Monday, January 23, 2012

Cross country schooling fun!

Trev loves cross country!

Full steam ahead here in Aiken with the Aiken Horse Sale, first cross country school and a visit back to MD to teach all in the past week! I always find the first cross country schooling session in a while a bit intimidating, not sure why but perhaps it has something to with all the horses VERY happy to be galloping around and VERY happy not to be left in cold MD! Combined with Liberty's eclectic mix of being incredibly brave at jumping anything and being incredibly afraid of pretty well everything else, it's no wonder I put it off a day or two! All jokes aside we headed over to Full Gallop Farm with Trevor, Cole, Liberty, Maverick (Jenny), Raleigh and Chloe's own Mystica. It was Trevor's first time cross country and, as with any 3yo horse that's had only six weeks work, I wasn't sure what to expect. He was super! One would think he was an experienced campaigner! He jumped each ditch without hesitation, trotted straight into the water without a lead and negotiated the down bank in fine style! This guy is a born eventer!

I also attended the Aiken Horse Sale with two of my training level horses. I loved the concept of the sale, not an auction but a great way to show off your horses to a group of buyers all in one place. Both of my horses are top class and they'll be trailed tomorrow. We actually have a great group of sales horses at the moment to keep us busy.

I look forward to starting the eventing season next week and can't wait to see where our winter training has left us!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

And so it begins!

Cole's winning round.

Civil Liberty back doing what he does best!

Finally the competitions have started! We kicked the year off with the PSJ Shows Aiken Winter Classic at Highfields in Aiken. And what a great way to start with a win on Collection Pass (Rege Dvorsky and Jeanne Leone)! And Pat McCuan and my own Civil Liberty was second! This is the third year that I've used this showjumping competition to start back and it's a great indicator of where the horses are in their training and frame of mind. It's quite an intimidating ring for the event horses who aren't accustomed to that type of atmosphere and I find it very useful throughout the year that my horses know how to deal with the pressure. Also, since it's the first show back, it can get a little wild at times! Obviously my horses are ready for the cross country and get excited, while the pure jump riders aren't so excited to share the warm up with us.... And, as my horses mostly look the same, I think they think that I'm jumping 10 rounds on the same horse! Cole jumped extremely well and feels fit and really ready for the year, this was his first win at a AA rated show. Liberty has grown stronger in his hiatus and feels like an even better horse this year.

So with the beginning of the show season, we are officially on the roller coaster that is the show year for 2012! From here on in each weekend, and quite a few weeks, are now taken up with competition and clinics. And 3 weeks ago I was complaining about being bored..... After this weeks show I've headed back to MD where I'm teaching a clinic to my regular students, then it's back first thing Monday morning.

Monday, January 2, 2012

After traveling down to Aiken on the 31st we're finally settled in! It was a largely uneventful trip until the last hour of our trip when I casually mentioned how smoothly the trip was going and what good time we were making. BIG mistake! Within 20 minutes the rear drivers side tyre on the trailer had blown with an explosion to rival that of a sonic boom. We limped to the nearest petrol station and begged the 6 horses to stand still while Rege did his best NASCAR pit crew impression and changed switched what was left of the tyre for the spare. By the time all was fixed, we arrived about an hour later than planned, but with all 9 horses in one piece. The only stress was whether or not my favourite Mexican restaurant would still be open.... Chloe, Jenny, Rege, Jeanne and I all saw in the New Year together before Rege and Jeanne headed back to MD.
Today was the first day of work, with all the horses schooling on the flat. After an initial minute or two, they all got down to work, picking up where we left off last week. I can't say how excited I am by the coming season. Cole's changes are getting better and better, Liberty's looking super strong, Ronnie's jumping great, Lola's feeling great (ready for her new home) and the two Irish guys are getting better and better. Ti will be down shortly. We kick off the competitive year with a show jumping competition in Aiken next week. I'll have Ron, Cole, Liberty, Trevor and Raleigh.

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