9/6/10
 
The past two weekends have gone really well and I've been having a lot of fun!
 
I went to Loudoun with Two T's and a new sale horse, Rekin. T's went Training and put in a solid dressage test scoring 35 and only 2.5 points behind first. I think I've figured out a bit for him. He's jumping a lot better. He almost jumped me out of the tack a few times in stadium. I wasn't expecting it! He did have two rails, but those are easy enough to fix. He was great on xc. Going double clear and placing 6th!
 
Rekin was doing her first event and went Novice. I did two combined tests with her so I knew the first two phases would go well. She scored a 31 in dressage, putting her in a three-way tie for fourth. She jumped clear in stadium and xc! It was very easy for her and I must admit a little boring! She finished in third! The plan is to do two more Novice to make sure she is solid and then move her up to Training. This is a really nice mare in a small package. Be sure to check her out on the sale page and come try her out!
 
Last weekend I headed down to Five Points in Southern Pines with Polar. I had decided to go there as with the lack of rain we've been having I wanted to run on good footing. Advanced did test B. It is the harder test. Shoulder-in on the center line (ugh). This time my ride time allowed me to ride Polar twice. When I rode him on Thursday and the first ride on Friday I got after him and didn't worry about making him tense. I'm starting to be able to work through it. For our final warm up I keep him long and low, lots of changes of bend, and moving him laterally. It seemed to work as he scored a 32.3 and won the dressage!!! I was thrilled! His canter was a little flat as it was hot and he felt a little blah for the test. I know that next time I can ask for more in the test and get that score even lower!
 
Polar was ready to go on xc and was super! I did take one long route before getting to the first water. Partly to play it safe and partly as I wanted to jump a left handed corner before the one in the water. So while it did eat up some time Polar jumped the one in the water great! I was working on riding to the jumps more forward and cutting turns where I could. We still came in pretty far over time. Not sure how it was wheeled as I went a lot faster than at Millbrook! That's ok as I was really happy with our round. It did drop us to third yet only 2 points out of first. If I can count on anyone to be careful in stadium it's Polar!
 
Which he was! Polar gets all the credit for going clear. Despite my forgetting how to ride and not able to see any kind of spot Polar left all the rails up! Not sure what happened to me as that's the worst I've done in a long time. Love my horse to make up for me! Polar's clear round moved us back into first!!! Our first win at Advanced!!! Now he just needs to learn to stand during the awards ceremony, haha.
 
I can safely say that our Advanced horse trials went amazingly well this fall. Now to see if I can keep the ball rolling for the two FEI events to finish out the year. I'll be working on our dressage and my riding in stadium! Polar is starting to get the recognition he deserves and I want to do what I can to keep it up!
 
Rheanna goes to the Short Course at Loch Moy this coming weekend. Then Polar and I are off to Plantation. I haven't been there in a few years. It will be interesting to see what changes they have made. I'm mostly hoping for a bigger aisle in stabling!
 
Katie

6/18/10

Sorry for going so long between posts! This computer is so slow that when I would get around to starting an update I was past my patience with already spending 30 minutes doing 2-3 e-mails! Of course now I have two months to catch up on! I'll try to remember what has happened, coffee hasn't taken effect yet!

Polar finished his spring season out at Jersey Fresh doing the CCI3*. Our dressage test was 12 points better than the previous year putting us in 7th after dressage!! I put him in a waterford for xc. It worked. Unfortunately I didn't give him a great ride into the double corners and had a runout at "a". I'm still mad at myself for that. Everywhere else Polar was great. He show jumped really well, just had one rail down. We finished in 12th. Overall I made my goal of doing better than last year. I just need to work on my riding so we don't have a runout again and can finish in the top 10.

Josie has been going well. She placed 4th in Prelim at Loudoun. I dropped her back to Training at Rubicon, where she placed 3rd, and Seneca, clear xc. I think she's getting sore from an injury she received at the track. I'm hoping that's not the case and I can move her back up to Prelim. She is the nicest horse I've had. Fingers crossed she'll hold up for the upper levels and I don't have to retire her 10 years sooner than planned. Right now I'm in a funk about it. I don't have the finances to go out and buy horses. To possibly lose a super nice one at an early age is very depressing.

TwoT's at Rubicon
T's is also going well. He has moved up to Training, having clear xc rounds at Loudoun and Seneca. He gets better every time out. With some more experience he'll be very competitive. Two of the greenies are going to their first event this weekend. Polar is back in work and is getting ready for the Intermediate at Maryland next month. I'm hoping I can afford some more lessons to get myself riding better and put in solid performances this fall. lol

Katie

4/8/10

The peepers frogs are out, horses are shedding like crazy, and I've been super busy. It must be spring! What a difference a few weeks make. We went from the worst winter ever to 90* days. This is shaping up to be an odd weather year. Won't hear me complaining about the warmer temps though!
 
I evented the past three weekends and they have all gone well.
 
Polar, Josie, and I went down to Southern Pines in March. The weather was gorgeous. Josie put in a lovely dressage test to score a 30 and in 3rd. We took a few jumps on xc to get into a rhythm. She then went really well until the corner towards to the end of the course. I thought we had a good canter and got to a good spot. She hit it pretty hard and I was popped out of the saddle. Hate those unplanned dismounts! So needless to say I wasn't feeling too confident before heading out with Polar. It was our first Advanced run of the year. I think I needed the fall though and I was a lot more patient and let the jumps come to us instead of getting nervous and pushing for them. Polar was great. Had a silly runout. We had a narrow, into space palisade, two long strides to a corner. He never focused on the corner. I wasn't bothered by it. We were spot on every where else. I was worried about stadium. They moved it to the grass and there was a lot more atmosphere than normal. We had to do two rollbacks right in front of a tent and the spectators. As Polar was spooky galloping on xc I wasn't sure how that would work. While we were in warm up they played music for the awards in the division that went first. Polar went crazy. He proceeded to charge the warm up jumps and take off after. Well that's just stellar. I thought for sure we'd go bowling. Polar settled in the ring and put in a clear round! Yay!! I was also happy with how I rode it. Amazing how the whole wait and be patient thing works out!
 
The next weekend was Morven. The first local event of the year. I was 90% sure I was going to withdraw as we still had snow on closing date. I decided to leave the entries in and boy was I glad I did! The footing was the best I've ever seen it. I took Josie Prelim and was determined to redeem ourselves (or myself). I discovered that she has a deceptively long stride. It makes it hard as when I feel she's on a short enough stride it's still too long! I have to convince myself that even though it feels too collected and short that is the canter I need with her. The day started out really chilly. The coldest I've been for dressage this year! The dressage ring was still crunchy. Once again scored a 30 to be in 3rd! Stadium was in the small ring. While Josie has gained so much strength it's still hard to maintain a good canter around tight turn after tight turn. Even though she had two rails she tried really hard. Last year she would of had more like 4 or 5. We had a great trip around the xc. I'm figuring out the ride she needs! Just 15 seconds over the time and I wasn't even trying for it. She ended up in 5th!! I also took Two T's for his first time out and hopefully his last Novice. With this winter I wasn't able to do as much schooling with him as I would have liked. But he is a bold horse so I wasn't too worried. He put in a nice dressage test. We were the last ones in the ring so he did get a little distracted. Jumped double clear stadium and an easy double clear on xc to finish 2nd!! What a good boy!
 
Last weekend it was just Polar and I for the trip to The Fork to run the CIC3*. A vacation for me! The weather was the best it's ever been. No rain and warm! First time I've been there when no one has had to be pulled in or out. While his dressage is improving our scores are not. It is getting frustrating. I watched a bit of the Advanced dressage. Watching makes me more confused. If I did the exact same canter as one person who received a 29 I would get nailed for not being collected enough. Then when I go in a collected canter they say we're not forward enough. Maybe one of these days I'll get it! But I'm happy with my boy. That's what really counts. Polar was fantastic on xc. Unfortunately had another silly runout. He spooked at a decoration coming out of the water and we ended up being parallel to the corner instead of perpendicular. Of course out of the 5 corners on course it was the easiest one! Every where else he felt great and was jumping really well. Stadium was huge. Amazing how the two additional inches for international height look massive! Polar jumped out of his skin and we had our first clear stadium at three-star! yippee!
 
While the xc results might not be perfect I'm really happy with how the season is going. We feel a lot more together jumping. While I'm still getting nervous (sure I always will) I'm more confident at this height and willing to wait. With only one upper level horse who is learning along with me it's taking us a little bit longer. Polar has put up with my mistakes and my riding is catching up to his talent! I'm excited about the future! One year I might feel like going out and being competitive. At the moment I'm not concerned about going out and trying to make time. Horses are competing at the highest levels into their late teens now. My personal opinion is if you start out at the top you only have one place to go. Polar will be 11 this summer. If I'm lucky I still have years left with him.  Well, competing that is. He'll always have a home with me. After all he is my baby! It may be easier for me than some others. I can always put my horses first and don't need to worry about running them off their feet to make time, place, and make an owner happy. If I get to the point of having owners I hope they have the same mind set that I do. Put the horse before the ribbon!
 
I have this weekend off then I'll be going pretty much every weekend until mid-November. Now that the weather has improved I'm able to get the babies going. Can't wait to start eventing on the rest! I will also try to be better about updating. Easier to write a page than a book! lol
Katie

3/1/10

Polar, Josie, and I finally escaped to Aiken for a week! Took until North Carolina before I saw ground. It was the warmest day of the winter when I arrived. 70 and sunny! It was soooo nice. I felt the bones thawing out. I was able to get a xc lesson on both of them with Stephen. Polar was very happy to be going xc and Stephen gave me some good pointers with Josie.
 
We then headed over to Georgia for Pine Top. Polar in Intermediate and Josie in Prelim. Polar put in a good dressage test for his first time out. Only exploded once! He walked and didn't do any flying changes. Thought his score was a little higher than I expected. Then again that seems to be what I always say. I hadn't show jumped outside in over a month. We were a little rusty but Polar jumped well. One rail down when I came back a little too soon over the triple bar. Josie also put in a good dressage test. She has improved a ton over the winter. While she still has a ways to go I was happy with her performance. She also had a rail down in stadium. Kind of forgot to pick up her feet at the second jump. After that she wasn't about to touch another rail!
 
The next day was beautiful. At first Polar was first to go xc. Due to lighting issues they switched the order around and Prelim went first. I was planning knocking my cobwebs off with Polar not Josie! The courses at Pine Top are big. There were also a few questions that Josie hadn't seen before. I wasn't sure what to expect. This time last year she was still a Novice horse. I had many xc schools before she was Prelim. I didn't have anything to worry about and she was the best she has ever gone. I was smiling around the course. It was so much fun! It actually helped as I wasn't as nervous then with Polar. He was also super. Exploded out of the box and was off running. He was a little wild as to be expected. That was one happy horse!
 
Needless to say I wasn't able to do as much fitness work before the event. The courses at Pine Top are long. 6:20 something for both courses. I kept them under wraps and went slow. I was using this event to school and wasn't planning on being competitive. They were both fitter than I thought and recovered quickly. I was glad to see that I was able to do enough that they were prepared. Josie improved a lot with what I was able to do. Polar is back to his normal self on xc. We didn't have a great fall season. It was great fun on both of them. Can't wait to get on with the rest of the season. Hopefully enough snow will melt and I can gallop at least once before Southern Pines! Or at least do something besides trotting on the road. I don't think that is too much to ask?

Katie


2/8/10

Well crap! I know what a way to start out an update. But from what I've really been saying it's toned down! Here I thought the snow storm in December was bad. Boy was I wrong. Last Friday and Saturday we had a huge snow storm and got at least 30". As no one could get in I've been by myself with the horses. I'm actually happy I'm down to nine horses, seven in stalls, for a few weeks. I worked 12 hours straight Sat and Sun doing the barn and then shoveling. Today felt easy as most of the shoveling was done. Peter has spent the past few days plowing the driveway out. Well, just the top half. Not like any of us would be trying to go out the bottom for awhile! He's been great clearing out the part I need to drive the rig and clearing around the rig so I can pull out. Which may have been for not.
 
Of course I was supposed to be leaving this morning for Aiken. I had planned on doing the clinic with Clayton and Lucinda Fredericks Tues-Thurs with Polar and Josie. Then heading over to compete both at Pine Top. If I could get to Rt 7 I'd be fine. It's just getting there. The road isn't good enough to try and get the trailer out. I'm keeping my fingers crossed I can get out in the morning. They are calling for another 10-20" starting Tues at noon into Wed. If I don't get out tomorrow I'm for sure missing the clinic and possibly Pine Top as well.
 
Ugh, I soooo hate winter. I can't wait for July! That is probably when all this snow will be gone. Can I just throw a ton of hay out in the fields and hibernate until Spring? That might be the only way I can survive!

Katie


12/21
First day of winter and we've been digging out from two feet of snow the past few days! Just another reminder of why I can't wait until I can flee to the south for winter!







(Indy tries a new look with a bigger star!)

Maybe next year.. Guess the only good thing is the horses and I are still getting plenty fit trudging around in this stuff. And I get to sleep in a little bit, until 5:30 whoohooo! When I've retired from the horses I'm moving some place where I never have to be cold or see snow again!

 
Katie

9/20/09

Past two weekends have gone fairly well. The grey boys and I headed down to Five Points in Southern Pines, NC. Polar had been a bit on the obnoxious side since Millbrook. He knew that runout wasn't good! I wasn't expecting much in dressage, especially since I had to learn a new test right before I got on! Hate not having a printed omnibus. I wasn't the only one who had that problem. We always do test A but this time it was test B! Polar was good enough to score a 38 putting him in the middle of the pack.
 
The cross country course was completely changed around. Which I was very happy to see as I didn't want to run the same course a third time. Polar was back to his normal self and was fantastic! We also went the fastest we have gone at Advanced and only got 10 time penalties! Now to get it into the single digits! He came back the next day and show jumped really well. I didn't ride 1 to 2 great which resulted in a rail. I got my act together after that and the rest of the course was great. Polar finished in 10th.
 
Irish went for his second Intermediate. I'm still working on getting his connection better. His previous rider jumped him in a stronger bit and he's become a little backed off the bit. He did put in a better dressage test than Loudoun and scored 3 points lower. It's getting there! He was great on cross country. It was a big course and he handled it really well. The lack of a solid connection did catch us out on a really wide skinny in a combination. He came back and jumped it well the next time. Once I get the connection better that problem will be solved. He once again show jumped fantastic. Putting in only one of four clear rounds!!
 
I took Atty to Marlborough yesterday. He once again won the dressage, this time with a 29, two points better than 2nd! Had a much improved stadium than Seneca. His canter needs to become more engaged and then he'll be going clear. I tried a stronger bit on xc, same as that he has been run it. I found it was way to much bit and I didn't have anything in my hand. I was trying to go on as loose a rein as possible as he was backing off the bit. Part of the course was in the woods and really slick. Around a tighter turn Atty had an unfortunate slip. We were pretty close to the jump and by the time he got his feet back under him he didn't have the power for the size of the fence. He was smart not to go. Annoying to have the stop but I know it wasn't his fault and it was one of those fluke things that happen. Once we get the jumping all together he'll be winning!
 
Have a busy weekend coming up with four going to Middleburg. It starts the run of the "m" events, Middleburg, Morven, Maryland!

Katie


9/8/09

The past three weekends of eventing have gone really well! Hopefully this is a sign of how the fall season will go!
 
I took Two T's to Difficult Run for his last BN run. He was super. Stadium was in the indoor. Which for those who know, the indoor at Frying Pan is a bit scary! It was his first time ever in an indoor. I had no idea how it would go. He could have cared less and was clear! He was also easily clear on xc, proving he was ready to move up. He finished on his dressage score of 32 and placed 3rd!
 
The following weekend was Loudoun. I think it's the only time I've been there that the footing has been really good. They air rated, first time I've seen them do that!, and we had some rain. I took Irish for his move up to Intermediate, Indy in Training, and T's for his first Novice.
 


Two T's

I remembered my lunge line this time! It did really help Irish in dressage. Now I just need to give myself more time on him. The trot work was really nice, canter had good moments and not so good moments. Judges comment was "nice horse, with a consistent test could be super". Yay! With the terrain the rails in stadium were flying. Irish was listening much better schooling, but I didn't know if it would cross over at competition just yet. This was a course if he blew through my half-halts we could easily go bowling! Let me tell you, he was fantastic!!! Listened very well and was jumping out of his skin! He put in only one of five clear rounds, out of 18!!! As this was his first Intermediate I was thrilled! I had to call Sarah and leave her a message on the way back to the trailer! He was great on cross country. Did have a runout early on at a tricky combination. We just missed the line. Getting back to it was hard and he was very good to jump through the second time. I was also impressed with his speed. He's not the fastest and with the runout only 62 secs over time! Waaaay better than I thought he would be! It was a great first time at the level for him and he will only get better!
 
Indy put in an improved performance. He's not the easiest to jump and is slowly starting to get it. I wish I could afford to take him out more this year, but Loudoun will likely be his last event this year. I know what to work on for next year and he'll be ready to start winning!
 
T's was great in his move up. The most relaxed in dressage he's been. I had to for go warm up for stadium. It was similar to a point-to-point and I thought it was best to walk around and keep him calm. I knew once we were in the ring he'd be fine. I was right and he jumped really well, just barely tapping one to have a rail. He was really fun on cross country. Taking everything in stride and loving it! He might be ready for Training towards the end of the season.
 
This past weekend was Seneca. I took Josie and Atticus Prelim. Josie was good as usual. On average her jumping has really improved. She got a bit strong into a combination on xc and jumped a awkwardly. I pulled her out and came back to b on it's own. She had no idea she had a runout! This will also likely be her last of the season. I've done enough to know she is worth holding onto to her keeper status! I'll be working on making her stronger and more supple. I'm excited to see what next year will bring!
 
With Atty I had no idea what to expect. He hadn't been out since May and it was our first event together. It was also my first time taking a horse Prelim without bringing them up the levels or at least doing two Trainings first! We got two of the three phases! I felt I overshot the dressage warm up. I would have been better off with a shorter one as he started to get a little tense. Went I went around the ring he started to get short in the neck and too up. I cantered around and he quickly settled. I was happy with the test but wasn't sure how it would score. His division was very competitive. I was shocked when I saw his score. He won the dressage with a 28!!! It was his low score by about 7 points! Sarah, his owner, was thrilled when I called her! Stadium was the phase we didn't get. We'll just chalk that up to new partnership. He is a great jumper and once I smooth out the wrinkles he'll be going clear. Now that I know how is in the ring it's an easy fix! Atty was fantastic on xc. One of the most fun rounds I've had since The Fork! He was stronger in competition than schooling so we did get some time. I'll put a slightly stronger bit on next time and he'll be double clear! I feel lucky to have the ride on him. He is really cool!
 

Atticus
I'm eventing every weekend from now until probably mid-November. I'll try to update more often!

Katie



8/17/09

It was a hot weekend at Waredaca. I was tempted to take a detour through the pond on cross country! I took Josie and Irish Prelim and they were great!
 
Josie put in as good of a dresage test as she can at this point, scoring a 35. She had a great stadium round. Was the most ridable she's been. While she did have three rails I'm not worried. It's a strength thing and the other jumps she jumped great! Cross country was fun. Did have one really sticky fence. While I of course prefer to not have a fence like that she did learn from it. With she had rails and with the heat and hard ground I went slow. I'm really excited about her future. She should be very competitive next year!

 

It was great fun to have Irish back! He was sitting around for 3 weeks and I only had him back a week. We had to quickly get to reknow each other! Sarah said he is much better if lunged before dressage. I remembered all the lunging equipment except the lunge line! He was a bit tense for dressage. His test scored a 40. I'll won't forget the lunge line next time! Irish was very forward for stadium and wasn't really listening to my half-halts! Not how he was last year! Had an unfortunate rail. His previous rider had him in a stronger bit and I found out did ride him really forward and almost rushing in stadium. So we have work to do! I left him in the snaffle and was a little worried if I would have control on xc. He was super and I had plenty of bit! Fingers crossed he will move up next time out!

Katie


8/11/09

Summer is finally here. It's been hot and humid this week. Fortunately everybody has been good so the rides have been short and sweet! Huge change from last weekend at Millbrook. I even had to drag out a dress sheet for Polar to wear at night! It was wonderfully cool and not buggy!
 
The event was ok. Surprisingly dressage was our best phase. I experimented with the warm up and I think I have a plan for the rest of the fall. Polar's trot work was the best that he's done in a test. A few tweaks and I'll have the canter work improved as well. We were only 6 points behind first. A big accomplishment for who was in the Advanced! Jumping didn't go so well. It's the first time he's had the summer off. In hindsight I should have run an Intermediate to start back out. The Advanced was big enough I had to make sure his power was up but not technical enough to make him listen. So we had a cheap runout early on. Then he started to listen and was his normal self. Polar was still a bit too much in xc mode for stadium and had two rails. Not in his usually form! Well, we got that one out of the way and the rest of the season will be good! Crazy pony =)
 
Now for the exciting news. Irish is back!! When Kim moved to Arizona she took Irish with her. It didn't go as well as hoped and Kim made the tough decision to sell him. He was bought by Sarah Hughes as another competition horse for her rider. He continued to be very successful at Prelim. When Sarah decided to find a new rider Kim put her in touch with me. I now have Irish back along with Atticus. Atty is an eight year old TB gelding who is eventing at Prelim. I'm super excited and grateful for this opportunity!! I'd like to extend a huge welcome to Sarah and thank you for joining the team! I'm looking forward to this partnership and the boys' future!

Katie


7/22
 
This has been an unseasonably cool summer. While it has made riding and competing nicer it is making me nervous on what winter is going to be like!
 
Past two weekends I went up to Loch Moy for the Maryland Horse Trials. First weekend I had Abbey in her first Novice, Indy and Manny in Training, and Two T's going BN.
 
Abbey was really good for her move up. She is still getting fit from her broodmare time and isn't ready to be competitive in dressge. She had a nice clear stadium round. Even though she has done very little she thinks she knows what she is doing and was blowing me off a bit on xc. Had a runout as a result. After that the light bulb went on and she listened to my half halts! She was great with the trakehner, 1/2 coffin, and both waters!
 
As I didn't do much with Indy last year he is now going through the obnoxious phase. I call it the "I don't want to grow up!" He was his normal self in stadium, jumping double clear. A bit cheeky on xc. He did jump the hard stuff really well and was sooo good with both waters, which he has been sticky with in the past. I know once he gets over himself he is going to be awesome! Silver lining is I didn't think he was quirky enough before to make it to the upper levels. Now I do!
 
Manny had improved parts. He is still a work in progress. I feel that he really needs a year to get it. Then he is going to be super.

Two T's

T's was the best of the weekend. Go figure, the ex-steeplechaser! He scored a 31 in dressage and still didn't do his best. He's not convinced he can go close to the little while fence! He put in a good stadium round, just had two cheap rails. He was a blast on xc! He likes being an event horse! He used to live next door to me so I know what he was like while in race training. It really is amazing to see the transformation when they have a job they like. So many people think race horses are crazy and won't touch them when they come off the track. Let me tell you when they come off they become a new horse!
 
Second weekend I had Flyer and Val in Training and Josie in Prelim.
 
For some reason I left the flash on Flyer for dresage. Not sure where my brain was at that moment! So, he was a bit fussy in the test. He had a great stadium round, just barely touching the skinny. Flyer went through his growing up phase last fall. He is over it and has been great this year! He was so much fun to ride on xc! Taking everything in stride and making my job easy!
 
Val put in one of the better dressage tests I've had with him. They hung banners on the fence around the stadium ring. He found those scary! He jumped really well, only having an awkward jump at the last fence where he was paying more attention to the banners! He was really good on xc, until we came to the second water. It was a fairly big bank in. Up until that point all the waters in competition have been run through. He is sticky with banks into water. He wasn't sure he wanted to go in. I was proud that he eventually did. It was a fun ride though, which is the main goal with him!
 
Josie put in a pretty good dressage test to be tied for 6th. Stadium was, well, interesting. She sees a jump and goes for it. Doesn't rush but opens up her stride. When I have enough time to shorten her she is fine. But any related lines get really short! She is so light mouthed I can't take much of a feel in between. She is slowly improving and is really jumping much better. Hopefully I'll be able to afford some lessons to speed up the process! She was super on xc. Unfortunatly a straightness issue at the second water resulted in a technical elimination. Annoying to have missed going clear by a foot, but it's one of those instances it's best to laugh off. When she locks onto a jump she is going. Wether it's the correct one or not! If I can get her eye on the right part then we are good!
 
On a side note I'm finally getting a L'Apogee dressage saddle. Not sure how I'm going to pay for it, but I'm getting it! My current saddle simply isn't doing the job. I've been having a hard time getting everyone to truly come over the back and establish a true connection. I feel that is what has been missing for me to be competitive. I won't have my new saddle until September. In the meantime Petra is letting me use her dressage saddle. It's letting me get a jump start on improving both the horses and myself! Hopefully I'll start to see better results this fall!
 
I have the next two weekends off from competing. Then Polar and I head up to Millbrook. Vacation time! Only one horse to ride a day and I get to sleep in! Whoohoo
 
Katie

7/4/09

Happy Fourth of July! Actually have this weekend off from competing. So, it's just like a normal week day. Except that I have to do the barn all by myself as Regina has the weekend off!
 
Surefire was last weekend. The first time it hasn't been 100 degrees! The weather was great, which we were all very appreciative off!
 
Absolute Rocks, aka Abbey, went to her first event and was great! She is still developing a top line and isn't able to put in the dressage test that she will be capable of. She still did the best she can at this point and that's all we can ask for! She loves to jump and put in a clear stadium round. A silly green runout towards the end of xc where she was tired and we missed the spot (still kicking myself for that one) marred an other wise perfect round! This is one seriously nice mare with a great future ahead of her!
 
Abbey at Surefire
Absolute Rocks
Had four horses going on Sunday. Wasn't nearly as hectic as I thought it might have been. They did a great job with scheduling. Josie moved up to Prelim! She was 5th after dressage on a 36 and she isn't any where close to what she is going to be able to do. How exciting is that? The stadium course was one of the hardest I've ridden. While she had two rails it was one of the better rounds. She tried her best to leave them up. Which she doesn't always do so I was very happy! Her xc was super! Being her first Prelim and she is still young I was going for a clear and confident round. I circled before the corners instead of riding it in a line with the jump previous. Ate up a lot of time. She has yet to stop and I didn't want to risk her having an ugly fence and scaring herself. After she gets more experience I will go out to be competitive!
 
Josie at Surefire
Josie at Surefire
The other three went training. Flyer was super, one rail in stadium and double clear xc! He's getting to the point of looking for the next jump and locking in. Such a great feeling! Indy jumped brilliantly. It was all I could do to not get jumped out of the tack! While he was a bit cheeky at a few things his confidence is building. As for Manny, well he is slowly getting there. At times his ridablity is so much better and he is awesome. Now I need to get work on making it consistent.
 
Off to Maryland the next two weekends. The fun begins (or really kicks up a few notches) next month as Polar will be back in action!
 
Katie

6/20/09

Another easy competing weekend. I took Two T's in BN at the Maryland Schooling at Loch Moy. It was his first event and he was super! He was much more relaxed and settle that at the combined test. I believe he likes his new job! He won the dressage with a 29! He was great both stadium and cross country. Should have won but the jump judge at the first water called his brief hesitation a refusal. It wasn't, but as it was a schooling event I was going to bother with trying to protest. We all know he was awesome and that is what counts! T's is another fun horse that is for sale. I was hoping to get some updated pictures, but the rain had other plans.
 
I also found out that Beware of the Bop, a filly I backed last year, has been cleaning up at the track. So far she has won a Maiden, three Allowance, and a Stakes race! Whoohoo! Hopefully I will be able to make it to one of her races. It would be neat to see her run!

Katie



6/15/09

The past two weekends have been fairly easy ones. At Rubicon I only had one going on Saturday and two on Sunday. It's the first local event that I've had down time. I didn't know what to do with myself! I left Indy in Novice. Not sure if it was the best thing or not. It rained for several days leading up to the event. The footing was deep and torn up. By Sunday it was a bit better. Indy is a careful horse and wasn't liking the footing. I broke down and he now has hind shoes and stud holes! He's prepared for the footing now!
 
Val went and was super in his second Training. A little lazy in dressage and stadium. He woke up enough on cross country and was great! He is a slow one, I was on a loose rein and kicking and we still got 4 time faults! That's ok, I'm just taking him out for fun so I'm not concerned about teaching him to go fast!
 
Logan was a last minute replacement in BN taking the place of a horse who sold. He put in a great dressage test to score a 34. Stadium was easy for him, never a bad thing! Due to all the rain I wasn't able to give him a xc school leading up to the event. It was his first time out in two months! He tried his heart out and I was very happy with him! He is such a good guy. If anyone is looking for a fun partner come and check him out!
 
Seneca ended up being way easier than planned. Due to all the rain (we need a break!) Prelim was canceled. So I only had Manny in the Training. He put in his best dressage test to date scoring a 38. Stadium also went well. He tapped the first one and then after that didn't come close to touching anything else! Cross country is still a work in progress. The jumps aren't the issue, getting there some times is. I'm figuring him out and will hopefully have things resolved next event. Parts were greatly improved so we are hopeful for his future!
 
Congratulations to Nancy Naville and her mare Pure Mystique. Nancy took her to a schooling dressage show yesterday and won both her Intro and Training class with scores of 66 and 67! They also received Reserve Champion High Score for the entire show! Way to go!
 
Katie

5/31/09

We had a busy day at Waredaca yesterday with three horses going Training. The times didn't look tight so I didn't think it was going to be as crazy as it turned out. Once we got there Petra and I never had a break! Josie was great. She had a lovely dressage test scoring a 31. While she did have a rail in stadium she was jumping really well. She made easy work of the cross country proving she is ready to move up next time out! Hopefully I'll get her reining back by then!

Petra and I were very happy with the improvements Manny has made. He was victim of the dressage ring with 6 inch deep mud. Not much I could have done there! He did get an 8 for one canter circle and he walked! His stadium round was super. The most ridable he's been! I decided to school him cross country so we did get goops of time faults. It was well worth it as he became better and better and we went along. He's becoming more rideable and self confident! After one or two more event,s he'll be ready to be seriously competitive!

Indy, aka In Reality, was a last minute substitution for a sale horse. Due to finances he hasn't been out in over a year and this was his first Training! He also had to do dressage in the deep mud. Still good enough to pull off a 36. He show jumped really well and I decided to give cross country a go! When I left the box I had no idea what to expect and was prepared to pull up if he wasn't ready. He stepped up to the plate and really impressed me! While he was very green he tried his hardest. Did have a green stop at the ramp into the water. He's never seen a jump into water before! He jumped it well the second time. I was thrilled with him! He's a Training horse now! I was planning on starting him back out at Rubicon this coming weekend. Now I need to decide to leave him at Novice or change his entry to Training.

It was a good learning day for the boys. I still can't get over how easy Josie is on xc! Not that we don't have things to work on but she doesn't care what is in front of her! There is a great group of horses in the barn and this has been a fun season so far!

Katie


5/26/09

Sorry it's taken me awhile to do an update! There were some issues with the server. It's fixed now and my good friend Petra has taken over the maintenance.
 
Jersey went well. It was a fun vacation! Polar was fit and ready to go. Due to all the rain dressage was moved indoors. Several people did school in there Tues and Wed morning, before the decision was made to move the ring. I didn't care about a little rain and schooled in all the outside rings. I mean when is dressage inside? Learned my lesson. Next time I'll school every where a dressage ring might go! Polar warmed up really well. But the change in environment didn't suit him. It was a pretty bad test. Oh well. I had to remind myself he is only 10 and we are new to this level. We have time to get competitive in dressage.
 
I was the fourth three-star horse on course. At first I was nervous about that as I've always watched how combinations ride before I go. With all the rain I became happy about the early go. The three-star only shared 2-3 fences with the two-star (who went first). The footing was great when I went. A few deep places where I went slow. We did incur a ton of time. I'll work on going faster this fall. The great part is Polar was clear!!! I took all the straight routes. There was a log on a bump to a corner that I was planning on doing a bending line in five strides. Polar locked on the corner and I knew there was no way I could bend. So we went straight in four! We did have a sticky moment at the coffin and the waters didn't ride great. Other wise he was fantastic on the hard course!


Polar at Jersey Fresh CCI***

He jumped super on Sunday. I didn't take enough care of his balance around two tigher turns which resulted in two rails. I'll take the blame for that. We finished in 16th!! Not too shabby for our first CCI3*.
 
Huge thanks to Phyllis. She came up and helped out for the weekend. It was great having her there. Definately helped with the nerves!
 
Polar is on vacation. I'll start back with him next month. Spending the summer working on his dressage and my jumping position. I'm excited to start back with him this fall.
 
The following weekend on the 17th I took Two T's and Absolute Rocks to a combined test at Sandstone. The warm up there isn't great and there was a horse freaking out when I was on T's. So I wandered around and did a very brief warm up around the outside of the dressage ring. He was good considering. He jumped great and placed 5th in BN!
 
Absolute Rocks aka Abbey also placed 5th. She is starting a new career after becoming a broodmare after the track. As it was only her 5th time jumping I took her in the 2' division. She thought it was waaayyy too easy! I'm really impressed by this mare. She is going to have an incredible future. Look for her on the sale page!
 
Had Memorial weekend off from competing. Will be going out every weekend for the next five!

Katie

 

5/2/09

The insanly early morning (2 am!!) was well worth it as Josie and Flyer were super in the Training level at MCTA today. Both had nice Dressage tests. I've taken the flash off of Josie's bridle and she is much happier - and it showed! She did have two rails in stadium as she tends to get bored. She was awesome on xc and making easy work of the course! Flyer was great in stadium and xc. I schooled him over Prelim height early this week and he hit one jump fairly hard. After that he has been jumping really well! They are both showing me they very well might be ready do their first Prelim next month!


Flyer at MCTA

The next two days are going to be fairly hectic as I will be getting things ready for Jersey Fresh. Hopefully I'll stay too busy to get nervous! Polar has been awesome this spring and I'm really looking forward to next week!

Katie

 

4/26/09

I had a busy weekend at Loudoun with four horses going Training - Manny, Flyer, as well as Josie and Val who were moving up. It went smoothly as I had a lot of help! They were all super stars!! While I might not have agreed with all the Dressage scores (seems to be theme this year), they all had good tests for what they can do at the moment. They followed that up with good stadium rounds. Val took the prize for the clear round, even though Josie's rail was completely my fault! All of them were excellent on cross country - four clear rounds! I think I may have gotten some time with all of them, as I misread the optimum time with Flyer (first one to go). The important part was that they all jumped confidently and really well! Josie and Val are now Training horses! They placed 7th and 6th respectively. It was a very fun and productive weekend!

Katie

 

4/19/09

Yea - I can get online at home again! This computer is incredibly slow as it's an older version of Windows and the software I have for AOL is for newer versions, but at least I can check e-mail daily again. That is at least for now, I don't trust it in the long run. I'm looking into going wireless, which of course requires a new computer, sigh. Guess I'll be in shoes that have holes so huge that they about to fall off my feet for a while longer!

Now for an update on the past three events and weekends! Polar was awesome at the Fork - we did the CIC3*. I thought his dressage was great, the best he felt all year, so I was a bit stunned when I saw his score of 66. I did have an error when I forgot the halt/rein back, but still it was a lot higher score than I felt he deserved - especially compared to how his other tests scored this year. I watched several tests and they seemed to be scored more accurately. Oh well, c'est la vie!! The cross country was big and technical, requiring boldness and accuracy. Definitely the hardest course we had seen to date. It was also the best round we have had!!! Several people said they thought Polar looked really great - I have such an awesome horse! I was also a lot better about going faster and we were only 34 seconds over time! Show jumping was huge - it's amazing how much bigger 2 inches looks. My nerves got to me and I didn't give Polar a great ride which resulted in three rails. After the third, I settled in and the rest of the course went well. I was so happy with Polar, he was just super and we got that qualifying score for a CCI3*!

The next weekend I took Logan and Strider to the MD Short Course for their first event, both starting out at BN. It of course poured rain the entire morning! It was the coldest I've been at event all year. Considering I've been eventing since mid-Feb, there is something wrong with that! However, they both performed great. Strider won the dressage with a 36 and jumped clear to win his division! Logan was 3rd after dressage with a 31, he also  jumped clear to win his division! I was thrilled with both of them. The double wins made the miserable weather more worth it! Hopefully the weather will be better for their next event.

Polar and I went to Fair Hill this weekend and he was great as usual. He got a 36 in dressage! It's getting lower each time (at least at horse trials). Stadium looked small compared to the Fork - who would have thought 4'1" would look small? He jumped double clear in stadium, but I was a little disappointed in the cross country. It was a nice course, but a good first Advanced. It was on the small side and straight forward. Polar was good but it was just too small for him, so I was having a harder time getting him back as I couldn't run him up to the jumps like normal. There was a good question at the end that was big and he jumped that one really well. We finished in 8th! Knock on wood we stay sound over the next two weeks and we'll be going to Jersey Fresh to do our first CCI3*!!!

Katie

 

3/31/09

It's been a busy and fun past few weeks. Polar and I went down to Southern Pines to run the Advanced. Polar warmed up very well for dressage. Unfortunately a tent by warm up flapped in the wind right before we went in for our test which caused him to spook and created some tension. He still was good to score a 38, just over a point better than Pine Top! Cross country was awesome. I was better with the speed and we weren't in the slow group! He show jumped double clear the next day and we placed 6th!!!

Last weekend I took four horses to Morven. Flyer and Manny (aka Cosmic Jive) went Training. Manny is a new ride for me. My good friend Petra owns him and I've taken over the ride as she is pregnant! Manny is an incredibly fun horse. He hasn't done much over the past few years and only one Novice and one Training before that. He was good in the dressage, staying relaxed for a 35. He jumped super in stadium, just taking one rail when he jumped huge into a combination and got too close to the B element. Cross country went really well. Two green stops, where he jumped really well the second time. We were thrilled with him. Once he gets some more experience he is going to be outstanding!!

Flyer also performed well. He has improved alot over the winter, it's starting to really come together. He scored a 36 in dressage, almost went clear in stadium until the last fence! He was greatly improved on cross country, with only an unfortunate runout at a huge trakenher. He jumped it well the second time and it was a good learning experience for him.

Val and Josie both hopefully did their last Novice. The also went well all three phases. I need a bigger fence as I didn't ride them very well on cross country! I was pleased with all four. It was a good weekend despite the rain and mud!

Polar and I are off tomorrow for The Fork where we are doing out first CIC3*!! I'm excited. It will also be a nice break with only one horse! Fingers crossed I will also be able to get online at home when I get back so I can do better updates!

Katie

 

3/4/09

Event season has started, horses are shedding, and the grass is getting greener. Shouldn't that mean that spring and warm temps are on the way? It has been one long and very cold winter. I hate being cold and am so done with winter!

Polar and I had a brief reprieve from the cold when we went down to Pine Top mid Feb. It was gloriously warm! I don't want to come back. Ran Intermediate as a warm up for the year. He jumped super both stadium and cross country going clear in both.

We then went back down to Pine Top last weekend. The weather not so great this go around. It basically poured the entire weekend. I did manage to do my dressage in a brief dry period. Polar was pretty good to score a 39. I've started taking dressage lessons with Lauren Sprieser. We are on the right track! He show jumped really well, going clear. I did take some outside lines and got some time. They ended up having to cancel xc for Intermediate and Prelim. Fortunatly Advanced ran. The footing was really good. In spite of not being able to see some of the jumps all that well with the rain Polar was really good. We ended up placing 7th in our division of Advanced! Now I just need to learn to go faster!

The season really kicks into gear in a few weeks when the local events start. Looks like I'll be going every weekend. Can't wait! Hopefully I'll be able to do better updates. I came back from the first Pine Top to find out that my computer won't let me get online, grr. Hope to get it fixed as I can't afford a new computer. In the meantime I'm using a friends' computer to do e-mail once a week.

Should start to warm up this week. Hopefully we've seen the last of the cold!

Katie

 

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.Katie Willis
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