Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wellington Training!

There are several ways to do fitness work, I generally choose to do one or two horses at a time, polo players are a little more time efficient, twelve at once!

Wellington, FL is the playground of the rich, famous and elite, horsey and otherwise. To play here you need to be famous to get in, elite to be competitive and rich to afford it! OR you can have a couple of good horses and a couple of good trainers that welcome you in and enthusiastically help horse and rider to become better riders. This week I have taken Mario and Cole, with thanks to their owners, to Wellington to improve our dressage and show jumping. For the show jumping I'm working with grand prix rider (recently turned eventer) Marilyn Little-Meredith, whom I also work with back in MD. With Mario we're working on improving his slight left drift and his rideability between fences. Cole is a different kettle of fish and requires and obviously requires a different ride. He's careful but not to the same point as Mario. Australian dressage rider Nicholas Fyffe is helping me on the flat. I know Nicholas from Australia where he also helped me and he's reminding me of small habits I've allowed to slip since moving to America. For example we've been working on my seat and the effectiveness of aids. He has also been focusing on making a more established half halt and having my horses quicker on my aids. I have one more day here and then I'm really looking forward to getting back to Aiken to focus up on the horses I have left there, particularly Lola, Ti and Charmer, all of who are competing at Sporting Days and Full Gallop. Cole is my only starter this weekend at Pine Top and I look forward to bringing you my results after the training we have been receiving. Mario will next compete at the March Madness in Aiken, SC.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I know it's only a tiny jump but check out his back end!! That's the athleticism that makes me happy to canter into 1.50 metre fences! Students: ignore both my pink jumper and my position, I don't know what I was thinking....

The eventing season is starting to really kick into gear with most of top horses and riders out competing at Pine Top this weekend. Cole was 8th in the intermediate, and I have to say there were three mistakes in the three phases and they were all mine. He tried very had and his dressage is definitely improving. This concluded a very 14 days that included 5 events! Next I'm heading to Florida with Mario and Cole for showjumping and dressage lessons. Then it's back to Pine Top, Sporting Days, Full Gallop, Southern Pines I and II, Atlanta for some SJ, Morven Park, the Fork then home! In between all that my weekly visits back to MD.

As a side note, check page number 40 in Another cover page!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sporting Days was how eventing should be; rain, mud and good courses! I had two horses entered who both did quite well in the dressage, Ti being the best of the two scoring a 31.8. He finished on that score to come second and start his eventing year off to a solid start. This is a horse that I rate quite highly and am lucky to have the ride to see just where he'll go. He did place in a couple of show jumping classes early in January so it's good to see his dressage showing the type of work I've always known he is capable of. When I say it was wet, I mean the dressage was done by battling thru 30cms of mud! I didn't run Lola cross country as I have a bit of work to do on her jumping and as she's a very nice horse, equally talented as Ti, Mario and Cole, I don't want to hurry her. I already made the mistake of starting her last week when I knew she wasn't ready, so I won't be in a hurry to do that again.
In a side note, I'm not sure what it says about Australians, but of the four competing at the event we pretty well had each class covered as far as prizes go! Not exactly sure how all that galloping around on the rock hard ground of Goondiwindi and Albury helped, but I guess it must have!

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