turnout! Something is not right here. I can't wait for these cold rainy days to be over!
That said the past two weekends of eventing have gone really well. Luckly the weather was good the days I went. I took Deeter to Redlands for his first Novice. He put in a steller dressage test to score a 30. Which put him in first by two points! I wasn't too thrilled with the jump courses. The first three jumps in stadium were going downhill! An ok question to ask at the upper levels. Not so much for babies at the low levels. Deeter was good though. Two unlucky rails due to terrain. It was the first time he had done stadium with terrain. He was super on cross country. Again a few course design flaws for low levels. Novice had to jump the same log into water as Training. A 2'9" log one stride before the water! Um, what? Poor Deeter thought the same thing. Especially as due to the footing I was trotting until a few strides out! He would have gone the first time if he had been able to step over it. He was really good to go the second time as he's not ready for Training just yet! At the down bank he briefly hesitated and took one step back. So while it doesn't look good on paper I was thrilled with how he went. Some green mistakes, but honest ones. Nothing I'm worried about.
Last weekend was Loudoun. It was my weekend to compete every gender of horse and they all went really well!
Deeter did his second Novice. He was a little lazy for dressage. Still scored a 33. I'll be using the metal spurs for dressage now! Two green rails in stadium. The first one I'll take. We had to cover about half the arena between two of the jumps. I let him get rolling on to make sure we were good on time. Well, I didn't bring him back enough going into a five stride line and we got a wee bit close to the second part. He also looked at the box at the in on the one stride and had the rail on the out. Other wise he was jumping amazingly well. Both the rails are easy enough to fix. Again, not anything I'm worried about. As long as it's green/honest mistakes it doesn't put me off. He rocked around the cross country course! Easily jumping clear. Flying off of the down bank. Not to self, don't need to ride that aggressive at them! They did make a mistake on our time and we got time faults for going to fast. They said we came in at 4:20. As I was at 4:05 about 100 meters away from fence 15 and there was 18 on the course I don't think that happened. Of course I didn't notice that until the next day and wasn't able to fix it. I did get a lot on compliments on Deeter. He definatly stands out! It's nice that he has the talent to back up his color!
Rheanna went out for the first time this year. I did BN with her. She put in a good dressage test scoring a 34 putting her in 4th. She jumped extremly well in stadium as usual. Going to the second fence she did spook at the big cloud wings on the fourth fence. Close enough I wasn't able to hold her straight to the second. So I had to circle. Just one of those things you laugh about. She was super on xc. She was so funny at the water. Leaping in and out! She is so much fun to jump. She finished in 6th.
The biggest star of the weekend was T's. I decided to move him up to Prelim as Loudoun is generally on the easy side. I was slightly doubting my decision after walking the course! It was a bit more technical than I was expecting. First things first though - the dressage. The judge had the wrong tests which put us 20 min behind. So my warmup was longer than needed. T's still put in a good dressage test for where he is right now. I'm in a waiting game with him. Musceling needs to catch up to what he is capable of. His trot work is really coming along. Does get a little tight in the canter. He broke in the first counter canter. Made up for it in the second by scoring an 8!
Then off to stadium. T's jumped really well. Barely touched the plank jump which came down. I have an easier time riding him at bigger fences and it was one of our better rounds to date. I was getting nervous going to xc. He was really come along this winter and is starting to look for the next jump. But still, never know until you do it. He ate up the course. Locking in at all the combinations. It didn't feel like his first Prelim! He finished in 6th!
I'm so proud of him. He has come such a long way in the past two years. Especially over the winter. I was getting a little teary crossing the finish line. It just amazes me how much he has changed. This is a horse who was suspended from steeplechase due to lack of control. He was at the barn next door. I saw he on the road several times. He was crazy. It would also take them over an hour to catch him. You couldn't have paid me enought to get on him. When Georgiana called me to ask if I would take him in training I reluctantly said yes. First ride on him was spent going sideways almost the entire ride. Only attempting to walk and trot. Then he started to come around. At first he wasn't all that brave on xc. Last fall he started to get it. After the winter he came out this spring ready to go for it. To get to the point where they are looking for the next fence is an amazing feeling. He is one of my favorite all time horses! I can't say enough how proud I am of him. Yes, I know it's only Prelim. This is one of those times when I wish I had a video on my first ride on him. Then everyone could see what an amazing horse he has changed in to! I'm so thankful Georgiana did call me about taking him in for training and that I did say yes! Oh, and he's super easy to catch in the field. Georgiana is a great owner. She was willing to keep up with him and not get discouraged as he was learning. Or at least she didn't let it show to me! Some other people would had said sell him for what you can get, he's not going to be any good. I'm thankful she believed in him and has given him the time to develop! Ok, I'll stop going on about him. I'm going the make the gray one jealous ;)
We got a tiny bit of rain today. Soooo glad I ended up not entering a local comined test.
Sometimes I think I picked the wrong job. I should have been a weatherman. They said chance of showers this afternoon. Instead it has been a downpour since 6:30 this morning! The poor ponies, I did not blanket for this! I am using the rain as an excuse to finally get caught up on some inside chores. My apartment really needs a good cleaning. Especially before my good friend, Siobhain, comes down this weekend. She is Canadian and comes down for a week or two every spring and fall to event. Her horses and her stay here. It's always great having her here. Little does she know I have big plans to get everybody out schooling over the two weeks she is here!
I went down to CDCTA on Sunday with T's and Deeter. It's been six years since I've gone to that event. They have moved dressage and stadium to a far better area. Nice to not be on a side of a hill! As for cross country, I didn't like where it was moved. It was really twisty and hard to get in a good rythmn.
T's went Training. This was my bit experiment weekend. He likes the bit I'm using for dressage now. Or at least at the moment! While I feel he put in a better test that at Morven it scored a point higher for a 36. He did feel a bit stuck to the ground. I switched to smaller studs before jumping! I also tried a different bit for jumping. I like it! I was able to get a longer and slightly lighter rein, which helps T's jump better. He jumped really well in stadium. Spooked at one jump which resulted in a rail. My goal for xc was to get close to the speed fault time as he will be moving up to Prelim soon. Instead we were 2 seconds over. Didn't help that he trotted most of the way to the first jump. There was a cow on the other side of the fence from the box and he was a bit worried about it! He was also a little focused behind him going to the 2nd jump. Then we ran down a hill and the cow was forgotten. With all the turns I lost some time at the beginning of the course. Once we jumped #9 I was able to get in a better rythmn. Considering it was hard to get going T's was really good. He finished in 4th!
Deeter was up next in BN. As I had to leave at 6am I wasn't able to turn him out. At that point he had stood on the trailer for six hours! He was very well behaved with T's coming and going. I thought he might be a little up when I got on for dressage. He was great. I could have shaved 10 min off the warmup time. He put in a nice forward and relaxed test to score a 32 which put him in 3rd. It should have been lower. By the time he did dressage the track was chewed up. I did what I've always done and countless times before. I stayed just to the inside. Either the judges haven't made a comment or it's been positive. Well, this judge had an issue with that and took off that I didn't go deep into the corners. Alrighty then. Deeter had a green moment in stadium. I also completly missed at an oxer, he was good to leave it up! Then it was off to xc. I think I get more nervous for BN than Advanced. I have no idea what to expect! He was great. Easily jumped clear! He finished in 2nd!! I still amazed by his temperement. He is so sensible and doesn't act like a stallion. Which makes my life easier! I'm glad he went well as his owners' Jim and Caroly came out to watch. I hope to have pictures and videos to post soon.
I was at Morven yesterday with Polar and T's for their first event of the year. I was in a panic last week. The chances to xc school have been few. As soon as it gets to the point where all I need is one more dry day and the footing with be doable it rains again. I also didn't get cracking on Polar's fitness as soon as I would have liked. Fortunatly they proved I didn't need to panic!
Polar was going Intermediate. After Fair Hill last year I lost a good bit of motivation. I decided not to start the season in Feburary like normal. I'm taking a step back and going Intermediate for the time being. At least when I can afford to enter an event! As I'm usually at away events with him I ride him the day before at the venue. Being as this was his first time out of the year and it's local I wasn't expecting much in dressage. While he did get a little tense I felt it was good for the first time out. His canter lengthenings are getting better. I went for more angle on the shoulder and haunches in. He stayed ridable. Only blew the first transistion back from medium canter and one simple change was mostly trotting. We were also the second to go in the ring. I was thrilled when I found out he won with a 32! Maybe some of my work over the winter is paying off?
I was trying a different bit out for jumping. A Dr. Bristol instead of a regular eggbutt. Polar wasn't too happy with it for stadium. Part of it may be due to the fact we ended up walking around for about 10 min after I warmed up. He did jump really well though. I had one rail when I moved him up to the liverpool. The blame goes fully on me. Sorry Polar! The cross country course looked good. A good mix of technical with fly fences. I think the start box people thought I was a bit odd when I said I couldn't go near the thing until 15 seconds out! I can't put Polar in the box one second too soon. Holding him in there is a challenge! He's almost jumped out before! I have to get in and get out right away. He shot off full of running and away we went. The bit worked perfectly. I was able to bring him back without fighting and it wasn't too much bit which causes him to lock his jaw. He was great at all the technical questions. I let him go at his own pace and we were only 10 seconds over time! He barely broke a sweat and wasn't even breathing hard when I pulled up. All my stressing out over his fitness for nothing! We finished in 3rd!! Not a bad way to start the year out!
T's went Training. He put in a good dressage test. I wasn't able to get him fully connected. While he still scored a 35 it's not where I've had him this winter. I need to do some bit experimenting with him.
One never knows what to expect for the weather at Morven. It was nice for Polar and T's dressage. While I was warming T's up for stadium it looked like it was going to start pouring at any minute. Of course I wasn't wearing a raincoat as it was sunny when I got on. It started to rain, then pour, then hail! That is a first for me. I've competing in all sorts of weather but that was the first time I've been hailed on! Let me tell you, it stung! We went and ran behind some trees. It passed fairly quickly. It started to pour again when we went in the ring. After the hail and then the pouring rain T's did get a little wound up. I can't blame him. He was jumping super. Compared to what I've been schooling him over at home the jumps looked pretty small. I did let him get too forward going into a really tight one stride and he had a rail on the out. I'm not worried about that.
As the sun came back out and started warming up I decided not to change before xc. Well that was stupid of me. I ended up having more time waiting to go than I thought due to the hold on starting xc for Training. It started raining again and I was freezing! I'm sure T's was getting cold as well. I was thinking this may be the first time I'm going not going to warm up going xc! I was only able to xc school T's twice at Gordonsdale, which is basically our home course. The course had some good questions and I was a little nervous! T's seems to have figured out the box as normally I can go in and stand for a few seconds. He was ready to go as soon as I went in! He also was off and running. He was fantastic. Jumping the best I've felt him on xc. He ate up the course! Jumped everything boldly and easily came in under time. While I didn't get that warm at least my teeth stopped chattering! He finished in 10th.
Despite the weather I had a great time with both of the boys. While I had a few rusty jumps with both of them they jumped everything extremly well. I couldn't have asked for more with limited schooling. It was a great way to start the year. Now to see if I can keep it up!
Of course this week looked good for a brief period of time. Thought for sure I'd be able to get T's and Deeter out for a good school before CDCTA next Sunday. Now it looks like rain almost everyday. Sigh. Time for the panic to set back in! I'm hoping to move T's up to Prelim shortly. That is if I can ever get a few xc schools in!
My first competition of the year was last Saturday. This year I've started out almost two months later than the past several years. While it's been nice I do feel a little behind the eight ball! I went to the combined test at Loch Moy for Bound & Determined's (owned by Greenstone Farm)first time out. He went BN as I wanted to make the performance side easy as I wasn't sure how he'd be at a show. He is well behaved at home, good the two times I've gone off property, fine hacking with another horse. Which is much different from a show! He was super well behaved. Wouldn't have known he was a stallion. All I can say is I wish Polar was that easy to deal with when he was five!
Deeter was a little up when I got on for dressage. I was able to warm up in an area by myself. He settled fairly quickly, I got brave and went into the main warm up. He was perfect. Didn't answer other horses calling, stayed focused on me, and was fine when I was almost ran into by someone on a mare! He put in a good dressage test to score a 35! He did get a little distracted in the corner where he could see out onto the cross country course. He shouldn't know what that is yet. Maybe the other horses have been talking to him? In the second canter he broke as we were heading into that corner. We should be able to drop that score the next time out!
We had to wait around the ingate for stadium with several other horses. Again he was really good. Felt him puffing up a few times but that was it. He went in and jumped an easy clear round. One would have thought he was an experienced horse!
He finished in second place! He is such a willing and honest horse. Several people came up to ask what breed he is and to compliment him. One stands out when you are on a palomino! It was my first time showing a stallion. It was a really fun day and a great way to start out the season! If you are looking for a stallion with loads of talent and a great temperment check this guy out! There is a link to Greenstone Farm on my link page. It's still beyond my skills to put it in with this update.
Also big thanks to Kathy Savory for coming out to help and taking pictures!
Even though I had to use a quarter sheet for a few rides last week and it's pouring out right now (hey, at least it's not snow), there is light at the end of the tunnel! The fields are getting greener, trees are starting to bud out, a few flowers have bloomed, and the peeper frogs are out! That is the best sound. I also went xc for the first time this year!
I took Bound & Determined, aka Deeter, to Gordonsdale on Thursday. He is a 5 yr old Zweibrucken stallion owned by Greenstone Farm, Jim and Carolyn Miller. Jim is putting a head divider in my trailer. Carolyn came up to swap trailers and fortunatly the weather and footing was good enough for xc! It was the first time I've taken Deeter off property and it was his first proper xc school. He was great! Very well behaved and didn't care about any of the jumps! I was thrilled with how he went. He is a good jumper and is proving to be bold! As Carolyn had to make it back home before the school bus we were on a time limit. I was able to do enough to know that he will be ready to start eventing in April. Carolyn and I had a lot of fun! Yay, I figured out how to add the video! Now patting myself on the back =)
Well that was short lived. At least we didn't get the 6-9 inches that was predicted. They say it's going to be in the 40-50's this week so the white stuff shouldn't stick around too long!
Naked ponies - in the middle of February - in Virginia!! The past few days have been wonderful!! It was in the 70's yesterday and today. It doesn't get much better in February!It has been so nice to be able to thaw out. I've been down to one layer, and I'm a wuss about being cold. The horses have all enjoyed rolling around in the mud. I've been able to leave the barn and the tack room open. Turn the heat off in my apartment and open it up. Took out the heaters in the outside water so they could get low enough I could scrub them out. Today no one felt I needed to work on my stickability! (really guys, I'm pretty good at it. Don't need to test that theory every cold, windy day) Whoho!!
Of course tomorrow they are calling for 20-40 mile an hour winds with gusts up to 60! I have someone coming to look at a few of the sale horses. Hopefully at least one jump won't get blown over! My next update might be from Oz!
Ok, I just had to brag. I figured out how to add a sold picture to the horse for sale page! Whoho!! This whole web code thing is a bit confusing. Took a few tries but I got it! Now when the next horse sells we'll see if I can get a picture next to it. One step at a time. I'm slowly getting all the pages updated. For now I'm good with what I think are the most important pages to keep updated, sales and news. Now for the other pages...
Yes, I am alive! I realize it's been way too long since my last update. First of all huge thanks to Georgiana Pardo, Two T's owner, for the Christmas present of a new computer! To get online I went from a Windows 98 with dial up to Windows 7 and a mobile hotspot!! So while most people have been progessing with the new technology I have a lot of catching up to do. My other computer that I did everything else with is a Windows XP. So at least I'm not having to make a huge jump. Now for the scary part. I'm starting to maintain this site myself! Bear with me while I figure this out. I'm sure I'll be making mistakes along the way. Keeping this short for now. The weather looks fairly dissmal the middle of this week. Those will be good inside chore days. Please forgive any spelling errors as well. I'll get there!