Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Some days are better than others......

I have one of the most amazing jobs in the world for which I am truly grateful. Generally I wake up in the morning and jump out of bed excited by what the day has to offer, excited by my horses and my students. Generally I can't wait to see what the day has to offer, it's super usually. Generally I can go for months without a day off and not even miss it. Generally my days are filled with huge steps towards achieving my dreams and goals, thanks to my owners and hard work. Then there are the days when I shouldn't have gotten out of bed. These don't happen often but I had a couple this week with three of my best horses having injuries or issues. One more serious than the other but all cause for concern. Cole had a serious overreach in Aiken that possibly needed closer attention at the time. Fortunately with some new shoes and a week off he should still be all systems go for Bromont. Boo is off to a new life as a hunter. Even more upsetting than that is that Mario is on hiatus thru an unexpected and unavoidable injury to one of his front legs. As the saying goes tho 'as one door closes another one opens' or 'up shit creek without a paddle'. Luckily for me tho another door opened and I found a paddle!

Mario is getting great at the dressage, obviously amazing in show jumping and figured out the cross country but we not matter how fast we go we can't make time. This is a problem that can be addressed in a few ways. With his injury we have the opportunity to approach it laterally with aqua therapy. Mario is one of the loves of my life (along with Lois, Cole, Danny, Winny and Legs) but even I have to admit he's more pony in shape than horse which obviously makes fitness tough. Aqua therapy, as the name suggests, involves water exercise. Also included is an under water treadmill, all fascinating to the average observer but to me it's the perfect opportunity to improve Mario's fitness and streamline his profile. So basically this injury will offer us the chance to improve him further and add another piece to the puzzle that is the event horse. So for the next few months whilst Mario is recovering and Cole is improving his foot I will be waking up thinking about how to best improve my favourite horse's fitness after which it'll be back to waking up full steam ahead to our goals with this massive mountain in the road being a bump in the rear view mirror. Thankfully Lois is the star of the show by being a typical mare and showing the boys up! Go mare power!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Plantation Fields

Mario enjoying his 'show stabling'! I luckily was able to stable my horses overnight at one of the most beautiful farms in PA. This meant they were able to walk around a grass filled paddock all night rather than stuck in a 10 by 10.

I love many facets of my job and this weekend displayed yet another. I got to spend the entire weekend in Unionville, PA aka Horse Heaven! I challenge you to find a more ideal or beautiful area for our fantastic sport of eventing. I only had three horses from my barn at this event but they all did us proud. Very excitingly for me Mario charged around the cross country full of confidence and knowledge of his job. Just some time faults relegating us to 8th. All that's left now is to teach him to gallop. Cole did super with me being very conservative with him and going really slow. He still ended up 14th. The dressage is still a weakness for him but I feel as tho it's only another 2 shows before it clicks for him. And after a poor performance at Morven Park which included a fall, Alex MacLeod excelled herself by winning the prelim (Australian CNC 1 star). After winning Full Gallop intermediate then falling at Morven Park we made the decision to drop her down a level just to reinforce and strengthen the basics we train week in and week out. Obviously this proved to be the right thing to do and she's next headed to Loudoun in two weeks. Cole, Mario and Lois are all going to Loudoun with me. But next on the schedule is Redlands with a bunch of my students and then Culpepper showjumping with Cole and Mario. Perhaps we can we some real money!

Monday, April 5, 2010

As with all sports, perhaps even more so, eventing is a sport that requires a large team who are visible and not so visible. Even tho it's my name on the website I'm probably the most disposable in the equation! Ever heard the expression 'no foot, no horse'? That's right, without a farrier who knows what he's doing I don't have a sound horse to compete on. Luckily there's Joe Hubschmann. Without a vet to keep them healthy I don't have a horse to compete on. Luckily there's Damascus Equine and Dr Cooper Williams. Without a barn manager to feed the horses and keep things straight I don't have a horse to compete on. Luckily theres's Paula Bollinger, Kathy Taylor and Heather. Without a manager to organise me I wouldn't have the chance to ride the lovely horses I'm lucky enough to ride. Luckily there's Amy Gaynor! Without a working student the horses wouldn't have the attention they get. Luckily I have Kaden Weaver. And obviously, without the owners I have I wouldn't HAVE any horses to ride. Luckily there's Patrick McCuan, The MacLeod family, Rege Dvorsky and Jeanne Leonne, Nancy Dick, Judy Salmon, Amy Taggart and the list goes on. And obviously without my students I would have noone to tell me I'm good! I rather noone to bring me back down to my place! Luckily I have some of the best students in the world. Also the volunteers that make the events run are integral people in the sport. Without them we wouldn't have a sport. We compete most weeks in the year which involves different horses and riders all needing to be prepared to go to different shows in eventing/dressage and show jumping year round. Trailers need to be packed and unpacked. Stalls need to be mucked, horses need to come in and go out, they need to be fed, plaited, washed, groomed, have their manes pulled. Gear needs to be cleaned, aisles need to be swept. The list goes on! And on! Each horse and rider have a show schedule and creating my weekly schedule is a job all of it's own! So please take the time to appreciate all the stuff behind the scenes that goes into watching that one horse go around cross country. Or do a dressage test.

On a different note some of my students attended a couple of shows over the weekend. Amy Gaynor won on her new mare, Cindy. This was a fantastic job as she has only had her a short period of time. Kelsy Schmidbuear won Champion 3' 6" jumper and Meghan Avella was Reserve Champion. Kaden was reserve champion on Amy Taggarts horse Cowboy. Abby Gibbon did well on her mare as well. Glenda Player and her students also had a good weekend. And MOST excitingly of all Lisa Kurr had her first start back on the fabulous Rocco after a series of unfortunate injuries last year. She came 3RD!!!!! This was a huge step back into the ring and I was super psyched for her!

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