Every now and then I am reminded of just how great a climate Australia has and this week has surely been one such example. We've had a serious ice problem. My recent meteorological learning's (thanks Norm!) have taught me that this occurs when the snow melts and then refreezes as ice. Everything is covered with a deadly coating that is akin to walking down a water slide blindfolded and with your hands tied behind your back! Needless to say Cherie had to make the very wise decision to keep the horses in for a few days in order to avoid any accidents.
I was really fortunate tho to be able to go cross country schooling at Loch Moy right before the bad weather. For both Buddha and Royal this was their first ever schooling session and they both excelled themselves by jumping beautifully. Roy in particular was a champion. Boo is really starting to feel like a grown up and he is such an exciting horse to me. He did however have a rather unfortunate misinterpritation of directional control resulting in Robyn (co owner) meeting the wall of the arena at Walnut Pond with her shoulder. Robyn's one tough cookie but even she was agreeing she needed a few days off riding, at least until the swelling in her shoulder reduced so it looked like a shoulder.. Come back soon Robyn, we miss you!!!! Back to Loch Moy and Gibby Booth with her fantastic little Connemara horse, Delaney, also had a successful schooling session. All indications are that she'll have a great year ahead. Rocco is still in Florida showjumping and enjoying the much warmer weather.
This week my dressage trainer also arrived to teach a clinic at Tewksbury. I train on Tony with him and as always he helps us find even more gears. Today was an especially good day with Tony really showing us his unlimited talents. I've never had a horse that could passage as easily and with so much fun as this horse. Lets just say, if he were an eventer he would be a four star horse!!! Several of my students also train with him, in particular Linda Lewis and Anna Uchmann. Anna has really improved in leaps and bounds with her horse Roccoco. It's so great to see her hard work paying off, and I know Wout was VERY impressed with her improvement. Particularly that now Cocco can pass an open door without spooking at the monsters lurking outside!
Our barn is very busy at the moment with Cathy arriving early in the morning and the last riders (usually Mary Beth) finishing at around 9pm. Tonight Alex was still riding at 10.30pm, not bad after a whole day at school, then hockey and then two horses to ride! If she keeps up this dedication she'll do very well this season. Both Liz and Amy started the barn off to a great competition year with a win (81%) for Liz (and Sam Smith) in the Pas De Deux and with Amy picking up a couple of placings at a local hunter show.
I had very unhappy news this week with Confetti (Australia) breaking her pelvis. Unfortunately it was severe enough for her to have to be euthanised. This is distressing for both mum and I as she was a charm to own and a valuable horse. Mum is such a star in these situations by taking care of everything and keeping things in perspective. Adding to this sadness was the news that Becky Gordon (from Australia) lost her awesome little horse Prince. While Becky and Prince were training with me I developed a huge respect and affection for this horse. Both he and Becky were able to progress through the ranks winning against the 'big guys' at prelim.
On a better note we welcome Pam Evans and her cute Morgan Tuck to the barn. We have such a great bunch of people and horses in the barn at the moment, we are truly blessed!!! I also have to take this opportunity to sing the praises of the Nutrena feeds. We have 37 horses, all in different amounts of work, with different personalities and needs. Nutrena has a feed solution to suit each horse perfectly and for that I wholeheartedly thank them!!!