Friday, June 1, 2012

Shame, Shame

I have been neglecting my duties to my personal blog!!   Life has been crazy, and I have been writing about Bug's journey for Eventing Nation.  Here are the links to his updates:

They have also asked me to be a writer in the official capacity.  Here is my first article!

Okay, that should catch everyone up on the goings on with Bug.  Now for some updates with the rest of the horses!

Renn takinga break from schooling the Prelim at The Fork

1.  Renn has been doing great!  He went to Fairhill in April to run the Training.  He proved to me that he was definitely ready to move up, as he was quite a good boy.  Unfortunately, he did put his left hip out of place after arriving home, so he had to miss the Heart of the Carolinas Training 3 Day in order to have a visit with the chiro.  I was very disappointed, as I was really looking forward to taking him!  However, the amazing chiro, Dr. Karla, put his hip back in place, and he got to go to the VAHT this past weekend and earn his big boy pants!  Renn was quite good for his first Prelim!  We are still sorting out saddle fit, thus his dressage wasn't great.  However, he was a great boy in both jumping phases, and I am proud to call him a Prelim horse!  He will get June off from competing and will hopefully be back out in July.

2.  Sales horse, Rosarita, has been sold to a dressage home!  I am sure that she will excel, as she was bred for that discipline and shows a lot of promise!  I hope we will see her in the show arena soon.

3.   Golden Altar (Zeus), was a semi-finalist in the Breeder's Bridge Contest with the Maddens.  He went home to be with his owner, Gina Woods.  Unfortunately, he was not chosen, but Gina is having a blast with him!!

Catoctin Moon competing at The Ark

4.  Sales horse, Catoctin Moon (Moe), has been getting better and better all spring.  He went to The Ark the beginning of April for the Novice and had a tense dressage, but he went on to have great sj and xc rounds.  Moe also went along to VAHT this past weekend to compete in the Novice.  We finally got it together for the dressage, and he scored a 33!  This horse is an amazing mover, and I knew he was capable of great scores, but I just had to figure out how to eliminate his tenseness at shows.  I was so proud of him!!  He was a bit distracted in the SJ, as it was in the coliseum, costing us two rails, but he went on to jump a great double clear XC.  He ended up 6th in a big Open Novice division.  This horse is going to give someone a lot of fun!

Une Grace showing off her moves at Full Gallop Farm

5.  Sales horse, Une Grace (Gracie), owned by Morning Glory Sporthorses, has been fabulous!  This mare is amazing!  She is going to make someone an amazing horse.  She is beautiful, a great mover, honest, and scopey.  What more can you ask for in a young horse?  Someone needs to snatch her up!

6.  Storm Boomer (Boomer), also owned by Morning Glory Sporthorses, is really coming along in his training.  He has an eccentric soul, but once I figured him out, he has come along so quickly.  This horse can JUMP!  He is going to be an amazing hunter/jumper. 

7.  Me Fuerst (Mia), my orphan filly by Renn, turned 3 the end of April and will be starting her life as a horse in training!  I am hoping that she loves to event, but I always try to listen to my horses.  If she wants to do something else, that is fine too!  I just love this filly.  She is well built, a lovely mover, and she has the best brain!  She has been lunging in the surcingle like she's been doing it all of her life. 

I think that covers most of the bases right now.  I will check in again after Bromont!

Kick on!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Go big or go home!

Well, Folks, here it is, my update from Southern Pines II.... Bug and I moved up to Advanced, and it was an amazing weekend!  I wrote about it for Eventing Nation, so check it out!

Here are a few more pictures that I didn't have at the time of the EN publication.

Monday, March 26, 2012

March Update Part 1

Wow, so a lot has happened this month!  I have been horrible about blogging.  I'm going to split this month up into two posts, as I have so much to share!

In the beginning of March, Bug FINALLY got to make his 2012 debut!  We went to Sporting Days in Aiken to run the Intermediate/Prelim division.  That means, Intermediate dressage and show jumping and Preliminary XC.  I thought this was a good way to get him out to stretch his legs without putting too much pressure on him in the XC.  I wanted to be sure all of our systems were a go over smaller fences before we moved up to the big stuff. 
Bug put in a good test in the dressage and was very obedient.  Now that I have him listening to me better, we have to start tweaking the work to make it fancier and more correct.  He went on to jump a good sj round with one unlucky rail.  He did save my butt a few times, as I was still knocking off the rust a bit.  He also jumped around the XC like a champ with only a handful of time.  Not a bad way to knock off the rust, I think! 

The following weekend, I set off with my new working student, Naomi,  to Aiken again.  I was to compete FIVE horses at Full Gallop Farm.  This was the first time I'd competed over 2 horses at a recognized event.  I wasn't sure how I would hold up, but I was sure that I'd have a good idea of my fitness level afterward.  Luckily, along with Naomi, I had three other great helpers along to keep my horses clean and ready to compete.  Mary, Michael, Chris, and Naomi were an amazing help to me!  I really appreciate all of their efforts. 

Bug rocking it in the SJ

Bug was set to compete in his first full Intermediate event of the year.  How well this event went was the determining factor of when we were to move up to Advanced.  No pressure!  Bug put in a very obedient test.  Still missing a lot of fancy and swing.  We're working on it. :)  He went on to ROCK around the SJ and XC with stellar rounds to finish 5th!  I was THRILLED.  He felt amazing.  He's such a superstar!

Renn showing off his AMAZING gallop stride!

Renn was back and ready to take on another Training at Full Gallop.  The XC looked to be a great deal tougher than what he'd done the month before, so I was excited to see how he felt about it.  He put in one of the best dressage tests of his life!  Random people that didn't know us were coming up to me afterward and telling me how beautiful we were together.   Unfortunately, the judge didn't completely agree, as she said he wasn't in front of my leg enough.  However, I was thrilled with him.  He went on to ROCK around the XC.  No nappiness, no shying, just a phenomenal run.  Maybe my handsome studly is growing up!  He did have 2 rails in SJ, but they were my fault.   He was jumping great in the beginning of the course, but got a bit behind my leg to the in and out.  I had to get after him, and he started to panic a bit about doing something wrong.  Oh well, I will get him figured out yet! 

Catoctin Moon, Moe, the sales horse, was a bit tense at his first recognized event.  With over 400 entries, the warm up areas were quite crazy.  He was obedient in his Novice test, but he was definitely tense, which cost us.  I was still super pleased with how he held it together.  He went on to jump a good SJ round with one rail.  He was a bit spooky for the beginning of XC, but after a silly run-out, he got his mind in gear and was great the rest of the way around.  I was quite pleased with how he grew up as the weekend went along.  He will do Novice again at The Ark this coming weekend. 

Golden Altar, Zeus, another sales horse, did his first ever recognized event as well, only in the BN division.  He had a bit of the same issues as Moe.  The crowds caused him to be a bit overwhelmed, but he held it together.  He didn't do anything silly, but he was definitely tense.  His test was nothing like he is capable of doing.  He did, however, go on to ROCK around the XC.  His SJ was not normal for him, as he had a silly stop at the 2nd fence and a rail.  I think he was a bit distracted by his surroundings, but I felt like he really grew up as well during the weekend.  He will move up to Novice at The Ark this weekend. 

Gracie dominating the BN jumps. :)

Une Grace, Gracie, another sales horse owned by Morning Glory Sporthorses, was my little wonder pony.  She got a 34 in her VERY FIRST BN RECOGNIZED EVENT!  She was 4th after dressage.  I just LOVE that little mare.  The judge called her "well built" and "beautiful".  I already thought that, but I'm a little bit biased.  I've loved that little girl since I met her as a yearling.  She's such an amazing girl!  She had 2 rails in the in and out of SJ, but they were just greenie mistakes.  She also looked at a few things on XC, but I never had to represent.  She would just slow down, walk up to it, and then jump. haha  She's such a good girl.  Unfortunately, due to pilot error, we jumped up the Novice bank instead of the BN bank.  Oops!  Good girl for doing the big bank!  That was the only time that my crazy weekend really showed through in my riding, I think. 

Over all, it was a great weekend with the horses! 

Unfortunately, a mile up the road from the show, my brakes went out in my truck, and we had to stay in Aiken for 2 extra days.  I guess if you're going to get stranded with horses, that is the place to do it!  We enjoyed some nice weather and got to hack around on the good footing for an extra day. :)

That's all for this update!  Look for the next one soon!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Smiling is good for the soul.

Wow, it hasn't been THAT long since I blogged, but it feels like so much has happened!

Renn and I had a great outing at Full Gallop Farm at the beginning of February.  He warmed up quite nicely for dressage, but, per usual, he got a bit wild when it was time to go in the arena.  He had some good moments, but he can be hard to contain with all of that movement when he's feeling frisky!  However, he went on to jump a nice around in the show jumping with an unlucky rail.  He's really jumping quite well now and really listening, but I forget to ride him forward when he's being so good.  Our XC round was definitely one that showed our rustiness from winter, but we got around clean with a handful of time penalties.  I was quite happy with our first outing.  We finished up 6th in our Open Training division.  Not too shabby for our first time out. :)

This past Saturday, I took 4 horses and 2 students to Hillcrest Farm HT in Mocksville, NC.  I also took an AMAZING crew of help, Jeremiah (my husband), Michael, and Chris.  They did an AWESOME job of keeping the horses coming.  Without them, I would never have gotten everything accomplished!

Renn competed in the Training division, and I was really glad that I took him.  I think running him again not long after Full Gallop was just what he needed to continue knocking off the rust.  He put in a decent dressage, but it definitely wasn't his best.  It was a lot better than his test at Full Gallop, but it still wasn't anywhere near what he can do.  I have to learn to really kick him into a softer contact, but he's right at that fine line where he's only strong enough to do so much.  He went on to jump a very good, forward SJ round.  I had a bit of an oops in the one stride, but he dealt with it fine, and we just kept on going.  His XC was interesting.  He had two stops early on course at innocuous jumps, as he was trying to turn and go back to the trailer.  Apparently, he became good friends with the other horses and thought he should be going back to them.  Once he realized that I wasn't having it, he went on and finished the course beautifully.  He didn't look at the ditch, down bank, or drop into the water, which have all been his Achilles' heel in the past.  I was quite proud of him for finishing up a more mature horse.  

Catoctin Moon, aka Moe, one of the sales horses, competed in the Novice division.  It was our first full event together, and I was excited to see how he went.  He was a bit tense in the dressage, but I thought it was a decent test.  The judge, however, did not agree.  For a schooling show, I thought she was pretty tough, but thus is life in dressage, eh?  Anyway, Moe went on to have a SJ round that got better and better as we went.  We are still getting used to each other, and he's still figuring out exactly how I want him to react.  He started out a bit erratic, but by the end of the course, we were much more in sync.  He went on to jump a stellar XC round!  This horse is going to make a young rider or an adult amateur a fun mount!  He's a blast.  He ended up finishing 6th in his division.

Une Grace, aka Gracie, was my little star of the day, really.  She's just barely 4, and this was her first BN event.  She was such a star!  She was 3rd after dressage, as she put in quite a lovely test.  She's still a bit green about the correct bend in the arena, and her canter needs some work, but I was THRILLED with her.  She was 100% better than the last dressage test she did at TTC back in December.  She went on to jump a super SJ round.  She and I just click.  I started her from the ground up, so she only knows my style of riding.  I love her!  She showed her greeness a bit on XC by being slightly nappy between fences 1 and 2, and she didn't want to touch the white dirt surrounding the water.  However, I was thrilled with her.  She didn't look at the ditch and went up and down the little banks.  She was a star.  She finished up 5th in her division.

Golden Altar, aka Zeus, is another of the sales horses.  We did our first BN full event together, and I was quite pleased with how much he's matured since TTC as well.  His dressage was MUCH MUCH better than a few weeks ago.  He is really starting to understand a true connection now and he had some really good moments.  He's quite a lovely mover if we can get him to relax. :)  He went on to put a HUGE smile on my face in the SJ and XC.  This horse is a BLAST to jump.  He was quite good in both phases.  We definitely got some speed fault penalties on XC, but he was never racing or scary.  He just has a huge stride and knows how to gallop.  I have a feeling he will be moving up the lower levels pretty quickly.  He ended up 4th in his BN division.

My student, Catherine Schumak, and her horse, MrSecretAgentMan, also competed in the Training to finish 2nd!  They are really maturing together as a team.  (unfortunately, we didn't get video of them!)

Also, Maddie Whisnant, and her horse, My Daddy's Cash, competed in their FIRST BN event together.  Maddie did a great job!!  I look forward to watching these two as they progress.

I'm very excited about all of the hroses.  I just can't stop saying it!  Bug will be making his spring debut next weekend at Sporting Days in Aiken.  He'll be competing in the IP division.  After that, everyone is going to Full Gallop  March 9-11.  I'll be competing 5 horses there!!  I am glad that I will have a great crew with me that weekend as well. :)

I also want to give another shout out to my awesome sponsor, Snider's Elevator!  They have been great in helping me find the products that I need to make this business a success.  Please check out their website at

Until next time....sit tall, soft elbows!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Every day I'm shufflin'...

Wow!  Life has been a whirlwind of activity since I last posted.  There are 9 horses at RSS right now, and that keeps me quite busy! 

In exciting news, Bug has been cleared to start jumping and galloping and doing regular work.  The abscess pocket was down to a quarter of its original size, after just 4 weeks.  Bug was very happy to hear this news, as constant flatwork was starting to make him grumpy. 

This past weekend, I took 3 horses to TTC in Mocksville for a Combined Test, Jumper Show, and XC schooling. 

Une Grace and I waiting for our Jumper classes at TTC.  Love her stripes!

 Catoctin Moon, a sales horse owned by Lindsey Matossian, did the Novice CT.  He was quite good in the dressage, scoring a 31.3!  The judge stuck her head out of her car at the end and told me how lovely he is.  Honestly, I really quite enjoy riding him, so I already knew that! :)  He went on to have one rail in SJ, and he finished 3rd.  He is still getting used to the way I want him to jump, so we will get that sorted.  I was really quite pleased with how he was.
Golden Altar, another sales horse owned by Gina Woods, did the BN CT.  It was his first real dressage test, and his first show with me.  He was a bit confused about what exactly we were doing in the dressage test, so our score wasn't the greatest.  However, he jumped a great double clear round in SJ.  He is green on the flat, but he is quite good when it comes to jumping.  With more miles on the flat, I think his dressage will catch up with his jumping soon.
Une Grace, yet another sales horse (and my favorite little mare to ride) owned by Morning Glory Sporthorses, did the 2'6" Open Jumpers and the 2'6" Jumper Derby.  Gracie is only just coming 4, and she is amazing.  For the first class, she did a lot of looking around but jumped everything.  Unfortunately, she had a rail in the first class.  In the Derby, she went in and had it all figured out.  She jumped a stellar round to win the class!  I love that little brindle mare!

On Wednesday of this week, I am taking Renn to the first recognized event of 2012 for RSS, Full Gallop Farm.  Renn is competing in the Open Training division.  I am aiming him at the Training 3-Day at Heart of the Carolinas in May, and we need one more qualifying score.  I'm hoping we can get it on Wednesday and not have to worry about it for the rest of the spring. :)

I am really excited about my "string" of horses this year.  They are all very talented individuals, and I can feel my riding improving, thanks to sitting on so many horses.  I am very thankful to all of the owners for giving me the rides on these fabulous horses!  I can't wait to get everyone out and about this spring!

I hope everyone is having a great year so far!  Heels down, eyes up, kick on!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Always write in pencil...

I hope everyone had a great holiday season!  A lot of things have been going on here at RSS.

Unforunately, as with all things related to horses, things change quickly.  Just before Christmas, Bug decided to pop a doozy of an abscess.  It was bad enough, that we were worried he had fractured his coffin bone.  After x-raying, I was thrilled to find out that there was no fracture.  However, the abscess pocket could be seen on the xray.  It went from his sole all of the way up to his cornary band.  Now, it's a waiting game.  I have to wait until the laminae all fill back in.  He will get his shoe back on January 23rd, then we re-xray to check out what the pocket is doing.  I have been saying a lot of prayers for my boy! 
Of course, this means that the show schedule I had just painstakingly made up is now no longer.  haha  Oh well.  I have made up a new schedule...and I wrote very lightly in pencil!!

Renn has been quite the good little stallion.  He got to participate in the first show of the season for RSS.  I took him to TTC for the schooling CT and XC schooling.  He did the Prelim CT, and he was a lot better than I expected for his first trip out.  His scores in his dressage test were a 9 and five 8's in a row, and then we cantered.  :)  We are still working on getting him quiet in the canter, but I was THRILLED with the beginning of his test and the trotwork.  He was jumping super well in the show jumping, but I got stuck in letting him go too slow and didn't ride him forward enough.  I have been working so hard to get him rideable, that I forget to put my leg on when he's listening.  We had one rail and time, but I was still thrilled with him.  Just need to keep working on myself.  Isn't that always the story?  My plan for Renn is to compete him at Training all spring and then shoot to do the Training 3-Day at Heart of the Carolinas in May.  After talking with Bonnie, I think this is the best thing for him.  I want to take a step back and really get his confidence back.  His first recognized outing will be Feb 8th at Full Gallop Farm.

I am very excited about all of the sales horses that I have right now.  I still have Rosarita and Fame, which are coming along nicely in their training.  Due to veterinary issues, Whitfield has gone on to a new home, where he is happy and living it up.  I'm so happy that he found a great home.  I have two new horses here for sale.   I will post more about them once I've had them a bit longer.

I also had the pleasure of helping Morning Glory Sporthorses with the sale of their 2 year old Oldenburg filly, Glenn Kinchie.  Congrats to Jenn Church on her lovely new jumper prospect!

That's all for now!  Head up, heels down, kick on!